I’m helping SLR Magic collect feedback from filmmakers about the forthcoming full set of APO cinema lenses. The $2k 50mm T2.1 is the first of the set. This will be followed by 4 more, but which ones? All will be APO formulas, full frame and equally high image quality. They will be T2.1 with the exception of the very wide 21mm lens which will be a T3.1.
The SLR Magic APO HyperPrime CINE 50mm T2.1 is a soon to be released high end PL mount cinema lens. The expected price is $1999, less than half the price of a Zeiss compact prime.
The Cooke S4i Mini 50mm T2.8 is $7850 at B&H and the full set is around $45,000.
How do they compare?
These look like they’re going to be a great rental option for creative filmmakers looking for that dreamy low light look. Hawk, famous for their anamorphic lenses have launched a new range of standard spherical cine glass. The aperture is F0.95 following in the footsteps of Voigtlander with their 25mm and 17.5mm for Micro Four Thirds.
Unlike Voigtlander however, Hawk have gone all out and done a massive range of lenses which cover Super 35mm in PL mount. There’s not only a 17.5mm and a 25mm but a 21, 25, 32, 40, 50, 65, 90 and a 120.
I also recommend checking out the SLR Magic T0.95 50mm for those with low light kings such as the Sony FS100. Leica M easily adapts to E-Mount. The Hawks however are PL so you can use them on the other low light king, the Canon C300.
One of the highlights of Photokina 2012 was meeting up with SLR Magic, the small but nimble optics company based in Hong Kong. They brought out one of the first proper fast wide lenses for Micro Four Thirds (the 12mm F1.6) by listening to demand and acting swiftly. Now they are building high end super-fast primes which are optimised for filmmakers as well as photographers.
The Leica M Noctilux which costs $11,000 is a full frame F0.95 photographic lens. The SLR Magic HyperPrime CINE T0.95 is a full frame F0.92 lens designed for cinematographers with Leica M mount which retails for $3,000 – a third of the Noctilux.
It is quite a different lens to the Voigltander Nokton 25mm F0.95 for Micro Four Thirds. It covers a full frame sensor and APS-C mirrorless cameras like the Sony FS100 and NEX 7 whilst the Nokton vignettes on anything larger than Micro Four Thirds. I shot the above film on the Panasonic GH2 with Iscorama 36 anamorphic attached to the SLR Magic CINE but I am also using it on my NEX 7 and Fuji X Pro 1.