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Thread: SLR Magic HyperPrime LM 50mm T0.95 Review

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    SLR Magic HyperPrime LM 50mm T0.95 Review

    "An eagerly awaited review of a new lens that's been generating a lot of buzz. We take an in-depth look at one of only six in the world currently. Long and short of it is - it's GOOD. For half the cost of the Noctilux, how does it compare? We'll answer that question and more."

    SLR Magic HyperPrime LM 50mm T0.95 Review!
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    Re: SLR Magic HyperPrime LM 50mm T0.95 Review

    Quote Originally Posted by Double Negative View Post
    "An eagerly awaited review of a new lens that's been generating a lot of buzz. We take an in-depth look at one of only six in the world currently. Long and short of it is - it's GOOD. For half the cost of the Noctilux, how does it compare? We'll answer that question and more."

    SLR Magic HyperPrime LM 50mm T0.95 Review!
    Michael, always great to read your reviews and perspectives! One thing that immediately stood out was your observation that the Leica 0.95 Noct edged out the Hyperprime in sharpness when both shot wide open? Unless I'm mistaken, from what I recall, those that had been fortunate enough to perform a similar test (formal or causal), thought the Hyperprime was actually sharper (particularly in the central part of the frame) than the Noct..and it seemed quite evident. I can only assume that each user/reviewer might have gotten a different sample of the Hyperprime to shoot with?

    Which brings me to my second point which of course would be impractical to discuss at this early a date but....if what you and others have observed with regards to sharpness of both lenses shot wide open is accurate...namely some found the Noct was sharper while other observed the Hyperprime was sharper, I would wonder how much sample to sample consistency there might be in Hyperprime samples? No doubt some of the higher cost differences found in the Leica, is also due to sample to sample consistency. Whether one is paying $4,000 or $11,000 for a lens, the last thing they want to be concerned with, is if their sample is an optimal one.

    Once the hyperprime is released, especially when larger production numbers of the lens is manufactured..one of the questions will be sample consistency, especially in terms of performance wide open. Just some thoughts of mine.

    Dave (D&A)

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    Re: SLR Magic HyperPrime LM 50mm T0.95 Review

    What I find most fascinating about the SLR magic lens is the way they are introducing it.

    For lens that claims to be the fastest prime in Leica mount, there is absolutely no official MTF data, no data on the color corrections, nothing.

    If they can not even do that why should I believe that they are capable of producing such a lens at all?

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    Re: SLR Magic HyperPrime LM 50mm T0.95 Review

    What would perhaps worry me is whether they will have QC. There are just a few out there which will have been tuned to perfection however when even Leica muffs it up sometimes with their lenses and canon is well known for it....
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    Re: SLR Magic HyperPrime LM 50mm T0.95 Review

    Interesting insight, guys. Indeed, there are no formal specs (MTF, etc.) and the web page for the lens is... Rather bare.

    As I pointed out in the review, my sample had a distinct front focus. I know it's not the body as I have no problems focusing all my other lenses (including the Noctilux). I had to focus bracket to find the right "fudge factor" and stopped down from there once more-or-less nailed. So there is certainly some possibility that the HyperPrime and the Noctilux test results could perhaps be better - as without "live view" and using an RF is subject to some error.

    Also worth pointing out again that I had a pre-production lens (as did everyone else, there are only six in the world) and it was "well traveled." So it might not have been the ideal candidate. How the lens will do once in production, QC (and variation) and so on remains to be seen.

    Like all the reviews at LVL, we'll be updating it with corrections, additional info and testing, etc.

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    Re: SLR Magic HyperPrime LM 50mm T0.95 Review

    DN, Apparently it is already on sale for $4288 (shipped) as a "made to order" item with certain waiting period for the lens to be made and delivered.

    Quite fascinating, indeed!

    Historically, Leica have not been kind to such third party offerings. Sigma made lenses for the R system and it stopped with one or two short lived zooms.

    With the M mount patents being out of date, they can not do anything legally.

