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Thursday, 01 August 2013


I have no facts in this, but My guess is that cron is designated to the design of the lens, which might be what this lens uses, and the f1.2 is possible with the cron design on the smaller sensor.

...worth the slightly extra speed over the fabulous 45mm 1.8 OLY?

I find it ironic that it is Panasonic - a company with its roots on video - doing what Olympus should have done long ago: manufacturing high quality primes for the classic focal lengths. Panasonic has now a 14mm, a 25mm and a 42,5mm, which are equivalent to, respectively, 28mm, 50mm and 85mm. The traditional wide-angle, standard and portrait prime lenses.
I have no prejudice against Panasonic - and I am well aware two of those lenses incorporate the L-brand -, but by rights it should have been Olympus' job to provide these lenses. They did it back in the OM days. I don't know whether it's some contractual bond that prevents Olympus from manufacturing prime lenses of these focal lengths, but I know for sure that Olympus is losing the battle for the head of micro 4/3. They have wonderful bodies, but quirky focal lengths. It baffles me.
As for the GX7, it is likely to trounce the E-P5: not only it is cheaper but it also has an integrated viewfinder. Olympus needs a new Maitani.

Looks great! I can imagine a complete kit of the GX7 and three premium prime lenses from Panasonic, Leica, Olympus and Voigtländer ... That will make one heck of a great kit.


Does anyone know if aperture rings on modern lenses like this report aperture in the viewfinder and/or screen? I have one old aperture ring lens (a Zuiko 50/1.2) and I hate the aperture ring, because I have to tilt the camera lens up to look at the lens to see what aperture I have set.

If it reported in the viewfinder, it would work fine, otherwise, it seems like a terrible design.

David, cameras are fully electronic nowadays, so yes, they will do that.

Will be interesting to have an high quality prime offering an alternative to the already great 45mm by Olympus. IF the IQwill be the one we usually associate with Leica products, I think there'll be a nice market for it.

Manuel: And Olympus does 24mm (12/2), 35mm (17/1.8) and 90mm (45/1.8).

Both Panasonic and Olympus have been doing exactly as you suggest. They've just been rather careful not to stomp on each others toes, which is a pity as I'd love a 17.5mm f1.4 DG Summilux.

Leica's high-speed lens names have been based on classical languages.

Summi- comes from Latin summus, meaning 'greatest.'

-cron comes from Greek kronos, meaning 'time.' (Esthetically more pleasing spelled -cron instead of -kron.)

-lux comes from Latin lux, meaning 'light.'

Nocti- comes from Latin nox, meaning 'night.'

Thus Summicron means 'highest time/speed.'

Summilux means 'highest light.'

Noctilux means 'light of night.'

And Nocticron means, somewhat illogically, 'time of night.'



Now there is a ~ f 2.4 equivalent portrait lens.

By equivalent I specifically mean when subject distance (perspective) is held constant. See:


Of course this lens' T-factor could be very high which might get you more light compared to equivalent lenses used with sensors with more surface area.

As for the name, here's what I'm guessing happened:

Leica didn't want to let the name use the hallowed 'Noctilux' name for this product, because, even though that's the designation that's been used for previous Leica f/1.2 lenses, for a while now it's been reserved for extremely high-prestige f/1 and f/0.95 lenses, and they were worried about diluting the prestige of those by attaching the same name to this digital offering.

So if this was going to be a Leica-branded product, they were going to need to come up with a new name, because none of the others applied to this aperture.

Well, they still wanted the venerable 'Noct-' at the beginning, to make it sound awesome and has become a common indicator of large-aperture impressiveness (compare 'Noct-Nikkor', 'Voigtländer Nokton'), but they couldn't use the '-lux' ending, and '-icron' was the next thing they could think of, so they ran with that.

There are some possible variations on this story. Maybe they were trying to suggest Nocticron : Noctilux :: Summicron : Summilux. Maybe they tried 'Noctarit' first but decided that sounded silly. We'll never know exactly how it went.

YS, I am not sure if you answered Davids question. David refers, at least I believe so, to the "old" Zuiko f/1,2 50mm lens for the Olympus OM SLR cameras. If my assumption is correct, then the aperture set will not be reported in the viewfinder. Can't be reported because there are no electronics in the lens to transfer data on the aperture selected.

Before people get too excited I speculate the "aperture ring" is not directly coupled to the aperture diaphragm (as you have to make the aperture electronically controled anyway for P and S mode in any modern lens and for that you need to add an internal motor).

The same is true for Fuji XF lenses and X100.

The aperture ring is just attached to an encoder that talks to the camera to tell it to set a given aperture.

It just has nice looking physical UI in the numbers on the barrel and abosolute position.


You write that 'It just has nice looking physical UI in the numbers on the barrel and abosolute position.'

That's really all I care about. Making it mechanical might be conceptually satisfying, but for me as an end user the difference between the two approaches isn't really significant.

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