World Exclusive 1st Look! SLR Magic HyperPrime LM 50mm T0.95 – For Leica M Mount
Yes, it is true. Leica has some competition in the high end 50mm market…and competition is good!
It looks like a Nocti…feels like a Nocti…does it perform like a Nocti? (pic below taken with iPhone)
Hello to everyone! I hope you all are having a GREAT day.
Today I received the worlds first SLR Magic 50 0.95 Leica M mount lens delivered to my door and WOW! Now this is what I am talking about! First…take a look at the quick 1st look video…(well it is 8 minutes or so)
SLR Magic started out making small toy lenses for Micro 4/3 and then Sony NEX. The lenses are affordable and super fun and creative and were huge hits. Soon they started making some serious lenses and and they released the 12 f/1.6 for Micro 4/3 mount. The 12 is a fantastic lens for still images and video and superior to the Olympus 12mm in many ways.
So now SLR Magic has been working on this Leica M mount lens that will be their flagship and a statement that shows us what they can do, and that is good. But for clarification, SLR Magic is NOT Leica, NOT Voigtlander. They do not make the Nokton line of lenses that Voigtlander produces. SLR Magic makes the “Hyperprime” line of lenses and I have to say that they are starting to really make a move in the lens world. Their HyperPrime line all have a cinematic feel and nice quality to them and this newest addition is a beast, but a sexy beast no doubt. I just wanted to clarify this as a few people are confusing SLR magic with ‘Nokton” which is made by Voigtlander.
So if you watched the 8 minute video above you will now know that I have had this lens for only a few hours. The lens was delivered to me direct from SLR Magic who wanted me to give the lens a workout and see what I thought about it on the Leica M9, or my Leica M9-P (same camera).
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I have been in contact with SLR Magic over the past several months as they have been designing and perfecting this lens. It has been through a few versions already and the finished product that they have sent me today is absolutely beautiful. I only had a few hours with the lens so far, so the images you see here are all just quick snapshots. In all of the excitement I had to get out an snap anything and everything…you know how it is 🙂
As always! Click on ANY image in this 1st look to see a larger and better version of the image.
Wide open at 0.95 – this lens is gorgeous and the good news? It will cost much less than the Leica Noctilux.
Please realize that this is NOT a review as I have to shoot with the lens for a while before I can truly judge its performance but my very 1st “after a few hours” look tells me that SLR Magic has stepped up their game dramatically. This lens is just as solid, if not moreso than the Leica Noctilux f/0.95. It is a bit larger and heavier. The good news is that it is just as sharp (if not sharper) and it focuses down to .7 meters instead of the 1m of the Noctilux and in my limited testing so far the close focus is spot on, no issues.
On the M9-P though it is one heavy setup.
We all know the Leica is $10,995 and it is impossible to find one in stock even at that price. Leica sells every single one they make but they really do not make too many of them. The reason being is that this is a hard lens to make. The process is slow, and the demands of perfection on a lens like this is very high. SLR magic found this out first hand after they committed to making this new lens. It is not an easy lens to make and it certainly is not CHEAP to make. Instead of giving up on the project though, SLR Magic pushed on and I am glad that they did.
Why? Well, once this lens starts shipping it will give so many more Leica shooters the opportunity to shoot a Noctilux type of lens at a fraction of the cost, without having to worry about shoddy build or performance.
Leica M9 and the new SLR Magic M Mount 50 0.95 wide open…
THIS IS NO TOY LENS!
As I already mentioned earlier, SLR Magic have come to be known for their little toy lenses for Micro 4/3 and Sony NEX mount. Recently they have been creating a stir with some higher end serious lenses like the fantastic 12mm f/1.6 for Micro 4/3. Let me state right now that THIS NEW LENS IS NOT A TOY LENS in any way! This lens is SOLID, HEAVY and built to high standards.
If I can be 100% honest…It feels MORE solid than the Leica Noctilux f/0.95 if not it’s equal.
The performance wide open is simply amazing. I had NO focus issues at all during my three hour 1st sting with the lens so it seems to be well calibrated as well.
I can not give you any kind of solid concrete thoughts on this lens right now but I will be using the lens for the next week at home and will also be using it at the LA Workshop this weekend (two seats left). With any luck I will be taking it with me to Sedona where I will be staying in a creekside cabin the weekend after my workshop.
Also, Andrew from SLR Magic is bringing a couple of these lenses with him to the LA Workshop (up to 3) so the workshop attendees can try them out, and even do a Noctilux shootout if so desired.
The unveiling at the workshop will be a world premiere event as this lens is not available to buy until SEPTEMBER of 2012 and no one else has one right now. Just me and SLR magic.
Wide open, how this lens has been optimized to shoot (but it’s razor sharp stopped down as well)
It was a dreary day here in Phx, AZ today so I did not have any kind of good light so tomorrow I will be taking a drive looking for some photos with this lens attached to my M9-P. The things I already like about it? The .7 meter close focus distance, the solid build, accurate focusing, sharp results and the rendering looks great as well.
I do see some ever so slight vignetting at 0.95 (but less than the Noctilux F1) but remember, this lens, even with it’s Leica like build and style will come in much cheaper than buying a Leica Noctilux f/0.95. Let me put it this way. I’d buy one right now and if these were available for sale right now I bet many of you would as well.
The price has not yet been determined but I have a feeling it will come in at a bit more than some are thinking. This is an exotic specialty lens.
With a lens like this, SLR Magic spends more to make each lens than most think it will cost. I do not have any guesses yet but do not expect the $1100 price point of the Nokton 1.1 or even the $2000 price point of a 50 Summicron. This is a specially lens and SLR Magic are not able to mass produce this lens due to the difficulties and precision involved. It will most likely be a special order type of deal. I am hoping they release the pricing soon.
