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

Started Oct 12, 2012 | Discussions
Banana Chips™
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Re: My SLR Magic HyperPrime LM 50mm T0.95 Review!
In reply to SLR Magic, Oct 19, 2012

What the public has failed to mention is his negative feedback on the first prototype 50mm f/0.95 lens for M mount.

Oh really now?  Where is the link that suggests this?

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Banana Chips™
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Re: My SLR Magic HyperPrime LM 50mm T0.95 Review!
In reply to SLR Magic, Oct 19, 2012

I've read all of the responses of SLR Magic in this thread and I'm really annoyed with the arrogance ...and not even responding to the concerns of the OP.

On this basis alone I would not buy anything from SLR Magic.

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A Guy Platt
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Re: SLR Magic
In reply to SLR Magic, Oct 19, 2012

SLR Magic wrote:

Disclaimer:

Steve Huff is displaying an ad for us in support of what we do as a startup company for the past three years. He said that before on his blog before already. The ad that everyone refer to all the time is NOT a paid ad. Paid ad are under the site sponsor section on his blog. We are below that with NO site sponsor mention. So, it is NOT and advertisement. The only time we support was I personally bought a camera from the B&H links to a camera and lens on this website and that is how everyone else supports him. I am sure people using the links are kept confidential and he does not even know I bought a camera and lens through his links before. He does not know we bought from the links at all so I do not see how this affects anything at all. I hope no one accuses him to be paid to write a favorable review again. I am sure now everyone knows I bought from the link after this post but my point is there is no way it could have affected any of his reviews. Well, I think everyone gets the point now.

What the public has failed to mention is his negative feedback on the first prototype 50mm f/0.95 lens for M mount. He practically told us we have to come up with a new design. This is why we came up with the 50mm T0.95 lens.

Kind rgds.,

Andrew

So much FUD around it seems.

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BSweeney
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Re: My SLR Magic HyperPrime LM 50mm T0.95 Review!
In reply to Banana Chips™, Oct 19, 2012

My best Guess: The lens is too long and too heavy in it's current mount to maintain proper RF coupling. The focus mount requires tighter tolerances, or the helical to be redesigned to have a longer throw with more turns in the metal to keep it steadier. But it is not possible to have a technical discussion about this lens with the representatives of the company.

http://forum.getdpi.com/forum/leica-m-x-r/41053-external-link-owner-review-slrmagic-50-0-95-posted-dpreview-leica-talk.html



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Daniel74
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Re: My SLR Magic HyperPrime LM 50mm T0.95 Review!
In reply to BSweeney, Oct 19, 2012

BSweeney wrote:

My best Guess: The lens is too long and too heavy in it's current mount to maintain proper RF coupling. The focus mount requires tighter tolerances, or the helical to be redesigned to have a longer throw with more turns in the metal to keep it steadier. But it is not possible to have a technical discussion about this lens with the representatives of the company.

http://forum.getdpi.com/forum/leica-m-x-r/41053-external-link-owner-review-slrmagic-50-0-95-posted-dpreview-leica-talk.html

This is a shame. I hope Andrew reconsiders since you are clearly a knowledgeable and experienced person and I suspect some of what you said could be put to good use.

Perhaps Andrew is just tired of having to defend his product - this amount of negative publicity and scrutiny is unprecedented.

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BSweeney
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Re: My SLR Magic HyperPrime LM 50mm T0.95 Review!
In reply to Daniel74, Oct 19, 2012