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    Re: SLR Magic HyperPrime LM 50mm T0.95 Review

    Oh sure, it's been available on pre-order for a little while now. The lens is set to ship in late September some time. AFAIK, there are two options... "Biohazard green ring" or "stealth black ring" on the front. And of course the other mount(s). Not too sure of what the first production run will be in terms of numbers - but I'd say that depends entirely on the number of pre-orders. Right now it's still a matter of "building buzz."

    As for Leica, yeah... Not sure what they could really do. Look at Voigtländer - they're selling well and have been for some time. I think the only thing they can enforce is the 6-bit coding patent... And why nobody else offers it (besides the fact that there are no third-party codes in the firmware, obviously).

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    Re: SLR Magic HyperPrime LM 50mm T0.95 Review

    I find the Noctilux 0.95 allready right on the border being slightly big and heavy for the M9. First lens which made me use the M9-handgrip.
    The Hyperprime being even bigger and heavier makes me believe that I find it too big and heavy.

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    Re: SLR Magic HyperPrime LM 50mm T0.95 Review

    Quote Originally Posted by Paratom View Post
    I find the Noctilux 0.95 allready right on the border being slightly big and heavy for the M9. First lens which made me use the M9-handgrip.
    The Hyperprime being even bigger and heavier makes me believe that I find it too big and heavy.
    Personally, I'd tend to agree. It also blocks the VF that much more. But both are pretty beastly. I prefer the Summilux most of the time.

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    Re: SLR Magic HyperPrime LM 50mm T0.95 Review

    They told me that I would get mine in August. Needless to say, my fingers are crossed on all the points made in this thread.

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    Re: SLR Magic HyperPrime LM 50mm T0.95 Review

    DN, is your site down? I get an error when I click on your link.

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    Re: SLR Magic HyperPrime LM 50mm T0.95 Review

    Nope, site's not down?

    They've increased the price apparently!

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    Re: SLR Magic HyperPrime LM 50mm T0.95 Review

    This lens seems like a steal now that we know the price of the new APO Cron 50

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    Re: SLR Magic HyperPrime LM 50mm T0.95 Review

    Quote Originally Posted by ramosa View Post
    This lens seems like a steal now that we know the price of the new APO Cron 50
    Yeah, really... Seems ~$7k is the new average (e.g. 50C, 35S).

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    Re: SLR Magic HyperPrime LM 50mm T0.95 Review

    Quote Originally Posted by Double Negative View Post
    Nope, site's not down?

    They've increased the price apparently!
    Just out of curiosity, are they going to honor the original price for those that pre-ordered?

    One thing I noticed in your review DN, is the bokeh in your sample seemed to be less "tame" than those previous images posted elsewhere with other pre-production samples. Did you get the same feeling? Although I suppose highly unlikely, I wonder if there are slightly different prototypes that intensionally have something a bit different about some of them. Past images showed a somewhat smoother OOF areas and from the number of images posted, these differences didn't appear to be due to subject or type of background. Just an observation.

    Dave (D&A)

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    Re: SLR Magic HyperPrime LM 50mm T0.95 Review

    Yes, those that pre-ordered are among the first production batch. This new price applies to the second/new/future orders.

    I did notice a bit more of the "swirly bokeh" in my samples, yes. Quite curious. Of course, I'm a fan of the look, but clearly that's not what people generally want. You can get vintage/classic lenses that do this (albeit not at f/0.92, heh) for much, much less.

    I've been meaning to get more sample shots but I've been swamped and the weather's been crap 'round here for the last couple of weeks. I did have two opportunities (events) but to be honest, I didn't want to rely on the HyperPrime - it front focuses. Also the reason I haven't done the planned shoot-out yet... It wouldn't be... "Fair."
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    Re: SLR Magic HyperPrime LM 50mm T0.95 Review

    Quote Originally Posted by Double Negative View Post
    Yes, those that pre-ordered are among the first production batch. This new price applies to the second/new/future orders.

    I did notice a bit more of the "swirly bokeh" in my samples, yes. Quite curious. Of course, I'm a fan of the look, but clearly that's not what people generally want. You can get vintage/classic lenses that do this (albeit not at f/0.92, heh) for much, much less.

