Photokina 2012: SLR Magic Stand Report

SLR Magic, the Hong Kong-based lens company, announced an ambitious selection of lenses at Photokina and its stand, downstair in Hall 2, plays host to prototypes of them.

Andrew Chan, the company's product manager stresses that its products aren't simply existing products, re-badged. 'We make a lot of design changes - often different coatings or different types of glass to make the lenses suitable for our customers.' He gives the example of the Noktor 50mm F0.95, which SLR Magic now owns: 'there were C-mount versions but they didn't work for photography - they wouldn't focus to infinity. The Noktor version was redesigned to offer better sharpness and focus to infinity on Micro Four Thirds. Those are the sorts of changes we make.'

Other features the company has been including in all its latest lenses are rounded aperture blades, with the video-focused CINE lenses adding standard pitch gearing and and stepless aperture control. 'We've been learning a lot from our customers about exactly what they want,' says Chan: 'with our early, M-mount 50mm lenses, rangefinder users were asking for the aperture ring at the front, but for video that can make it hard to add a follow-focus, so we've reversed that on our new lenses.' The company also reversed the focus direction on its 12mm T1.6 prime. With the 35mm T1.4 the company redesigned the lens to minimise focus breathing (a change in field of view as you change focus).

The lenses are finding users, he says - 'our 12mm T1.6 was used by Philip Bloom for scenes in the film used to launch the Panasonic GH3.'

The SLR Magic stand isn't big, but there's plenty to see. Here the company's 12mm T1.6 features a gearing adapter to make it easier to use with a follow focus
Newer lenses, such as the recently-announced 35mm T1.4, feature geared focus and aperture rings  
The 25mm T0.95 will be available for the Micro Four Thirds mount  
The 35mm T0.95 will also be available in X and E mounts, as well as Micro Four Thirds.  
The 35mm T1.4 is more affordable, at $279 It too is available in Micro Four Thirds, X and E mounts.
There's also a redesigned 23mm F1.7, offering a 35mm equivalent field-of-view for X and E-mount cameras, or 46mm equiv. on Micro Four Thirds.


Total comments: 15
By nawknai (Oct 1, 2012)

Fuji X-Pro 1 finger grip.

I want!!!

By peevee1 (Sep 25, 2012)

Are they going to "invent" autofocus any time soon?

By Vitruvius (Sep 23, 2012)

This look awsome! The main reason I am hesitating investing in M4/3 camera system is because here are so few bright AND wide lenses. Thank you SLR Magic for this development.

Where are the prices and availability listed? I can't find the 'press release' and the SLR Magic web site is very incomplete.

Any chance that there is a bright 8.5mm lens in the works for m4/3 by anybody?

These non-electronic 'dumb' lenses make total sense with the new cameras with focus peaking. It is very intuitive and you can see the focal plane in the live view as a virtual live section through the scene. That makes these type of bright MFT lenses combined with the cameras that lack an OVF very logical and affordable workflow to get high quality work on a non-pro budget. And just to have FUN again!

SLR Magic
By SLR Magic (Sep 22, 2012)

We are in hall 3.1 and not Hall 2

By deep7 (Sep 22, 2012)

It's good to see this company growing. My limited experience (one lens) has been extremely positive and they do seem to listen to the market. I wish them well.

By d2f (Sep 22, 2012)

The company name is a good one since the lenses should produce magical wide open depth of field compared to the competition and OEM selection. The cameras that host them are functionally single lens reflex in nature, in that you see what the recording media will capture, either by a electronic viewfinder, LCD screen or other means. While I do not expect perfection from any lens, especially wide open, it will be interesting to see how this lens line up performs. I have no doubt they will represent a good value and have no problem finding a market and my 5N camera bag.


By Imagefoundry (Sep 21, 2012)

23mm/F1.7 in X-mount looks pretty appealing. Waiting for reviews.

Gully Foyle
By Gully Foyle (Sep 21, 2012)

They have the nerve to call their 50/0.95 a Noktor...
On their site they feature that same lens with a "Made in Japan" written on the front of the lens. Is that so?

By Scubadu (Sep 21, 2012)

The E-mount 23mm looks super nice. I'm also very curious about the 35mm 1.4 on E-mount.

SLR Magic, if you are listening- please change the name of your compnay, or at least the lineup. It's very confusing. I also hope that you can set up distributors in the US or Europe. As an individual user I don't want to deal with customs or put a big purchase on PayPal.

By Vitruvius (Sep 23, 2012)

Don't worry. They won't last two more years. There is no way that the other big firms will allow this unbridled innovation to continue. Someone will buy them out, whatever the price, change the name and then cut quality. It's inevitable.

By RDMPhotos (Oct 17, 2012)

@Vitruvius :
lol Ironically that's what SLR Magic did. They Bought out Noktor. It was originally started as a company that just offered the Noktor 50mm f/0.95 prime. The Noktor company bough from one manufacturer of a Very High quality C-mount lens and they had the rear mount made for µ4/3 and the beauty ring with the name added. That was the only Product that Noktor had, plus a great website and lots of Buzz about their product. The first run of these lenses was so hugely successful that they were bough out by SLR Majic.
That is why there is still and is the same. They essentially redirected to the original Noktor website, which they did not change much, after they purchased it. When SLRmajic did their run of that 50mm lens the price went up 300 dollars, but that could have be also due to the economic crisis that was going on in the world at the time the year they made that batch.
They make a nice product tho. I hope to get me a 12mm soon.

Comment edited 8 minutes after posting
By qwertyasdf (Sep 21, 2012)

None of these lens are for a SLR. Not joking.

By bradleyg5 (Sep 21, 2012)

That's why it's magic, man.

By Mapel (Sep 21, 2012)

Hoping for a nice price for the e-mounted version of this 23mm :)

Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Sep 21, 2012)

$399 list price, according to the press release just before Photokina.

Total comments: 15