Piranha Photography - London Corporate Photographer

Camera Equipment – The incredible Leica Noctilux Lens

Photograph of Leica camera with Noctilux lens

The Leica Noctilux lens on M240 rangefinder camera

The incredible Leica Noctilux lens

OK this post is about an insane lens, insane in more ways than just its huge cost of nearly £8K. This is a lot of money for small amounts of glass and brass, so how can the Leica Noctilux lens possibly justify the hefty price tag? Perhaps its neutron star density?

Well, like the volume control in Spinal Tap, this lens goes all the way up to ’11’. In photographic terms its top setting is f0.95, making it the fastest production lens yet made by man. Its light gathering abilities are better than the human eye, which means there isn’t a shoot yet devised that requires available light that cannot be tackled by this lens.

It doesn’t end there. This lens renders images that border on the magical, with sharpness even at its top setting as good as many other lenses at more sober apertures, yet still producing superb colours and contrast.

Low light photograph in Dorset taken with Leica Noctilux lens

The image above was taken in very low light and is pin sharp.

The holy grail of all lenses

The expense is down to a meticulous, hand-crafted manufacturing process. Each lens is repeatedly checked by technicians during production, to ensure the highest possible quality of image.

Why is the Noctilux so Great for a Corporate Photographer?

It has long been considered the holy grail of all lenses, so where does this leave my clients?

As recently demonstrated to corporate clients, I use it at for events or conferences where I need discreet but comprehensive coverage using available light only. It’s also fantastic in board room situations where I can use the lens’s incredible razor thin depth of field to isolate individual directors even when they are seated close together.

What this lens allows is corporate photography that is much more interesting and elegant. It offers new solutions to photoshoots, and in the hands of a pro, makes the images for websites and annual reports more attention-grabbing and able to stand out from the crowd.

Of course not every shoot requires available light or shallow depth of field. In normal shooting conditions when used with studio lighting, its colour rendering is unsurpassed. Unlike other lens makers, Leica do not rate ‘sharpness’ as the sole criteria for a lens’s construction and design. For example, the lens is designed to give skin tones a tactile realism, in addition, colour, contrast and even the out of focus areas are extremely important to the overall way an image looks. This applies to all lenses in the Leica range; they are incredible quality and built to last a lifetime. But it’s just as well given the price tags.

Article in PetaPixel Discussing the Noctilux

A piece written by Douglas and appearing in PetaPixel discussing why a photographer might consider adding the Noctilux lens to their camera bag. You can read the full article here – PetaPixel Noctilux Article by Piranha.

Peta Pixel article about Leica Noctilux lens


This lens is fantastic in board room situations, where I can use the lens's incredible razor thin depth of field to isolate individual directors even when they are seated close together. - Douglas, Photographer