SLR Magic Hyperprime 12mm f/1.6 - Review / Lens Test - Samples & Verdict
Lens Reviews - (Micro-)Four-Thirds

Sample Images & Verdict

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Make Panasonic
Model DMC-GF1
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 12mm
Aperture: f/2.0
Exposure 1/160s
Make Panasonic
Model DMC-GF1
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 12mm
Aperture: f/2.8
Exposure 1/50s
Make Panasonic
Model DMC-GF1
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 12mm
Aperture: f/2.8
Exposure 1/320s
Make Panasonic
Model DMC-GF1
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 12mm
Aperture: f/4.0
Exposure 1/25s
Make Panasonic
Model DMC-GF1
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 12mm
Aperture: f/4.0
Exposure 1/800s
Make Panasonic
Model DMC-GF1
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 12mm
Aperture: f/1.6
Exposure 1/3200s
Make Panasonic
Model DMC-GF1
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 12mm
Aperture: f/1.6
Exposure 1/3200s
Make Panasonic
Model DMC-GF1
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 12mm
Aperture: f/5.6
Exposure 1/200s
Make Panasonic
Model DMC-GF1
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 12mm
Aperture: f/4.0
Exposure 1/800s
Make Panasonic
Model DMC-GF1
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 12mm
Aperture: f/2.0
Exposure 1/1000s
Make Panasonic
Model DMC-GF1
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 12mm
Aperture: f/5.6
Exposure 1/4000s
Make Panasonic
Model DMC-GF1
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 12mm
Aperture: f/8.0
Exposure 1/80s
Make Panasonic
Model DMC-GF1
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 12mm
Aperture: f/11
Exposure 1/20s
Make Panasonic
Model DMC-GF1
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 12mm
Aperture: f/4.0
Exposure 1/2000s

The following movie shows the potential of the SLR Magic Hyperprime as a video lens. The great depth of field is suitable for cool cinematographic effects.

Verdict

The SLR Magic Hyperprime 12mm f/1.6 MFT is an extreme lens design. This has both advantages as well as drawbacks. Technically the lens is capable of delivering a sharp image center zone at very large apertures but the corners are slightly softer here. In the field, this is probably not a big issue regarding the typical shallow depth-of-field applications. The quality is fine at f/2 as well as really very good at f/4 and f/5.6. Diffraction reduces the quality from f/8 onwards but this is, of course, not a lens issue but a physical limitation.
There's quite a bit of light falloff at f/1.6 up to f/5.6 which is, unlike on other MFT lenses, not auto-corrected simply because theres's no electronic coupling. The same applies to lateral CAs which are visible albeit not extreme. Lens flare can be quite a bit of a problem at wide open aperture so if you are working in contra light situation you should consider to stop down a little to tame the effect.

The mechanical quality is outstanding thanks to an all-metal lens body and a dampened focus as well as click-less aperture ring. The lack of AF may be a show-stopper for some but due to the magnified Live-View/EVF option in micro-four-thirds cameras manual focusing is actually fairly easy. It slows you down, of course, but this isn't necessarily a bad thing anyway. I enjoyed my time with the lens and while it may not be the very best lens that we've ever tested it is certainly worth a very serious look - especially for filmers who want to play around with depth-of-field effects. At "just" 500USD it is also comparatively affordable. Its main competitor is the Olympus M.Zuiko 12mm f/2ED which costs around 800USD - it is somewhat slower but features a fast and silent AF as well as an electronic coupling.
 



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