Hands On Review: SLR Magic 12mm f1.6 Noktor Lens for Micro Four Thirds

When news of the SLR Magic 12mm f1.6 Hyperprime broke, we announced it on our Facebook page. Our copy literally just came in the door yesterday, here’s a quick video preview of the lens. Note that this lens was primarily developed for videographers and in my conversations with the SLR Magic reps, the lens actually has T-stops and not F-stops. So like the Zeiss 85mm that we had hands on time with, it’s a cinema prime. What are T-stops? We explain it a bit in this article; but they’re f-stops only much more accurate.

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Samples of the Noktor F0.95 Lens Available on Flickr

Samples of the Noktor F0.95 lens for Micro Four Thirds have appeared on Flickr. We’ve been very excited about this lens for a while in our postings and we know for a fact that Steve Huff is getting one soon. Those of you interested in Micro Four Thirds and the format should surely check this out. On a personal point of view note: I think this lens needs to be stopped down a bit for better sharpness.

Update: Here’s a video shot with the lens using the Panasonic GH1. Noktor – Shoot Wide Open from Noktor on Vimeo.

Micro Four Thirds Noktor Lens Rumored to Be From Senko

I reported earlier on the Noktor Micro Four Thirds lens that is blowing my mind, but now we’ve got rumored evidence that it may be from Senko. However, I found this image on a forum page and it also seems similar to the images found in my Google Translation made earlier in the previous posting. What it means is that this Noktor Lens may actually be from Senko. Senko is a company that makes CCTV products and so this lens may really be targeted towards people looking to do video work with Micro Four Thirds cameras. That will mean that the Panasonic GH-1 will be able to fully step up to the legendary status that their camcorders established.

Please keep in mind that this is a rumor and nothing has been confirmed yet.

50mm F0.95 Micro Four Thirds Lens is Coming from Noktor

According to PhotoRumors.com via 43rumors, we should be expecting to see a new 50mm F0.95 lens for Micro Four Thirds. This will be the equivalent of a 100mm field of view. That means that the cameras will be able to shoot basically in the dark and shouldn’t have to suffer from the problems that plague the cameras at higher ISO settings. Noktor is a company that can be followed on Twitter, but when one goes to their website, there isn’t much. Either way, I’m excited to see what comes out. That means that cameras like the EP-2 and GF-1 will be able to shoot almost in the dark. Additionally, the GH1 will be able to shoot amazing video using native lenses.

Words cannot describe my excitement right now.

UPDATE: A commentor on PhotoRumor’s posting linked us to the possible origins of the lens. Here’s the Google Translation. Notice that the lens attached to the camera though says SchneiderKreuznach.

Meet the Dark Knight PRO Edition of Mitakon’s 50mm f0.95 Lens

Mitakon Speedmaster 50mm f0.95 Dark Knight Pro Edition

Mitakon is getting ready to release a new and improved version of its Speedmaster 50mm f.0.95 lens and now we’ve got our first look at it. Sony Alpha Rumors got its dibs on an image of the lens entitled the “Dark Knight Pro edition.” Along with the slightly silly name this prime lens for full frame Sony E-mount cameras features a new lens coating to improve image quality.

The lens has also been slightly tuned with a larger 67mm filter tread, a significant increase from the 58mm on the original lens. Meanwhile, Mitakon has promised the new bayonet hood will help prevent light flare and improve performance when backlighting your subject, such as shooting your model in front of the sun to create the golden halo effect.

The Dark Knight Pro edition will effectively replace the original version of the Mitakon 50mm f0.95, which you can still pick up for $899. The new variant should cost about the same and it’s a surprisingly affordable price considering SLR Magic’s Noktor 50mm f0.95 HyperPrime racks in at $1,199.

Via Sony Alpha Rumors

Samyang Reportedly Has a 50mm f1.5 Micro Four Thirds Lens Lined Up for Photokina

Samyang Teaser

Reports say that Photokina will be a big show for Nikon, Canon, Fujifilm, and all the big hitters but what about the little guys? After a relatively quiet period, Samyang may introduce a new 50mm f1.5 lens for Micro Four Thirds cameras at Photokina according to a report from 43 Rumors. Taking the crop factor into account the lens would effectively be a 100mm f3 lens by full frame standards, which should make it a still bokehlicious macro and long portrait lens.

As with Samyang’s other lenses we expect this future release will come at a low price without sacrificing optical quality. That said don’t put up too many hopes on seeing image stabilization, autofocus, or many other features on this piece of kit. In order to stay competitive with other optics like the Olympus 50mm f2, Samyang’s new offering will have to stay below $500. Luckily the rumored lens will have a leg up with faster glass.