    I've been meaning to get more sample shots but I've been swamped and the weather's been crap 'round here for the last couple of weeks. I did have two opportunities (events) but to be honest, I didn't want to rely on the HyperPrime - it front focuses. Also the reason I haven't done the planned shoot-out yet... It wouldn't be... "Fair."
    Thanks for all the info...and tell me about the weather we've been having on the east coast...in terms of outdoor shooting/testing.

    From your initial test shots with the hyperprime and those I've seen from others (with different samples of the lens), I wouldn't even have known they were the same lens....with regards to a number of obvious characteristics, it looks so different than the rest. Up until you posted yours I felt I had as good a handle on the optical signature of the lens (without actually having one to shoot with) , since most previous posted images at various f-stops looked quite similar (and of course very different than either the 0.95 Noct or the f1 Noct. Then I saw your images and from what i've seen so far, it appears quite different. Whether its the front focusing, I don't know, but it's something more..and the bokeh is just part of it. Interesting to say the least.

    Dave (D&A)

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    Re: SLR Magic HyperPrime LM 50mm T0.95 Review

    Ahh yes, you're on the right coast as well. Yep, wet, cool, basically crap. Ugh.

    I didn't get technical with it and shoot any rulers, but I know what *I* focused on - and can see what *IT* focused on instead... There's also a slight looseness to the rear barrel/cone. It's clearly a well-traveled lens, having gone from HK to Seattle to me and there's a distinct possibility that there's some stuff not quite up to snuff with it.

    I mentioned this to Andrew, and in the end things were dragging out - so I released the review with a disclaimer. I was hoping to swap the lens with a fresher copy but that will take additional time (and expense) for shipping - but Andrew hasn't even gotten back to me yet and it's been a while. I know he's busy, but...

    Suffice it to say, I'm sticking with my Nocti.

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    Re: SLR Magic HyperPrime LM 50mm T0.95 Review

    Used Noctilux prices look good (for a buyer), don't they?

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    Re: SLR Magic HyperPrime LM 50mm T0.95 Review

    Quote Originally Posted by Double Negative View Post
    Yes, those that pre-ordered are among the first production batch. This new price applies to the second/new/future orders.

    I did notice a bit more of the "swirly bokeh" in my samples, yes. Quite curious. Of course, I'm a fan of the look, but clearly that's not what people generally want. You can get vintage/classic lenses that do this (albeit not at f/0.92, heh) for much, much less.

    I've been meaning to get more sample shots but I've been swamped and the weather's been crap 'round here for the last couple of weeks. I did have two opportunities (events) but to be honest, I didn't want to rely on the HyperPrime - it front focuses. Also the reason I haven't done the planned shoot-out yet... It wouldn't be... "Fair."
    I've notice the same deal...more harsh bokeh and more CA, but it may be subject matter shot and user identifiable error. The version(s) that I shot at Huff's workshop in LA were amazing, and I need to use my production copy more to fully ascertain such matters...but it's been something I have been wondering about...
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    Re: SLR Magic HyperPrime LM 50mm T0.95 Review

    The lenses circulated at the workshop were all freshly tuned as I understand it... As we know, these things require ultra precise alignment. Andrew was worried about what all the shipping may have done to the lens I received and appears his fears may have been well-founded. I have no doubt the lens performs even better when it's in spec.

    There are only six in the world, currently - so mine was probably at the workshop before heading north to Seattle and finally over to me.

    I would really like to get a cleaned up copy to re-test and perform the shoot-out with so as to give the HyperPrime a fair shake... I think I'll send Andrew a reminder.

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    Re: SLR Magic HyperPrime LM 50mm T0.95 Review

    I wonder who used it in Seattle, LOL, as I didn't ever try out a test sample other than at the workshop. I have my own new copy now in Stealth Black (lettering's present but barely visible), and it's fantastic. I too like the "character" of the lens, as character comes in handy often compared to bland bokeh....I believe that Andrew has readied about 30-50 now, but they are fine tuning focus, and he and I had long talks about where and how to optimize focus to behave ona majority of bodies...