I think the best thing for people to do at this point is to sit back and wait for more user reviews of the production lens. I would also like to add, to answer a question in PM's: I've made a number of lenses on my Kitchen Table. Mix and Match optics: one of the latest is 1/2 Canon and 1/2 Nikon. Front of a Canon 50/1.5 with the back of a Nikkor 5cm F1.4: RF coupled across the whole focus range on the M9. I used JB-Weld to secure the rear triplet in, because the optical fixtures did not match and it was the way to set the focal length correctly. Usually I prefer shims and proper fixtures. I just wanted to make a lens that is a "Canikon", and it was all from left over parts. i also use lacquer to secure set screws. My best Jupiter-3 is from 1950, never worked correctly and was probably assembly practice. On that one, the optical fixture was held into the mount using sewing thread. I corrected the focal length by moving the rear triplet out, and mounted it in a Leica mount. the lens was given to me for free. One time- made a working optic out of 1/2 of a Sonnar and 1/2 on a Planar: RF coupled into an I-61 mount, and needed epoxy to hold together. I gave that one away, traded others, sold some for the price of parts- all under $75. I have a wartime Sonnar 5cm F1.5 in original Leica mount with so much wobble in the helical that I had to make a liner in the barrel out of copper tape to heep it steady. These are things a hobbyist does. But you do learn where things go bad. This should answer some questions posed to me in PM's.

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BSweeney
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Re: My SLR Magic HyperPrime LM 50mm T0.95 Review!
In reply to Daniel74, Oct 19, 2012

If anyone wants to read an account of the Japanese entry into the high-end photographic market, the March 1991 Popular Photography has an interesting article about that little piece of history. The scrutiny of the Japanese products of the 1940s and 1950s  and there eventual acceptance was an article in the New York Times. Marty Forscher did the "strip-down" report of the Nikon I, and Sears marketed the Nicca with the Nikkor lenses. I have a Nicca III with a collapsible Nikkor 5cm F2 made in 1948, Essex did a complete rebuild of the Nicca and I did a CLA on the Nikkor. It was like Wax paper when received, but for $230 for camera and lens- no complaints. The coatings are near perfect, and focus is quite smooth now. Youxin Ye completely rebuilt a Leotax D-IV for me, one of the first made, 4 digit serial number. The Simlar 5cm F1.5 helical had to be soaked in 99% Isopropyl alchohol for 4 days to loosen the grease. It had been in a storage shed for 30 years when received. Youxin is amazing, he has worked on ~10 Leica and early Leica compatible bodies for me. The camera came back like new, the curtains replaced, beamsplitter replaced, and finder optics looking like crystal.  He would be a good person to test out the SLRMagic lens.

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photomeme
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Re: SLR Magic
In reply to A Guy Platt, Oct 19, 2012

A Guy Platt wrote:

SLR Magic wrote:

Disclaimer:

Steve Huff is displaying an ad for us in support of what we do as a startup company for the past three years. He said that before on his blog before already. The ad that everyone refer to all the time is NOT a paid ad. Paid ad are under the site sponsor section on his blog. We are below that with NO site sponsor mention. So, it is NOT and advertisement. The only time we support was I personally bought a camera from the B&H links to a camera and lens on this website and that is how everyone else supports him. I am sure people using the links are kept confidential and he does not even know I bought a camera and lens through his links before. He does not know we bought from the links at all so I do not see how this affects anything at all. I hope no one accuses him to be paid to write a favorable review again. I am sure now everyone knows I bought from the link after this post but my point is there is no way it could have affected any of his reviews. Well, I think everyone gets the point now.

What the public has failed to mention is his negative feedback on the first prototype 50mm f/0.95 lens for M mount. He practically told us we have to come up with a new design. This is why we came up with the 50mm T0.95 lens.

Kind rgds.,

Andrew

So much FUD around it seems.


let's hope this is the left hand not talking to the right hand at the company.

please don't hesitate to let us know, slr magic.  we are a people forgiving of oversights.

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BSweeney
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Re: SLR Magic
In reply to photomeme, Oct 19, 2012

The SLRMagic site now states that the RF coupled 50/0.95 is for sale in Hong Kong only. That will certainly make it easier to service the lenses if required.

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facewashwas
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Re: SLR Magic
In reply to BSweeney, Oct 19, 2012

BSweeney wrote:

The SLRMagic site now states that the RF coupled 50/0.95 is for sale in Hong Kong only. That will certainly make it easier to service the lenses if required.

This is also better that they don't ship the lens abroad to avoid defective units upon arrival due to lens not being able to handle such transport.

This also gives the locals to check out the lens before they commit to buy.