On the complete opposite spectrum of affordable there’s the SLR Magic’s Noktor 50mm f/0.95 HyperPrime lens. The only trade off to the extremely wide-open lens is it a manual focus-only lens, which some users might find difficult to use or gratifying to grab focus all on their own.

Kowa Announces Set of Fast Manual Prime Lenses for Micro Four Thirds

Kowa Micro Four Thirds lenses 2014

Attention, Micro Four Thirds videographers! New all-manual Micro Four Thirds lenses with fast apertures are headed your way, and they’re coming from Kowa in Japan. The company has a long history of manufacturing photographic products, but in the recent past they mainly produced field optics such as binoculars, as well as CCTV lenses. Around CP+, Kowa more or less secretly announced a set of three all-manual lenses for Micro Four Thirds cameras that look like they could be suited for cine work.

The set comprises of three focal lengths: an 8.5mm (19mm-equivalent), a 12mm (24mm equivalent) and a 25mm (50mm-equivalent.) The lenses come with T-ratings, but the aperture ring is marked for f-values. The maximum apertures of the lenses are f2.8 for the 8.5mm and f1.8 for both the 12mm and the 25mm. Despite the lack of autofocus, these lenses can be seen as direct competitors to the Olympus 12mm f2 and 25mm f1.8, as well as the SLR Magic 12mm T1.6.

Pricing and availability haven’t been announced yet, but Kowa’s dedicated website states a summer 2014 release date for the Prominar series. From the looks and the lens diagrams, we reckon these lenses won’t be cheap. Their bodies look like they’re all-metal, and the optical constructions seem pretty elaborate, with both aspherical and extra-low dispersion elements. In any case, both manual lens aficionados as well as Micro Four Thirds videographers will surely welcome these additions to the system’s lens lineup.

Via Photo Rumors

SLR Magic Updates the 12mm T1.6 HyperPrime for Micro Four Thirds

SLR Magic HyperPrime CINE 12mm T1.6 w/ Gear

Upon popular request, SLR Magic has decided to redesign the exterior of their HyperPrime CINE 12mm T1.6 lens for Micro Four Thirds, adding fixed gears around the focus and aperture rings (the previous CINE version of the lens had optional gears.) This way, the lens can be easily used with a follow-focus system in videography applications. For still photography, the added gears provide extra grip when operating the focus and aperture rings. Existing users of the HyperPrime 12mm f1.6 (non-CINE version) can have their lens upgraded to the current version with gears for US-$ 250.

Our review of the original SLR Magic HyperPrime 12mm f1.6 for Micro Four Thirds can be found here.

The Guide to How to Get Started In Videography For the Photographer

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Rokinon 24mm T1.5 lens product photos (2 of 3)ISO 32001-40 sec at f - 4.0

Some folks think that when they get into shooting video that it will be super easy and a total breeze. But trust us–if you think photography is hard, videography is an Olympic sport. There is so much more that you have to remember and take into account for since you’re continuously shooting still images. For the most part, also keep in mind that you’re also probably shooting the video equivalent of a JPEG photo–which means that all that latitude and editing ability that you get as a still photographer might not be there unless you have the right camera or the right hack.

This guide will help you without going into the aspects of editing and other work including coloring. And before I was a stills guy, I was a video guy.

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What’s in the Bag? The Felix Esser Edition

Missing here: Panasonc G1 + Lumix 20/1.7 + Rokinon flash (as I used these to take the picture)

I’ve had my fair share of cameras, both digital and analog, in recent years. Which is both good and bad. Good, because I learned a lot about photography — both from the technical as well as the artistical standpoint –, and bad, because at times I found myself in a constant loop of buying and selling. I spent a lot of money on different pieces of equipment, just to sell it with loss afterwards. And while searching for that one, perfect, ultimate camera kit, I figured something out. It’s not the gear that makes you happy. It’s the pictures you take. So I made a rather bold decision, namely to sell my beloved Leica M8. Not because it didn’t take good pictures, or because I didn’t enjoy using, but because I figured that I didn’t need such an expensive piece of technology to take great pictures. Quite on the contrary, in fact. What, then, is in my bag now? Read on to find out!

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Holiday 2012: Recommended Lenses for Micro Four Thirds

The Micro Four Thirds system has the biggest choice of lenses of all mirrorless systems so far.

The holiday season is just around the corner, so it’s time to think about the right gear for your holiday pictures. If you’re a Micro Four Thirds user, you’re in a lucky position, as we have seen a whole slew of new lenses for the system in this year — in addition to the great lenses we already had. So no matter whether you’re on the search for a lens to use yourself, or for one to give away to someone for Christmas — this guide will help you pick one (or two, or more) from the vastness of glass that is available for the system by now.