    I think that Andrew has been very busy. I have also suggested unique serial numbers, as my copy doesn't have one, nor do the test models (that I am aware of).
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    Re: SLR Magic HyperPrime LM 50mm T0.95 Review

    By the way, samples I have taken on the M9, XPro-1, and NEX-7 using the lens

    SET: SLR Magic Hyperprime 50 mm T0.95 lens (Leica M mount) - a set on Flickr
    SLIDESHOW: SLR Magic Hyperprime 50 mm T0.95 lens (Leica M mount)
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    Re: SLR Magic HyperPrime LM 50mm T0.95 Review

    Think of who's based in Seattle... Not sure if I should say exactly who it is, but we all know the site.

    Yes, the exact tuning of the lens went through a bit of back-n-forth but should be mostly straightened out now (or pretty close anyway).

    Andrew's been swamped and working 17-18 hour days lately. It's all good. I just want to represent the lens accurately and fairly.

    Nice shots! I've seen them before... More representative of what I'm thinking this lens is capable of.

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    Re: SLR Magic HyperPrime LM 50mm T0.95 Review

    Yeah, I figured. I hadn't seen a review up on their site, but given that all of their test shots take place in and around Seattle, I had wondering if that gang had sampled and reviewed it....
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    Re: SLR Magic HyperPrime LM 50mm T0.95 Review

    Good set Ashwin. That gives a much better idea of what to expect. I like some of the bokeh and others not so much. How many of your M9 shots were wide open? Some appear to be stopped down. It also appears that it gets a bit softer up close and wide open even at the point of focus. Would you agree with that? Do you still like the focus ring on your production version?

    Just was able to get into Michael's page. Looking at the size comparison, it looks huge! I knew it was big but wow! Clearly, I'm going to have to do a shootout between it and my f1 Noct when I get the SLR Magic. I may have to start lifting weights. ;-)

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    Re: SLR Magic HyperPrime LM 50mm T0.95 Review

    I heard stories about the guy building one of these lenses in a hotel room . . . which does make one wonder a little about QA.

    Just this guy you know

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    Re: SLR Magic HyperPrime LM 50mm T0.95 Review

    Hui Jono, I am betting that this is a bit of exageration. I was present at the time that said rumors got started. The lenses came built, but, at the time of their debut at Steve's workshop, SLR magic was quite concerned about getting things right. Their bayonet mount was a bit off and didn't actually mount on film M's or M8's (did fine on M9's), and so he was swapping out bayonet mounts and doing some fine tuning adjustments. But no, the lenses were already built. We were joking that SLR Magic kept bringing in more and more copies.

    I have spoken with Andrew from SLR Magic extensively. From what I can tell, he's OBSESSED with getting the details and QC right on this. He's discovered a bunch of issues inherent to using fast lenses on the present RF system, and how many lenses present focussing challenges that vary from focal length to focal lengh. These "errors" become more apparent, depending on lens design and speed, I believe.
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    Re: SLR Magic HyperPrime LM 50mm T0.95 Review

    Thanks, Zombii, and yes, the lens is HUGE! 200 g more than the Noct f0.95, which is big as is....start pumping iron LOL
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    Re: SLR Magic HyperPrime LM 50mm T0.95 Review

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    I heard stories about the guy building one of these lenses in a hotel room . . . which does make one wonder a little about QA.
    That would be alright by me but the lack of data ( i can do the measurements in my bathroom, fwiw) on the lens is more worrying to me.

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    Re: SLR Magic HyperPrime LM 50mm T0.95 Review

    Quote Originally Posted by ashwinrao1 View Post
    Hui Jono, I am betting that this is a bit of exageration. I was present at the time that said rumors got started. The lenses came built, but, at the time of their debut at Steve's workshop, SLR magic was quite concerned about getting things right. Their bayonet mount was a bit off and didn't actually mount on film M's or M8's (did fine on M9's), and so he was swapping out bayonet mounts and doing some fine tuning adjustments. But no, the lenses were already built. We were joking that SLR Magic kept bringing in more and more copies.

