Feb 082012
 

Price of the SLR Magic 50 T0.95 LM (Leica Mount) Hyperprime Announced

After all of the guessing and wondering what this new Leica mount T0.95 monster lens will cost, I was informed today by Andrew from SLR Magic that the official price of this lens will be $4288 US dollars. Higher than some thought, and lower than others thought. About $300 more than I thought. As many of you know, I have been reviewing this lens in a “rolling review” and updating is as I go along and use it. I have now shot with this lens on three M9 bodies, including two M9P’s and on each the lens has performed flawlessly. No focus issues, no problems.

What does the $4288 get you? Well, for starters it gets you as close to a Leica Noctilux ASPH f/0.95 as you can get and for about $6700 less. You get a hand-built, hand calibrated lens that is on par with the Leica in weight and feel but no, you will not get a red dot.

This is a T0.95 lens so the widest aperture is equal to f/0.92.

Some more facts about the lens…

  • It is faster than a Leica Noctilux ASPH so technically, this is the fastest 35mm lens in production today.
  • It is slightly larger and weights slightly more than the Leica Noctilux ASPH
  • It will focus as close as .7 meters with very sharp and accurate results. There is no floating element in the SLR magic and it is NOT Aspherical. The Leica focuses to 1 meter but has a floating element and ASPH glass.
  • The lens is sharp wide open, and share stepped down. To date, I have not discovered any focus shift in my use of the lens (though further testing is coming)
  • The lens will be rangefinder coupled of course, and SLR Magic is also creating a CINE version without RF coupling for $2988, for use on NEX, Micro 4/3, etc.
  • The lens is hand assembled in Hong Kong by SLR Magic. Production will be limited. Not mass-produced.
  • SLR Magic is including a 3 year warranty with the lens.
  • You can order the lens with a black or green ring for the front, so black IS NOW an option.
  • Lens will be available to order in September 2012.
  • If anyone is in Hong Kong and wants to see the lens, you can visit the SLR Magic shop at — Shop 316, 47-51 Shan Tung Street, Sim City, Mong Kok, Kowloon, Hong Kong

You can read and keep up with my review HERE and I will be adding to it weekly. So far the only negative I see with this lens when compared to the $11k Leica is this lens has barrel distortion. If shooting straight lines up close, you will see this distortion. It can easily be fixed in 2 seconds but it is there. There will be samples showing this added to my review soon.

Below are a few newer samples I added to the review this week…

1st one, wide open at T0.95 (f0.92) – just to test wide open performance. 

-

This was shot at f4 or f5.6…cant remember! But either way it is sharp :) Click image for larger and 100% crop

-

-

Shot at T1.4

  162 Responses to “Price of the SLR Magic 50 T0.95 LM (Leica Mount) Hyperprime Announced”

  1. Very nice Steve, price higher than I thought but if your thoughts are true, this is a ripper of a lens. All the best mate

    • Hi Steve,
      First time writer. I’m curious. Where can you place an order for this lens? I’m 61 and I don’t think I’ve enough time to wait for a Leica f/0.95 and don’t relish paying $15K for the Leica from a Hong Kong dealer. Along these lines, how can Leica sell a camera without the prospect of buying fine lenses for their new camera?
      Thanks,
      Lance

      • This lens is not being made available until September 2012. For now it is just me and soon a few others will be testing the lens in real world use. This is to make sure the lens is solid and can withstand even daily use.

  2. you guys hyped it up too much at your workshop ; ) Better be a pretty sweet lens for that price. Think of how many Holgas you can buy for that!

  3. I think it is more reasonable to invest the same amount into a real Leica lens: the 50 Summilux.

  4. For that price, I’d rather get a classic F1 Noctilux…

    • +1. That’s exactly what I am thinking…… I am hoping for a good Voigtlander update as well.

    • FYI: This lens performs much better than a classic Noctilux, which will set you back $6500-$7500 – Less vignetting, sharper, better bokeh, closer focusing, shorter focus throw, faster…

    • The old Noctilux isn’t that great in my opinion though. The SLRM might not beat the Noctilux F0.95 (don’t know yet), but I think it does beat the older Nocti F1.

    • The Noct f/1 is my favorite lens. The SLR Magic f/0.95 Hyperprime has as little in common with it as it does with a 50mm Summilux.

      The Hyperprime really goes toe to toe with the new Noct f/0.95.

      Anyone might have something they would rather do with $4,000. One may prefer to go on vacation, buy a Nikon D800, buy a couple of Zeiss lenses or put a downpayment on a car.

      Those are all completely legitimate.

      But, if someone really wants a Noct f/0.95, this lens will be the only serious alternative available.

      And, by the way, for the price of a Noct f/1 you could buy the Hyperprime and a Leica M8.

      Best,

      Bill

  5. I would pay no more than $2000.00 for that lense. Great lense but not worth the asking price by far – next!

    I was excited about it but for that price it misses its target customer – the one who can’t afford the Leica – and that customer surely can’t afford that cost either.

    Sorry – but this is really disappointing!

    • I went to their shop in Mong Kok a month ago and heard they jus made it as a flagship lens. I told them to make sure I am first on the waiting list. SLR MAGIC can you hear I am FIRST on the waiting list. They only make around 10 pieces a month so I heard stores will only be able to get 2-3pcs a year at most. I am sure they have a market for 2-3 pcs per year and I would definitely get a copy before it is impossible to find like the Canon 50mm f/0.95 dream lens.

  6. I don’t know about the price.. But I know that if I get a real Noctilux, I can sell it 10 years later with not much loss. Spending $4k on a non-Leica lens (on top of that, a lens that comes from a company that used to make toy lenses) seems a bit of a stretch to me.

