SLR Magic Raises the price of the T0.95 Hyperprime Leica mount to $4995
Due to lens productions costs industry wide, SLR Magic has just raised the price of their 50mm T0.95 Hyperprime lens to $4995. I asked Andrew, head honcho over at SLR Magic why this was and he stated it was all due to cost of materials going up. Sony told me this as well as Leica so it is a true statement. SLR Magic sold out of the initial pre-order batch of this lens and there is now a 7-9 month wait for one after you order. This lens is amazing but if you order one, be sure that your camera is calibrated perfectly, just as you would need with a Noctilux. When your body is spot on, this lens is razor-sharp at all apertures. You can see my review HERE as well as some shots with this lens on an M6 HERE. I also used it with the Leica Monochrom HERE.
This lens is razor sharp, even wide open (which equates to f/0.92) – shot on Leica Monochrom
You can order this lens for Leica mount only and it comes in two versions. One that is RF coupled at $4995 (this allows you to focus using the rangefinder) and one that is not RF coupled (for use with adapters on NEX, Micro 4/3, etc). The price of the NON RF version is $2995. They do sell a Hyperprime for Sony NEX and Micro 4/3 but this is a totally different lens and not in the same league as the Leica M version.
SLR Magic Raises the price of the T0.95 Hyperprime Leica mount to $4995
“Due to lens productions costs industry wide” .. Yet only the price of the m-mount has gone up .. Funny huh?
Wondering how much folks will covet super-fast glass once Leica produces a rangefinder with ISO capabilities far better than what can be achieved with the M9 – Oh yeah, they just did. Note the fact that the newest Leica lens is f/2 (50AA) probably because you don’t need faster glass using the M9M. The same will probably be true for the M10. Fast will give way to character as we move forward with rangefinder photography (IMHO).
It does seem a little greedy. After all most of us aren’t earning much more than we were 3 years ago!
oh my mistake $5000
Steve thanks again and again for all the work and enjoyment you put into this sight, Cheers from me.
WHAT IS THE HYPE … please forgive my outburst, but seriously I use a rangefinder because not only has it given me the opportunity to shoot with some wonderful glass, it has afforded me the ability to become invisible while I snap away on the streets.
I feel the rangefinders design has 2 important features.
1. Quick to use
2. SMALL INCONSPICUOUS
For Gods sake, when I tried this behemoth I thought some camera crew was going to pop out and yell “You’ve been punked”. Honestly this lens, albeit tack sharp (impressed I must say) just goes against every thing my Leica camera stands for, massive and a dog to use are not any of those qualities.
I know I am sounding a bit over the top but for all the times I would use this lens over my other 50 is just pain no-brainer. Please let me awake and see the light but $4000 for a lens as large as my head just does not make sense.
Purchase an D700 and a Nikkor Manual Focus 50mm f/1.2 and throw some money in the bank ……. ok I am relaxed now
I would say “due to high demand…” would have been the more honest (and reasonable) answer.
Hey there Steve – I hope that during your short, week-long time with the monochrom you take a stack of shots with the HyperPrime (as well) – would be most interested in seeing the results. I’ve noticed the small number of samples you provided in your uber quick Berlin test – but more are needed!
13,000 dollars for a camera and lens?
SLR Magic Raises the price of the T0.95 Hyperprime Leica mount to $4995
Isn’t this the same company with the $299 toy 1.7 lens?
Good God , screw you SLR.
It is the 1.6 12mm that I am still liking very much.
Ah, but it’s not even “just” $4995 either is it – It’s $4995 + *IMPORT DUTY* as you currently have to order from them.
Having been stung for quite large amounts when buying camera gear from HK & USA in the past I can only imagine how much extra on top of $4995 that will be in the UK and elswhere. Ouch! 😛
Actually, looking back at the R9 with DMR the S2 kind of resembles it!
Sigma tried “If they build it, they will come” strategy with SD-1. Unfortunately for them, they “did not come”. Although I don’t want to sound too disenchanted, I don’t think SLR Magic will survive by aiming at 1%. They are not Leica.