ISO 2500 – M9-P – 50 at 1.4 – you must click for larger image
This version of the lens is called the “SLR Magic HyperPrime LM 50mm T0.95” and it is rangefinder coupled. There is also another version that is NOT RF coupled. Why would SLR magic do this? Because it is easier and less expensive to make and is perfect for those who want the lens to use on their Micro 4/3 or Sony NEX cameras using adapters. The non coupled version will come in at a lower price.
at .7 meters the Bokeh starts getting intense…the Leica only focuses to 1m 🙂
So that is it for now. Again, I have only had this in my hands for a few hours and it’s already dark outside right now. I will be doing some more testing with this lens for a while so stay tuned for more. So far so good.
UPDATE – See more HERE
The FULL Press Release on this lens with all of the details
NEW: THE SLR Magic HyperPrime CINE 50mm T0.95
SLR Magic expands its M mount lineup with a new normal focal length lens
Hong Kong, China (January 1, 2012) – SLR Magic opens up the M mount lens lineup with the new SLR Magic HyperPrime CINE 50mm T0.95 ultra fast normal focal length lens. The world’s fastest interchangeable camera lens with an image circle beyond full frame coverage in its focal length, the SLR Magic HyperPrime CINE 50mm T0.95 concept lens will be publicly available for experience testing in September 2012 at Photokina in Cologne, Germany.
The field of view of this new HyperPrime Lens corresponds to a 50mm lens in 35mm format. It is optimized to be shot wide open. This ultra fast normal focal length prime lens opens up many new creative composition opportunities, particularly in the fields of available light, in portrait, and street cinematography. Built with modern non aspherical lens technology, the lens excels at defocusing busy backgrounds at T0.95. A minimum focus distance of 0.70m allows for artistic bokeh effect. A fast maximum aperture of T0.95 makes the SLR Magic HyperPrime CINE 50mm T0.95 ideal for available-light photography.
Our highest priority in the development of all HyperPrime lenses is to fulfill the demands of professional cinematographers and photographers. The design and build of the SLR Magic HyperPrime CINE 50mm T0.95 is solid and reliable.
The SLR Magic HyperPrime CINE 50mm T0.95, a concept lens, will be available from authorized SLR Magic dealers by the end of September 2012.
SLR Magic HyperPrime LM 50mm T0.95
Lens Type: Fast normal lens with seven Tantalum glass elements to ensure superior cinematic performance.
Compatible Cameras: RangeFinder M mount
Optical Design: 12 elements in 7 groups
Distance range: 0.70m to ∞, combined scale meter/feet
Aperture: Manually controlled diaphragm,
12 aperture blades (circular), Lowest value 16
Filter Mount: 62mm; filter mount does not rotate.
Surface Finish: Black anodized
Length to bayonet mount: approx. 95mm (approx. 3.74in) without hood
approx. 110mm (approx. 4.33in) with retractable hood
Largest diameter: approx. 73mm (approx. 2.87in)
Weight: approx. 975g (approx. 34.39oz)
Steve, because of you and searching for a new lens for my Olympus I just bought one for 550 euro. Thanks for good review. Keep up the good works.
I am looking forward for the SLR Magic HyperPrime LM 50mm T0.95. I have my olympus OMD and equipped with M.Zuiko 45mm and SLR 12mm 1.6f. The 12mm show great sharpness and extreme wide. I actually like the SLR one more than M.Zuiko as it give more flexibility and quality once you are used to focus the lens manually. Valued for the price and quality, it is good investment for the SLR 12mm and i am going to break my bank for the T0.95.
Hello Steve! I love your site. I know this is an old post I hope you or one of your many informed followers could help me with my question. Who makes the braided camera strap you use on the M9? I want one for my nex5n. To put perfume on the pig, so to speak. 🙂 it’s small and hopefully they would have a make for my camera.
barton1972.com – thanks!
wow this is nice ,but i cant afford it , im gonna stick with my 57mm 1.2 konica hexanon which cost me about 350 us dollars and works as an amazing lens on m4\3
I have read on a number of blogs and reviews that this lens might not be available until Photokina 2012. Have you heard this?
Can’t wait to see this on (my next) X-Pro1 with Leica M adaptor.
But will this work on a Nikon DSLR someway?
That is indeed an exciting looking lens. If it is really so much better than the Voigtlander then of course it will cost more, and deservedly so!
Congratulations to SLR Magic; I’m sure I’ll be getting one of these just as soon as they go on the market.
Steve, can you tell the external dimensions and weight of the lens?
First off, thanks to Steve for posting this.
Second of all, I would like to offer my personal comments on this subject.
A while back I purchased a Ricoh GXR (with the EVF) and the A12 28mm and A12 50mm modules for documentary photography work (as per Steve’s and Seal’s suggestion in this website forum). Needless to say I love the camera and lenses, but I did however feel that I needed an addition fast lens with a slight telephoto FOV. The option I chose was the GXR m-mount, figuring that a fast 50mm lens would mean for me better light gathering, shallow DOF in the 75mm EFOV.
When I began to look at the prices of the used Leica, Zeiss and CV m-mount lenses, I got a bit of sticker shock! The prices of the used glass was very close to that of new lenses. Furthermore when I looked at the stock of the major camera dealers, many of these new m-mount lenses were out of stock and the dealers could not say when they would be back in stock.
For reasons that I do not understand, Leica, Zeiss and CV are not making enough lenses to fulfill worldwide demand and this shortage has inflated the prices of the used m-mount lenses. In my opinion this situation is probably exacerbated by the recent trend of photographers putting m-mount lenses on the so-called “mirrorless” system cameras, thus creating more digital cameras to which an m-mount lens can be used.