    The 4.2k might be better invested in a lux, or save up a bit more and get the f1 noct.

    • I think this will be a good upgrade for my F1 Noct. I really like the rendering of this lens. f/0.92 drool!

    • But for the price for a new Noctilux one can by a SLR Magic plus a used (Like new condition) M9.

    • You can even sell it for a profit if Leica didn’t release a new one. The pride and legacy can only make more demand of it.

      And of course, Leica isn’t just about quality products. The quality service that they can provide in the whole world is not cheap.

      • Yes that is the key word actually. “You can even sell it for a profit if Leica didn’t release a new one.” Remember the stress is on the IF.

        Can you imagine a f/0.92 Noctilux-M to take down the insane prices of the f/0.95 Noct?

        I too have a Summilux Pre-ASPH and I was screwed all over as it only worth pennies at my local used camera lens store.

      • You can even pep it up with some stories that in fact it`s well known fact that YOUR example of Magic lens has real Leitz glass elements in it from discounted Noct1/1 , bought from a former Leitz employee who got fired and in revenge took with him some compensation. And who in his sane mind would chip a shard of glass off in order to analyse it to be sure it contains that famous Leitz 900/1 glass type called otherwise Noctilux 900/1.

  7. I would be tempted at $3000, but this I believe is a little pricy. After all, in 2009, My Noctilux was $4,700.

  8. too much for china made lens. better get 50 lux

    • people here are saying the lux is dirt cheap at 3K but on ebay it is closer to 6K new. I do not like getting used lenses with focus shift issues. I bought a used lens before and the one shipped to me does not focus properly AND was a switch and bait. beat up as well…if it is sold for 3K you get 3K worth of goods…been there done that. some do get lucky but that is definitely not me

    • Sort of strange statement : “too much for china made lens” – does that mean that things from China is generally bad quality? – I think not.

      Great stuff comes from all over the world and the quality is a matter of dedication and skill from the involved people.

  9. LOL I thought that bald guy was carrying a big makeshift head of himself on the back of his pick up.

  10. This is about $800 – 1000 more than I was expecting…
    Any news on the price of the non-Rf coupled version intended for NEX use etc. ?

    • It’s all here in the article…$2988

      • I don’t know what RF coupling is (I thought there were only different mounts) but the 3000$ for the NEX version sounds much more reasonable to me. Still out of my league, but at least a bit closer to reality for me. :) I just hope this doesn’t translate to 3000€ in Europe.

        • There are only one f/0.95 lens option available for the NEX system and it is the Noktor Hyperprime for 1K. the t/0.95 upgrade path looks promising for me as it is offered for under 3K. The Noctilux for 13K is kind of out of my league…I am glad there is a no RF coupling option

      • I am very sorry Steve I must have missed that.
        That does seem to hit the nail on the head much more as far as price point. Thank you for clearing this up for me Steve. :D

  11. It going to be interesting to see how many people who wanted, and could afford the Noctilux ASPH f/0.95 decided against it and bought this one. My guess is very few or maybe none. For them its simple, they want Leica and will not consider anything else.

    I think this lens will create its own user/market segment without having any effect on the sale of any Leica lens. This will sell more on a non Leica body than on an M9. Over the Super Bowl party we were having a discussion and most of them had the opinion that if the price is closer to 5k (which is it now) they would prefer the classic original Leica Noctilux F1 than this.

    • I think SLR Magic targets a similar market as Cosina Voigtländer, e.g. high quality rangefinder lenses that aren’t quite as expensive as Leica (at maybe 90% the quality). Of course this market has grown considerably since the introduction of EVILs.

      Leica people probably won’t buy this lens, but they probably don’t buy CV either.

      • Agree but them now many people from the Cosina Voigtländer market would buy a $4.5K 50mm lens when their f/1.1 version is less than $900.

    • Im sure if people look at the images rather than the name on the lens they might just go for the SLR Magic lens.

      Here is an idea.
      Noctilux $11,000 (B&H) vs SLR Magic $4,300 PLUS a 50mm f/1.4 Summilux $4,000 (B&H) Total $8,300

      Saving of $2,700.

      To me it seems to be the best of both worlds, a f0.95 for when you want a shallow DOF and a smaller lighter Summilux for most shooting conditions AND you save money. Whats not to like???

  12. I’ll be getting the non-rf coupled, course I said that about slr magics 12mm m43 mount and I still can’t find one for sale.

  13. Well, if the M10 comes with Live View I could definitely live with the CINE version. I can’t wait to get the CINE version for videos with my NEX-5n

  14. I will definitely visit the shop in mong kok. really looking forward to it!

  15. Meh this lens will fail cause it should be in zeiss price range 1800 would be tempting maybe 2300 but 4200 I will just buy 10 OLD RANGEFINDER LENSES INSTEAD

  16. Great
    Mongkok here I come!

  17. At least we get now an idea of the Leica premium priced into a Noctilux as the costs to develop and manufacture the SLR Magic will be comparable to the ones for a Noctilux :) I.e., the red dot premium seems to be in the USD 5000 range.

    • +10 we are paying +$7K for the Red Dot…

      • The SLR Magic guys had the advantage of saving some development and engineering Dollars as they obviously could learn from Leica (reverse engineering) and they don’t pay German labor. Additionally, we don’t know dealers’ margins. That’s why you can’t simply compare differences of retail prices and conclude on the premium Leica pockets.