    I have spoken with Andrew from SLR Magic extensively. From what I can tell, he's OBSESSED with getting the details and QC right on this. He's discovered a bunch of issues inherent to using fast lenses on the present RF system, and how many lenses present focussing challenges that vary from focal length to focal lengh. These "errors" become more apparent, depending on lens design and speed, I believe.
    Fair do's Ashwin - I can understand that . . . . and that he's both knowledgeable and capable, but how can he order the different types of glass needed for such a design? How can he do the calibration properly? How can he have refined the design by building a number of prototypes and correcting them? it just seems too good to be true to me.

    Maybe I'm just being a grumpy old man, but it seems to me that building something as fast as a ferrari, which looks like a ferrari (well nearly) doesn't make it a ferrari!

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    Re: SLR Magic HyperPrime LM 50mm T0.95 Review

    I am hoping that SLR Magic posts its MTF charts and data soon. I think they are careful when and what to disclose, as I have seen some promising numbers, but nothing official....
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    Re: SLR Magic HyperPrime LM 50mm T0.95 Review

    Quote Originally Posted by ashwinrao1 View Post
    I've notice the same deal...more harsh bokeh and more CA, but it may be subject matter shot and user identifiable error. The version(s) that I shot at Huff's workshop in LA were amazing, and I need to use my production copy more to fully ascertain such matters...but it's been something I have been wondering about...
    Ashwin! You hit the nail on the head. The images you (and possibly others like Steve) posted from the workshop with this lens, almost to an image, were marketly different than images being posted with the samples now. Bokeh was smoother for the most part with a core central sharpness that was clearly evident. More recent images have the bokeh often exhibiting a wild side...almost reminds me of the 60mm f1.2 Hex. I don't think the differences I am seeing are simply different subjects adn backgrounds. Its something more and the actual fingerprint of the lens looks different too. Other than central sharpness, less of a 0.95 Noct and in some way a bit leaning towards the 50mm f1.2 Nokton...but not quite. One thing I would personally like is when purchasing such a lens, to know what to expect from the sample that is delivered and there seems to be now a bit of uncertainty. I do hope it all gets sorted out.

    Dave (D&A)

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    Re: SLR Magic HyperPrime LM 50mm T0.95 Review

    I do feel that the lens takes on different characters based on focused difference. Here are a few examples, and I think it may be hard to distinguish my present copy, from the prior copy used at the Huff workshop:

    Close up (Bokeh smoother):




    A couple of meters away, background gets a bit more active, which I really dig for this shot:


    About the same distance, but with a more contrasty background:


    Night shot (this is where the image looks most like what I recall)



    And yet here, the image OOF looks nervous:



    These are all from my present copy....


    Compared to my prior copy used at Huff's shop:



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    Re: SLR Magic HyperPrime LM 50mm T0.95 Review

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    Fair do's Ashwin - I can understand that . . . . and that he's both knowledgeable and capable, but how can he order the different types of glass needed for such a design? How can he do the calibration properly? How can he have refined the design by building a number of prototypes and correcting them? it just seems too good to be true to me.

    Maybe I'm just being a grumpy old man, but it seems to me that building something as fast as a ferrari, which looks like a ferrari (well nearly) doesn't make it a ferrari!
    Not sure how it all works, but I suspect that there's a bit of funding via Venture Capital at play? They are probably not giving all of their design secrets away, though I suspect that they made decent $ on selling their cheaper products, to fund this project.... For me, ultimately why I see coming from the lens appears (in most instances, but certainly not all) to my eye, but I do feel that the lens is a bit schizophrenic, as I tried to demonstrate in the images above....from 2 copies of the lens...both exhibiting different character based on focus and activity of the background...