Due to the high price, extraordinary performance and rarity, the Noctilux could be considered the “crown jewel” of the famous Leica firm. If Steve Huff’s testing shows that the SLR Magic T0.95 50mm lens is even remotely close to the quality of the Noctilux, then it would prove that a Chinese firm has the ability to seriously compete with the Germans at the highest level. And if this new SLR Magic Lens is sold at a fraction of the cost of the Leica, than I think this is a huge development.
Furthermore, the fact that the new HyperPrime has cinematographer friendly T-stops, click-less aperture rings and the option of offering lenses without rangefinder coupling demonstrates that they are forward thinking and are not limiting themselves to putting a m-mount lens only on the Epson EP-1, Leica M8 and M9. They are definitely thinking outside the box and looking towards the future.
Finally, I have no idea what plans SLR Magic has, but I believe that if they decide to manufacture top quality standard m-mount lenses at a price point that competes with Zeiss and CV, then the glass will fly off the dealers shelves and they will sell as much as they can produce.
man, i just bought an e58 noctilux f1. loving it now and never regretted buying it. this looks pretty amazing from the samples. but the green ring and the non-clickety aperture kinda turns me off (what if i accidentally turn the aperture ring instead of the focusing ring, that would take some time to get used to and the click actually kinda locks the aperture in place)
Well, if you are taking videos on it, then it’s perfect, clicking aperture rings would be quite noticeable on videos.
If you are going to spend thousands on a lens, I’d hope you know it enough to know which ring is which.
From front of lens towards camera, first ring focus, second ring aperture, I don’t see it a problem.
Surely, with an hour or two on it, it’ll be second nature.
I am more into wide angles. If they could make a 14mm/f2 ragefinder coupled simetrical, PLEASE.
I kind of like the green ring and really hope they`ll stick to it…
BUT I´m a little curious about the (final) release date (Sep 12?) and the price (3 – 4K? Its maybe too much)
Looking at that wast area on the front barrel why not to adorn it with star map like that on Questar telescope or a golden dragon wrapped around it. Its after all a Dragon year.
Very promising! The initial photos look amazing! I would 100% buy one. But first drop the name SLR Magic and the green ring. Give it a name like M.LUX and a BLACK ring and I’m sold.
Wow, SLRM have come a looong way since their first lenses. The rendering this lens gives is really nice, it’s just shame I’ll probably never get it (as long as people expect it to compare to leica prices they sell for near-leica prices). My question for Steve or SLR Magic directly is if they’re planning to offer other lenses of this caliber for M4/3. So far their offerings for M4/3 are scarce and lean towards their initial toy-like approach. The 12mm is nice but nowhere to be found, meanwhile NEX gets a lot more offerings. A 25mm 1.2 for $300 or so would be really nice (they could even go back to adapting some 1″ c mount lens to keep cost at bay)
Funny a company mostly known now, at least here, for selling lenses for mirrorless cameras has “SLR” in their name…
I also appreciated the artistic changing whitebalance in the video! 😉 It reminded me of the street light installation in Jyväskylä, Finland constantly changing the colours of the light at the walking street in the centre of the town.
As to the lens a comparision with the other 50/0.95 lenses and the Voigtländer can be found here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/leicarumors/sets/72157628650899925/
Make your own choice which one is the best lens!
Personally I think that for this image Leica Noctilux is the clear winner. It displays typical Leica qualities having that “glow” giving the photo more spark than the others. Canon on the other hand is the opposite having very dull colours. Voigtländer on the other hand has less attractive bokeh. SLR Magic surprice by having even smother out of focus areas compared to Noctilux. Possibly an effect of the true 0.95 T-stop rather than f-stop. Image look quite good also, if not quite as nice as Noctilux. But the difference is not that great, and in practical photos one can ask if it is worth the price difference. But that is of course up to the buyer and the thickness of his/her wallet!
My rating for these lenses based on only this set of photos is: 1) Leica, 2) SLR Magic, 3) Voigtländer, 4) Canon. Photos of other motivs may of course give other results or make the difference irrelevant.
Those samples are from an old version of the lens – pre-production. SLR magic has changed and improved this lens MANY times so I wouldn’t go by those old samples…
Which version would you need for the GXR M Mount module?
EIther will work just fine. If you do not own a Leica you would be saving money by picking up the non coupled version. if you will ever use it on a Leica M rangefinder you will need the coupling. But either will work on other cams.
I’m definitely getting the new Fuji, but have been debating the GXR module. I think I will be getting one now even though the Fuji will eventually have an M mount. Odd as it may seem, I really like the GXR. I’m almost DSLR free and will be once the new Fuji is released.
Thanks so much for the response. I love your site and recommend to every one I know who loves photography.
Doesn’t rangefinder coupled for the M mount mean that it would work with m43rds, fuji, nex, (whatever) anyway? Don’t own a Leica so I don’t really know/understand. But isn’t M-mount an M-Mount with or without the adapter to fit somewhere else?
Nice review 🙂
It’ll still be out of my reach if it’s over 2k, but wow.
And your eye, Steve? Amazing.
Looks fabulous, I hope to get one as soon as it’s released. However, I hope SLR Magic brand themselves properly. The name is quirky but *might* work, but they need to get a proper profile font that they can use on the front and for the distance and f-stop marks on the barrel.
This might seem like a tiny detail to many, but it’s the detail than affirms or cancels out the quality of all the parts and processes we can’t see.
Hey SLR magic.. how the focus shift? I’m sure you guys have tested that silly.
I would love to seem some photos taken on BW film with this one …
I’m not usually one to buy a affordable version of a luxury item but dayam! This is tempting as hell!
It looks like Leica is under attack from all sides. Fuji with the X Pro 1 and now SLR with the 50mm f.95.
What a great time to be a photographer!!!
SLR Magic (lol) should study their target audience better: rangefinder people who are having their quail-leather half-cases hand-made in Italian villages where the finishing of a single piece is celebrated with a banquet and the ringing of the church bells. Drop the green ring, drop the name, return to a simple grey-on-black helvetica ‘nokton f/0.95’ signature on the lens cape. Give it a sense of taste, dammit. And launch some m-mount wide-angles!!
