Leica Two - The Eye Of The Cat
Do you do most of your photography out in the back yard at 3:00 PM in January, with the sun over your left shoulder like you used to do when you had the Ensign 120 camera? Well, go make a cup of tea and let someone else have the computer for ten minutes. You are NOT my target audience.
Okay, I see from your face that you are a night person. ( remember that this computer has a little camera up on top of the screen. I sometimes turn it on and look at the readers ) Nightclubs, dance shows, parties, street photography, dark seedy alleys, foreshores in the moonlight....all in the one night. That would account for the eyes...
Well, apart from what YOUR eyes look like, consider what you can do with one of the new Leica eyes - the f:0.95 Noctilux-M 50mm ASPH lens. There is one downstairs right now coupled rather incongruously to the new Leica M-E body. The incongruity is nothing to do with fit or function - but they are wildly different prices.
Now from a technical point of view, the f:0.96 Noctilux-M 50 is faster than the Summilux f:1.4 50 which in its turn is faster than the Summicron f:2 50 which in its turn is faster that the Elmarit f:2.8 50. Each stop adds twice as much light as the one prior to it - wheere I might have been tempted to cease my photo activities at dusk when I used my old f:2.8 collapsible Elmar 50 ( Yes, I'm the one with the cup of tea...) I can now engage my subjects deeper and deeper into the dark night, studio, or coal hole. No black cat is safe.
Remember also that when the dear old Elmar was the prime lens for travel and weddings we were shooting on 100 ASA film. Now you can turn your new Leica M9 or M -series camera up to a sensitivity that is 16 x what was possible before. No lighting situation is impossible with a lens that opens up this far.
If you are seeking the ultimate in bokeh, you will be amazed at what appears behind your main subject with the Noctilux. Of course you will have a shallow depth of field around that critical plane of focus, but that is exactly what you want for some portraits.
This lens is not for everyone. Apart from the technical aspect of light gathering and optical depiction, there is the question of cost. Something as specialized as this will never be a common item - indeed anything that Leica makes with this degree of precision and amount of hand-finishing is bound to be rare and sought after. Very few users or collectors, be they ever so discerning, will be able to possess it. They will need to be prepared to spend something over $ 12,000 for it. It is a lens that will, I expect, never depreciate in price. It will certainly never be bettered for low-light and discreet imaging. Whether you wish to take $ 12,500 down a back alley looking for trouble is another thing - I leave that to your discretion.