PHOTOOG Photography writings by Olivier Giroux


Another Lens Worth Following

The Nikkor 35mm f/1.4G AF-S saga is just starting now, with the first shipping units.

You can see samples appearing here over time.  There's at least one family photo with the 24mm, 35mm and 85mm side by side.  That is a very desirable trio -- far more desirable in my book than the three zooms.

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  1. Here is Bjørn Rørslett’s complete review of 35mm f/1.4G

    His conclusion: This lens is stated to join the ranks of other nikkor legends!

  2. It better be joining the Nikkor legend league as it is a very expensive lens. In The Netherlands it costs about 1900,= Euro’s which translates to more then 2500,= US$. That is actually more expensive then the 35/1.4 ZF (but much less then the Leica SX 35 M ;-)).

    I am not in for any of the three lenses but I like the fact that Nikon makes them. It says they expect more to come in terms of sharpness demand in the camera’s.


  3. Leica reasonable…? Excellent example of an oxymoron! But its probably something to do with the state of $ and Yen exchange rate n international market!

    Leica M9 – $7995

    Leica 35mm f/1.4 ASPH Summilux-M – $4995 (Amazon)

    Thats freaking insane! I crave the ‘leica look’ but no way I can afford that kind of money! I mean one can buy a D3X, 1.4/24mm, 35mm, 85mm or 2.8/21mm, 1.4/35mm, 2/100mm ZF2 for that kind of money!

  4. Hey Oliver, we can’t edit our comments?

  5. I do agree it is an insane amount of money! But it is the only way for Leica to survive: they need to make the best lenses in the world, period. Otherwise they cannot make the profits they need to survive and develop a new M9 version. Especially not since CZ makes lenses that are about as good as they Leica ones for a much lower price (see Leica is now depending on special versions like a 1.4/24 mm of impeccable quality to make the difference.

    • Leica’s latest financial results showed 100% growth year over year thanks to the M9. So the pent-up demand was pretty important.

      I wouldn’t buy a Leica lens new at the new-price. I would buy them gently used instead. They are such nearly indestructible objects that there is often no distinction between new and gently used.

    • Leica is and has depended for a long time on rich amateurs to buy their overpriced gear. That’s how they survive.

  6. I just hope that when I finish college, I get a job in which I can afford some of Leica goodness 😀 . But as of now its all nikkor for me.

  7. They have many lenses that are, at least, worth their price on the used market. More than half of them I would say. I have to agree that only 2 or 3 are worth their price new however, particularly now that all the prices have (yet again) been bumped up.

    The biggest issue facing Leica lenses is not their intrinsic quality, which might support their price actually, but the ability of the photographer to fully utilize them (e.g. focus them reliably, or frame them usefully using the M camera). It’s terrible that a 75mm APO can’t be reliably focused. It’s equally terrible that a 24mm lens can’t be used closer than 0.7m, which might as well be a mile away for some style of photography.

    There is really nothing to feel bad about a lens outfit stocked with Zeiss ZF lenses, it may be hard to believe but that is actually better than a Leica outfit. At least the ZF’s deliver the goods reliably, every time, with some practice.

  8. What about Noctilux? 0.95/50mm? Oliver you tried that lens yet? Steve Huff had a review saying he wouldn’t suggest upgrading his 1/50mm for the new noctilux.

    • I have no interest whatsoever in the Noctilux, ASPH or non-ASPH. They’re big, expensive and fussy pieces of gear which deliver marginal benefit over the Summilux ASPH. I don’t even want to play with either of these lenses for fun.

  9. Oliver,
    Today I had the good fortune of making pictures with M9. That camera is a pure bliss to use! It makes my D7000 feel chunky and complicated! I now understand why the price tag doesn’t scare away the potential buyers from Leica. All of sudden I found myself contemplating not investing in any of the lenses I was saving for, the new 1.4Gs from Nikon, and instead take the plunge in Leica world. That camera is simply a joy to use. Maybe someday when I have enough funds, till then it would be trusty nikkors (or ZF2s for the ‘look’).

  10. Oh I wrote ‘I found myself contemplating…maybe someday’. I am not going to buy it. I am going to invest the money in nikkors/ZF2 just as I planned, it was just that when I used M9 the thought of putting money in it flashed in my mind. No Leica M9 for me till I have a disposable amount $10,000 and that is after I have covered my telephoto primes.

    I am looking forward to your review.

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