I am still waiting for the update of the SLR Magic 23 mm. It wasn’t that sharp and you wrote that SLR Magic would send you another copy, right? Still nothing happened?
The lens is not ready yet. We are still waiting for a component from one of our suppliers for the fix. If you talk a walk down the streets of China now almost every store has their doors closed due to the Chinese New Year holiday. The 23mm lens will probably be ready by the end of Feb.
Steve, are you going to be able to shoot a roll of film with this lens? The bokeh is unbelievable and it’d be super interesting to see how film looks with the T0.95.
I would love to so I will see what I can do.
Vignetting is much reduced from tests on the M6 with film. We do not have any good real life samples though. We will save the sample photos for our volunteers to share =)
Didn’t expect this to be so good when I first heard about it , and love the thing that you have Leica Design style, I think vignetting is the least of concerns , sharpness and build construction is what I love about Leica, make a version without the green ring or make it silver and I am sold or i might have to look into ways how to paint it black 🙂
So who’s going to buy the noctilux now?
Probably anyone who otherwise was waiting wallet in hand to drop $11k on a lens.
Its like even if Hyundai has a nice V8 luxury sport sedan for half the cost of a BMW or Mercedes how many people who otherwise wanted a Mercedes really would buy it instead ?
There are of course some who want a Nocti and maybe just can’t afford it, and this one could be a nice alternative, but by and by I think for most who buy $11k lenses money really isn’t an object.
It could be $7k, $11k or they could raise it to $15k and I doubt the demand would really change
This lens is ugly as hell compared to the Noct. Or maybe it’s just the sample photos. I don’t know.
Looks almost exactly like a Noctilux. We will have some side by side pics and comparisons this weekend! Stay tuned 🙂
Looks very promising!
Some kind of comparison with Noctilux 50mm F/0.95 ASPH vs. HyperPrime LM 50mm T0.95 vs. CV Nokton 50mm F1.1 would be great.
If the price is much more than the CV Nokton, I would buy a 50mm f/1.4 Summilux.
The green ring is a unique and somehow sexy in its own way, but black is more suitable for classic Leica.
Did someone finally have the brilliant idea to simply copy the old Noctilux formula? Bravo! This is the lens the Voigtlander 50/1.1 should have been.
Now all I need is a way to get this sucker on my EOS 5D II. Are you hearing me SLR Magic???
Actually it is much closer to the new Noct formula – but the closer focus distance and slightly faster aperture (comes out to be slightly faster than the f/0.95 Noct) have the ability to make for even creamier bokeh. This lens is pin sharp wide open and at 1.4 it’s up there with any Leica in regards to sharpness, even the Lux ASPH. There is some barrel distortion with this lens though that is not visible in the Leica Noctilux ASPH. The build is leagues better than the Voigtlander – I mean – not even in the same ballpark. The lens is heavy though, not a lens I would use as an everyday lens – much like the Leica Noct.
green ring needs to be brighter…neon like kids ray-bans, vans lace, or an selection of bright colours!
I think it’s a very promising lens and I’m looking forward to see more photos taken with it.
If SLR Magic is using this lens to be it’s flagship lens in order to promote itself, I believe they’re in the right path! I’m looking forward what they will do next!! 🙂
I can also understand the point of using a green ring as branding strategy to make it recognizable from all other lenses (but the choice of used color is really a matter of taste).
I have some doubts about making the same lens usable in m34. Due to the sensor size this will make it a 100mm f/0.95. But honestly, are there many people shooting 100mm?? I have difficulty in using a 50mm lens in APS-S sensor camera as I find it too long… So, wouldn’t make more sense to turn this lens as a 25mm f/0.95 as Nokton did?
@Steve Huff: Would it be possible to post photos of the Noctilux and Hyperprime side-by-side?
They will not make this lens in M4/3 or NEX. You can use adapters to use this lens on those cameras.
Steve, very exciting! Like many I cannot afford the Noct, but have rented it a couple of times. I am very interested in seeing your full review to see if some of that Noct 3D pop is present in this lens. It is great to see another another company building some quality glass. I would be very interested in seeing some film shots with it if possible. I am an avid user of my M7 and M3, so if you had time it would be great to see results, even some quick and easy Ilford xp2 or kodak bw 400cn. Keep up the good work! I am very interested in pricing of this lens. Any idea of the release date on the price?
I meant smooth aperture ring *
Samples look just as good as my Noctilux so far. Can’t wait to see more. I don’t think it will have the ever increasing resale value. The weight and size are significant. Ergonomics?.. side by side photos would be nice. The smooth focus ring is a great bonus for video makers but the M9 is the only digital Mirrorless where this is actually 50mm.. all the others are 75,100 or more for Nikon V1. Not many people are going to be wanting to shoot video with such tight framing. Except for occasional special shot to get the moving DOF shots. Either way for the money it looks like it will be a winner. Agreed with others about the SLR magic name and green ring. Steves comparison of the Nokton F1.1 and Noctilux were far from the results I got so sample variation would be a concern. My nokton was uber soft.
there is no doubt: that is some super crap marketing. What kind of name is SLR magic for a rangefinder lens? What kind of name is it at all? They are going to have to lose it- and the green ring…
though some might like it: who would ever think to steal a camera with monstrosity on board? Lens looks fine on the sides though- nocti-clone-
Couldn’t have said it better jaques….The green ring…wow WTF? SLR Magic….wow.
There you go SLR magic. Free marketing advice. Use it or don’t, but ignore it at your loss.
Personally, I don’t see what the fuss is about the name or the green colored circle.
Who the hell uses “Apple” as a brand name for computers?
You’ll get used to it, and it will become a acceptable.
