My SLR Magic HyperPrime LM 50mm T0.95 Review!

Started Oct 12, 2012 | Discussions
BSweeney
Contributing MemberPosts: 903Gear list
Like?
Re: My SLR Magic HyperPrime LM 50mm T0.95 Review!
In reply to Hacky3D, Oct 13, 2012

"The feelof turning the focus ring is not smooth- It feels un-lubricated/causing friction. To best describe it, it feels like superfine sandpaper rubbing against each other making noise, YES, I did say noise, it’s loud- especially for a CINE lens."

This statement alone is enough to question the build quality of the lens. Companies have been making helicals for a long time. Portions of the helical grinding against each other is a real issue.

 BSweeney's gear list:BSweeney's gear list
Leica M8 Nikon D1 Nikon D1X Leica M9 Olympus PEN E-P2 +5 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Banana Chips™
Contributing MemberPosts: 628Gear list
Like?
Re: My SLR Magic HyperPrime LM 50mm T0.95 Review!
In reply to facewashwas, Oct 14, 2012

I wish Steve Huff has been this honest about his HyperPrime review...well...I wish he's this honest about ALL of his reviews...but I digress...

This product is half-baked.  Undergoing mechanical design revisions since the started shipping is just...well...weird IMO.  And based on your description, even the quality of the lens is questionable at best.

I would not pay $1K let alone $5K for this.

Unfortunately, there will be a lot others who will fall into this trap of buying a sub-par lens for the Leica M.  It got the hype it didn't deserve thanks to Steve Huff and his posse.

 Banana Chips™'s gear list:Banana Chips™'s gear list
Ricoh GR Digital Nikon D600 Leica M Typ 240 Nikon PC-E Micro-Nikkor 85mm f/2.8D Nikon AF-S Nikkor 85mm f/1.4G +6 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Daniel74
Contributing MemberPosts: 725Gear list
Like?
Re: My SLR Magic HyperPrime LM 50mm T0.95 Review!
In reply to Banana Chips™, Oct 14, 2012

Have you seen issues with the Cine version? I haven't had trouble with mine, though no, it doesn't feel like the Leica lenses I know. No do I know of any reports of quality issues from other Cine users.

Yes, I agree, the problems with the RF version are troubling, to put it mildly.

But I am very impressed with my Cine version. Optically it is superb and for less than a third of the price of a Nocti, to get comparable quality, some sacrifices can be reasonably made.

And how important is RF coupling going to be on the new M, with live view, focus peaking, etc?

And while it's fair enough if people who've had trouble with their RF versions complain, I think SLR Magic should also be applauded for putting out a lens that rivals the most prestigious lens of the most prestigious lens manufacturer in the world.

Perhaps it is partly that they had the audacity to do that, that has so many people who have never laid their hands on these lenses, so worked up over this?

 Daniel74's gear list:Daniel74's gear list
Sony Alpha 7R Nikon AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED Carl Zeiss Makro-Planar T* 2/100 Schneider PC-Super-Angulon 28mm f/2.8 Carl Zeiss Distagon T* 2/25 +2 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
BSweeney
Contributing MemberPosts: 903Gear list
Like?
Re: My SLR Magic HyperPrime LM 50mm T0.95 Review!
In reply to Daniel74, Oct 14, 2012

Several users of the RF lens have written about their first hand experience with this lens. Based on their experience, I would not consider buying one. The product has critical problems that need to be worked out. One problem cited for problems with the RF version is the size and weight of the lens causes the RF coupling to misalign. A 0.01mm shift is enough to cause problems. Perhaps the earlier 9-element version of the lens should be revisited. This version was shorter and lighter than that introduced. The cine version could remain the current configuration, a follow-on RF version could be made shorter and lighter by using the earlier optical formula. In any event: the current offering has some design issues and quality control issues. No audacity- many manufacturers made lenses for Leica cameras. The 50mm F1.5 Nokton from Cosina is probably the reason why Leica recomputed the Summilux. My example of the Nokton 50/1.5 is as sharp of a lens as you would ever need for the M Monochrom. It was also less than 10% the cost of the SLRMagic lens.