Kind of irrelevant to be comparing a subpar Foven camera to a high end optic. If the SD-1 was a 24MP camera I will definitely take the dive. However, when I say 24MP I mean bayer equiv of a 24MP so it would have to be a 72MP Foven. If Leica made an M9 to have 5MP I bet you “they will not come” (15.3MP Foven). It explains why the digital back for the DMR for the R9 “did not come” so well at 10MP and x1.37 crop while the Casio Compacts were doing 10MP at the same time.
shows the SD1 resolving more detail than the 24MP Sony A900, and also the Leica M9. It’s not that bad for $2299. If you take away the Bayer fan vs. Foveon fan rivalry, you can see that both have their advantages. Foveon cameras resolve a lot of detail at low ISO, Bayer does *far* better at high ISO.
Some people get a hate on for anything which they feel rivals their own set up. Most technologies have their place, and it serves no-one to take a side. Just use what works for you.
You sure do like shooting that tree in your yard. I like it as well its a very good way of showing DOF and sharpness all in one photo.
Actually I HATE shooting that damn tree! But when I get a camera, and it is 110 degrees outside with harsh sun everywhere I just pop back there and take quick nerdy test shots. Nothing more, nothing less. But thanks for reading 🙂
Not sure why everyone thinks it’s their God proclaimed duty to slander this company for raising it’s prices…. I personally will probably never be able to afford something like this, but I congratulate those who can. Pretty sure the people who could afford it at it’s former price will still be able to put together the extra few hundred dollars to buy it at it’s current price. It’s a premium good, with the accompanying premium price (which is still half that of the noctilux). So stop yer complainin’!
While there is one area of the photo market that is getting more and more elitist and out of reach for a large majority, one can’t forgot that there are also quite a few amazing and well priced tools out that near any enthusiast can afford.
The Olympus 45mm f1.8 for example. A stellar lens that only will set you back $400
The Sigma 30mm f2.8 for NEX which is one of the sharpest lens ever tested on the NEX and that is a mere $200
How about being able to have a 36meg D800 for only $3000. That type of resolution would of cost more than a midsized sedan just a few years ago and now darn near anyone can have it.
Between m4/3, the NEX, Fuji’x X camera’s, the latest uber resolution/ISO 1 billion DSLR’s etc its an AMAZING time to be a photographer.
We’ve never had such wide choices in fantastic gear and all at very affordable prices
If you feel the need to join the 1% elitist club and either feel that all the other gear isn’t good enough for you, or that you need to do something to make you special and set you apart, well then, there are products like SLR Magic and Leica to choose from.
One can either complain about stuff thats out of reach, or enjoy the stuff they can afford/justify buying.
Personally I’d say its more fun to go shoot with an EM-5 and have fun that sit around complaining about the price increase of lenses I had zero intention of ever buying anyways
Lets put it another way……. Lets say SLR Magic DROPPED the price down to $4000 rather than raising it.
Show of hands of who’s really going to be lining up to buy it ??? I doubt very many people here, so really the price increase is irrelevant.
If Ferrari wants to raise prices 20% I can bitch and whine about the greedy bastards online forums all I want, but does it really matter ?
Was I really in the market to buy one ? Nope, nor would I be interested even if I had the money, so really what they choose to do matters not to me.
Instead I focus on the new 650hp Shelby Mustang with a starting price of just $54,000
I have used the lens extensively, and have a “stealth version” similar to Gary’s. In total, I agree with Gary’s comments. It’s a specialty lens with a specialty look. It costs (still) less than half of a Noctilux, but the investment remains very steep for most photographers. I have been impressed by the lens’ character, though others will not like it. It’s tack sharp, has a build equivalent to Leica’s standards, and is a truly innovative design that takes some serious glass to manufacture. There is some info out there that suggests that its technical performance mirrors that of the Noctilux, though the lenses do offer different looks. I wish the company re-branded itself as something other than “SLR Magic” but the fact remains that regardless of the name, the lens is fantastic and can open up creative possibilities for those willing to use it despite the cost and size.
For the majority of others, a f/2 cron, f/1.4 ‘lux, Voigtlander, Jupiter 8, or Zeiss Sonnar/Planar will do the job just fine…
I quite agree about the name, a lot of people buying lenses in this price bracket will consider the resale value, and investment potential. Coming from a company called “SLR Magic”, you have to consider that collectors may not like this name too much. They may want to consider doing what Cosina did, and buy the right to use a classic name like Voigtlander. If this lens was branded “Contax”, I think attitudes may be a bit different.