Nothing wrong with a brand called SLR Magic.
It’s already gotten a lot of your attention.
Any publicity is good, right?
I’m watching Nadal vs Federer, Nadal is wearing a neon green shirt.
We can use my Noctilux 0.95 at the workshop on Friday for the head to head comparison. I’m very curious to see the results, and the price of this lens.
What happened to all the talk about the light setup and unwillingness to carry a heavy DSLR?
Leica M9 + this lens = 593g + 975g = 1568g
D700 + 50mm 1.4D = 1,085g + 229.1 = 1314g
D700 setup is 254 grams lighter.
Just curious 🙂
And I know the 2 lenses cannot be compared, but still….
I wouldn’t carry this as an every day camera – no way. Just as I wouldn’t with the Leica Noct ASPH. Too heavy. I would use it for special occasions or for those times I need that speed or look, or for video using an adapter on a M4/3 or NEX camera. I am really looking forward to testing it out in that regard as well.
Same with Fuji M-Mount right Steve? Also, isn’t rangefinder coupled still M-mount? Or is the other lens special just for the other makers who have adapters?
I think that’s the problem Steve. We all think we’d use this or the nocti as a specialty lens and don’t carry it around that much. Given the majority of M shooter’s subject don’t really sit in a studio, it’s hard to predict when you are going to need that look or .95!
So mostly likely we are going to have this lens sit in the drawer and wishing we had brought the lens along with you actually see a shots what will go with it!!
“Darn it, wish I had that lens with me!” How many times have that happened to you guys?
Also, as a Summilux 50 asph owner, I do see the “want” of having this lens, but only if the price is below 1.5k. If it’s above that, a used Nokton is the way to go imo.
Same goes for the Noctilux yet there is a 6-9 month wait for one. This is a lens I see as being for those who want the Nocti look but don’t want to spend $11,000 for a Nocti. This is a better lens than the Voigtlander 1.1 without any doubts. In build, in feel, in image quality and of course speed. Being a T0.95 makes it faster than the f/0.95 Nocti as well. Add in the close focus and this lens SHOULD sell for much more than $1,500. The SLr Magic 50 0.95 for NEX and M4/3 sells for over $1000 and those are no where near this quality in any way, shape or form. I’m sitting here holding this lens and my M9-P and my guess is that this will sell for $3-$4k – BUT I have no idea on what the price will be. I guess they are still getting that all figured out. If going by build and IQ…if the Vougtlander is $1100 then this should come in at no less than $3k. It’s scary close to the $11k Leica (just the barrel distortion). Even has some German made parts inside 🙂
I think you’re right about the price, Steve. It will be at least $3K. Which knocks me out of the queue and puts it on my dream list of items that I want but will never get. Good luck to those whose dream lists are more in sync with their wallets.
Agree with Bob Browné. The brand name “SLR Magic” sounds incredibly naff and the green ring looks tacky and totally inappropriate on a top class lens. Even so, and assuming this pre-production lens is representative of what the company will be able to manufacture in series (which might be a large assumption), this lens will be a highly desirable product.
Don’t get me wrong…I actually like the green ring, personally.. (but then I own a white Pany G3….so don’t go with my thoughts, LOL)….but I think that the company (I can’t even type the name again), would sell twice as many of them with a few simple changes, for the market that is being approached, here. In any event…I hope these are GREAT glass and that “they” do well with it! I know Steve is loving this new toy!
Who cares what it’s called as long as it’s performing well? They might just as well call it Shit-icron and if it performs and costs reasonably I’d buy it. Just tape it up if you find it offensive, but personally I find obsession about brands laughable.
The bokeh just melts away quickly on that photo of the shovel! Nice!
Be nice to see what this lens looks like on film, possibly a roll of Provia 100F or Adox CMS 20.
I’ll never own a Noctilux. They’re worth more than my car. However, my main lens is the CV Nokton 50mm f1.1. I’m more interested in seeing how this compared to the Voigtlander rather than how it compares to the Nocti. Then again, if the price is over $2,000, I’ll never own this lens either.
OK…this may be a good or GREAT lens..but..somebody needs a marketing dept.
Do Leica owners want to put a lens on their camera branded “SLR Magic” on the lens cap with a day-glo green ring that assoc. the lens with a less-than-great product?
The lens needs to be rebranded and the green ring has to go..if it is half the lens that Steve says it is.
Why work so hard on implementing something like this and then shoot yourself in the foot.
It is just like when you take a photo…know your audience before you pick up the camera…..
Will be interested to see more about this product.
I let SLR Magic know my thoughts on the green ring many months ago. My recommendations was to go with black or even silver. I’m not a fan of the green either, especially in a lens of this caliber. But, the green ring would not keep me from owning one 🙂
It would me…and many others here. They would more if they got rid of it.
Johnny that’s ridiculous….use a damn sharpie and be done with it. All I care about is the performance….after all it’s about the pictures remember???
Besides, they do offer a black version, as they mentioned in this thread. No big deal with the ring, even if black wasn’t available. You can unscrew it, spray-paint it black, put it back on. 15 minutes job. The performance is the main issue and that remains to be seen. Steve will give us more feedback after the workshop, I’m sure.
yeah..even a dark pewter or something….I KNOW you told them your feelings months ago. LOL! I have read this column too long not to know that! Very cool product for the Leica owner, regardless.
It wouldn’t stop me either, but when its clearly so unpopular they shouldn’t ignore it, after all when you did the poll on this lens (from memory, at their request?) the green was resounding a no…….
I can´t understand that Hype – are you really think that clumsy piece of glass and metal
can bring you the same great images as a Zeiss ZM 1,5/50 or a Leica Summicron 2,0/50 ?
Come on – think. Or even watch this Pictures above……….
