The word out of Japan today is that Voigtländer is introducing a premium, superfast 50mm ƒ/1.1 lens with ultra-high refractive index glass to commemorate the 10th anniversary of Cosina's Bessa series of rangefinder cameras (sorry I don't have a bigger picture of the lens). The 7-element lens in Leica M mount is 69.6mm long by 57.2mm diameter (2.74 x 2.25 in.), takes 58mm filters, and and weighs 428g (15 oz.). (The Google English translation of the Japanese page is a little rough...it says the lens weighs 15 oz. "food included." It should be "hood not included." Also note the charming translation of "bokeh" as "mild dementia"!) Significantly, the announced Japanese price of ¥125,000 is 1/5th the (Japanese) price of the Leica Noctilux ƒ/0.95, and 1/10th that of the "Last 100" Leica Noctilux ƒ/1. (¥125,000 is equivalent to $1,300, £840, and €954 at current exchange rates, although that does not mean those will be the lens's eventual export prices.) The focal length would be 65mm-e on the Leica M8.2. No word yet on whether the lens will be for export or Japan only.
(Thanks to Thien Onn Ming)
A set of test pictures taken by Tom and Tuulikki Abrahamsson with the new lens. (Thanks to Simon Mitternacht for this.)
Just to be clear, the camera apparently comes with the solid, screw-in hood pictured above; a clip on, ventilated hood is an optional accessory that costs ¥12,000 in Japan.
Featured Comment by Tom Abrahamsson: "I have heard a tentative price in the U.S. of $1149 with the stock hood. The LH7 hood is slightly larger, clamp type.
"I did have a chance to shoot half a dozen rolls with this lens in Japan in March. I am impressed! Not only is it good at ƒ/1.1—but it is also very sharp and has nice contrast at mid- apertures. It is slightly smaller than the Noctilux (58mm filter size) and combined with the performance wide open and at mid apertures, it will make a really attractive all-'round 50mm lens. I don't know what it is like fully stopped down—didn't shoot at ƒ/16—but I suspect it is just as good there."