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SLR Magic announces 17mm T1.6 lens for Micro Four Thirds

By dpreview staff on Dec 13, 2013 at 11:19 GMT

Hong Kong-based lens maker SLR Magic has announced an addition to its family of video-oriented manual focus fast primes for Micro Four Thirds. The 17mm T1.6 offers an angle of view equivalent to 34mm on full frame, and has geared focus and aperture rings. It will be available at the end of December 2013.


Press release:

NEW: THE SLR Magic 17mm T1.6

SLR Magic expands its micro four thirds lineup with new wide angle lens

Hong Kong, China (December 13, 2013)  - SLR Magic expands the micro four thirds lens lineup with the new SLR Magic 17mm T1.6 wide angle lens. With this latest addition, the portfolio of lenses for the micro four thirds system is now comprised of seven focal lengths.
 
The field of view of this new lens corresponds to a 34mm lens in 35mm format and this fast wide angle of view opens up many new creative composition opportunities, particularly in the fields of interior, architectural and landscape cinematography and photography. Additionally, a fast max aperture of T1.6 makes the SLR Magic 17mm T1.6 ideal for available-light photography.
 
We place our highest priority in the development on our lenses to fulfill the demands of professional cinematographers and photographers. The design and build of the SLR Magic 17mm T1.6 is solid and reliable.
 
The SLR Magic 17mm T1.6 will be available from authorised SLR Magic dealers starting end of December 2013.

Technical data - SLR Magic 17mm T1.6

Lens Type:   Fast wide-angle lens
Compatible Cameras:   All micro four thirds mount cameras
Optical Design:   12 elements in 10 groups
Distance Settings:  Distance range: 0.17m to ∞, combined scale meter/feet 
Aperture:  Manually controlled diaphragm, 10 aperture blades, Lowest value 16 
Bayonet:  Micro Four Thirds
Filter Mount:  Internal thread for 52mm filter; filter mount does not rotate. 
Surface Finish:  Black anodized 
Length to bayonet mount:  approx. 78.65mm (approx. 3.10in) 
Largest diameter:  approx. 56.3mm (approx. 2.21in) 
Weight:  approx. 340g (approx. 12oz)

Comments

Total comments: 50
Mike99999
By Mike99999 (4 months ago)

For all the trolls (yabokkie etc..): if you do the aperture equivalence, you also have to do the ISO equivalence.

To imitate an image captured by four thirds 17mm/1.4 ISO 6400 (clean on an E-M5), you'd have to set your full frame camera to 34mm/2.8 ISO 25600. Suddenly the comparison becomes less attractive when you do *full* equivalence...

1 upvote
yabokkie
By yabokkie (4 months ago)

aperture equivalence is for every photographic effect that is controlled by an aperture, simple and straight forward.

nothing to do with ISO, which is no photographic concept.

for digital cameras, ISO is mainly used to suppress high readout noise at low light. new sensors (basically everyone except Canon) are called ISO-less that little difference in image quality can be observed setting a camera at base ISO.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 6 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
socode
By socode (4 months ago)

Equivalence means whatever you want, if you are selective on comparison variables.

What's the rationale for declaring the sensor with less light gathering area "clean", insisting on equivalent exposure indicator to the user (rather than actual light gathered pp) , picking an extreme point on the degrees of freedom (widest aperture), and fixing it arbitrarily at f/2.8 on the other?

If you had a 35mm/1.4 on full-frame, the MFT could not "imitate" that either but the FF could simply crop [given an appropriate lens, which is equally arbitrary if I do not have it].

Having both non-FF and FF systems, it's actually handy to be able to select multiple trade offs in terms of depth-of-field control, quality, weight, capability and so on. Pretending they don't exist is what is unattractive.

0 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (4 months ago)

4/3" can just use 18/0.7 to achieve every effect that 35/1.4 can have on full-frame, or 12-35/1.4 to compete with 24-70/2.8.

the beauty of aperture equivalence is that it includes every photographic effect with no exception. I would appreciate if we could have deeper DoF and higher light gathering capability at the same time but the God decided he won't let that happen.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
sarlo100
By sarlo100 (4 months ago)

He's right. Aperture equivalence is straight mathematics, and there's a two stop difference between full frame and 4/3. Photographically, 12-35 f/1.4 (4/3") is 24-70 f/2.8 (FF) in all respects.