It can come damn close. The only negs I see in this lens over a Leica Noctilux ASPH is some barrel distortion. Otherwise, sharpness, bokeh, and character are all superb. Not exactly the same character as the Noct ASPH but it’s also not going to be $11,000. This is not meant to compete with the Zeiss ZM 1.5 or the 50 f/2 cron, it is meant to be a specialty lens like the Noctilux and it is far from “clumsy”. It may just be the most solid lens I have ever had in my hand. Too bug and heavy for daily use but for those special occasions when I want that look? Would be nice to spend many thousands less to get that look 🙂
I guess, we just have to wait for more picture, Steve. I trust your opinion but so far from what I see I am not convinced it can match the Sonnar-Planar-Summicron overall performance.
I would very much love to see some portraits made with this lens. Human face is an ultimate testing subject.
This is a specialty lens, not a lens meant to match the Summicron, though at f/2 this lens matches the summicron sharpness no question. I have a 50 cron with me so will also be doing some comparisons with that as well. But this is not a lens to replace a smaller 50 as you would not want to take this lens out on a daily basis (same with the Leica noct) as it is just too large and heavy. There will be others shooting with this lens all weekend so there should be many samples, and not just from me. I’ll be posting all weekend.
That is great. Have fun there and bring back lots of pictures!
So true, Randle. For $1,000 bucks I’d consider it for some (rare) low light shooting. Apart from that, why even bother? There are better lenses out there already for less money than this lens will ever be offered.
Can you get this kind of quality with the new lens? I am talking technical merit only here.
(Zeiss ZM Sonnar-C 50/1.5)
Not that exact look – you can’t get that look with the Leica Noct either. Each lens will render differently – the Sonnar renders different than the Summicron, and the sum micron different than the summilux. No lens will give you the same results but this SLR Magic is closest to the Leica 0.95 Noct in rendering.
I didn’t mean the exact look, of course. I was referring to a level of technical quality, the ballpark IQ. Naturally, all lenses have their own distinct character. What I wanted to know was if this lens could actually replace the Sonnar image quality wise (not taking into account its weight and bulk).
This has the chance to be a real winner thats quite clear. I understand why the ring is green but it needs to go, it may as well have flashing lights and a siren!!! and it cheapens the appearance IMO. Also price point is going to be critical and agree with Ashwin’s comment above. Already I’m thinking it sounds like a waiting list scenario which as lots of us know is very frustrating………
Hi Steve, looks a really good lens and some nice shots, would love to see it on a nex-7 for scale and some pictures as well.
Love your reviews keep up the good work
My NEX-7 still has not come in so not possible as of today 🙂 Im interested to see how the video of the NEX-7 or 5n will do with this lens. I bet it is pretty incredible actually.
Please make that ring black!!! or a least give us the option to order it in black , please!
Great review once again!… This lens is really looking awesome… Looking forward to reading more about it!… Thank you Steve !
Thanks Steve for this first look !
The lens looks interesting and there is for sure a space for a nocti-competitor
Now, as some were saying, it would probably be the price range which will determine its success
In my very personal opinion, it has for sure to be more expensive than the nokton 1.1 but cheaper than the 50 lux. Someting around 2K$ seems like a winner to me
We shall see. I do know it is very costly for SLR Magic to make this lens and mass production is not possible so let us wait and see. My take on it? If you can get close to a $11k Nocti with this while having the same build, feel and style and closer focus distance then it will be well worth even $3-$4k. We shall see!
I think you’re right Steve…but I hope you’re wrong…
If they charge 4k for this I would be tempted to sell my Summicron and get in line for a Summilux instead…
I think this lens would be a total home run if they can price it closer to the $2700-$3000 price point.
What does the “T” in T0.95 stands for?
Chris, the “T” in T0.95 stands for “Transmission”. A typical photographic lens is designated by its maximum aperture opening as the ratio between its focal length and maximum aperture diameter. In the case of a 50mm f/2 lens, f/2 means 50mm/25mm, i.e. the focal length “f” divided by the maximum aperture opening of 25mm = f/2.
In cinematography, what is more important than the physical size of the aperture is the actual amount of light transmitted through the lens. The more complex the optical formula of a lens, and the more glass-to-air surfaces a lens exhibits, the less light will actually be transmitted to the film or sensor. Cinema lenses thus indicate not f-stops (= aperture size ratios) but Transmission stops. “T0.95” designates that the actual amount of light transmitted through the lens at its widest aperture opening is as much as in an ideal f/0.95 design with no light loss. Since such a design is impossible (there will always be slight light loss), the lens’ actual aperture opening is larger than f/0.95, probably somewhere around f/0.8 (just a guess).
More on the topic of f- and T-stops can be found here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F-number
What’s with the 80’s day-glo spandex
You are referring to???
Green on front of lens dude.
Yeah, the name SLR Magic is bad enough, but that green rings makes the lens look like it was made by Body Glove in the ’80s. Please have a black only option!
Best post of the day…laughed my arse off.
Well I too would prefer the ring to be black rather than green, I don’t think it looks that bad. Nothing wrong with a company differentiating themselves…..after all, if you guys want a Leica look-a-like go buy the real thing, this isn’t a Leica!
if you didn’t know the 80’s are back! look at the kids!!
C’mon, even the large format Grandagon-N lenses from Rodenstock have a green ring (for whatever the reason) and the Apo-Lanthar 150/4.5 from Voigtlaender had 3 (!) color strips (red, green, blue – to say that is apochromatic). And these lenses are first class – so maybe the SLR Magic just wants to join the club 🙂
Just use a sharpie to make it all black 😉
I’d say the thin green lines on various other lenses are a far cry from a thick neon yellow-green band on the front of the lens. As others have mentioned, there’s no reason to make marketing more difficult than it should be with a bad company name and neon coloring.
It is lenses than make me dream of the M9 (or maybe the new Fuji) .. this ones looks so sweet. Wish I could have the same for my d700.