Having said all that, I’m not into fast glass, so I would not buy it for $500, let alone $5000. I wish them success, to see another player in mirrorless and indeed M lenses is quite interesting. If they did an affordable Tri-Elmar or something, then that would get me looking.
I’m starting to think if whether people are mad because they can no longer get a hold of this lens even if they wanted to.
For a Noctilux equivalent, it’s that good, but that rare.
Has anyone noticed the images this lens produces? The images speak for themselves. The lens proves to be great on the Leica M9M and on film as well on a blog I read. I am patiently waiting to get my copy of the hyperprime in August.
The review was on the M7. I am currently an owner of the M6 and thinking of getting the M7
I’m not sure why all the hate. Do you people know how expensive Unicorn dandruff is?
And the slave wages they pay people to make these? Child labor has really gone up in price over the last year or two.
It is probably the case for shoes and cloths but definitely not for lenses
I see what you did there.
“SLR Magic is not even a site sponsor anymore though I keep up their little ad box on the right because I believe in what they are doing, and after meeting Andrew, I know they are passionate and really care about what they are doing.”
That is from Steve’s previous article about this Lens and whether its good or bad, Steve always expresses what he feels about gear after using it.
I have used the lens along with a group of others and it is amazing, I’ll be recieving mine soon. Of course it is very niche and specialized and a hell of a cost. You have to really use it to appreciate it and what it can offer. I’m planning on using it on a X-Pro 1 and possibly old film Leica as well as for video on a Red Scarlet. Can’t wait to get my hands on it.
Wow… So much bitter comments, as usual here.
What’s wrong with you guys ?
You can’t afford a M9 so you have to spit on every new announcement ?
I applaud SLR Magic for innovating with this new lens.
At least, people looking for super fast lenses have the choice now.
Nobody forces you to BUY this lens.
Many of you prefer a Noct but which of you can actually afford it ?
It’s like Toyota fanboy criticizing the new Lexus…
If I would need a super fast 50mm, I’d pik this one for sure.
Give this a company a chance.
I have 3 Zeiss lenses along my M9P (28/2.8, 35/2.8 and a Planar) and love the typical Zeiss 3D rendering, so I won’t be getting this lens but still, this is a great conteder and you save 5 000$ for a backup M9 !
That’s a lot of judgements being passed onto the commenters based on nothing. Calm down bud. You don’t know if any of them lives in box out on the streets or has a yacht parked in the back of their mansion. Plus, everyone is entitled to an opinion, whether poor or rich.
Haters gonna hate.
Hello Zeiss and Voigtlander!
I commented on the Minolta 58mm f1.2. We all know Zeiss and Voigtlander make some awesome glass at a fraction of the price of this SLR magic thing. Lets get serious folks. This lens is Chinese, and should only be $2500 or so. Come to think of it, a Noctilux should only be $5k and an M9 should also be $5,000. That is should be. This is the land of Neimen Marcus, Rolls Royace, Leica, etc,, and rational pricing goes out the window. I thank God I bought ALL of my Leica glass USED on EBAY before the M9 came out when prices were somewhat rational. If I were buying NEW I would only consider Zeiss and Voigtlander for an M mount camera, and if a NEX, the Minolta 58mm f1.2 is really hard to beat for $300 or so. Besides, I have a child to take care of and bills to pay. I cannot even consider irrational prices and spending right now!!!!!
Ed, I have had a similar experience with my Nex 5N with an Olympus f1.8/50mm where there seems to be a particular synergy established. I also have an Oly f1.2/55mm which I have yet to experiment with.
Steve you mentioned several times that F0.95 and T0.95 are two different lenses. I tried to find more info on SLRMagic’s website but not much there. Could you please shed more light what’s different between these two from practical point of view?
hexx, it will be interesting to learn if the two lenses are actually different.
Normally, we are used to our lenses being expressed in f stops, but not all lenses are equal even though they may have the same f stop rating. The f stop is merely a physical expression of its aperture, but a t stop gives its actual light transmission. Simply, given two lenses nominally f2, say, one may actually pass less light than the other. If it were 1/3rd stop, for example, then the film or sensor would be under-exposed. Giving a lens a t rating is more accurate for exposure purposes. I believe T ratings are more prevalent in the TV camera industry.