 BSweeney's gear list:BSweeney's gear list
Leica M8 Nikon D1 Nikon D1X Leica M9 Olympus PEN E-P2 +5 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Daniel74
Contributing MemberPosts: 725Gear list
Like?
Re: My SLR Magic HyperPrime LM 50mm T0.95 Review!
In reply to BSweeney, Oct 14, 2012

Brian, the Nokton 50/1.5 is a fine lens, produced by a major manufacturer. It is no 50/0.92 though. The Nokton 50/1.1 is very soft wide open by comprison. People have gone to a huge expense to convert Schneider 50/0.95 to M-mount and that only just stretches to cover M8 sensor with some vignetting. The quality wide open, even in the centre with the Schneider is not comparable to what the lens under the discussion offers. So I would respectfully disagree when you say it's no big deal.

 Daniel74's gear list:Daniel74's gear list
Sony Alpha 7R Nikon AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED Carl Zeiss Makro-Planar T* 2/100 Schneider PC-Super-Angulon 28mm f/2.8 Carl Zeiss Distagon T* 2/25 +2 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
BSweeney
Contributing MemberPosts: 903Gear list
Like?
Re: My SLR Magic HyperPrime LM 50mm T0.95 Review!
In reply to Daniel74, Oct 14, 2012

The Nokton 50/1.5 uses an aspherical surface to reduce focus shift, I am surprised the 50/1.1 Nokton did not. The 50/1.5 used wide-open matches the resolution of my Leica M9, will try it on the M Monochrom when received. My Nokton 50/1.1 back-focused when received, as did the 35/1.2 Nokton. I corrected the back-focus on both, and now they are quite good on the M9. A user reported having front-focus issues with his RF coupled SLRMagic 50/0.95 lens that was corrected by the company. My reply: "Milesab's lens was front focusing, meaning the optics were too far from the image plane to agree with the rangefinder. If the lens was calibrated as free-standing, that means it "leans forward" and the RF image registers a closer focus distance than when the lens is supported by the photographer. As the lens is calibrated in this position, the focus will be correct. As the lens weight is balanced, the RF pickup is pushed backwards, towards infinity. This means the photographer will move the focus of the lens Closer for the RF to agree with it. It should then front-focus. This is one possible explanation. If the RF image is observed to move as the lens is handled on the camera, then it is the reason for focus error. It could be the weight of the lens causing it to bow down, or it could be slop in the helical. From memory of the misfocused image, it looked like 0.02mm shift in the RF calibration.
The lens is an 11-element, all spherical surfaces. It is very long, meaning the light bundles travel through the lens at more shallow angles than they would in a "squat" lens like the Canon 50/0.95. This could be for two reasons: accommodate a digital sensor, and reduce spherical aberration/focus shift. BUT: this means the lens is long, and heavy and might not maintain good RF calibration. If it is a weight issue, not much can be done. If it is slop in the helical, then one with tighter tolerances is required.
There was an earlier 9 element version of this lens, shorter and lighter. This design should be revisited."

 BSweeney's gear list:BSweeney's gear list
Leica M8 Nikon D1 Nikon D1X Leica M9 Olympus PEN E-P2 +5 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Daniel74
Contributing MemberPosts: 725Gear list
Like?
Re: My SLR Magic HyperPrime LM 50mm T0.95 Review!
In reply to BSweeney, Oct 14, 2012

From what I have seen of the sample from the earlier design, it was almost unusable wide open, or usable for special processing and applications. Very soft. The earlier lens was also not full frame - the largest was for the APS-C sensor.

As for RF version, I trust that there are serious issues (or at least were serious issues) there and I have no experience with it anyway.

Forgive me if this is a stupid question but how important is RF for a superfast lens on the new M? Wouldn't LiveView be the more accurate option? Or at least a viable option? (I have no shot rangefinders since my father's FED had to be left behind the Iron Curtain some 25 years ago).