Thanks for the first look, Steve. The lens looks fantastic – I already love the swirly bokeh and dreamy yet sharp rendering wide open. I can’t wait to read your final review as well as the user reports from your LA workshop!
Well done SLR Magic. At least you didn’t imitate the cheap lens cap too while you are at it. As much as i use my Noctilux .95 wide open, I also use it around f/8, f/11 and the quality of exotic glass shows itself in that range too and I get amazing iridescent pictures. It would be really good to see some samples from this lens in those apertures.
I hope this lens is less than 2 or 3 K. CV can manage an f1.1 for just over 1K. Just because the Leica 0.95 costs ten grand+ should have no influence over how this is priced. I think at 1500 this would be a fair price and sell well (in other words I don’t want to pay more than that 😉 ). Look forward to more testing- quite like the sink shot.
Interesting lens – it is yet to bee seen how it performs sharpness-wise, but to me the OOF rendering is very special (probably because of all the possible aberrations wide open). I actually do not expect it to be cheap (or cheapish) as this lens is obviously meant for full frame and the target customers are probably those M9 users who can not justify the Noctilux. So this lens at (wildly guessing) $2000 – $3000 (i.e. significantly under Summilux ASPH) could sell well if the performance is there.
Now there must be some wery deep bond between you Steve and SLR Magic that you get their top lens as very first one to play with 🙂 Should we hope for the review in week or two or only closer to release date?
What’s up with the fedex truck and sink photos? EXIF data says “Leica Noctilux-M 50mm f/1”
Camera Maker: Leica Camera AG
Camera Model: M9 Digital Camera
Lens: Leica Noctilux-M 50mm f/1
Image Date: 2012-01-24 03:42:34 +0000
Focal Length: 50mm (35mm equivalent: 50mm)
Exposure Time: 0.0040 s (1/250)
ISO equiv: 160
Exposure Bias: none
Metering Mode: Center Weight
Exposure: aperture priority (semi-auto)
Exposure Mode: Manual
White Balance: Auto
Flash Fired: No
Color Space: sRGB
GPS Coordinate: undefined, undefined
Software: Adobe Photoshop CS5 Macintosh
Camera Maker: Leica Camera AG
Camera Model: M9 Digital Camera
Lens: Leica Noctilux-M 50mm f/1
Image Date: 2012-01-23 23:58:28 +0000
Focal Length: 50mm (35mm equivalent: 50mm)
Exposure Time: 0.0003 s (1/4000)
ISO equiv: 160
Exposure Bias: none
Metering Mode: Center Weight
Exposure: aperture priority (semi-auto)
Exposure Mode: Manual
White Balance: Auto
Flash Fired: No
Color Space: sRGB
GPS Coordinate: undefined, undefined
Software: Adobe Photoshop CS5 Macintosh
Was testing the lens out by setting the manual coding of the M9 to the F1 Nocti. 🙂
Cheers for the clarification.
The vignetting/light fall-off characteristics are different from lens to lens, so it is not possible to use the lens coding of a similar lens specification to assist another lens.
We asked Leica about permission for 6-bit coding for our lens just for exif data and the response was:
“On the 6 bit coding for non Leica M lenses as we don’t know the design of their lenses we cannot correct their lenses and therefore we do not offer such coding or even recommend the coding for non Leica M lenses as the coding is individually adjusted to our lens design.”
So to conclude, it is better to use our 50mm T0.95 lens with no lens coding (including manual coding) for M8/M9 or else the corners will look brighter than the center of the image! We have paid a lot of attention to the vignetting properties of this lens, so the lens will do fine without the assistance of digital light fall-off correction. That being said, it is a plus for users who plan to use this lens on M mount film cameras or plan to adapt this lens for cinema use with the Epic, Scarlet, FS-100, and AF-100 with the use of M mount adapters.
Dear SLR Magic
Public perception has much to do with brand esteem.
You have lense good enough to stand on their own two feet.
Perhaps drop the slr magic (associated with toy lense) in the marketing
and just go with the name Nokton, Hyper Prime.
Also since these lenses are not just for SLR, maybe just SLM (Shoot Light Magic) like ILM (Industrial Light Magic).
And if you say SLM fast enough it sounds as S&M 🙂 a cool feather in your cap.
I’m pretty sure you meant NOKTOR rather than NOKTON.. as I believe NOKTON is Voigtlander’s property/trademark/name/whatever
Why do you want video on the next Leica digital M.
Do you want a watch that makes soups ?
That is ridiculous, the M system is for photography !
Imagine this lens, the Voigtländer Nokton 25mm f/0.95 & the new Olympus OM-D. Wow, just wow!
Oh boy if SLM bring out a m4/3 25mm 0.95
Game set and match 12mm f1.6, 25mm f0.95, 50mm f0.95
Awesome lens, I must say. And crispy looking pictures with the Leica glow.
Is there an adapter so that I can attach this lens to my Nikon D70?
Ole, you would probably be able to find a M mount to Nikon CX adapter for the Nikon 1. The lens cannot be adapted onto a Nikon D70.
Leica noctilux f/.95:
73mm x 75mm x 700gr $10,995.00
SLR Magic HyperPrime f/.95
73mm x 95mm x 975gr $999.00
Different lens. Note the “T0.95”
Yes. A relative aperture of f/4 with transmittance 50% is a T/5.6 lens, so this lens must be close to an equivalent of what, f/0.6?
SLR Magic HyperPrime F0.95
SLR Magic HyperPrime LM T0.95
That is their other 50mm hyperprime that I based my question around. 😉
I think you just proved my point about the confusion between these 2 lenses however….
Its lenses like this that make me both glad and sad that I sold my M9 and got a X100 instead. Sad I can’t get one but at the same time glad that I won’t make that impulse buy lol
Hey jeff what were your reasons to sell the m9 and buy the x100?
