The Leica 50mm f/0.95 Noctilux M Aspherical Manual Focus Lens represents a unique high performance lens. It combines exceptionally high speed with an image performance that ranks alongside that of today's leading lenses and once again extends the composition options of Leica M photography.
It offers a unique range of features. A noticeably (11%) higher speed has been achieved in a body with almost the same diameter and only very slightly longer than its predecessor, the Noctilux-M 50mm f/1. At the same time, its rendition quality significantly exceeds that of its predecessor, while retaining the typical, slightly soft reproduction of the previous lens. Even at full stop, the LEICA NOCTILUX-M 50mm ASPH f/0.95 demonstrates excellent reproduction quality, which only deteriorates slightly towards the edges - while the slightly smaller format of the Leica M8 models only capture less of these areas anyway. Stopping down brings a continuous significant improvement in performance, up to an exceptional level over the entire image field at 5.6.
Even in the close-up range, this performance is largely retained thanks to a "floating element". The strikingly low degree of vignetting for such a high speed lens is a maximum - i.e. in the corners of the image - of just 3.2 stops at full aperture in 35mm format, or around 1.5 on the Leica M8 models. Stopping down to 2 visibly reduces this light fall off towards the edge of the image, with practically only the natural vignetting remaining. Distortion is slightly barrel-shaped and, at a maximum of just 1%, is hardly perceptible in practice. The construction is similar to a double Gauss type and uses a total of eight lenses to achieve this excellent performance. Of these, five are made of glass types with anomalous color dispersion (partial dispersion) to correct color defects, while three simultaneously have extremely high refractive power. Because of their large diameter, the two aspherical lens surfaces are produced by meticulous grinding and polishing. To maintain performance in the closeup range, the rearmost element of the optical system is a "floating element", i.e. it moves independently of the rest of the mechanism.