 Daniel74's gear list:Daniel74's gear list
Sony Alpha 7R Nikon AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED Carl Zeiss Makro-Planar T* 2/100 Schneider PC-Super-Angulon 28mm f/2.8 Carl Zeiss Distagon T* 2/25 +2 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
BSweeney
Contributing MemberPosts: 903Gear list
Like?
Re: My SLR Magic HyperPrime LM 50mm T0.95 Review!
In reply to Daniel74, Oct 14, 2012

I cannot focus a Nikkor 55/1.2 on my EP2 with the EVF-2 and 10x magnification.

I bought a Canon 50/0.95 from Ebay for $200 about 10 years ago, put it on my Canon 7, and could focus wide-open and close-up without the aid of a magifier. The Canon 7 uses a 0.8x magnification, windows are closer together: ends up being about the same on the M9. I use a 1.25x magnifier on the M8 and M9, can focus the 50/1.1 perfectly.

A good, well-calibrated Rangefinder is one of the most accurate methods of focusing. It does require perfect calibration. When I "shim" lenses, will often change the shim to the last 0.01mm based on "pixel-peeping" with the Leica M9.

(Also, I read another site stating the SLRMagic lens has 12 elements, not 11 as i stated above. If anyone has a link to the block diagram of the optical formula, I would love to see it)

 BSweeney's gear list:BSweeney's gear list
Leica M8 Nikon D1 Nikon D1X Leica M9 Olympus PEN E-P2 +5 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
SLR Magic
Forum MemberPosts: 57
Like?
Re: My SLR Magic HyperPrime LM 50mm T0.95 Review!
In reply to BSweeney, Oct 14, 2012

BSweeney wrote:

I bought a Canon 50/0.95 from Ebay for $200 about 10 years ago, put it on my Canon 7, and could focus wide-open and close-up without the aid of a magifier. The Canon 7 uses a 0.8x magnification, windows are closer together: ends up being about the same on the M9. I use a 1.25x magnifier on the M8 and M9, can focus the 50/1.1 perfectly.

A good, well-calibrated Rangefinder is one of the most accurate methods of focusing. It does require perfect calibration. When I "shim" lenses, will often change the shim to the last 0.01mm based on "pixel-peeping" with the Leica M9.

You do not notice as much focus errors or focus shift on the Canon 50mm f/0.95 on the Canon 7 because film emulsions have a thickness of 13 to 20 micron and this thickness disguises slight focus errors and focus shift because the grains are spread over the total depth of the emulsion and has nothing to do with the magnification of the viewfinder.

If you want to use the Canon 50mm f/0.95 lens as a fair example you need to refer to one that was converted to M mount and used on a digital M body as well. Even if converted to M mount and calibrated accurately it is not possible for that lens to not exhibit any focus shift or work accurately at all ranges after conversion. You can "shim" the lens as you say but will not work accurately on a digital body. If close focus distance is accurate the mid to infinity distance will be compromised. When mid and infinity distance is calibrated then near focusing accuracy is compromised.
I also see references that the Voigtlander f/1.5 lens is better than the Voigtlander f/1.1 lens. A lens with smaller aperture in general has better performance than a lens with larger aperture.  It is only fair to compare lenses of the same aperture size. Stopping down a lens is not the same. The sharpness and resolution of a 0.95 lens stopped down regardless of the brand (SLR Magic, Leica, Canon, Schneider) are not compared on fair grounds to a lens designed for a smaller aperture. People who have really used and owned 0.95 lenses will know what I am talking about.

Kind rgds.,

Andrew

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
BSweeney
Contributing MemberPosts: 903Gear list
Like?
Re: My SLR Magic HyperPrime LM 50mm T0.95 Review!
In reply to SLR Magic, Oct 14, 2012

"has nothing to do with the magnification of the viewfinder."