I'm sure pulling out a lens similar to my condition and trying to sell it as BRAND NEW is not going to get them $5,000.

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Mark Ewanchuk
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Re: SLR Magic
In reply to BSweeney, Oct 19, 2012

I too, was one of the very early preorders for the RF coupled lens.

My experience parallels that of the OP; namely poor packaging (bubble wrap, peanuts, and lots of tape) as well as some less than perfect cosmetics on arrival, and an included UV filter (very thin and sleek!) which basically came apart and had to be tightened by me.  The aperture blades were indeed marked; The glass, however, was flawless, and there were no inclusions visible within the body of the lens.

I must say from the outset that Andrew initially appeared to be very responsive, and usually got back to my emails. Furthermore, when properly focused, the lens was certainly capable of some beautiful images.

However, I immediately raised concerns about focus inaccuracies on arrival, and was also told by Andrew that my camera/lens combo might need to be properly "calibrated".  Unfortunately I had three other Leica lenses that were working perfectly on my M9-P, and I was not willing to compromise them in order to get this particular combo going reliably.

I also noted that there was a fair amount of "play" in the lens mount itself, and seemed to move if turned past the locking point.  Initially the lens would not focus reliably at infinity.  I did manage to get infinity calibrated, but then noticed some back-focusing beyond about 3m.  There were certainly inconsistencies regarding how the aperature and focus rings "moved" throughout their range.

I did note a difference (as noted by other individuals on other forums...) that there seemed to be some variability whether one was actually holding up and supporting the lens, or just holding the camera body itself.  Although I did not initially believe my own results, it did seem that there was enough tolerance or "play" in the mount itself to allow this to occur if the lens was allowed to "sag".

Most distressingly, I did notice that this lens would actually throw my rangefinder mechanism out of calibration.  For example: if I had my Lux 50 on and perfectly calibrated (at f/1.4) across the focus range, and then put the SLRM on and focused it from near to infinity, and then back again; my Lux was actually out of calibration when I placed it back on the camera body.  I raised the issue with Andrew, and got a multitude of very knowledgeable and technical responses about various Leica lenses, but did not get an acknowledgement about this particular possibility being related to the design of the SLRM lens itself.

In the end, I did manage to convince Andrew and his team to give me a refund, although I had to swallow about a $500 loss (for "shipping, packing, and incidentals").  I do note that when I shipped the lens back to them, they specifically asked me to wait while they sent me a "proper" shipping container...A very sturdy looking foam-packed retail box appeared.  Return shipping was at my expense.  I was later informed by Andrew that the lens did not appear to exhibit any of the behaviors or focus issues that I documented when tested on their calibrated body.  He suggested that I consider a second body for such a lens.  (Noctilux, or otherwise...)

I did email Steve Huff, and he did briefly place a warning/addendum on his review; as did the folks on "La Vida Leica".

Despite all of this, I have been following the various sites and reviews, and have recently wondered whether I should give this product another chance.  Unfortunately I emailed Andrew about 5 days ago and inquired about the possibility of a repeat purchase, the wait time, and the actual policy regarding shipping and purchase outside of Hong Kong.

I have not received a response.  Perhaps SLRM has, in fact, decided that they no longer wish to sell this lens to us "particular" North Americans...which I feel is certainly unfortunate.

In any case, I do not want this to come across as a SLRM "witch hunt..." I simply want individuals to be aware of my experience, and note that these are not isolated cases.  I really wanted to love this lens, as I do not have the funds for a Noctilux (or a second body...).  However (and I am, by no means, an expert...) I do believe that there are tolerance and/or technical and design issues (which have yet to be remedied) which prevent the reliable "good behavior" of this product (as part of a system) with other lenses, on a single body not properly calibrated to account for it's "idiosyncrasies".

I will certainly post a follow-up if I receive further details.

Warm regards,

-Mark.

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facewashwas
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Re: SLR Magic
In reply to Mark Ewanchuk, Oct 19, 2012

Mark Ewanchuk wrote:

I too, was one of the very early preorders for the RF coupled lens.