        • Reverse engineering? This lens is of they’re own design. Non floating elements and non ASPH and different number of elements. The people claiming that this lens should be extremely cheap need to get a clue. Find some other 50mm 0.95 lens with the same performance and build quality at this price point…that’s right there aren’t any. It’s not cheap to build specialty lenses like this, otherwise the market would be flooded with them. IMO its an excellent price point for the quality as far as I can tell, but it remains to be seen if the build and performance will hold up for extended use. I’m sure Steve will give more insight on the matter. Leica is an amazing company that produces super high quality niche products and there is a definite premium mark up for the “red dot” or brand. To say otherwise is ignorant but hey what do I know I’m just a market researcher/tech enthusiast blogger/writer who can’t afford a Leica on my entry level salary…sigh

        • I don’t think it was reverse engineered as the two lenses use totally different designs. Also Leica uses (expensive) exotic glass.

  18. Who is getting this lens? I will be the first if no one wants take it. Hell I already hv couple of friends ready to sink the 4k down.

  19. Price may end up being lower if they can’t sell it. Seems like a fair price from what I’ve seen.
    The .95 is just too big as it is… the only reason I’m holding on to mine for now is it’s taking forever to get a 50 Summilux.

    • The prices for the 12mm f/1.6 on eBay is insane. It took me 3 months wait to get one in Hong Kong without the inflated prices of eBay. I think the 50mm t/0.95 would be no exception.

  20. I went to their shop just now and it is not open yet. I see the lens in the display! I hate window shopping.

  21. Well about expected but I’d rather get a Summilux for the price.

    There is big, and then is too big.

    Also to all those seeing the Noctilux as an ‘investment’ against this lens, hate to say it but this whole Leica craze of the past few years reeks of bubble mentality. If nothing else the very real inarguable Konica collector bubble could spill over to all RF glass.

    Not expecting anyone to ever get Noctilux glass for $1,500 ever again, but a 30%-50% loss, easily.

    • I think demand may ease once the get the new facilities up to full production but there will hardly be a burst bubble. People are not going to panic sell Leica lenses.

  22. I agree that the 50 lux would be my choice for that price (which I own), but this isn’t a 1.4 lux, it’s a much bigger beast. Unfortunately, I wouldn’t shell out that kind of money on a lens made by a company that is not known in the high end optics field. It’s not that the performance isn’t there, the pics so far look promising, it’s just that I don’t think the company can command such a price yet. I’ll admit, my hesitation seems to be more brand related rather then quality.

    • It really comes down to the work you need the lens for. The elmarit is good enough for most work and the price for the lux does not really justify. If you need for than the lux AND WITH GOOD IMAGE QUALITY there is a price to pay no matter who makes it. For example if Leica made the Noctilux when they were a new company it would not cost less than the 1.1 Nokton to make the lens.

  23. From a marketing perspective $3995.00 looks a whole lot better…………I’m sure there are many that would consider that too much!!! Personally I expected $3500.00. Ultimately we don’t know the cost of manufacture or the margins, which incidentally you would hope didn’t get increased on the back of a wave of positive review feedback…..

    Whilst I may still be tempted by this lens there is a much to consider, I know if I buy a Noctiulux it has the backing of a global brand, its design is tried and tested, if there a problem with it I don’t need to worry…….SLR Magic, I don’t really know them, I would’t even know where to order it from!!

    What I do know is this, $4288.00 wouldn’t be the price most of us ended up paying, supply will not meet the demand even at that price, so we’ll end up lining the pockets of those ebay merchants that always seem to be able to acquire the lenses we want………..

  24. Mmmm, my comment is awaiting moderation…….

  25. The price is not a surprise to me. This is after all a specialty lens for those who really NEED or WANT lens this fast as it comes with large size and weight. While I personally (at this price range) would go for Summilux instead, but the true is I neither NEED nor WANT lens this fast (large and heavy). For those who do, there is little reason to compare it to lens that is more than 1 stop slower. Really the only one to compare this one to is the Noctilux. The VC 50/1.1 lens just does not seem to be in the same league performance wise.

    Of course – one expect perfect built quality and performance for this price.

  26. it is handmade so i actually expecting it would be more. i think demand will outstrip supply..and 2nd hand prices will shoot up

    the photos look great btw…

    if i can put my 2 cents in….SLR please tidy up the graphics on the lens. get a font that best describes you! at the moment they look like they really haven’t been thought about compared to the lens itself.

  27. A lot of quite strange comments on here. Obviously, many of you don’t live in the real world. What we have here is a hand built, hand calibrated lens which competes with the Leica product, which is also hand built and calibrated, but at less than half the price. And some of you would not be willing to pay less than the price of a 50 lux for it! Go figure.

    • +1

    • +10 !

      You guys are sooooo funny !
      Go ahead and get ready to pay 10 000+ for your Noctilux and leave the “cheap” SLRM for us, the poors…

      What we have here is a new company that decided to break the Leica myth by bringing first-class hand made products for 50% less than the german price with the same (this is what Steve’s saying) quality.
      For this, I applause them.

      Why would you pay 154 000 euros for a 911 Turbo when you can get an equal or better Skyline GTR for 86 000 euros ?

      The answer is SNOBBERY !

      I had a 50 Summicron, latest version but I prefer, by far, the rendering of my beloved Planar which is almost a third of the Leica price.

      So keep on dreaming of a Noctilux (because, many of you can’t afford it) and let us enjoy the SLRM !

      • Are you suggesting that Leica should change the name to the Narcisstolux? :-)

      • sorry, porsche and nissan should not even be used in the same sentence; although i agree that the price of a 911 turbo is astronomical, i think it is much harder to justify the price of the nissan …
        the 911 is a quintessential driving machine, designed in 1963 and still current today!! the other ones, while they may have all the techno gizmos in the world, are here today, gone tomorrow.
        how is the lexus supercar doing against ferrari, lamborghini, porsche, etc. ? exactly.

        as far as this lens is concerned, i do agree that is costs too much; nothing to do with snobbery, i bought the Voigtlander 50 1/1 and i am really happy with it, THAT is great value for money!

