dslrnewsshooter.com review of the SLR MAGIC 50mm T0.95 Leica M Hyper prime.
I recently purchased the SLR MAGIC 50mm T0.95 Leica M Mount lens while on a work trip to Hong Kong. I thought it was about time I did some xmas giving and actually do a review about my thoughts on the lens.
This particular lens was originally made for Space Cam to use on modified RED cameras for helicopter work. This is not a toy lens! This lens has been made to the highest possible standards.
I have been very impressed with the performance and look of this lens. It is ultra sharp wide open which in itself is amazing. There is also very little if any noticeable chromatic aberration. Now this is normally a problem with very sharp lenses. It is a real compromise for lens manufacturers to get the amount of sharpness and lack of chromatic aberration right. SLR MAGIC seems to have got this lens spot on.
It is amazingly well built, probably even more solidly made than my Zeiss ZF2 glass. Solid build quality does come with a trade off though-weight. This lens is quite heavy, but in saying that I found it still very useable. Having a de clicked aperture is a big bonus for me. The aperture is at the front of the lens though and you focus at the back, this is something that I'm still getting used to.
It also features an inbuild metal lens hood that can extend out which I forgot to show in the video. The lens also comes in a nice box and included a 0.9 ND filter which is very handy. I should also clarify a mistake that I made. This lens will cover full frame and 4k but it will not work on Canon or Nikon DSLR cameras due to the flange depth.
The image from this lens is nothing short of suberb. Tack sharp even wide open as I said before but it also has a beautiful soft fall off when it comes to highlights and out of focus areas. It worried me when I first bought this lens as to how it would cut in with my Zeiss glass. It actually inter cuts very well. It has a similar contrast and look to it as the Zeiss.
I keep finding myself pulling this lens out of my bag as its just so damn nice. It is a great Interview lens, allowing you to shoot pretty wide open while maintaining sharp focus. The ability also in tight places or situations to completely soften the back ground is a big plus for me. A couple of times this lens saved my butt. I was shooting the World Match Racing Championship (yacht racing) earlier this month and one of the biggest names in the sport announced his retirement out of the blue. We had to grab him for an interview straight away, the sun had just gone down and I had no access to lights nor the time to use them. I had to do this fast. I put on the 50mm and opened it up without having to use a high ISO (I think I had it at 1250) and I managed to turn night into day. The producer was truly amazed at what I had done.
This lens retails for about $3000 US so it's not a cheap lens but for what you get both performance wise and in terms of build quality it's worth every cent. Now there are other 0.95 50mm lenses available from SLR MAGIC that are in other mounts but please be aware they are not the same lens as this one. This one only comes in Leica M mount. The one I have is the non RF coupled version (RF version is for Range Finder cameras and is more expensive). Don't let the Leica M mount bother you too much. There are lots of adaptors out there which enable you yo use this lens on a variety of cameras.
Specs are one thing but proof is always in the pudding. This lens delivers on it's promise and is one that I will continue to use on a regular basis.
This from SLR MAGIC:
The First and Fastest Lens for mFT, E-mount, and M mount
With a maximum aperture of F0.95, the SLR Magic Hyperprime is the fastest lens designed for Micro Four Thirds, E-mount, and M mount cameras.
At open aperture, the lens renders pictures and video with extreme shallow depth of field for a dreamy and unique aesthetic.
In low-light photography and cinematography, the lens exceeds the perception of the human eye. From nightscapes to campfires, now you can shoot in situations that are often impossible to capture with a normal lens.
For more information go to their website slrmagic.com/