UPDATED: Bad news … Nokton 35/1.2 discontinued

This is bad news. Cosina have listed the Nokton 35/1.2 as officially discontinued. Which means prices will go insane once leftover stock will be sold out.

So, if you were fondling with that lens, get one now. You might not want to wait much longer …

I really don’t understand why they discontinued such a great lens. But then, they also discontinued the 50/1.5 Nokton, which is also a great lens. But maybe this means something new and even more exciting is going to come?

Edit: A fellow dpreview Leica Talk Forum user suggested their reason for not producing the lens any longer could be that it was no longer “economically feasible”. Whatever that means in this special case …

UPDATE: As per this post to dpreview’s Leica Talk forum, the reason for discontinuance of the lens in that the aspheric lens element which is used in the Nokton 35/1.2 is no longer available. However, Cosina are allegedly working on a new Nokton 35/1.2 II with a different aspherical element. The new lens is expected to be released this summer. So, not so bad news after all, huh? :-)

Visiting the sulfur mines at Kawah Ijen, Java, Indonesia

rangefinderforum user leicashot recently visitied the sulfur mines at Kawah Ijen, a volcano in east Java, featuring the world’s largest lake of sulfuric acid. Around the lake, between clouds of sulfur dioxide gas, some 400 workers collect rocks of pure sulfur, which they then carry over four kilometers down to the processing plant at the foot of the mountain – for a handfull of dollars a day.

leicashot’s report features some stunning pictures of the mountain, the workers, the processing plant and its surroundings, as well as a report on his first-hand experience being caught in a cloud of sulfur dioxide gas for ten minutes – from the impact of which he claims he is still suffering. The pictures were taken using a Leica M9, a pre-aspheric Elmarit-M 28/2.8 and a Voigtländer Nokton 35/1.2. You can find his post here @ rangefinderforum.

Lens swap decision

The decision’s been made, I’ve made up my mind and will once again swap lenses for my M8.

Having been using the wonderful Zeiss Biogon 2/35 for several weeks now, I came to realize more and more that I need (want) a faster lens, as I do a lot of low-light shooting with frequently moving subjects (i. e. my son inside the house :-)), where fast shutter speeds are needed. Technically, I could resort to ISO 2500 in b&w, but I don’t always want b&w. So, the Biogon has to go.

Enter the Voigtländer Nokton 35/1.2, the fastest 35mm lens ever built. (Or is it? It’s the fastest around, for sure.) It’s also quite a brick of a lens, but it has an outstanding reputation, said by some to rival even the legendary Leica Noctilux 50/1. As a 35mm lens becomes a 47mm effective on the M8, the Nokton is the ideal Noctilux substitute for the less wealthy among us.

Depending on whether I’ll be able to find a used one at a good price, I might additionally acquire a second, smaller walkaround lens, which would ideally be the Minolta M-Rokkor 28/2.8, and less ideally a Voigtländer Color Skopar Pancake 35/2.5 – although I’d rather have the 28, as I think having the same focal length twice would be a bit boring.

So, my Biogon is up for sale, and I will place ads at the common classifieds sections as well as eventually an auction at eBay. If you’re interested: it’s in as-new condition, used for only two months so far, black, and available with or without fitting UV/IR filter for the M8. I’ll be asking 750 € without and 775 € with filter.

UPDATE: And here’s the reason why I think I might actually eventually need a 28 more than another 35:

"Water fun" | Leica M8 + Biogon 2/35 @ f/2, 1/750 sec, ISO 160

I couldn’t back up further and thus didn’t get the whole scene into the frame. Had I had a 28 with me … :-)