    • The real world thinks the nocti is more real than the SLRM. Period.

  28. Damn, no Lense for me ;( hoped a pricetag around 1400 to 1500$

    • The Nokton f1.1 is $1,500 only!

      • Actually the Nokton 1.1 is $1200 isn’t it? But it is not in the same league. I will be testing both side by side soon but can tell you (I used to own the Nokton) that the build of the Nokton is not in the same league, the bokeh is not in the same league, the 3D depth is not and the speed is not either. This lens is a Noctilux ASPH alternative, not a Nokton 1.1 alternative :)

        • Well if there is something the 1.1 Nokton has taught us, not all of the same make and model are the same. I owned an early one, hated it, got a mid 2011 replacement and love it. By far the biggest battle SLRmagic will face with this lens is keeping every example perfect and consistent throughout its life.

  29. I dont care about whether it is German Made or China Made or Hong Kong Made lens, as long as it is up to the standard for the price, then it is great lens.

    Like chinese always said, I dont care whether the cat is a black cat or white cat, as long as the cat can catch a rat, then it is a good cat.

    The competition is now there for Leica. If SLRM can steps up and make more quality lens for 24mm, 35mm and 85mm, then price for Leica lens will eventually drop.

    P/S: Most of the people post photos on the net without showing what type of lens they used. Only those people who doing the lens review will do so.

  30. Price | Quality | Speed

    Pick any two – cos you can’t have favourable versions of all three! I can’t believe all the whining going on here, just because this lens isn’t exactly what you wanted, price wise and after all the slagging the old cheap noktor toy thing got on quality and perceived worth.

    Just like any lens manufacturer, I guess SLRM found out that you just can’t mass produce any cheap, quality, fast lens that draws nicely in real life and performs well for the test chart munchers! They should be congratulated for designing something that’s a real alternative to the Leica Nocti – it gives ppl more choice and that’s a good thing.

    Whether you need it or not is up to you, what look are you going for? You now have options to compare against the Summilux & f/1 nocti – maybe the SLRM lens will double as a twofer. Use it wide and use it stopped down. Avoid buying a lux and a nocti and go on holiday with the mistress, where you can then worry about test charts and which lens has the edge. ;-)

  31. 3000$ for the NEX version is not so terrible, maybe a bit overpriced but still within the bounds of reason. If you only need the sharpness, a Cron or a Lux would be enough but those wouldn’t be cheaper, and you’d lose 1.5 to 2.5 stops of light.

    I hope the NEX version sells reasonably well so that SLR Magic decides to make a 24mm and 35mm lens, as good as this one. It’s not about the light, I just love the rendering :)

    • Why mounting such a huge pricey beast on that tiny body, is the mount even made to hold such weight? For speed or for the shallow dof? With the excellent high iso performance is there really need for such a fast lens on the NEX5N? And if shallow dof was the main reason I’d rather consider bigger sensor camera’s.

      • Well, this lens and a 5N would cost about the same as a 5dm2 and the excellent Canon EF 85/1.8. EF 85/1.2L would be a better match for this lens in low light ability and the DOF, but that wouldn’t be cheap, nor compact, would it?

        I actually have a 5dm2 and a 85/1.2L where I work, and I use them time to time. So I know what’s it like to carry them around(usually with a battery grip attached).

        Just for the shallow DOF, my choice on the NEX would be a longer lens, Tair-11 would be great(135/2.8) or an old Canon FD 135/2.0. But these also come with limitations, I wouldn’t be able to use them on most indoors, I’d end up bumping into walls. As an everyday lens with a NEX, I’d take a Voigtlander 35/1.1 over this one any day. Any of those 135 and that excellent Voigtlander would still cost less than half of what this lens costs. But still, this lens will catch more light, might be a bit sharper and has a very beautiful, 3d rendering. For all that, 3000$ isn’t really a crazy price.

        Of course I’d be happier if it was closer to 2000$. If people pay 1000$ for that non-attractive(IMHO) Zeiss 24/1.8, many people would pay 2000$ for this too. But supply and demand dictates the price, and if they can’t make many of this lens, the price will be always high.

    • Seems like I just forgot the fact that SLR Magic already makes a 23/1.7 for the NEX :)

  32. HA, HA, HA, $4200 + ???? Anyone would have to be a fool to pay anything more than $1500 for this. They will go bust with this price, and especially knowing that their quality control will send out quite a number of “copies” ( I hate this expression for a lens) that will be inadequate in performance.

    One of the world’s most respectful Leica dealers told me when I wanted to buy a 35LUX II that the reason Leica is behind lays in the fact that only two persons in Solms actually assemble ASPH optics and that’s why Leica has some 9000 lenses (ASPH) on back order, worldwide, because they do not want do not want to compromise quality over quantity.

    • Andrew from SLR Magic told me any lens that is not 100% quality is thrown out. They are not going to let quality slide on this as it is huge for them. Think about it, they screw up this flagship statement lens and they will get a bad name. They are also doing 7 more months of testing by putting this lens in the hands of photographers for the next 7 months, before it goes one sale. This will test the quality, durability, etc. What I can say now is it has less CA than the $11k Leica, and has just about everything the Leica has for much less while focusing closer and being faster. If you held one and shot with one side by side with a Noctilux ASPH you may be singing a different tune. Leica is behind with lenses because they want to be behind. It creates a mystique and demand – people want what they can’t have, period. They have no desire to speed up production on lenses and I do not see them doing so as long as their resurgence continues :) Love my Leica cameras and lenses but I have to give credit where it is due. So far I have been shooting with this lens for 3 weeks or so. I like it more today than I did 2 weeks ago. Does that mean it won’t fall apart next month and turn to garbage? No, but I will be shooting it for the next 7 months to see how it holds up. The Noctilux ASPH I owned had many more issues than this lens has given me (which is none so far).