The lens on the http://noktor.com/ homepage is the F0.95 and the lens on the products page is the T0.95. Different in PQ as well as size and weight. If you have been to the shop to try the lens the thing is amazing with the FS-100
thank you for your responses – I was trying to find out if the difference in produced images is big.
Mine is indeed for sale, offers to me please 🙂
If someone is willing to pay 8000$ for a camera deserves to pay 5000$ for a lens,haha.
Thank you for the information you give is very helpful and we thank you very much
It all depents.. For most of us a good Sonnar (and there is nothing wrong with Russian Glass — if it is assembled properly, — and Fedka does a good job of refrubishing glass) will take good photos, though it won’t feel as nice… and Canon makes some f 1.2 50 mm (as did Minolta at 58 mm) that is good. LTM to M adaptors are cheap…
Now, if you have 10K spare (I don’t) and you want to shoot in close to dark, then the best equipment probably is a Monochrom with a Noctilux or SLR magick. For those of us who use old film rangefinders, the Nokton and the older Noctilux are competing with the better Japanese lenses.
Me? Have a Jupiter three and Jupiter eight (Sonnar clones, F 1.5 and 2.0). The modern lens I use is the 21 mm f4 voightlander. My leica lenses are older than I am. Yes, I’d like something faster — but you are still going to need an f2 or f3.5 normal lens in the bag for daylight.
Anyone who pays 5 g’s for a product name SLR MAGIC has got serious mental issues.
Agreed, at least if you buy a Noctilux you KNOW you will get most of your money back if you decided to sell it in the future. No disrespect intended to SLR Magic but (as good as this lens so obviously is) it is not as though they have any heritage whatsoever in high end lens construction.
Me? I wouldn’t spend $5000.00 on ANY item of camera equipment even if I had the money I don’t feel.
would not pay over usd1k for that. makers are delusional with such a price point for a lens from a company whose claim to fame are plastic toy lenses. 6-7 month waiting time for something made in china? ROTFLMAO
looks like i will get a Noct V3 anytime over this and frankly, all this shilling targeting suckers in various photo web sites makes me sick.
for the record, i have handled one and the build quality is plainly awful…focus ring and weight feels like it was made for the Hulk; no aperture stops; hood does not lock…must admit that pics are quite nice but definitely not worth usd5k IMHO
USD 5000 for a SLR Magic sounds like USD 50000 for a pimped TATA car to me. Products like this help curing my GAS attacks, no matter how good they might perform :).
1.4 is fine. Seriously. From Zeiss 1.4 is fine, from Nikon 1.4 is fine, from Canon 1.4 is fine. From Leica 1.4 is overpriced, but better than fine.
For $5000 USD, I’ll will take the D800 and some Zeiss glass. Screw this company.
Very happy with the images from my new $1200 Fuji X100. thanks Steve.
Off the forum in Hong Kong there was heated discussions about a person alleged getting the “stealth” version of this lens (i.e. the not-so-special black ring around the front element) for US$1,600 and asking for US$5,600 as “so much he loves the lens’ performance, but, you know, demand-supply rules”. Of course that lens is still “on sale” notwithstanding the posting claimed to have received “numerous” generous offers over the past week or so.
Point of re-telling the above story in English and on this web-site is that everyone could have a glimpse of how much lens costs is over there, and how rising costs justify a $500 jump in retail price.
I am definitely not getting this lens after having tried it the store’s sample. The aperture ring is super stiff, and handling feel is poor. No dispute over image quality, but I have nto checked focus shift (as I was using a GXR body) which may prove a major headache. Buyers beware.
Disclaimer: I am a pure user and have no interest in SLR Magic or the competitors thereof!
Yes, my lens is for sale – offers on a postcard to me please 🙂
(it is not ‘alledgedly getting’ – it is a FACT that it is a Stealth version (1 of only 3 made according to SLR Magic. The price quoted above which I paid is totally incorrect, this is just rumour mongering, where some individual in Hong Kong was sitting listening to a private conversation in a coffee shop and then went away, made up a number and started spreading it around the HK Leica Forum and of course a number of people jumped on board with the cyber attacks….my view was if your not interested to buy the lens, why are you even on this page!…..but it is clear that a few members there are only happy when they are attacking people, unfortunately they will only do it via avatars on the internet….i think ‘trolls’ is the correct term…
The above poster claiming ‘how much the lens cost over there’ is another completey irrelevant comment also and has zero to do with anything regarding the lens. Myself and Steve Huff and 1 or 2 others were helping SLR Magic by using our extensive blog networks to review and write about the product, and I am quite sure that me and Steve agree this lens is fantastic and performs extremely well, hence why we agreed to review it extensively.
