Daily Inspiration #339 by Wilson Chong

Dear Steve,

When I first read your first post on the SLR Magic Hyperprime 50mm T0.95 LM Lens, I was immediate intrigue by it. I am a fan of fast lens and have shot with the few of them but not the legendary Lecia Noct. Looking at the photos from your workshop, it is clear that the lens is a strong contender to the legendary Noct (whatever version), I was very fortunate and a big thank you to Andrew that I was able to test run this monster lens over the Easter holidays and got some great shots, which I would like to share on your great site with everyone.

What is a great way of testing this lens is to bring the lens to a new place where you can shoot something new. So, flying out from Hong Kong to Nanjing

My thoughts on using the lens: The Hyperprime is a monster lens and if you shoot in the day you will get too much light .Of course it is not impossible to do street photography and for daytime shooting you will need a ND Fader if you want to shot wide open. I guess for everyone who wants to shoot with this lens will be wide open, then you will need a ND Filter, preferable an adjustable one. Of course, this lens is best to shoot at night, which will give you use the lens to the full. As for the weight, there is no much you can do about it but I tend to hold on to both lens and camera body while I shot. My fear is that the mount may not able to hold on to the weight of this monster. Having said that, if you compared with other DSLR lens, your M9 + Hyperprime combo is not too massive. The last thing is that the hyperprime do obstruct your view when shooting, I will try to compensate this by shooting with looking with my eyes first then focus. Anyway, because of the characteristic of this lens, your subject should be quite close to you, so again I guess with practice you can shoot this lens with ease.

One more point, I find shooting with this lens, the photos somehow look better in colour. Although I did some black and white shots, I prefer the colour ones. Somehow, the photos I selected for the Daily Inspiration are all colours! Anyway, if you are interested in looking at other photos I shot with this lens, you can visit my Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/wilson888/

The Gate. Taken at the Ming Tomb, Nanjing. This is the place where the Emperors of Ming Dynasty buried. Note that the bokeh is amazing on this lens!


Night shot at Nanjing near main river of Nanjing. The river is called Qinhuai and this place was the red light district during world war II where one may find high class prostitute (note the red lantern in the background). In the recent Movie “The Flower of Wars” starring Christian Bale, this is the place where the 13 prostitutes from. Of course, today you will find tourist, shops, MacDonald here…


All Couples! Taken at Xuanwu Lake Park, Nanjing.


Wish you all the best!

Best regards,

Wilson Chiong


  1. -are we abusing the term bokeh here?
    -the 3rd shot, the background, esp the trees, have a wavy water ripple effect that looks almost too artificial

  2. I wonder whether SLR Magic has any plan to product a set of matching cine lenses. If they don’t and call a single lens a cine lens just by putting T stops, I find a bit of pure marketing… regardless of the performance of the lens, and that affects my purchase decision… because I am not only investing in the product… it’s a bonding with the company. So trust does matter.

  3. Do you guys see something like “bullseye” or “onion-rings” in the OOF highlight balls? Especially in picture n. 2… in any case, I must add myself to the skeptics. The bokeh of this lens is nothing special. I think that Wilson means that the depth of field is amazing (f0.95), but the bokeh is nothing special… it looks quite busy and swirly to me.

      • Thanks a lot for the link Sam. Indeed, they do look very similar. However, the highlight balls from the hyperprime have very distinctive concentric rings which aren’t smooth at all. Have a look especially at the portrait with the guy in a red t-shirt: the highlight balls above his head are totally different in each lens.
        Again, it certainly is a nice lens, but I do not see anything special. Considering the price and the maker, it is not in my shopping list. Would rather get a Summilux for that money…

  4. Oliver, I have to agree with you. There is nothing about these images that shouts “wow” to me, because they don’t really show off what a super fast lens is capable of and that can’t be done by about any other lens (oops, I’ve just upset the bokeh brigade) and they are no more interesting than what I would call “holiday snaps”.

  5. I love the third image. It has a dreamy, surreal feel as if objects are floating in a strip, something like time fading to the background. Great shot.

  6. Photo #2 is ridiculously sharp and colorful, brilliant capture. And Photo #3 almost has a 3D feel to it the way the bokeh separates in the back of the image. I would love a SLR Magic Hyperprime lens to compliment my Summicron f2 ASPH 35mm lens.

  7. I don’t find anything special about this lens compared to the new noct the night shot is nice no affence your photography is fine I’m just commenting on this lens since we are talking about lenses for 4 k nope

  8. I don’t mean this in a offensive way, but what exactly is fantastic about these photos?
    Would you buy a magazine or newspaper because of these shots ?
    M9+ thatlens= fantastic?

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