Hi boys and girls, here comes the SLR magic hyper prime 12mm T1.6 for 4/3 mount review . (first note : the lens fits the Black magic cinema pocket (!)
First look : It’s a great piece made of black heavy iron and it’s longer than I supposed. The lens is a full manual control. Don’t ask for an autofocus or auto aperture control unit. This 12mm 1.6 lens will be a 24mm (equiv) on a micro4/3 body and a 36mm (equiv) on a black magic cinema pocket camera. The price; between 400 and 500 Euros. Look on ebay stores.
Consider that it is only a footage test and I have shot wide open « just to see ». Dont’t forget that it is never a good idea to shot wide open. In my opinion (just mine), the best aperture of this lens begin at 2. (Less chromatics artefacts, less lens deformations)
History : Firsts 12mm 1.6 made by slr magic had a gold platted circle (pic 2) all around the lens that produced somes stranges artefacs on the picture. Slr magic now sells totally black lenses to ovoid theses artefacts. The very good news is that lens fits the blackmagic cinema pocket camera too. Due to the 16mm sensor of the bmcp, the lens factor will be x3. That means the 12mm 1.6 become a 36mm (in 35 mm equivalent). It is not so wide but it still…
Aperture: The aperture is figured with T. So, when you read the « T 1.6″ on the slr magic box, consider that you are using a f1.4 stop equivalent. That makes the slr magic 12mm 1.6 much more brighter than expected. Really impressive for a wide lens ! The aperture has a smooth mecanism (like C-mount or tv camera) and you can easily make a manual level correction during the shot. The aperture ring takes place over the lens, just where the focus ring usually is. Don’t fool yourself !
Focusing : A viewfinder will be welcome for those who like to deal with fast and accurate focus.
Chromatic issue : The slr magic 12mm T1.6 has a very light vignetting (remember it’s a wide 12mm) and a light chromatic aberration quickly corrected in post. Note : Aberration is a little bit more noticeable than the olympus 12mm 2.0.
benefits : fast lens, wide range, sharpness, heavy build, picture quality, fit to black magic cinema pocket (with a 3x crop factor)
Inconveniences : price, hard to find a matte box that fits the lens without appearing in the shoot, needs a viewfinder to focuse.
In this low light test I have used : Panasonic gh1 hacked, slr magic 12mm T1.6 hyper prime full black