Magnification of the finder and separation of the viewfinder with RF window has everything to do with focus accuracy of a rangefinder camera. If you do not understand that basic principle, you know nothing about rangefinder cameras.

 BSweeney's gear list:BSweeney's gear list
Leica M8 Nikon D1 Nikon D1X Leica M9 Olympus PEN E-P2 +5 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
BSweeney
Contributing MemberPosts: 903Gear list
Like?
Re: My SLR Magic HyperPrime LM 50mm T0.95 Review!
In reply to SLR Magic, Oct 14, 2012

If a Lens is properly shimmed, and the focus is not accurate across the entire range, it means the focal length deviates from the calibration standard of the rangefinder. Use the formula EFL=(FL1*FL2)/(FL1+FL2-D) to compute the required change in distance between the front and rear groups of the lens, then adjust the main shim. Works for me.

 BSweeney's gear list:BSweeney's gear list
Leica M8 Nikon D1 Nikon D1X Leica M9 Olympus PEN E-P2 +5 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
BSweeney
Contributing MemberPosts: 903Gear list
Like?
Re: My SLR Magic HyperPrime LM 50mm T0.95 Review!
In reply to BSweeney, Oct 14, 2012

One "final thought", if I were designing a lens this heavy: I would use a long-throw focus in order to have more turns in the helical to keep the optics module steady in the mount as it was focused. Some customers stated that close-focus was more of an issue, which occurs when the lens is extended the most and fewer turns of the helical making contact. Using a long-throw focus gives more area in the threads to maintain contact. I've seen slop in helicals that prevented good RF coupling across range, one German wartime Sonnar corrected by making a lining for the RF cam to keep steady against.

 BSweeney's gear list:BSweeney's gear list
Leica M8 Nikon D1 Nikon D1X Leica M9 Olympus PEN E-P2 +5 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
SLR Magic
Forum MemberPosts: 57
Like?
Re: My SLR Magic HyperPrime LM 50mm T0.95 Review!
In reply to BSweeney, Oct 14, 2012

BSweeney wrote:

"has nothing to do with the magnification of the viewfinder."

Magnification of the finder and separation of the viewfinder with RF window has everything to do with focus accuracy of a rangefinder camera. If you do not understand that basic principle, you know nothing about rangefinder cameras.

The lens you referenced is the Canon 50mm f/0.95 on the Canon 7 with film. Many lenses designed post digital era do not perform that well on a RF camera. If you buy any converted Canon 50mm f/0.95 lens that are coupled in M mount and put it on a digital M8 or M9 you will notice there is noticeable focus shift. There requirement for focus accuracy is much lens on film compared to the CCD of the M9. This fact does not change regardless of the magnification.

Are you using the Canon 50mm f/0.95 on the Canon 7 with film, on a M film camera, or on a M8/M9 body? As we are discussing about the use of 0.95 lenses on the M8/M9 it is only relevant to discuss about the performance of a lens on the same medium.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
BSweeney
Contributing MemberPosts: 903Gear list
Like?
Re: My SLR Magic HyperPrime LM 50mm T0.95 Review!
In reply to SLR Magic, Oct 14, 2012

I use the canon 50/0.95 on film. I use the 50/1.1 Nokton with the M9.

The focus errors that I have seen posted using the SLRMagic 50/f0.95 exceed the errors that I had on the Canon 7 with 50/0.95 lens. Much greater than the difference produced from the thickness of film. My example was to indicate that the then 40 year old lens (10 years ago) worked perfectly on the camera body bought separately. I am an experienced RF user, and an experienced Digital users. RF's since 1969, Digital since 1981. Digital rangefinders: only 3 years.

It would be more interesting to  discuss the problems noted with the OP's particular lens and to address those concerns. If I convert my Canon 50/0.95 the focus will be perfect on my M9.  The focus on the 50/1.2 that I assembled from 3 parts lenses, front and rear groups from different lenses, was perfect across the entire focal range. About 2/3rds stop slower than the lens in question, but non-trivial to get the distances between groups correct before shimming.