    Hope all's well Jono. I have to get back to editing your MM photos, though I've already ordered Henri for myself
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    Re: SLR Magic HyperPrime LM 50mm T0.95 Review

    Quote Originally Posted by ashwinrao1 View Post
    I do feel that the lens takes on different characters based on focused difference.
    That is the case with most super fast lenses. Not only the distance but the quality of the light affects the performance even more dramatically. Some of the nicer images I saw apparently used a ND filter and were shot in contrasty light. What is the point of claiming a f/0.92 lens if it can only deliver something decent in strong light?

    This is why they ought to produce and publish the lens data and not rely on a few web postings as the advertisement. However, it seems to be working well for them. So, they should continue doing what works (for them).

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    Re: SLR Magic HyperPrime LM 50mm T0.95 Review

    Sounds like Ashwin and I have had a lot of the same conversations with Andrew.

    He's knowledgeable and as said, determined to get things right.

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    Re: SLR Magic HyperPrime LM 50mm T0.95 Review

    Ashwin, after re-examining both you re-posted images "above" from both the samples you shot with and also DN's images from his sample, my gut feeling is at this point two possible situations are at play. The lens does appear to be bit schizophrenic as you say, especially with regard to the bokeh...running the gamut from near buttery smooth to a fair dose of nervousness. Agreed...quality of light and focusing distance can often play a role and often times that bit of jitteriness in the OOF areas, does lens lend some character to the image. I've only shot with the Leica 0.95 for a brief time, but I believe its characteristics in this regard are more tame.

    Yet with all that said, I still "almost" see two fairly different types of the hyper-prime lens. The one(s) used at the workshop and the one you (Ashwin) and especially DN have most recently shot with. It's not just the nervous background, it's something else and it's hard to put my finger on it. Maybe it is simply luck of the draw what subject/background/lighting each image was shot with but I'm not convinced of that yet. Maybe it's simply sample to sample variation and that with these pre-production samples, the lens has to precisely adjusted to achieve its intended look and performance. If during their travels, calibration or something else thrown off, that might explain it. The alternative is partial inconsistency in the glass itself...or maybe a combination of both. I think with a lens like this, most would feel more confident, if they could be assured each sample is most like the next. If the look of the OOF areas changes depending on shooting circumstances, thats fine as long as one knows what he's getting when purchasing any sample.

    Lens has tremendous potential if the QC and sample to sample consistency is held reasonably high. Thanks for re-posting the images and also to DN for his review.

    Dave (D&A)
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    Re: SLR Magic HyperPrime LM 50mm T0.95 Review

    Steve Huff's selling his copy at the pre-inflated price, if anyone's interested...

    Show Ad - SLR Magic Hyperprime 50 T0.95 Leica Mount - Yes, THE lens... - AZ - USA - Cameras, Lenses, & Everything Photo! | STEVE HUFF PHOTOS

    I wish I could...
    David Young
    My journey into Leica: LeicaLux.com

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    Re: SLR Magic HyperPrime LM 50mm T0.95 Review

    I think Steve wants an M9 Monochrome.

    So do I. Thought about selling the Canon 50/0.95's. Decided to keep them.

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    Re: SLR Magic HyperPrime LM 50mm T0.95 Review

    Quote Originally Posted by ashwinrao1 View Post
    Wait, that's Pete's Cafe on 4th and Main!

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    Re: SLR Magic HyperPrime LM 50mm T0.95 Review

    Caution - we have issued an important update regarding this lens!

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    Re: SLR Magic HyperPrime LM 50mm T0.95 Review

    Loctite to hold the aperture and focus rings... IMO, that about says it for this company and its products.
    Scott

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    Re: SLR Magic HyperPrime LM 50mm T0.95 Review

    Apparently there's no provision (space, threads or otherwise) for screws in the design. Therefore, Loctite is used. The lens can then still be taken apart for servicing without destroying it, had they used something like epoxy. Though even the red Loctite which they're using - apparently isn't doing the job.

    So, um, yeah...

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    Re: SLR Magic HyperPrime LM 50mm T0.95 Review

    Wow, the price versus performance of this thing is unbelievable. Now, they are falling apart, geez...

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    Re: SLR Magic HyperPrime LM 50mm T0.95 Review

    Yeah... Optically they seem pretty nice.

