See comparison with the Legendary Lens
If you are looking for a vintage lens with classic character and don’t mind the sharpness then look no further. The Nikkor-SC 5cm f1.4 or commonly known as the Nikon 50mm F1.4 LTM lens is the perfect choice. It is compact, solid, unique and affordable at the same time.
The First Impression of the Nikkor 50mm f1.4 lens is that it feels incredibly solid and dense. The lens is small and compact but it is well constructed as the entire body is made of chrome brass. It is extremely high quality lens and feels balanced when mounting on Leica M rangefinders. Overall, It offers a compact and solid package.
The Nikkor 50mm f1.4 provides great image quality with full of character. When shot wide open, the image sharpness isn’t clinically sharp like some Leica lenses but it produces a soft glow common only to certain vintage lenses. However, it also lacks contrast and clarify like on most modern lenses.
At its minimum aperture of f1.4, the point of focus is relatively sharp and the out of focus area provides the soft vintage glow. The sharpness increases dramatically when stepping down the aperture with its peak image performance between f5.6 - f8. The lens does suffer the common issues with older lenses such as chromatic aberration and vignetting. The image quality isn’t perfect but it is unique with classic characteristics, which makes it perfect for monochrome renderings.
Lens Mount: Leica Thread Mount | LTM
Production Years: 1950s
Construction: 7 Elements / 3 Groups
Diaphragm: 10 Blades
Maximum / Minimum Aperture: F1.4 - F16
Closet Focusing Distance: 1m
Filter Size: 43mm
The Nikkor 50mm f1.4 LTM is a small, compact, lightweight and solidly built lens. It feels very balanced on Leica rangefinders and easy to carry around to everywhere. This lens is in Leica thread mount (LTM), therefore will require a LTM-to-M adapter to work properly on Leica M bodies.
The aperture ring provides a soft click when selecting the aperture unlike distinctive aperture clicks on most Leica lenses. The focusing ring does have a lock mechanism for infinity but once unlocked by pressing down the little lock button, the focusing ring feels very smooth with a long focus throw when turning.
Overall, the Nikkor 50mm f1.4 LTM Lens is intuitive to use and simple to operate once familiar with practicality of the lens. It is a vintage fast lens from the 1950s with classical rendering and yet it works perfectly on modern Leica Rangefinders.