      Im looking forward to the head to head against the Leica, which I will be doing soon. Maybe then we will see the differences more clearly. But why would SLR Magic sell this lens for $1500 when it costs them more to make each copy? Don’t think they are in the business to take a loss on each lens sold :)

    • One’s must be a fool to say such things…
      So you really think that 2 guys are assembling the lenses and another one is bringing the cardboxes to the post office on his bicycle. And the same guy’s cleaning up the factory on sundays, right ?

      How do you know their control quality test will fail ? You must have a crystal ball…

      Once again, this is all about snobery ! Is it so painfull to admit that you pay way too much for the red dot ?

    • I was talking to Josh, of course.

  33. One more thing: this would be like buying an Aston Martin and installing a Chinese radio in it!

    • Who would buy an Aston anyway ???

      • not sure what your issue is with great cars like aston martins and porsches, i am sure you can find cheaper options with similar performance, and if those make YOU happy, then it is great. FOR YOU. the general consensus is that in fact both aston martins and porsches DO have ‘something’ that justifies their price premium. if you disagree, it is just fine, nobody forces you – or anyone – to buy one.

        as far as Josh is concerned, i actually would be shocked if the radio components in an aston martin – as in most cars- were actually NOT produced in china.

        WHERE a product is made – or assembled – should really have no relevance whatsoever to its properties or its quality.

  34. The cost is not the issue, it’s hand built, anyone familiar with manufacturing will recognise this comes at a price. Unfortunatley as yet SLR don’t have any credibility at this level, once that’s established I’m sure most would be saying what value the lens is. I’m going to stop by Sim City and check it out.

  35. Will the RF coupled version lens work on a adapted NEX/m43 body?

  36. hmmm… with all the comments on overpriced, maybe slrm should sell imperfect versions for half price, and an distortion free version at a premium? i wouldnt mind a slightly off noncouple version for nex7 at $1500

    • Interesting thought! Just like Canon has premium L lenses as well as non L Lenses with same focal length and f-number. SLRM just must give this lens a special name that will differentiate it from the standard lenses they make.

  37. for that price i would rather buy a 50mm summilux. For the bokeh you can use a light softar or a transparent filter with a very…very light ring of vaseline.

  38. Supply will far outstrip demand for rf coupled version. SLRM’s challenge will be to not let quality slip trying to respond. If the workshop participants’ reations are representative, all reviewers will love it, especially at 30% the Leica price and 95% of its performance.

    I actually think the non rf coupled version will sell slower as there are other options at much less money with the proper adapter such as the readily available Nikkor 50/1.2 which I like a whole lot better on my GXR than the CV 50/1/1 Nokton at about a 25% discount (including the adapter). The SLRM .95 may be better yet, but the improvment based on what I’ve seen in my own files versus what’s been displayed here, won’t warrant the $2,100 price difference for me anyway.

  39. questions:
    1. reference to non-rf coupled version for nexa nd mft: what does this mean?

    2. If I’m planning on getting a nex-7 is this non-rf coupled version the much less expensive way to go without losing anything??

    Thanks for any basic words on this topic.

    Curt

    • For a lens to focus on a Leica M, it has to be coupled to the rangefinder, which is a tedious task as the lens has to be calibrated for accurate focus. For cameras like the NEX and Micro 4/3, Ricoh, etc the lens does not have to be coupled as there is no rangefinder in those cameras. No calibration is needed as you will be manually focusing and what you see is what you get. So this saves SLR Magic time and money as they have no need to do all of the extra work. It is the same exact lens, same mount but the non coupled version will not focus on the Leica M cameras. If you plan to never shoot on a Leica M, the version that is not coupled will be the one for you – $2995.

  40. Great lens and a bargain too–unfortunately it is still out of my price range, even for the NEX version (and 50mm = 75mm on my NEX, so not a favorite focal length for me). I am still interested in the SLR Magic HyperPrime 23 1.7 for Sony NEX–any word on the release for that? 23mm (~35mm on NEX) is more my desire, thanks Steve for all you do.

    • There is right now a SLRM Noktor 50/0.95 in stock for the Nex. Maybe that’s something that suits you? I’m a bit curious though about the quality of this, compared to the lens referred to in this post… enterprise vs handmade?

  41. In my opinion, photography is an investment on any level, just like most things in life.

    I have invested $15-20k on camera gear, and each piece of gear has it’s own investment value.

    When I buy a Canon-L lens, I know that specific lens is not going to drop much in value. Even if Canon releases a new version, it will be at a higher price point, and my lens will still be worth near what I paid.

    However, the same thing cannot be said when purchasing a Sigma or Tamron lens of similar caliber. Those lenses loose value much faster. This is because they do not have the same reputation as Canon lenses.

    Every piece of Leica equipment I have purchased is worth more than I paid for it, and while I do believe that Leica gear is in a bubble, even if prices drop 25%, the Leica gear will still be worth close to what it cost new, adjusted for inflation.

    For such a new company without a high-end reputation like Leica, SLR Magic is charging too much for this lens. No matter how it compares with the Leica Noctilux in image quality, it is not on the same caliber of investment value.

    This lens will have an initial surge of demand, brought on mostly by RAVING blogs like this one, but the demand will not hold steady, because new Leica users will not support continued buying demand. Many of Leica’s lenses are bought from Leica dealers, and a lot are purchased by new Leica users. A Leica dealer is not going to sell someone new on a lens by SLR Magic. They will resort to buying Leica glass, because it is what they know will be high quality.