ISO equivalence is a fudged concept, because the manufacturers play around with the numbers so much. You can use it as a crude rule of thumb, but the only way to have true ISO equivalence is to have the same sensor manufacturer, using the same sensor technology of the same era, and the same number of pixels. Only then will you be close enough to a level playing field to make a difference - and you'll very likely see the noise performance of ISO 6400 (4/3) looking close to identical as ISO 25600 (FF).

Full frame is the standard. All other formats are size/performance/cost issue compromises. Nobody converts focal length or apertures into 4/3 or APS-C equivalents. I'm not in any way knocking 4/3rds, it's my preferred set up due to the size/cost/performance combination. But facts are facts

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Cameracist
By Cameracist (4 months ago)

"Full frame is the standard. All other formats are size/performance/cost issue compromises"
...like the medium format for example?
Why on earth should be an ancient concept of 1930s' still only standard in photography today? I mean, i like the format, but I also like APS-C or4/3 or whatever. It is called "standard" because in film era, it was the amateur format and is the most well known due to it. The size of the frame was chosen because it was the minimum film area with so-so image quality. That is no truth today! With digital, you can minimize even more - and the "fullframe" was developed with miniaturisation in mind...

2 upvotes
reinish
By reinish (4 months ago)

"Full frame is the standard. All other formats are size/performance/cost issue compromises."

"full frame" was as a compromise as "small size" in film era, and now when there's cameras like Phase One around , it not a " big size" even in digital era.

0 upvotes
socode
By socode (4 months ago)

Aperture equivalence per se is fine, but using it on the solution to one particular exposure only, to prove that one format is better is a crock. You can't assume that 4/3 ISO 6400 is "clean" whilst 25600 on a 4x larger sensor is not (even if that's true for some pairs of camera models).

And good luck finding an 18/0.7 lens.

0 upvotes
Andy Crowe
By Andy Crowe (4 months ago)

Are you still trolling yabokkie? Come on now, you know that to work out the total light gathering ability of a camera you need to consider the quantum efficiency of the sensor too, as if you look at the output of an 8 year old FF dslr it's on par with today's aps and m4/3 cameras

0 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (4 months ago)

for those who don't want to call 35mm format "standard", scale may be the word for better description. it's not large or small, good or bad, it's just a "de facto standard scale" that the audience can grasp easily.

1 upvote
BigEnso
By BigEnso (4 months ago)

It would probably cost me more but I'd go with the Voigtlander mFT 17.5mm f/0.95 instead of this.

1 upvote
sebfarges
By sebfarges (4 months ago)

I have used the prototype of this lens this summer and did a first video test on OM-D E-M5 (new test with the final version soon) :

https://vimeo.com/73514319

Seb Farges

4 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (4 months ago)

need a 5.5" touch panel for dual-pixel AF.

0 upvotes
Mike99999
By Mike99999 (4 months ago)

looks really good!

0 upvotes
alatchin
By alatchin (4 months ago)

Their 35mm t1.4 is a gem, hopefully this one is just as good.

1 upvote
mausta
By mausta (4 months ago)

Yabookie with his same INCORRECT nonsense.

9 upvotes
R_a_V_e_N
By R_a_V_e_N (4 months ago)

Would be groovy if it's a good optical quality lens - been looking for that elusive bang-for-buck 34mm street/life lens.

1 upvote
Digitall
By Digitall (4 months ago)

Interesting lens, but 340g is not a bit heavy for this lens? is certain that it is constructed with other materials, but, is ~65% more than Oly 17 1.8, just for similar FL comparation.

