SLR Magic Hyperprime LM CINE 50mm T/0.95 on Sony NEX - Review / Test Report
Lens Reviews -
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Review by Klaus Schroiff, published May 2012
SLR Magic is an interesting new chinese lens brand. They are manufacturing manual focus lenses for various mounts including Micro-Four-Thirds and Sony NEX. So far most of their lenses were found on the cheaper end of the food chain but they are keen of delivering more ambitious products in the future. We’ve already tested their 12mm f/1.6 in Micro-Four-Thirds mount with good results. However, they have just released a very different beast – the SLR Magic Hyperprime LM CINE 50mm T/0.95 in Leica M mount – it is a build-to-order product. Some of you may not be familiar with the T-value here - it refers to the effective light transmission characteristic rather than the calculated f-number (the T-value is slower than the f-number). At ca. 3000$ it is certainly far from being cheap in absolute terms. However, compared to the Leica Noctilux 50mm f/0.95 it is almost affordable. Please note that it is very different to the Hyperprime 50mm f/0.95 that has already been available for MFT for around 1000$ - this may be a bit confusing so watch out for the details of the lens name.
We’ll provide a Leica M mount review later but as a teaser we have done a quick test based on the Sony NEX 7 and a Metabones Leica M to NEX adapter. Such a setup can only be used with manual focusing and aperture-priority (or M) mode. Due to the purely manual coupling there is no lens specific EXIF data.
The build quality of the SLRMagic is absolutely superb. It seems to have been carved from a metal block and considering the amount of large glass it is about as heavy. We have tested the CINE version of the lens so both the aperture and focus ring operate extremely smoothly (dampened). The physical length of the lens increases slightly towards closer focus distances but the front element does not rotate. SLR Magic did also implement a telescope-style lens hood. We’d really like to see more lenses with such a classic but very convenient approach. It would have been nice to be able to lock the lens hood so it’s hard to tell whether the hood stays in its selected position over time.
As mentioned you have only manual focusing with this lens. Sony NEX cameras offer focus peaking so it’s possible to achieve pretty accurate results here. However, even so you should expect some outliers when focusing at max. aperture – the depth-of-view is simply very narrow in many situations so better check your results.
|Equiv. focal length (full format)||75mm|
|Equiv. max. aperture (full format)||"f/1.3" (depth-of-field)|
|Optical construction||12 elements in 7 groups inc. 7x Tantalum elements|
|Number of aperture blades||12 (circular)|
|min. focus distance||0.70m (1:?)|