There is of course an element of ‘Leica fanboy’ syndrome where people slag off the lens having never laid their hands on it, just because its not Leica…maybe also trying to protect their investments in Noctilux, worried that people now have a much cheaper alternative to produce the results.
This individual above has some major issues with me and/or SLR Magic by his tone, as his views are so direct against the brand despite his disclaimer….’if he has no interest, why so much anger’? The simple fact is this, the images speak for themselves, it HAS the quality in the image, the build quality is amazing, the aperture ring is stiffer than a noctilux, sure, its certainly not ‘super stiff’, but that may depend on your personal wrist strength of course..:-) There is no focus shift on my version, its tack sharp at all distances and apertures, and its sharper than my summilux at F2 and beyond…
The ONLY reasons I am selling the lens are twofold:
1. Its heavy…but so is a noctilux, so if you want 0.95 (0.92 acutally for this lens), then thats the trade off.
2. Most of my shooting with rangefinder cameras is street photography where I do not need such apertures.
So, that all said, the lens is for sale, so if anyone is interested, just drop me a line :-), thanks to Ozzz for raising the matter here. His comment ‘buyers beware’ is quite simply pathetic, there is zero justification for such comments, the lenses are sold out even before they are made, that tells you everything you need to know alongside the images that it produces. I agree the price is high, but its nowhere near a noctilux price and its a damn good lens.
So much for the “only reasons” out there – are you saying you’re making a loss by selling the lens?? You and Steve can agree whatever you like to, but please stop acting like you’re independent from the whole act of selling this. Don’t tell me you guys do review out of love without economic incentive.
Now as to whether the trite statement “buyers beware” is a pathetic one, let’s just have the buyers sort it out after throwing in $5000 bucks.
You also stated ‘how much the lens cost over there’ is another completey irrelevant comment also and has zero to do with anything regarding the lens. I’m not sure if you’re waiting for this windfall to meet your monthly bills so you’ll end up begging on the street without desperately attacking fair comments? How much the lens is supposed to cost, and hence how much the production costs could likely raise, has everything to do with the $500 MSRP price increase “due to rising production costs”.
The only statement I agree is “why so much anger”. Anger is the correct word that I concur. All the more anger especially when I see people scheming a hype for a 300% arbitrage. You can say $1,600 is only a mis-heard rumour but not the production costs. But I never have heard a word describing how expensive this thing costs. If the profit you’re so eagerly making is substantially not as much, as a matter of common sense someone from the manufacturer would have stood out and make statement how false it is, and GIVE A RANGE ON HOW MUCH THE THING ACTUALLY COSTS.
But of course you’re not gonna tell how much you’re getting this lens from manufacturer, otherwise it’ll all ruin your scheme to arbitrage.
And if it’s not clear enough, my post is directed against you sir who is so desperately defending your scheme and showing your greed no end, and have nothing to do witih the brand SLR Magic – except perhaps on the pun what SLR has to do with a RF lens.
wow, this guy really does have a big chip on his shoulders…..
1. hes attacking us for potentially making a profit on selling something…..i’ll remember to feel guilty next time I sell a house for more than I paid….dumbass.
2. With regards reviews, I can’t speak for Steve or anyone else, but I certainly don’t write my blogs for financial gain or review things for financial gain….I was approached by SLR Magic, not the other way round, if someone offers me a deal to write my honest views….am I doing something wrong…? It was made very clear to SLR Magic if I didn’t like the lens I certainly wouldn’t lie about the quality, etc, the reviews are honest and I don’t care if you like them or not, they are not hype, they are simple reviews and images showing the lens.
3. You talk about me trying to ‘meet my monthly bills so i don’t end up begging on the street’…..reallly, you are that pathetic to make such statements about me? – this is just pure childish insult – are you so above your station that you think this is a good way to get your message across by saying things like that about people…
4. Anger…yes…I agree…you come across as just a pathetic angry little man (i use the word ‘man’ very loosely here, as you like to attack people on the internet, hiding behind your desk).
