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SLR Magic 25mm T/0.95 Hyperprime Cine Lens Review

SLR Magic 25mm T/0.95 Hyperprime Cine Lens Review - Gary Wolstenholme reviews the bright SLR Magic 25mm T/0.95 Hyperprime Cine lens.

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Category : Interchangeable Lenses
Product : SLR Magic 25mm T0.95 Hyperprime Cine
Price : £650
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Handling and features
Performance
Verdict
Specification

SLR Magic 25mm T0 95 Hyperprime Cine (5)

This manual focus standard lens for Micro Four Thirds system cameras provides an angle of view equivalent to a 50mm lens on a 35mm camera and sports an incredibly bright T/0.95 maximum aperture. The aperture is expressed in T-stops rather than F-stops as this takes into account light transmission losses within the lens, which is especially important for video work. The lens costs around £650, which doesn't seem too bad considering how fast the maximum aperture is. In this review we'll take a look at how it performs.

SLR Magic 25mm T0 95 Hyperprime Cine (7)

SLR Magic 25mm T/0.95 Hyperprime Cine Lens Handling and features

This lens sports an all-metal lens barrel and mount, finished in satin black. The build and finish is reminiscent of lenses from a more simple time, when M42 screw fit lenses were king. The lens feels quite weighty for its size, thanks to the heavy-duty construction, but it still only weighs 450g. As a result it feels like a good companion to the Panasonic Lumix G3 camera used for testing.

The focus and aperture rings are well damped and very, very smooth to operate. There is just the right amount of resistance there to prevent accidental movement and fine adjustments are a pleasure to apply. Both rings have a geared grip, which makes the lens compatible with follow focus equipment, commonly used for recording video. A useful hyperfocal scale is etched onto the lens barrel and closest focus is 26cm, which is quite close for any standard lens, never mind one with such a fast aperture.

There are no electronic contacts between the lens and camera, and aperture has no clicks for each stop, which can be especially useful for applying adjustments during video recording, as the aperture can be adjusted seamlessly during recording. The scale on the aperture ring isn't linear, so the ring needs to be turned further at fast apertures than at slower ones to apply the same amount of adjustment. This can take some getting used to, as close attention need to be paid to what aperture values are actually written on the ring, especially as aperture values at the slower end of the scale are so closely bunched together that some values are missing.

The lens accepts 49mm filters, and the filter ring does not rotate during focusing, which will aid the use of graduated and polarising filters. A neat slide out hood is provided, just like what used to be common on many telephoto lenses from years ago.

SLR Magic 25mm T0 95 Hyperprime Cine (1)

SLR Magic 25mm T/0.95 Hyperprime Cine Lens Performance

Even though this lens is sold more for the effect it can produce, than the sharpness it can deliver, it still performs well in the centre of the frame. T/0.95 is very usable, with care to ensure accurate focusing, as the depth of field can be very shallow at this aperture value. Sharpness here is good in the centre, but fairly poor towards the edges of the frame. Stopping down improves sharpness across the frame, with outstanding sharpness in the centre from around T/2 onwards and good clarity towards the edges of the frame from around T/5.6 onwards.

Resolution at 25mm
Resolution at 25mm

How to read our charts

The blue column represents readings from the centre of the picture frame at the various apertures and the green is from the edges. Averaging them out gives the red weighted column.

The scale on the left side is an indication of actual image resolution. The taller the column, the better the lens performance. Simple.

For this review, the lens was tested on a Panasonic Lumix G3 using Imatest.

Chromatic aberrations are a little high towards the edges of the frame, exceeding one pixel width for much of the aperture range. Care may need to be taken when shooting scenes with high contrast areas near the edges of the frame as a result.

SLRMagic25mmCA
Chromatic aberration at 25mm

How to read our charts

Chromatic aberration is the lens' inability to focus on the sensor or film all colours of visible light at the same point. Severe chromatic aberration gives a noticeable fringing or a halo effect around sharp edges within the picture. It can be cured in software.

Apochromatic lenses have special lens elements aspheric, extra-low dispersion etc. to minimize the problem, hence they usually cost more.

For this review, the lens was tested on a Panasonic Lumix G3 using Imatest.

Falloff of illumination towards the corners is quite well controlled for a lens with such a fast maximum aperture. At maximum aperture, the corners are 1.81 stops darker than the image centre and illumination is visually uniform by T/4.

Imatest detected 1.65% barrel distortion, which is fairly typical for a standard lens with a fast maximum aperture. The distortion pattern is uniform across the frame, so applying corrections in image editing software should be relatively straightforward.

Contrast is pretty good with this lens, even when shooting into the light. The shallow slide out hood does little to protect the lens from extraneous light that may cause problems with flare.

SLR Magic 25mm T0.95 Hyperprime Cine Sample Photos

Value for Money

With a price of around £650, this lens is quite highly priced when compared to the closest alternative.
The closest equivalent for Micro Four thirds cameras is Panasonic's Leica branded 25mm f/1.4, which costs around £430, which is a fair bit cheaper. This lens may have autofocus and automatic aperture control via the camera, but the maximum aperture is around a stop slower.

SLR Magic 25mm T/0.95 Hyperprime Cine Lens Verdict

Those who may be looking at this lens for video, as well as still photography will appreciate the video orientated features of this lens, such as the stepless aperture and geared grips on the controls. However, if this isn't your specialism, and you simply require a fast aperture, the case for this lens is less clear cut, especially as the current price of the closest Panasonic equivalent is around £200 less. The SLR Magic lens may be just over a stop faster, but it is also much more basic, as it lacks autofocus and automatic aperture control. However, if you simply must have the fastest optic available, this lens is still a good choice, and providing usable sharpness at T/0.95 is no mean feat.

   
  The SLR Magic 25mm T/0.95 Hyperprime Cine lens has outstanding sharpness in the centre when stopped down.  

SLR Magic 25mm T/0.95 Hyperprime Cine Lens Pros

Very usable at T/0.95
Outstanding sharpness in the centre when stopped down
Stepless aperture and geared controls are excellent for video
Metal build

SLR Magic 25mm T/0.95 Hyperprime Cine Lens Cons

Maybe a touch expensive when compared to OEM equivalent
High CA towards edges of the frame

FEATURES  
HANDLING  
PERFORMANCE  
VALUE FOR MONEY  
OVERALL  

SLR Magic 25mm T0.95 Hyperprime Cine Specifications

ManufacturerSLR Magic
General
Lens Mounts
  • Panasonic Micro Four Thirds
  • Olympus Micro Four Thirds
Lens
Focal Length25mm
Angle of ViewNo Data
Max Aperturef/0.95
Min Aperturef/16
Filter Size49mm
35mm equivalent50mm
Internal focusingNo
Focusing
Min Focus26cm
StabilisedNo
Construction
Blades11
ElementsNo Data
GroupsNo Data
Box Contents
Box ContentsScrew on Front lens cap, Rear Cap, Quick Guide
Dimensions
Weight450g
Height81mm

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