0 upvotes
JosephScha
By JosephScha (4 months ago)

Aperture: ... Lowest value 16
Should that be "1.6" instead of "16"? If not, I'm confused. But then I'm confused by T1.6 instead of f/1.6

0 upvotes
Olymore
By Olymore (4 months ago)

The largest aperture (lens opening) is F1.6/T1,6.
The smalles will be F16 f16
T-stops are similar to an F-stop but they take into account the light transmisson of the optical elements themselves which varies according to how complex the lens is.
So this will be a genuine F1,6 lens in light transmission and lenses that quote an F-stop only are usually not quite as bright as claimed due to the light loss of the glass elements.
This is important for cinema where differences in light levels of a subject taken with different lenses at the same F-stop could cause continuity issues

5 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (4 months ago)

standard 50/1.4 primes have a T-number of about 1.6.
(true for both currnet Canon and Nikon ones)

but this lens is for 4/3" where a 17mm f/1.4 should be able to do the same work as a 34mm f/2.8 (in terms of angle of view and light gathering capacity and whatever photographic effect related to aperture size).

Comment edited 5 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
macjonny1
By macjonny1 (4 months ago)

No the DOF will be equiv to the 34mm f/2.8 full frame.
Light gathering/speed is still the 1.6. Equivalents is only for DOF

0 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (4 months ago)

photographic light gathering/speed is hard-wired with DoF,
which translates directly into light gathering capacity regardless of sensor size, focal length or f-number.

there is no exception, and if there were, it can only be in the imagination of those who have no basic training in physics.

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 3 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Mike99999
By Mike99999 (4 months ago)

Yabokkie, a 17/1.4 does gather the same light on MFT as a 34/2.8 on full frame, but it concentrates this light on a much smaller surface, yielding better sensor performance.

So you have to adjust for equivalent ISO if not you are just spewing nonsense and/or trolling.

1 upvote
yabokkie
By yabokkie (4 months ago)

> but it concentrates this light on a much smaller surface, yielding better sensor performance.

no

> you have to adjust for equivalent ISO if not you are just spewing nonsense and/or trolling.

irrelevant

0 upvotes
samfan
By samfan (4 months ago)

Hm where did it come from? These lenses are usually rebadged CCTV lenses but I can't find this one. Anyone knows the original manufacturer?

0 upvotes
deep7
By deep7 (4 months ago)

Not true! The 12mm 1.6 was a new design and I'd be pretty sure this is too.

3 upvotes
Archiver
By Archiver (4 months ago)

SLR Magic stopped doing CCTV rehousing quite a while ago. The 12mm T1.6, 35mm T0.95, 25mm T0.95, M-mount 50mm f0.95 and all other recent lenses are new designs, and definitely not CCTV rebadges.

5 upvotes
igorek7
By igorek7 (4 months ago)

Other SLR Magic Cine lenses, 12mm T1.6, 25mm T0.95, 35mm T1.4, and 35mm T0.95 are very decent for both video ans still imaging. I hope that 17mm T1.6 has the same quality.

4 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (4 months ago)

12 elements in 10 groups, same as Zeiss Otus?
T1.6 may mean an f-number smaller than f/1.4
thus this lens could be called "fast" and
less than one stop slower than 35/2 on 35mm format.

2 upvotes
Cameracist
By Cameracist (4 months ago)

Slower than 35/2? You mean faster. The F-stop (or T-stop) means, how bright is the projected circle, not how big. That means F1.6 on4/3 is faster than F2 on FF and that is faster than F2.8 on medium format. only the projected circle differs in diameter. But optically, the speed of the lens in totaly unrelated to the size of the medium.

6 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (4 months ago)

there is no way it can be faster than 35/2, physically impossible for f/1.4 on 4/3" has significantly lower light gathering capability than f/2 on full-frame.

Comment edited 33 seconds after posting
1 upvote
Cameracist
By Cameracist (4 months ago)

No. It has better low light gathering ability. It projests brighter picture. The so called " superior light gathering ability" of the FF is achieved through bigger sensor area - so the camera can gather more light throu a dimmer lens. The small room with brighter light is just brighter than great hallway illuminated by a dim one. Butz the "amount of light" in the big hallway will be greater. You understand? "Fastness" of the lens is physically given and has nothing to do with sensor area or a light gathering ability of the camera. people often mix those though...

3 upvotes
ItsAllABadJoke
By ItsAllABadJoke (4 months ago)

This is stolen from another (smart) dpreviewer, but explains the relationship between F(T) on FF and M43 very well.