    Therefore, demand will drop off, prices will drop, and values will drop. It will be the same situation as most third party lens makers. SLR Magic is the same as Tamron and Sigma. The value will not hold.

    I believe that this lens should be priced at $1998, with a drop to $1400 in a year or so after initial demand drops. I do not know what their manufacturing costs are, but I do believe that they COULD charge much less than $4k for this lens. I think that SLRM wanted to wait for some feedback before setting the price. The only feedback they have gotten is overwhelming raving from Steve and his workshop attendees, telling them that it is better than the Noctilux!

    In the minds of the guys at SLRM, they see that feedback and think “oh well, look at how much this small group of people love our lens, we can charge big bucks for it!”
    However, that group of people is an unreal sample size of the photographic population. I would bet that if a true sample was taken from the population who may actually buy this lens, they would find that the sweet spot price is much lower.

    If I were anyone reading this, I would not buy this lens at it’s current price. Even if the quality is as good as Steve says it is (and I believe him!), it isn’t a good investment. Think of it this way, if the lens looses $2k in value over the first two years, did you REALLY get that much value out of it?? Or would you rather have $2k cash in your pocket at that time?

    No matter what a piece of equipment costs, you are only really losing that money spent when that piece of equipment drops in value. Heres an example:

    Canon 24-70L New $1249, Two years later used, $1100… Lost money = $150
    Sigma 24-70 New $899, Two years later used, $450… Lost money = $450

    So in reality, even though the Canon caused you to turn more liquid cash into assets, it actually COST you less money!

    Just my 2 cents..

    • It is obvious you are buying lenses as an investment. Some of us here buy lenses for photography. This is a good example of why Leica prices keep rising…if you want investment go invest in real estate of the stock market please! If collectors keep buying lenses as an investment the real photographers will continue to suffer from the high prices. The price jump from the F1 to f/0.95 is a total joke

      • Well, if you use it for actual work then the prints you get from the lens is worth a million. If you buy it to put in your cabinet then it is why you are loosing money

      • I buy my camera gear to use, and I do use all of it. Photo gear is NOT a good investment. I was simply making a point that you need to think about purchases of this magnitude ($4k) as an investment, no matter your use for the item. Just like you would consider a car an investment. I just think that the SLRM lens will actually COST more in the long run than an equally good Leica or Voigtlander or Zeiss lens.

        • You are merely speculating. It could just as easily appreciate over time.

          It has IQ matched only by a lens that costs 2 1/2 times as much for the RF version and nearly 4 times as much for the mirrorless, video version.

          This lens could become a cult classic for still and video shooters and it’s value could easily double and still leave it far cheaper than the only alternative.

          This lens could cost less in the long run than almost any other lens.

          Also, there is no equally good Voitlander or Zeiss lenses as they do not make any lens in this category.

          The only lens that is competitive with this lens is the Noct f/0.95.

          Best,

          Bill

    • Joe, Amazingly well put! BTW, if any of the photo gear IS a good investment it is Leica M lenses.
      The only thing I do not agree with you is that SLRM is same as Sigma or Tokina. I think SLRM is not even close. I do, however have a great admiration for their efforts and salute them wholeheartedly, but come on! $4300 for this?
      I did get a 35/1.2 V2 Nokton, based on Steve’s review, and I don’t think he was overreacting when he did it, but I still think this is just a bypass for me, until I get my Summilux35 I have enlisted for 6 months ago.
      Anyway, I yet have to meet a photographer who will be greatly incapacitated of taking pictures because his lens didn’t have an f 0.95 or 0.92 for that matter.

  42. I think by developing and producing such a high end lens, instead of the toy lenses, SLR Magic takes a big risk. This is an expensive project and if they won’t be able to sell their production, the reputation is also on the line and so is the rest value of the sold lenses.
    They hit a niche marktet I’m sure, but will it be profitable for them?

    • I think it is an extremely high risk SLR Magic is taking. Who knows how much they have invested into developing this lens. It is quite a jump from their Toy Lenses since taking over Noktor. I had been following news on this lens and they had gone through two versions and it would have made more sense for them to sell version I first before moving onto version II. This shows they are very serious about their lenses. The quality is on par with the Noctilux .95 and it is coming in at half the price of a used Noctilux F1 and a third the price of the Noctilux .95. No doubt they will not have problems selling their production but I don’t think this a profitable project for them at all.

  43. Price is about $500 too high in my humble opinion , a better investment would be a Leica Summilux 50 ASPH as it has scores on the board and resale value track record and so much nicer to lug around.

    Like many already have said it remains to be seen whether the quality assurance stands up to the demand with SLR Magic.
    Good to see some competition however I feel that Leica will stick to their strategy
    Ross

  44. Ouch.

    I think they’ll be hard pressed to sell many of these for anything over $2500. That being said, it’s likely they don’t have the production capacity to manufacture enough to meet demand if it was at that price anyways. I honestly don’t see this being worth more than a 50mm Summilux ASPH, but that’s just my opinion.

    • My guess? They will sell every one they can make (only 10 per month). This is not a replacement for a Summilux ASPH, rather it is an alternative to the $11,000 Nocti, and a damn good one from what I have seen so far.

      • So that 120 lens a year, 600 lens in 5 years, so after 5 years, they will have 600 people out of the entire world who has this lens. Hmmmm, quite a small market assuming they sell every single one they make in a 5 year time frame. Will that turn it into a profit for the company? I do not know. But it will be interesting to see how people react to this lens 5 years from now.

