Review: SLRMagic 12mm T1.6 Hyperprime
Photo 1 E13704761401111.jpg

I recently bought the 12mm T1.6 Hyperprime from SLRMagic because I needed a fast wide-angle lens that would go with my GH2 and the upcoming BlackMagic cinema camera. Although I haven't tested the lens on site yet, I took some simple shots with it to get a feel for it. Overall, my experience with this lens has been extremely positive.

I bought the lens with both of the additional accessories. Lens Gear and the 58mm to 77mm Step Up Ring. I plan to use this with a follow focus so I immediately knew I needed the lens kit. It is really a must if you want to use this lens with an FF system as the lens itself is very narrow and therefore many follow focus gears may not work well with the lens. The equipment costs just $ 50 when you buy the lens (as opposed to $ 80 alone) and is well worth it. The lens itself is exceptionally well constructed and feels very durable. The step-up ring, like the rest of the lens, is made of metal. The ring may or may not be of value to you, but having so many 77mm filters made it a breeze.

All in all, the lens is beautifully made. Before you even see the pictures, the lens feels worthy of a cinematic production just because of its structure and appearance. The focusing ring has hard stops and is super smooth, as is the click-free manual iris control. This is truly a true cinema lens and built for production. The construction is almost reminiscent of old Bolex film cameras, as it feels like a piece of mechanical precision. Even the lens cap is fantastic.

The lens mounted on the camera does justice to the beautiful exterior. This lens has a unique aesthetic. The images it produces are different from those taken from other lenses I own. The only drawbacks to this lens (which are few in number) are usually positive in other ways. From a purely technical point of view, the lens has some very small quirks that may deter certain shooters. For example, I tend to find it relatively easy and have other small flaws. However, this is again negative and positive depending on the type of Sagittarius you are. I like that this lens has character. A big part of the reason this lens looks so good to me is because of the slight technical flaws that make it look unique. These imperfections go almost unnoticed to many and can be fixed (with a matte box, color grading, etc.), but for most I would argue that these small imperfections are what they will love about the lens.

Compared to my 25 mm Leica 1.4, the Leica has a much more “perfect” image. But that's not always what I want (although this is also one of my favorite lenses). In fact, I could imagine using this lens more than any other lens I own.

For the price of this lens, I don't think there's anything else that can match it. If this lens were a T0.95 like some of the other SLRMagic lenses, it would be the perfect lens for me. At 1.6 it's a very fast lens and much better than most lenses in this focal length for the MFT mount, but I still wish it was just a tiny bit faster. There is a noticeable difference between the lens and my Leica 1.4 that feels significantly brighter. I didn't do any side-by-side comparisons, so that's purely subjective – but overall the Leica just feels brighter and more than I would think, considering it's almost the same flash lens. Even so, the SLRMagic is still a very large lens that allows great shots in low light.

What really surprised me after shooting with the lens was that it actually works as a macro lens. In the attached shot below, the lens was only about 1/4 inch from the Yashica. This will definitely open up some really fun, creative shots that can only be achieved when recording macros.

All in all, this is one of my favorite lenses and is meant to stay mounted on my camera most of the time. It feels purely cinematic and all the imperfections have only helped make the final image look so much more unique without being in any way distracting. It really feels as solid as a Zeiss Prime, but for 1/10 the price and I highly recommend it if you're looking for a more cinematic image.

I'll post some updates as soon as I have the right footage!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here