 BSweeney's gear list:BSweeney's gear list
Leica M8 Nikon D1 Nikon D1X Leica M9 Olympus PEN E-P2 +5 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
SLR Magic
Forum MemberPosts: 57
Like?
Re: My SLR Magic HyperPrime LM 50mm T0.95 Review!
In reply to BSweeney, Oct 15, 2012

BSweeney wrote:

I use the canon 50/0.95 on film. I use the 50/1.1 Nokton with the M9.

The focus errors that I have seen posted using the SLRMagic 50/f0.95 exceed the errors that I had on the Canon 7 with 50/0.95 lens.

To have a valid reference, we need to be comparing apples to apples. In other words a controlled test.

Variables :  different brands

Control:

A) Focal length = 50mm

B) Focus Distance = , 0.92 aperture (f/0.95 would be closest. There are f/0.9 lenses but does not work on M mount).

C) Medium:

Film to Film

Digital to Digital

It is not possible to compare a f/1.1 lens or a f/1.4 lens with a 0.95 lens on digital camera. It has been done before but critical focus accuracy is needed for a 0.95 lens

http://www.stevehuffphoto.com/2012/02/28/quick-comparison-slr-magic-50-t0-95-vs-voigtlander-50-f1-1-on-the-leica-m9/

It is also not a fair comparison for film results to digital results - as previously discussed.

It is also common that the level of CA on the HyperPrime T0.95 is constantly compared with the 50mm Summilux f/1.4 lens which is not a valid comparison. It should be compared with other f/0.95 lenses. If such un-matched comparisons are used in discussions, there are not much to discuss further on. Likewise, the 50mm Summicron f/2 just announced will be better performing than the Summilux f/1.4 and the Noctilux f/0.95 as well in terms of CA control and light falloff due to the smaller maximum aperture size.

It has been discussed on the LFI Feb 2011 issue that fast lenses are not dead on perfect all the time. If it is not true, then LFI would not publish this article. The photographer mentioned sometimes there is front focus and sometimes there is back focus. The Photographer said "the trick is to focus a little further or stop down even more" - which means you have to learn the characteristics of the lens.  Such problems would not happen on a f/1.4 lens because it has a lot more depth of field than the 0.95 lenses. Many on multiple forums suggest Leica has great service when this issue happens with the Noctilux.  Actually, to correct for the front/back focus issues of Noctilux, you can send lenses and camera together at the same time to Solms for pairing. In Hong Kong, owners can send the HyperPrime and their M9 to us for pairing. There are slight tolerances in both the camera and the lens and to have them work best at 0.95, you need to send the combination to us for pairing like you would with an M9 and Leica Noctilux to Solms. Leica is not able to calibrate camera or lens to pair together separately and we cannot either.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
BSweeney
Contributing MemberPosts: 903Gear list
Like?
Re: My SLR Magic HyperPrime LM 50mm T0.95 Review!
In reply to SLR Magic, Oct 15, 2012

The build quality is the issue with the Hyperprime.

After 50 years, the Canon 50/0.95 has held together quite well and continues to work flawlessly on the camera for which it was designed.

The Machining of the Hyperprime appears to be very poor based on this and other reviews. The machining of the 50 year old Canon has held together for 1/2 century. The question is how long can the Hyperprime hold up with such poor machining and build practices and what steps are being taken to correct the mechanical design.

 BSweeney's gear list:BSweeney's gear list
Leica M8 Nikon D1 Nikon D1X Leica M9 Olympus PEN E-P2 +5 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
SLR Magic
Forum MemberPosts: 57
Like?
Re: My SLR Magic HyperPrime LM 50mm T0.95 Review!
In reply to BSweeney, Oct 15, 2012

BSweeney wrote:

The build quality is the issue with the Hyperprime.