How do you like the x100 compared the m9
I’m thinking of getting the x100 myself
Number of reasons, mainly financial I guess you could say, or perhaps not feeling I was really able to find the time to use the camera to its full potential. Felt sort of silly having so much money tied up in the M system and really just taking images around the neighborhood etc.
I think its easy to get a romanticized notion of certain cameras, especially when seeing all these amazing travel images people share, and think that “hey, I want to shoot the streets of Paris with my m9 too”. It would be amazing of course, but then the reality is that you are really only taking shallow DoF images of street signs and mailboxes because that is all thats around you and its like “I spent over $10k to do this ?”
I went to the X100 because its so much cheaper yet still gives me much of the same shooting experience. Its not a RF of course, but I find I shoot it much the same way. Very different mindset with it than when I’ve got a DSLR and a zoom lens for example.
35mm is my favorite focal length as well and the lens on the X100 is a very good one at that. Its also got excellent high ISO IQ which you don’t see in most small cameras.
All in all it was a camera that took shots I liked, at a price I could justify and that is rather fun to shoot still. Saves me lots of time too not spending every night looking for old M glass on Ebay, testing different focal lengths to see if I prefer a Cron to a Zeiss Bigon design etc.
Heck, with the money I saved I could afford to take a trip to Paris etc lol
M9 is a great camera still, and in a perfect world I’d still own one, but I would also still own a X100 as well. Its got some strengths of its own, such as AF and compact size/weight. While I said it does give me a M like experience, its also nice because its a camera you can hand to a spouse etc and they can compose a shot (usually use the rear LCD as they aren’t used to a VF) and half press the shutter to AF and then snap it.
Its just all and all a really great little camera.
That is a wonderful summary of how to decide what kind of camera to aim for. Excellent points.
That is one sweet looking rendering!!! Leica, CV, and Zeiss, take notice at the new kid on the block…
It’s HUGE, but may be that magical lens, if it’s priced right (in the ball park of $2K)….
I heard in the ball park of USD$3-4k. It is actually made in Japan, according to a shopowner I know.
Our current SLR Magic HyperPrime 50mm F0.95 (previously known as the Noktor HyperPrime 50mm F0.95) is made in Japan and calibrated in Hong Kong.
The new SLR Magic HyperPrime LM 50mm T0.95 has various parts made in Germany and China and part manually assembled and calibrated in Hong Kong.
Yeah, wouldn’t be suprised, especially if the lens is a rockstar….I think they would sell quite a few for $3K or so, but beyond that, it would be a tough choice between this or a much more versatile 50 lux asph….
I’ll second that…as I do already have the LEICA Noctilux it would be more reasonable to get the much lighter and compact 1.4 Summilux to accomplish my lens-setup…
Let’s see what the final “tests” and comparison to the Leica version will bring.
The yellow ring is a bit ‘in-your-face’ though…
I had the chance to have a look at my friend’s x100 over the weekend. At first, I was impressed, but didn’t quite like the fact that it flashes you in the face while focussing…
there is a way to turn it off tho
I’ve been liking what I see coming from SLR magic as of late.
Quick question: didn’t they release a 50mm f0.95 hyperprime for nex and m4/3 last year? If they are releasing a non-rf version in the hope of nex and m4/3 users, would there not be conflict between these 2 similar lenses? Would be interesting to see a shootout…
Oh and any more word on thier 23mm f1.7?
I own a noctilux 0.95 and I would buy one of these and keep the noctilux in a safe as a collector’s item. Happy Chinese New Year Steve!!!!
Now your talking….
there is no pride to own a manic item if one could not compare quality, cheers Jason!!!!
I am a Hong Konger, NOT a mainland Chinese
and Steve, you stimulated my buyer’s remorse.
Wow, nice review .
Really exciting and promising, I was fearful it would be too soft wide open but first impressions look good…..I have a Noct on order and I will keep it that way for now. They really need to get rid of the green ring though, for sure!! Nice Exclusive
No please make that green ring GLOW-IN-THE-DARK!!!
Interesting idea. Black ring and glow in the dark in Green. We did not think of that option.
Have to agree…That green ring screams: Cheap knockoff!!!
I’d get one if it wasn’t for that ring.
Also agree. As cool as it looks it’s not very practical for the majority of rangefinder shooters who prefer to go unnoticed
Give me a break…the color of the stupid ring is going to be the difference of being noticed or not??
Steve, this is very interesting. I had a Noctilux 1.0 for a couple of years for my M8. But it was a beast to focus with, and I grew increasingly frustrated at the effective “hit” rate. The thing was that when it got it right I’d capture some of the best photographs I’ve ever taken. Creamy bokeh, soft look, magic light rendering. I finally couldn’t take it and sold it for more than it cost me after they discontinued the model.
Every time I shoot I miss it.
11k for the 0.95 is ridiculous for someone who doesn’t make a living from photography, but 3-4k might be doable, especially if we have to wait for 8 months to get it.
I will follow your evaluation closely.
Curious if you’ll do any head to head with the Leica Noctiluxes.
Hi. Are all these images from the SLR lens straight-out-of-camera? Thanks.
Cv Nokton 1.1 is in deep shit now
Wow, interesting lens! Thanks Steve for sharing! The Lens looks great, you seem to be VERY impressed, I’m sure the future owners will be too! I love the way it swirls the bokeh too.
Holy Cow, wish I had the weekend off to see all of you in Los Angeles for the workshop. What a way to introduce this new lens. Look forward to your further experience shooting with it over the next couple weeks.
Now that I have a new Ricoh M mount on its way I’m very interested in getting it properly outfitted, within reason $$$, as I don’t own a M mount lens yet.
Keep the reviews and “Daily Inspirations” coming Steve!
The GXR will look like a NEX with the 18-200 on it! 🙂