My experience parallels that of the OP; namely poor packaging (bubble wrap, peanuts, and lots of tape) as well as some less than perfect cosmetics on arrival, and an included UV filter (very thin and sleek!) which basically came apart and had to be tightened by me.  The aperture blades were indeed marked; The glass, however, was flawless, and there were no inclusions visible within the body of the lens.

I must say from the outset that Andrew initiallyappeared to be very responsive, and usually got back to my emails. Furthermore, when properly focused, the lens was certainly capable of some beautiful images.

However, I immediately raised concerns about focus inaccuracies on arrival, and was also told by Andrew that my camera/lens combo might need to be properly "calibrated".  Unfortunately I had three other Leica lenses that were working perfectly on my M9-P, and I was not willing to compromise them in order to get this particular combo going reliably.

I also noted that there was a fair amount of "play" in the lens mount itself, and seemed to move if turned past the locking point.  Initially the lens would not focus reliably at infinity.  I did manage to get infinity calibrated, but then noticed some back-focusing beyond about 3m.  There were certainly inconsistencies regarding how the aperature and focus rings "moved" throughout their range.

I did note a difference (as noted by other individuals on other forums...) that there seemed to be some variability whether one was actually holding up and supporting the lens, or just holding the camera body itself.  Although I did not initially believe my own results, it did seem that there was enough tolerance or "play" in the mount itself to allow this to occur if the lens was allowed to "sag".

Most distressingly, I did notice that this lens would actually throw my rangefinder mechanismout of calibration.  For example: if I had my Lux 50 on and perfectly calibrated (at f/1.4) across the focus range, and then put the SLRM on and focused it from near to infinity, and then back again; my Lux was actually out of calibration when I placed it back on the camera body.  I raised the issue with Andrew, and got a multitude of very knowledgeable and technical responses about various Leica lenses, but did not get an acknowledgement about this particular possibility being related to the design of the SLRM lens itself.

In the end, I did manage to convince Andrew and his team to give me a refund, although I had to swallow about a $500 loss (for "shipping, packing, and incidentals").  I do note that when I shipped the lens back to them, they specifically asked me to wait while they sent me a "proper" shipping container...A very sturdy looking foam-packed retail box appeared.  Return shipping was at my expense.  I was later informed by Andrew that the lens did not appear to exhibit any of the behaviors or focus issues that I documented when tested on their calibrated body.  He suggested that I consider a second body for such a lens.  (Noctilux, or otherwise...)

I did email Steve Huff, and he did briefly place a warning/addendum on his review; as did the folks on "La Vida Leica".

Despite all of this, I have been following the various sites and reviews, and have recently wondered whether I should give this product another chance.  Unfortunately I emailed Andrew about 5 days ago and inquired about the possibility of a repeat purchase, the wait time, and the actual policy regarding shipping and purchase outside of Hong Kong.

I have not received a response.  Perhaps SLRM has, in fact, decided that they no longer wish to sell this lens to us "particular" North Americans...which I feel is certainly unfortunate.

In any case, I do not want this to come across as a SLRM "witch hunt..." I simply want individuals to be aware of my experience, and note that these are not isolated cases.  I really wanted to love this lens, as I do not have the funds for a Noctilux (or a second body...).  However (and I am, by no means, an expert...) I do believe that there are tolerance and/or technical and design issues (which have yet to be remedied) which prevent the reliable "good behavior" of this product (as part of a system) with other lenses,on a single body not properly calibratedto account for it's "idiosyncrasies".

I will certainly post a follow-up if I receive further details.

Warm regards,

-Mark.

I think you should open up your own thread on your own experiences. I +1 you. This was very informative and so similar to my experience.

Mark. Please don't put yourself through the same lens again. It failed on your once. What makes you think the lens is any lighter than before? There's been minor improvements and nothing to ameliorate what was/is/and still is the problem.

At least you got $500 back, not including the cost to ship it back.

I was told I'd be taking a 20% hit if i decided to refund. That' $857 US dollars!

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A Guy Platt
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Re: SLR Magic
In reply to A Guy Platt, Oct 19, 2012

A Guy Platt wrote

So much FUD around it seems.