    We're working with SLR Magic to get another copy for review.

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    Re: SLR Magic HyperPrime LM 50mm T0.95 Review

    Quote Originally Posted by Double Negative View Post
    Yeah... Optically they seem pretty nice.

    We're working with SLR Magic to get another copy for review.
    Remember, "unbelievable" can be taken two ways!

    $5k seems wildly expensive for what this is; it seems to render similar to old lenses that cost a fraction of that. Plus, you could pay a couple hundred more for a good Noctilux f1.0; they figured out how to bolt that one together with screws somehow.

    Seems pretty sharp in the middle, though.

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    Re: SLR Magic HyperPrime LM 50mm T0.95 Review

    At $5000 USD it's a no-brainer, DO NOT BUY THIS LENS. You are much better off with a 50 Summilux ASPH (for $1000 less) or a genuine Noctilux. I was one of the early "adopters" who was offered the opportunity to purchase for $2600 (still a lot of money). After three of the lenses fell apart I said "NO THANKS" and demanded a refund, which was very difficult to get.

    Bottom line, this lens has serious short cuts in the mechanical design and uses Loktite thread glue to hold the entire lens together. Now other lenses designs also use some epoxy in places, but I know of no other lens that completely relies on a temporary adhesive to keep things together. Because of the need to take the lens apart SLR Magic cannot use a permanent epoxy (disassembly would destroy the lens), which is why they are using thread locking compound for something it was never designed for.

    If I had known about the use of Loktite I would have never purchased this lens. Even at $2600 it's an expensive lens that is incapable of rendering sharp images across it's focus range.

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    Re: SLR Magic HyperPrime LM 50mm T0.95 Review

    After reading DN's warning earlier today, I sent an email to Andrew asking him to advise me about the problems that were mentioned. He asked me to send him the part of DN's comments that I was concerned about. I copied and pasted the second paragraph that described the Loctite issue. I've used both red and blue Loctite in the past and I know that red Loctite used properly can be pretty tough to break loose. Here's the part of his answer that dealt with the Loctite issue.

    "Loctite like compound is commonly used for making lenses for decades. The issue was we did not use enough. I have attached a photo of the Zeiss 50mm f/1.5 and Leica 90mm f/2 lens. You can see that the Zeiss use compound to hold screws of key focusing mechanism and Leica use compound to hold key optical element."

    He attached a picture of the inside of a Zeiss lens showing red Loctite around the heads of several small screws in the mechanism. The rest of his email was dedicated to the vagaries of focus accuracy on fast lenses on rangefinder cameras. That really wasn't what I was concerned about and he didn't tell me anything I didn't already know. I kind of felt like he sidestepped the main issue which, if I understand the previous posts, was that the focus ring at least was held to the helicoid with red Loctite. If that's not a correct reading, please clarify it for me. He does say they didn't use enough but he doesn't say how it was used. Red Loctite used in sufficient quantity on clean mating threads is tough stuff. That's what it's designed for. I suspect other types of uses aren't supported. If anybody has actually seen the inside of one of these, I'd like to hear your description and better yet, see some pictures.

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    Re: SLR Magic HyperPrime LM 50mm T0.95 Review

    Red Loctite is designed as a thread locking compound, but SLR Magic are using it as an epoxy to hold the lens together. Andrew explained to me (after my second lens failure) that there is insufficient room in the mechanical design for traditional screw fasteners to hold the lens together. Without the use of adhesives this lens would not be possible to assemble. As using epoxy would destroy the lens during disassembly the only choice for SLR Magic was to use Loctite.

    Using Loctite in this way is unlike any other manufacturer (in spite of SLR Magic's attempted claims to the contrary) and is not what Loctite is designed for. No Leica or Zeiss lens is held together with thread locking compound, from Loctite or any other manufacturer. I believe over time, especially in high heat and humidity, all of the SLR Magic Hyperprime lenses will fail. I urged Andrew to recall this lens, but I believe he is ignoring the facts and hoping the problem will just go away.

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