        Still, I admire SLRM for just making this lens at any price. But I for one, would not buy it. I’ll probably save 2.2k year and on the fifth year try for a real nocti assuming the price for is still 11k lol

  45. What I’m most curious about is what the mark-up is…

  46. Also when retailers will be getting the lens. I thought it wouldn’t be out until after photokina?

  47. I don’t care how good it is, that’s about $2,500 too high! Who do they think they are, Leica?! There is only room for one pompous, over-prices lens maker and that spot is taken. You have to establish a legendary status first, and SLR Magic is far, far from that. Call me in 50 years! I’ll stick with Voigtlander thank you very much. Sigma just learned their lesson, SLRM will too.

  48. The price is not far from what we were expecting after all (even if I think that I won’t buy it..), it’s a very special lens and seems pretty amazing…. But when I read that the noctilux f/1 is not a that good or Canon 0.95 bokeh is “ugly” ??!!? Hey, There is a bokeh or rendering police here ?? :-)

    I think that the look a lens gives to your pictures is above all a matter of taste (apart for “sharpness” and corrections…) and not an exact science… So when you promote a lens, saying it’s sharper and faster is enough… ;-)

    But when I look at the picture of the lens mounted on the M9, I can’t help thinking that it’ll block a large part of the viewfinder !!!?
    And what about the weight of that beast…………mmm skeptical…..
    You only take pictures with the camera you have with you…

  49. It looks classy on the standard M9, with leica red dot and the green Magic ring. Without the green ring, they could call it their SLR Magic-P

  50. As long as SLRM is not mass producing it and the quality is maintained, I think who invests one would not be disappointed. If SLRM successes in selling this lens with this price tag, it only means that there is good demand for it. If not, they would simply stop making it as the cost of production is too high, then this lens would become a collector’s item as there would only be a tiny quantity available. Example, Canon EF 50 f/1.0.

  51. The lens looks incredible. I understand the perspective of “investing” in equipment, but a lens like this is a specialty tool. It seems to be as good as the Noctilux, and it is over $6000 cheaper. Many people might like to have a really fast lens like this and use the $6000 they saved for other purposes like investing in stocks, putting a big down payment on a car, or eating.

  52. Do you think that anyone would be buying a Noctilux right now for $11k, if they were not at least almost sure that it would be worth near what they are paying for it a year or two from now?
    I bet VERY few would buy if they were not sure of it’s future resale value.

    I think that there is a lot of risk in buying this new SLRM lens for $4.2K because it’s future value is unknown.

    • I bought a 35mm Summilux for $5000 USD. I asked for the newest version and I was sold the second newest version. It was not the one I asked for. I then tried to return to the store and they only give me 70% of the original value. I went to other used camera lens stores and the offer was 50% of the original value. Maybe the market value for the Leica glass is high but Shops need t make a living and you end up loosing 50% of the value by selling the lens. Yes, you can try craigslist but there is no guarantee the dude trying to buy your lens for market value end up running off with the lens and not paying for it! When you have a lens, USE IT. The value is not real.

      • Oh I forgot, I was in Japan and tried to sell my 35mm Summicron and the used lens store offered me 30% of market value for the lens only…So much for Leica retaining value when it comes to selling off gear. This was in Tokyo.

  53. I’m very interested in this lens, but don’t have the money for it right now. My priorities will push this lens down 4 or 5 years, unless I come into some extra money.

  54. I was truly expecting an MSRP of not higher than $2,000.00 dollars, tops $2,300.00 to accomodate high demand. Likely a wishful thought.

    However, my price shock is somewhat attenuated by knowing that Leica is in an indirect manner promoting the T 0.95 LM lens in a way not even the SLR Magic team themselves could ever envisioned. This lens will sell.

  55. Hi Steve, today i went to the SLR Magic Store in Sim City, Mong Kok, Hong Kong to see the lens, and it looks amazing.
    I want to ask if the lens that Elizabeth Wang Lee used had a green ring, because the lens that is in the store has an impact, but it is not that bad.
    Sorry for my poor english i hope it is going to be understandable.

  56. Man some of you guys need a reality check

    a Canon 50mm 1.2 L series is close to 1500 bucks, so SLRMagic are supposed to sell their handbuilt 50mm f0.95 for 2000? for the price of a Noctilux 11 grand you could buy this , and a new M9

    OR as I stated above a used M9 the Hyperprime and a summicron of choice 28/35/90

    It cracks me up that most people here have M8s and M9s and then say that the lens is too much, but dont bat an eye at the Noctlilux’s price of 11 Grand, especially when Steve, who has actually USED the lens says its a good deal ( I believe a few others have said the same also, I think they wanted to buy one of the demo copies Steve had if I recall correctly) the actual tools used shouldnt matter, the PHOTOS matter :)

    Robert

  57. In my opinion this price is a big problem, Nokton f1.1 is posible to buy for less to 800$ … And this lens isn´t leica. I´dont undestand….

    • Nokton 1.1 is not in the same league. I’ve owned them all and shot with them all. THIS lens easily sits side by side with the Nocti ASPH – 98% there. The Nokton 1.1 is slower, not nearly as well made, not nearly the same bokeh, and renders in a much flatter way – it is more comparable to the classic Leica Noctilux f/1.

  58. SLR Magic is not for me. It does not matter if SLR magic or any other brands produce a better lens or something similar to Leica. Only Leica lenses will stay on my M.

    • If you have the $$ then sure, Leica will always be the best choice. For those who can’t afford the insane $$ being charged for Leica, this SLR Magic offering is superb. That is where this lens comes in though I hear many Nocti owners are wanting this lens as well after trying it out. If I had riches I’d own all of the best Leica glass and be done with it. As I am not rich I would be thrilled to own this lens and use it for those times when I need extreme speed, or that look of a super fast lens.