5. ‘Desperately defending my scheme”…you say?….LOL….You are just showing the world as I said just now that you are a pathetic, spineless individual, the same as your friend ‘rabbit’ on the HKLFC forum who sends abuse to me on there (by the way….that guy was trying to buy the lens from me….and when i refused to sell it below MSRP price, he turned into a disruptive ‘troll’ like yourself……
….apologies to any other readers of Steve’s excellent blog who have to sift through this garbage. I have also learned that whenever we write about things, no matter what we write on the net, we are going to attract trolls who have their own motives to be destructive and anal, these type of people really need to get out and get laid more often.
p.s. the lens is still for sale if anyone is interested for a genuine offer, please remember as Ozzz says.’..I will be homeless and begging on the street if I dont sell it imminently….LOL.’
I saw that thread….it’s was hilarious. There’s this self aggrandizing nitwit who calls himself polarabbit throwing fuel into the fire, but Gary gets the last laugh by posting a link to this clown’s photos…talk about awful pedestrian photography. This polarabbit takes the dim sum!
He takes the dim sum! Ha, I get it. An Asian joke. That’s classy. As if your degrading of a persons photographic skills wasn’t enough, you’ve got to point out that he’s also just another Asian guy.
…and the ironic thing is, I am Asian guy living in Hong Kong. Well, I guess I’m one of those self loathing bananas. Or maybe I’ve been desensitized by the racist homophobic humor of the likes of Russell Peters (“BE A MAN!”). It was a joke so please get off your high horse.
If you continue to read on the forum you will notice the person misheard a conversation that he was not a part of and spreading fake rumors.
I tried the lens too at the shop. The aperture ring was suppose to be stiffer than the focus ring by design.
If you continue to read on the forum you will notice the person misheard a conversation that he was not a part of and spreading fake rumors. Try reading the whole post rather than one page of a 9 page post.
I tried the lens too at the shop. The aperture ring was suppose to be stiffer than the focus ring by design.
Hello Minolta 58mm f1.2!!!!!!
Seriously, these lens prices are approaching economic madness. The more this goes on, the more I appreciate old gems like Minolta’s classic 58mm f1.2! These are cheap and great! On a budget a Nex 5n or Nex7 with classic lenses like this one are great choices, and in the right hands, you would not be able to tell if the photo was taken with an expensive lens. Hey, I own a Noctilux and I am saying this! Just remember the photos are what counts, not what we use!
This lens and the F.95 Noctilux, heck now that I think about it even the f1.1 Nokton; are specialty lenses that are only of much use to a few strong photographers such as Steve. Of 50mm’s I own a cherry f1.1 Nokton, which weights half of what this lens does, a wonderful 1990s Summicron; and a calibrated cherry F1.5 Jupiter Sonnar that I built from various parters for under $50.
My favorite 50 is my Jupiter because although it doesn’t rival the other two in sharpness or contrast; it preforms far far better than most lenses from its 50-60s era and is light as a feather. Bokeh is great thanks to having just about the best aperture blades ever made, and I can use it at f1.5 which on my summicron I find limiting.
They really need to use polished aluminium in these big aperture lenses, with brass I just feel like I have a dumbell hanging off my neck on my M9. The Jupiter I put together is a solid little lens with smooth focus and only the engraving makes it look cheap, the metal its made from is an asset.
I’m glad to see SLRmagic doing well enough to grow the nerve to up prices with the mates, but honestly even if the lens was $1,500 I wouldn’t consider it due to the weight.
didn t you see my comment here ?
No one cares.
akbar = steve ? no sure
you are not polite and not very interesting guy
I was wondering if the RF or non-RF coupled version would be better suited to me and my NEX7?… thing is I plan on purchasing an M9/10 by next summer also. Any advice would be appreciated.
Well, if you don’t already know, there is no point in buying the rangefinder version, unless you also happen to own an M mount camera or, as you say, you propose buying one. The Nex can’t make any use of the rangefinder coupling.
I don’t know a thing about the lens other than I know I have no need of it, but you may find not having to incorporate a rangefinder coupling cam should make the non-rangefinder version cheaper.
Thanks TerryB! I’m sure that if I were to buy one of these lenses then I would go non-RF coupled now.
I agree Jonny! Superb insight and commentary!
