Here it was, I got another great opportunity to use Noctilux 50mm f/0.95 ASPH. This time, it was a Rick Price feat. Kahitna concert. Rick Price, A great and truly amazing singer he is. So great that I even forgot I brought a camera while listening to his songs.
Kahitna is one of very famous local band in my country, and they also performed really well. They are a true entertainer, not only good at singing but also had good interaction and connection with the audience, everyone seemed to have so much fun.
Once again, this is not a review, I just want to share my experience using this amazing lens in concert, where it had so much colors, so many variety of lights and they kept changing. It was a great experience. I was having few difficulties in determining exposure because of contrast difference caused by the dark background and the bright spot-lighted subject. Nonetheless, it was all fun.
Noctilux f/0.95 ASPH, is one specialty lens that is meant to be used to exploit low-light situation. Off course it is also meant to be used at full opening thus creating a very distinctive look in ANY SITUATION, is it not? No, not necessarily correct…..that’s initially what I thought when I was entering the concert hall, where everything was quiet and dark, exactly just a situation where Noctilux would be best at.
First thing, I knew this concert was the time for Noctilux . This shot of chairs, was taken before the show started. It’s almost no light at all, and it was amazing how this lens sucked in all the lights and make this picture possible at full opening, 800 ISO and 1/15 seconds exposure.
The only available light of this bouncer shot above was coming from a big LCD screen on the stage. It seems this picture has so much light, well it was actually very dark. I could now understand why this lens called Nocti-lux in the first place.
So that was the situation I thought it would be. I was pretty much confident that using this noctilux, instead of other lenses, would serve me a good time.
However, everything changed completely once the show had started. I got the lens ready at full opening and iso 800, I thought I could adapt the exposure setting more or less. It served me wrong, and my first 20 shots were as horrible as this picture below :
My lesson on that night “A concert is NEVER DARK, it is as bright as daylight”. Bringing fast lens (even worse, an incredibly ultra-fast lens) was almost as useless as bringing a flashlight in a broad daylight.
It turned out, the aperture I used most were f/2.8 and above, to compensate the shutter speed of 1/120 secs in order to capture all the movements. Yup, not so many chances using this lens at full open. A thought of getting a dreamy and distinctive look goes straight to the drain. I could have brought a small summicron 50mm, save my energy dragging a heavy bag and get done with it. So let it be a showcase how Noctilux performed at aperture f/2.8…and above.
A couple of pictures that I was able to get at full open were once when the singer went to the audience, it was a very instant moment, and I was lucky enough to quickly move the aperture to f/0.95 and change the exposure setting accordingly….thus getting a decent shot, although it’s 100% perfectly focused.
When we stepped down the aperture of 50mm lens and the distance to our subject is more than 5 metres, the focusing is not difficult. Most of my shots were perfectly focused without engaging too much efforts. The exposure, in contrary, was so much trickier. It was because the light was consistently changing. The subject was brightly spotlighted whilst the background was dark. Using centre-weighted autoexposure was useless. Determining the exposure speed was easier by manual control (at least in my opinion). We could adjust by several clicks on left or right depending on the spotlight-changing.
Noctilux is a great lens, it’s being said the best 50mm lens ever produced, I do not dare to say otherwise. In fact, I can’t find any flaws, other than its size and long-throw of focusing ring (comparatively to summilux and summicron). However, horses for courses, in this kind of situation ie. concert/stage performance, it did not necessarily take a nocti to execute it, but it did give me an incredible experience in liberty of switching any aperture at any given situation, low light and bright light. A freedom to capture a picture without any restriction of light availability.
Thank you once again for visiting my blog, I really so so much appreciate it.