  59. This will be interestng on how his performs on the fuji x pro 1

  60. I’m thinking this lens + the M10………

  61. The issue for me is that were I to spend a considerable amount of money on a Leica lens, I know I’ll always be able to sell it again as there will be a collectors or users market for it and I know that in 15 years time, someone will be able to service it and Leica will probably be able to fix it if I somehow break it.

    SLR Magic, may make a success of this lens and sell 3000 of them, next year they may buy new facilities, make a bad investment and go bust. I don’t know whether this lens will last more than a couple of years before it needs servicing; I may not be able to get it fixed, it may be impossible to get parts, I don’t know if anyone will be servicing them and then I’ll have a $4300 lump of junk metal and glass on a shelf. I know Leica will be around and blokes in basement that service them will be around and those fools that fill glass cabinets with over priced red dotted anything will be around 100 years from now. I don’t get that sense of security with SLR Magic.

    I’m not swimming in money enough to splash it liberally over my hobby. I like the reassurance of knowing that I can always sell kit again at a manageable loss or get it fixed. I don’t care what it costs to make, market or ship, buying expensive stuff for me and many others is a rick appetite vs reward thing. The risk will obviously be proportionate to the amount of cash you have and the amount something costs. At $4300 the sums don’t work out in my risk reward book. The same money would get me a CZ 21mm 2.8, a CV 35mm 1.2, a CZ 50mm 2.0 and a CV 75mm 1.8. Which together would give me more reward than the buzz off the occasional shot that benefited from a 5 micron depth of field together with a lower risk profile.

    Of course, I’m not everyone and your personal mileage with all these things will vary. At $2000 The maths would work out very different.

    Jase

  62. It is funny you mention about this issue. I have a set of Leica R lenses that cannot be serviced by Leica. My 60 Elmarit had a loose focus ring and it had been that way for several years since I was refused service at Leica service center. A year ago I took the lens to my local camera repair shop and they fixed my lens for $60 in 2 weeks time. Have you ever gone to the Leica service center yourself? I took my M8 in for servicing when it was brand new and they refused RF couple alignment because I do not have my lens with me. This is very bad service. When I go to Canon for servicing they can even lend lenses to me to check if my camera is functioning. My Canon SLR camera us at 1/8 the price of the M8 and I still get better servicing. I had been using my Leica R4 for all these years and there is no one at Leica to help me when I needed help.

    • I wan’t championing service by Leica, I said, someone can always fix them and as you said yourself, someone did. Perhaps the R lenses are more of an issue because the R system itself is discontinued. I can’t imagine M mount lenses being discontinued any time soon. Whether the SLR Magic lens will be fixable 3 years after it has been discontinued is anyones guess.

      There is little point calibrating your rf mechanism to a lens in the shop. If your lenses at home are at a different end of the tolerance range from the camera, they could adjust it and it would still be out. This is the same for Canon, if you want to ensure that focussing is spot on the camera and the lenses have to be calibrated to each other.

      I shoot Canon too, they are undoubtedly more reliable, cheaper and they haven’t got you by the b@lls the way Leica do, as you can always go to Nikon if you want a similar product. You don’t have that choice with Leica.

      But this thread isn’t a comparison of Leica vs Canon, it is whether or not the SLR Magic lens is worth the money or not and for the reasons I mentioned above, I dont think it is.

  63. This lens may prove to be a viable alternative to the 0.95 Noctilux ASPH for alot of photographers. Too bad there’s a seven-ish month wait (plus waiting “x” months for your turn to buy) before it can be had.

    It would be nice to see a performance comparison between this lens and the Nokton 50/1.1 – you really can’t tell much from looking at a computer monitor, but this lens does appear to produce a higher quality image in (sharpness and detail-wise) than the Nokton 1.1 does.

    The 0.95 Noctilux ASPH is an iconic lens – with an iconic price tag. If I truly wanted an 0.95 Noctilux, I would be willing to buy a minty used one or to even pay Leica’s MSRP for a new one. I would not pay a $5000 over MSRP price gouge to a dealer in Hong Kong for one, though. The movie “Deliverance” is ancient history and my name is not Ned so I see no need for a reenactment in which I am “rewarded” with an 0.95 Noctilux at a nearly 50% price gouging.

    Given the alternatives available today, my decision to acquire my pre-ASPH Noctilux f/1.0 has been vindicated, and in spades.

  64. Call me crazy but i’ll take the Leica Noctiux any day

  65. Ok, am confused. I’m looking to pick up one of these for my NEX-7 and 5N combo but an ebay search shows the SLR Magic lens 0.95 Hyperprime for only 999$!!! Which version is this one then??

    Is THIS lens the same one: http://www.ebay.com/itm/SLR-Magic-HyperPrime-50mm-f-0-95-Lens-Sony-E-Mount-NEX-/360421117785?_trksid=p5197.m7&_trkparms=algo%3DLVI%26itu%3DUCI%26otn%3D1%26po%3DLVI%26ps%3D63%26clkid%3D6554736684797701887

    • As I have written in this review here and other articles about this lens THIS LM T0.95 is NOT the NEX mount F0.95. TOTALLY TOTALLY different lens, not even the same in any way shape or form. I review that lens you speak of on this site and you can find it in the “mirrorless central” section. That lens is soft wide open with a much different character. It is much smaller though with a great build, just don’t expect this performance with it. Also, it is not for Leica, only NEX or Micro 4/3.

  66. Fantastic lens hope it gets into Spain soon

Don't just sit there! Join in and leave a comment!

© 2009-2014 STEVE HUFF PHOTOS All Rights Reserved
21