"This is true only if you compare for the same focal length (expressed in mm), which is not a very photographically relevant comparison since a 50 mm lens has a much wider field of view on an FF camera (where it is a normal lens) than on an MFT camera (where it is a short tele with the same field of view as a 100 mm lens on an FF camera).

If, instead, you compare at the same field of view and the same subject distance, then it is the other way around: FF has more shallow (i.e. less) DoF than an MFT camera at the same aperture and has to be stopped down two stops further to reach parity.

For example:

An MFT camera with a 25 mm normal lens at f/2.8 at a focus distance of one meter will have a DoF of 13 cm.

An FF camera with a 50 mm normal lens at f/2.8 at the same focus distance will have a DoF of 6 cm. However, if you stop down to f/5.6, the DoF increases to the same value as for the MFT camera at f/2.8, i.e., 13 cm."

1 upvote
Cameracist
By Cameracist (4 months ago)

Please do not mix Dof in. You will confuse people even more:-)

6 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (4 months ago)

and DoF translates directly into light gathering capacity
regardless of sensor size, focal length or f-number.

good or bad the DoF and light gathering capacity are hard wired. the relationship can never be broken as long as physical laws aren't.

Comment edited 5 times, last edit 5 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
mister_roboto
By mister_roboto (4 months ago)

you never will understand it will you

1 upvote
Cameracist
By Cameracist (4 months ago)

yabokkie: so a 500mm F8 lens will gather more light than a 50mm F1.4??? Because the DoF of the first will be shallower...

1 upvote
yabokkie
By yabokkie (4 months ago)

@Cameracist,

forget about sensor size, focal length, and f-number and concentrate on DoF at a certain magnification (to the frame, similar but looser condition than same framing), then

same DoF = same
deeper DoF = less
shallow DoF = higher light gathering capacity.

one doesn't need to learn physics to know it. just look at photos taken by all sort of cameras and lenses and they all line up straight.

Comment edited 5 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
deep7
By deep7 (4 months ago)

A lens is "faster" if it allows a higher shutter speed at the same sensitivity (ASA, ISO, DIN) and maximum aperture.. That's why it's faster! An f1.6 lens will always be faster than an f2 lens. To get the same shutter speed, the camera with the f2 lens will have to use a higher sensitivity.

Depth of field is a completely different characteristic, related to size of medium (film or sensor), focal length of lens and aperture.

0 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (4 months ago)

> at the same sensitivity

at the same image quality, for that's really what we want.

0 upvotes
deep7
By deep7 (4 months ago)

Irrelevant. Faster is faster is faster is faster.

However, lens speed is but one of many factors involved in image quality. One very real advantage of the micro-four-thirds format is it allows a higher shutter speed without losing depth of field (at the camera's base sensitivity = best sensitivity), a great help with image quality!

0 upvotes
Jogger
By Jogger (4 months ago)

Its funny because m43 cameras are not SLRs.

Comment edited 13 seconds after posting
1 upvote
jeffharris
By jeffharris (4 months ago)

Thank the Gods for that!

It is an awful brand name, you gotta admit!

Whatever the name, it's certainly great to see more fast prime lenses for M4/3!

6 upvotes
M Jesper
By M Jesper (4 months ago)

That's the point, it brings the magic of slr to the lowly m43. ;)

3 upvotes
FencerPTS
By FencerPTS (4 months ago)

Perhaps "MILC Magic" instead? Perhaps a foray into adding A, EF, and F mounts will occur and they will live up to their misnomer?

0 upvotes
5inchfloppy
By 5inchfloppy (4 months ago)

Well, if you think of SLR as Superb Lens Retailer, it'd make more sense :)

They have been doing great work so far, their lenses are not for everyone, but I'm glad that they provide the options.

2 upvotes
kimchiflower
By kimchiflower (4 months ago)

Are these guys ever going to change their brand name???

13 upvotes
mister_roboto
By mister_roboto (4 months ago)

I know right? They've been making some impressive niche lenses... but it's hard to take them seriously when I cringe at their name.

0 upvotes
mpix345
By mpix345 (4 months ago)

Doesn't exactly deliver that same cache as Leica or Zeiss. Maybe in a hundred years...

0 upvotes
Total comments: 50