The problem with this lens is that it is backed by a company that we have no idea will even be around in 10, 20 years, or even 5 for that matter. Even decades old Leica lenses can be serviced. Whose going to service these? I was close to buying one….but then realized I may own a very heavy expensive paperweight in a few years!
That is indeed a point, but after all – this is ‘just’ a lens (glass and mechanics) so even if the company bites the dust in a couple of years I see no reason why it should not be possible to get a CLA or small repair elsewhere. We can still get a CLA on more than 50 years old lenses although the companies who produced them are long gone.
Who does a CLA for a non-Leica lens?
Which 20 year old lens have you taken back to Leica or Zeiss and they were able to service it? I went to Leica and Zeiss to have a lens calibrated and they will not do it for me. Leica’s response was it is a lens characteristic and will not fix it. Zeiss’s response to their lenses after months was they have not started fixing it since they only have the Ikon and no digital camera to check the lens. I ended up taking the lens for repair at a lens repair shop. Matus is right in a way that it is just glass and mechanics and can be fixed elsewhere even if any of these companies are long gone. My Contarex lenses can still be serviced at a repair shop!
This is a specialty lens, so naturally it will have a specialty price. Not everyone will have a use for it, as the Leica Noctilux. And not everyone will buy it, except for those who were enamored by the “publicity” brought upon by a single post / review by Steve on this very blog.
SLR Magic is a site sponsor, so naturally Steve will create hype for them and make their money’s worth. Maybe if more and more people have actually used a production / pre-production, we could judge better if this lens is worth the price. Until then, people will complain (as they do on Leica, and Leica related product, prices).
I do agree that, economically and practically, the Summicron or Summarit is a better choice. What I don’t understand are why these independent companies are getting bolder / braver / more arrogant / aggressive on their prices. Much like the Paratrooper bag being given away here. Really a $300 bag? Steve said it himself, it sits in his house unused. Basically a useless $300 bag. Throwing away money IMHO. Just like buying a specialty lens only after reading it on this sole blog / review.
I agree. This site is mainly fulfilling the obsession for masculine jewellry more than real care for photography. Many people say, “don’t like it, don’t buy it and shut up”, but opinions can be maintained on what you buy and on what you don’t. Personally, I find the equipment to be highly irrelevant for the quality of a picture.
You wrote, “SLR Magic is a site sponsor, so naturally Steve will create hype for them and make their money’s worth.”
That’s not really a fair statement. Steve has hyped a ton of products that WEREN’T sponsors. Likewise, he has pointed out flaws on cameras/lenses from every manufacturer. Just because a guy chooses to accept advertising is not a reason to question his integrity. In your mind Steve should just sit around and produce tons of free content for you to read and enjoy but not make a dime off the site? That’s insane.
Ugh. Steve’s blog had NO sponsors two years ago. Everything he wrote was free. And the opinions were more pure than what he’s cranking up these days. So there.
I would rather the new Leica Summicron 50 f2, much lighter and only 2K more expensive.
Nothing worse than having to carry around a heavy lens all day.
I am not a fan of the almost nauseating bokeh of the SLR magic and sending your camera in for calibration doesn’t appeal to me.
Just my 2c
These people are becoming more and more arrogant everyday, many photographs have been taken with non Leica cameras and lenses on this planet. And, do we neer razor sharpness all the time?
No you don’t. If your photograph and subject matter sucks, sharpness won’t make anything better. We both know that 😉 I say go out and do with what you’ve got.
That’s just STUPID GREED JUST LIKE LEICA. I’m a working PROFESSIONAL, out and about day in and day out and can’t even come close to affording this lens. Working pros like me are the perfect advertisement for a good product. I can’t tell you how many time I get asked… and I recommend. Sharp, well made, who cares if NODOBY can afford one. Let’s see… should I buy a car or a new lens? Da! Good bye SLR Magic-made-in-China stuff. I’m filing you exactly where I’ve filed Leica. (Sorry Steve, I know it’s not your fault!).
If you are a pro and can’t afford it, you may be not charging enough?
If your clients don’t pay premium prices for your work, premium equipment might not be the right choice for your work?
Don’t blame manufacturers for asking top prices for top equipment when really good stuff can be had for very affordable prices.
