Leica has just announced the latest version of one of its most famous Leica M lenses, the Leica Noctilux-M 50mm f/1.2 ASPH – and it is available now for a reassuringly expensive $7,900 / £6.700 / AU$11,300.
We initially spotted the Leica Noctilux-M 50mm f/1.2 ASPH on the manufacturer's UK Twitter account (opens in new tab) . This new lens has been carefully adapted to the design of contemporary optics and, despite modern technology, it delivers the unique look that continues to impress creative photographers today.
• Read more: Best Leica M lenses (opens in new tab)
In 1966, the Noctilux 50 f/1.2mm astounded expo visitors and the trade press alike with its revolutionary optical attributes. The lens offered a maximum aperture that was enormous by the standards of the time, in conjunction with exceptional optical performance.
This was partly due to the fact that the Noctilux was the world’s first serially produced lens to feature two aspherical elements, whose purpose was to reduce spherical aberration when shooting at the maximum aperture and improve rendition quality.
To re-issue this iconic lens, the original calculations and construction were only minimally changed, and then carefully adapted to the glass types and production methods available today to deliver performance that is every bit as impressive now as the original's was back in the Sixties.
Following the initial UK reveal, the new Noctilux lens has since appeared on Leica's other international pages and stores – perhaps not coincidally close to the launch of the new Leica M11 (opens in new tab) rangefinder camera, which has proved extremely popular with Leica customers.
It seems only fitting that the release of Leica's most advanced M-series camera ever made is accompanied by the release of a modern reinvention of one of Leica's most legendary lenses. Even if it does happen to be one of the most expensive nifty fifties on the market!