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SLR Magic to Discontinue Development of M-Mount Lenses

Andrew Chan from SLR Magic at photokina 2012, holding a Fuji X-Pro 1 equipped with their new 35mm T0.95 cine lens.

With much regret, we recently learned of the news that SLR Magic, the company that brought us the 12mm f1.6 HyperPrime for Micro Four Thirds and the 50mm T0.95 HyperPrime for Leica M, will discontinue all development of M-mount lenses. In an official press release, the company states that this decision has been made due to a lot of negative feedback on the 50mm T0.95 HypePrime for Leica M.


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Photokina 2012 Report — Part 6: SLR Magic and the Rest

First a Ferrari, and now beer. What on earth does this have to do with photokina? Well, every day at 3 p.m. the guys from Peak Design (read more on their awesome products below) were giving out Freibier. This was their PR strategy, and you can bet it was well received!

This is part six of our photokina 2012 report, with a main focus on SLR Magic, the small lens maker from Hong Kong that has come up with a lot of amazing products in the last two years. Beside an exhaustive report on SLR Magic’s new lenses, the following companies and/or products are featured in this post: Alpa, B.I.G. Photo, Fotoman, the Impossible Project, Lensbaby, Peak Design, the Plustek 120 film scanner, Rollei, and SanDisk.

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Recommended Lenses for the Micro Four Thirds Mount Black Magic Cinema Camera

Black Magic just announced a Micro Four Thirds version of their already popular Cinema camera. In my honest opinion, it should have been Micro Four Thirds mount to begin with. The mount, though, is passive, which means that electronics will not work. So for the most part, say goodbye to most of your Micro Four Thirds lenses.

But there are some that will natively work with no problems at all. Being the hackers that Micro Four Thirds users are, though, everyone tries to find old and alternative glass to hack onto their camera bodies. Because of this, nearly any lens you can think of has been adapted to the format.

Here’s a list of some glass that you may want to check out:

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Revisiting The Panasonic G1: Is The Micro Four Thirds Old-Timer Still Any Good?



The Panasonic G1 + 14-45mm kit lens. Oldie but Goldie?

When the Panasonic G1 was introduced in late 2008, it marked the beginning of a completely new camera system called Micro Four Thirds. What set this system apart from most other interchangeable-lens systems of that time was its lack of a swing mirror and optical viewfinder, thus drastically reducing the flange-back-distance (distance from mount to sensor) and making possible a much more compact design of both camera body and lenses. When the Micro Four Thirds system was first introduced to the public, no one had any idea that in a few years from then, mirrorless electronic viewfinder systems would become serious competitors to DSLRs. Rather, it was an interesting idea that Olympus and Panasonic had conceived, but it would remain to be seen if this was more than just a neat gimmick.

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The Best Budget Lenses for Mirrorless Cameras

Mirrorless cameras and their systems are very hot for the experienced users who want most of the benefits of a DSLR in a smaller package. In fact, one of staffers decided to go fully mirrorless. We’ve seen more and more systems come out of the gate and some even reach quite a bit of maturity. If you’re a mirrorless camera user, it is often an extremely good idea to invest in some better glass.

Here’s a roundup of some of the best mirrorless camera lenses to date.

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SLR Magic: Why Leica Might Have To Pull Their Socks Up

The new SLR Magic 50mm T0.95

Those who have been closely following the announcements on the regular rumors channels in recent months might be aware that a Hong Kong based lens developer called “SLR Magic”, so far best known for their cheap and cheerful “toy lenses” for Micro Four Thirds, is about to introduce a new über-fast 50mm lens for Leica M mount. And from the looks of it, this lens could mean serious competition for Leica’s world-class low-light lens, the highly-regarded and insanely pricey Noctilux-M 50mm f/0.95.

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How to Create Videos That Look Like They Were Shot with Kodak Tri-X With Your Olympus Micro Four Thirds Camera

Andrew Reed over at EOSHD loves the Panasonic GH2; he well should due to the fact that he is a professional videographer. He also has used the camera at super high ISOs in black and white while still achieving a film-like quality to the video. Because I dabble in street photography and have a video background, I have a love for Kodak Tri-X and the smaller Micro Four Thirds bodies like the venerable Olympus EP2: still considered by me to have some of the best image quality of all the models made. But even though the old camera doesn’t have the video capabilities of the newer GH2, it can still look quite nice providing that you use it correctly.

Here’s how to make your videos look like they were shot with Kodak Tri-X video film.

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