I am glad you brought this issue up. In fact, I was with a group out shooting and the lens was dropped from chest height with the weight of the camera and landed on concrete floor with a front end impact. The lens too a huge dent and a scratch and the lens continued to work for the rest of the workshop. We did not give the person who dropped it accidentally a hard time at all. The pull out lens hood did not bend over at all. No one mentioned on how great the build construction was.

Here is a link to that mention Day 1 Workshop Report: Night shooting with the Hyperprime 50 T0.95 | STEVE HUFF PHOTOS
It would be interesting if someone did a drop test of fast lenses of other brands and have a review on that. We already know the results from a drop test on the HyperPrime but there is no drop test report on the other two 0.95 lenses to date. People do that for cell phones to see when the screen will crack so it is not a stupid idea. The HyperPrime lens that fell is still on display in our shop in Hong Kong for demo use on a camera and there is no durability issue. I can assure you non of our lenses were prepared to be concrete floor from chest height prior to the workshop. This is the best test for build quality.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
macjonny1
Regular MemberPosts: 147
Like?
Re: My SLR Magic HyperPrime LM 50mm T0.95 Review!
In reply to SLR Magic, Oct 15, 2012
. I can assure you non of our lenses were prepared to be concrete floor from chest height prior to the workshop. This is the best test for build quality.

I would venture to say that most people would say that the best test for build quality is longevity of function and how well it functions over time.  A drop test although somewhat useful is not a useful measure of build quality to me at all.  If I drop a delicate object I am prepared to accept whatever consequences of that action.  I do however want my lens to function over time without falling apart.  Personally after these reports I would be very very worried about buying one of these.  A drop test would do nothing to reassure me about that.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
A Guy Platt
Senior MemberPosts: 1,544
Like?
Re: My SLR Magic HyperPrime LM 50mm T0.95 Review!
In reply to macjonny1, Oct 15, 2012

macjonny1 wrote:

. I can assure you non of our lenses were prepared to be concrete floor from chest height prior to the workshop. This is the best test for build quality.

I would venture to say that most people would say that the best test for build quality is longevity of function and how well it functions over time.  A drop test although somewhat useful is not a useful measure of build quality to me at all.  If I drop a delicate object I am prepared to accept whatever consequences of that action.  I do however want my lens to function over time without falling apart.  Personally after these reports I would be very very worried about buying one of these.  A drop test would do nothing to reassure me about that.

Well said.

I have several Leica lenses which are more than 20 years old. My oldest (a 50 Summilux) is from 1959. What's amazing to me is that I am not even surprised how well my old lenses work, I guess I just assumed they'd be fine.

Regards
  Guy
My Flickr photostream

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
SLR Magic
Forum MemberPosts: 57
Like?
Re: My SLR Magic HyperPrime LM 50mm T0.95 Review!
In reply to macjonny1, Oct 15, 2012

macjonny1 wrote:

. I can assure you non of our lenses were prepared to be concrete floor from chest height prior to the workshop. This is the best test for build quality.

I would venture to say that most people would say that the best test for build quality is longevity of function and how well it functions over time.  A drop test although somewhat useful is not a useful measure of build quality to me at all.  If I drop a delicate object I am prepared to accept whatever consequences of that action.  I do however want my lens to function over time without falling apart.  Personally after these reports I would be very very worried about buying one of these.  A drop test would do nothing to reassure me about that.

To test if a lens function over time takes years. However, any lens need to be maintained for focus accuracy over time even if unused. The only test for build quality with immediate feedback is a drop test and our lens has been dropped by someone at the Steve Huff Los Angeles workshop from chest hight on concrete floor and still function properly. Maybe we someone can try a drop test with the other two 0.95 lenses to see how that would affect the lens. It is common for users to drop a lens or a bag on the table or floor. I say this because our lens has been dropped by users on the table at our shop and at Photokina by people trying the lens. It is a lot of psychological pressure when holding an expensive lens and when that happens lens gets dropped. For those who do not know the Noctilux and Canon f/0.95 lens are heavy lenses as well.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum MMy threads