There are tones of great photos taken over the last 100 years that are masterpieces and were not taken with the latest must have super fast lens. Expensive gear = great photos is another lot of bulls…t i wouldn’t be suprised if this was written by this company’s marketing director. Long live leica m2 with lots of tri x rolls !
Yeah, Stefan, you must be a real pro, and you charge top dollars, sure! This comment of yours shows only how big a douche-bag you are!
For that price I’ll have my 50mm lux instead.
F this company.
We all appreciate your thoughtful insights, John :-\
Seems insightful to me.
And insightful to me also.
$5000.00 for a dream world Noddy priced lens which the elite, privileged few can afford (which I’m sure is superb don’t get me wrong!) or the $800 I (most of us?) would be prepared to spend on a used 50mm in the REAL WORLD of planet earth. LMAO 😀
At least I appreciate your insights. Im with John. Cant imagine an aprox $280 increase in manufacturing costs (in order to make a 60% profit) warrants a $700 increase in retail price. I have a sneaky suspicion the bean counters wanting to get into a niche that Leica owns. And the timing of the increase in price, along with the new 50mm Summicron and possible M10 in the works, they must have figured why not, they’ll pay what we ask for.
F this company. Was all set to get one, but not anymore. I hope Im not the only one that gets turned off by this. Love the pics you can get with this lens Steve, and rightfully so. But I can’t justify paying 5K for this.
what makes the RF coupling so much more expensive?
I needs to be perfectly calibrated at all apertures, so it probably takes a lot of manual tinkering with each lens.
For live-view, if there’s some focus shift between 0.95 and 2.8, it probably wont matter as much.
Basically, we need a full frame Fuji or Sony with peaking!
If you look at the rear of any of your M lenses, you will see the machined rangefinder coupling ring that mates with the rangefinder cam in the camera. You will note that as the lens is focused too and fro, the amount by which the lens moves has to be translated into the coupling ring and which itself moves the rangefinder cam the correct distance.
With lenses of different focal lengths the lens coupling ring has to move the rangefinder cam by the SAME amount, but you will know that a 35mm lens, say, has a much shorter focusing distance than a 50 or a 90 to cover the same focusing range of 3ft to infinity. That is, the longer the focal length, the greater will be the distance that the lens has to move to cover its focusing from its nearest point to infinity. But the lens cam and the rangefinder cam have to move the same distance irrespective of what lens you use.
Now the problem arises because not every lens is EXACTLY its designated focal length. There is a manufacturing tolerance which means a 50mm lens can actually be physically shorter or longer. On some Leitz lenses, they actually put a small number adjacent to the infinity mark to indicate what the actual focal length of that specific lens was.
So now you will no doubt appreciate that the fixed movements are the cam in the body and its corresponding coupling cam in the lens. Once these are set for a lens with an exact focal length, it will technically be marginally out of sync for any lens that is either of shorter or longer focal length.
Ordinarily, and even down to f1.4 apertures, one normally doesn’t notice any problem as the inherent DoF masks any slight discrepancies and the mechanical tolerances are sufficiently tight for this not to be an issue. But at these extreme wide apertures with their very restricted depth of field, any slight discrepancy in the true focal length of the lens can’t be masked by DoF. So slight adjustments are necessary for using these lenses and which effectively aligns the lens to the rangefinder.
I have to Salute to your simple yet detailed explanation of the rangefinder system to everyone in such a simple post. It explains the complexity and time involved in manufacturing such a lens as well as the skills needed for the photographer to use an ultra fast lens effectively.
May I ask for your permission to quote your post to others?
I feel genuinely humbled by your praise. Of course you may quote me.
I read your post again and again. This is definitely one of the most insightful posts I have seen around.
Andrew, I didn’t want to make it too long, but you may be interested to learn why some Leitz lenses had their actual focal length marked on them. I didn’t include what follows as it was not strictly pertinent to Fred’s original enquiry, but I am guessing it would interest you.
For scientific applications where image ratios have to be spot on, knowing the actual focal length of a lens is vital. For the vast majority of us, knowing our 50mm lens may actually be 49.50 is of no importance whatsoever. But where that lens is used in critical scientific photography, that .5mm can make a big difference.
So they have to charge us customers almost double the non-coupled versions because of their sloppy QA? Ridiculous.
And it’s getting more expensive, more exclusive! Almost Leica-like conditions with waiting on the list to get one. Hope to get my hands on it on this years Photokina!