I wonder why my image never showed up. Trying again. This is in response to Andrew's statement that they are not sponsors nor ever have been.

Weird .. I insert and image and can see it, then when it is on the forum the image has gone.

Trying to insert the image both from the gallery (above) and linked to flickr (below). Maybe one will show.

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BSweeney
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Re: SLR Magic
In reply to facewashwas, Oct 19, 2012

Mark: the only way that the Hyperprime could affect the RF coupling of the 50/1.4 that was focusing perfectly before using the Hyperprime  is if the Hyperprime is so heavy that it is deforming the mount of the camera.  Maybe it is spring pressure deforming, or pulling the mount from the body, and it might "bounce back". You might check that the screws holding the camera mount to the body are not loose, or have loosened. I would be very wary of using a lens if it meant that the camera would no longer hold calibration after using it. I have a camera body w/o shutter that I use for testing lenses. I've seen this happen.

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BSweeney
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Re: SLR Magic
In reply to facewashwas, Oct 19, 2012

This thread seems to have disappeared of of the main Leica Talk page. It can still be accessed via the search function, and from a saved URL. Other forums have been forced to terminate all discussion of this lens because of the actions of the proponents of this lens. as stated at getdpi, it is impossible to have a technical discussion about this lens. That does not speak well for the company.

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Mark Ewanchuk
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Disappeared!
In reply to BSweeney, Oct 19, 2012

...I just noticed that.  I hope this is a server/forum related issue and not an actual act of censorship.

I have said nothing that is not balanced and reflective of my factual experience.

Very curious indeed.  Can a moderator please clarify why this has occurred?

M.

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facewashwas
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Why is this thread marked invisible?
In reply to Mark Ewanchuk, Oct 19, 2012

Why is this thread marked invisible?

As Stephen would say... How is my discussion of this lens and [SLR Magic] in any way a personal attack? When my comments have been limited to discussions of the lens in question and the customer service of the company involved how can that in any way be considered personal? All of my comments about individuals within SLR Magic have been confined to their roles within the company, so please explain how that is different than discussing Leica and Stefan Daniels' LCD repair policy for the M8 (a topic that has generated enormous dissatisfaction) or other occurrences where members expressed opinions and experiences about photographic equipment and the companies who build it.

Is it only permitted to be unhappy with large companies and not small ones?

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BSweeney
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Re: Why is this thread marked invisible?
In reply to facewashwas, Oct 19, 2012

As seen on the Getdpi thread and at the Leica Forum: it is impossible to have an open discussion about this lens without the owner of the company resorting to personal attacks through direct posts and private messages. I suspect the Moderators are trying to sort out things now. I would not be surprised if yet another forum simply bans all talk about this lens, as LUF did.

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facewashwas
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The thread is visible again
In reply to BSweeney, Oct 19, 2012

BSweeney wrote:

As seen on the Getdpi thread and at the Leica Forum: it is impossible to have an open discussion about this lens without the owner of the company resorting to personal attacks through direct posts and private messages. I suspect the Moderators are trying to sort out things now. I would not be surprised if yet another forum simply bans all talk about this lens, as LUF did.

The thread is visible again.

I don't see a reason why they have to resort to such actions to ban all negative review threads they come across about this lens.

Don't they realize that my case is not isolated and quite common? If 4/10 of your lens comes out poorly from manufacture, wouldn't you think that says something? That's almost nearly a 50% failure rate.

You know, more news about this lens can go big and end up on sites like Engadget, Gizmodo, The Verge, etc... It's not hard when you have a friend that works for a well-known publishing tech site.

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BSweeney
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Re: The thread is visible again
In reply to facewashwas, Oct 19, 2012

When the original Nikkor lenses received positive reviews, some of the German manufacturers claimed the Japanese lenses used "water elements". Positive reports by well-known photographers, invitations to tour the Nikon Factory to see the lenses assembled and tested,  and tests by well-known technicians led to their positive acceptance. This is the way to build confidence in a new product. Now we have bloggers and forums.



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