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Thread: SLR Magic Noktor 50mm 0.95 Emount NEX

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    SLR Magic Noktor 50mm 0.95 Emount NEX


    (Photo taken with humble Nokia N8)

    It arrived today, my very own 50mm 0.95 E-Mount lens, and already shot off heaps of test images with it.

    What do I think of this lens...

    Its amazing for low light. I get good shutter speeds at ISO 100 indoors. Compared to the Pen FT 40mm f1.4 it has pretty much 1 stop more light. Compared to my 50mm f1.2L, with 1/2 stop more light it still is more usable in low light without necessarily pumping up the ISO.

    Here is the Lens next to the Pen ft 40mm f1.4

    (Photo taken with 24-105 IS USM at f8)

    as we can see there is a descent size difference. Both are essentially designed to fit the APS-C frame.

    Here is the Lens next to the Canon 50mm f1.2L

    (photo taken with Oly OM 24mm f2.8 at 2.8)

    Not really a fair comparison as the Canon 50mm f1.2L is designed for Full frame Sensors, but hey if it can mount onto the Nex, that would account for the size difference.

    Initial impressions from first images from the less is far from promising, as when the lens is set to infinite, at 0.95 only the centre of the frame really is somewhat sharp. The corners are exceptionally soft and one really has to stop down to f8 before you get a descent sharpness with f11 revealing optimal sharpness in the corners. Wide open anything remotely shiny will reveal CA as well.

    As Steve Huff mentioned in his review of this lens, sharpness in general is not the strong point of this lens, and centre sharpness wide open is adequate and subjects tend to sometimes have a dreamy appearance due to haloing effects and soft edging at the boundary of in focus and out of focus.

    Compared to the 40mm 1.4 pen F, wide open the PenF is sharp in the corners and is deadly sharp in the centre. It does however suffer from the same CA issues wide open especially when it come to high contrast subjects. both lens solve alot of the CA issues once stopped down to 2.8.

    Now to see bokeh. Here are some quick images tests I did comparing the bokeh of the 40mm 1.4 PenF against the 50mm 0.95 at 0.95 and stopped down to 1.4. The 40 mm was taken close to the subject to simulate equilivalent frame

    Noktor 50mm 0.95 at 0.95


    40mm 1.4 PenF at 1.4


    Noktor 50mm 0.95 at 1.4



    The bokeh in the 40mm f1.4 obviously is a bit more busy and is no where as smooth as the Noktor. Interestingly when the Noktor is stopped down to 1.4, it still maintains a smoother bokeh.

    It is obvious that the 0.95 has an advantage here. Comments welcome?

    Compared to the 50mm f1.2L which frames exactly the same as 50mm f0.95, the bokeh are essentially indistinguishable , will post images to compare at a later date. Even though there is approx 1/2 stop advantage the bokeh on both are equally smooth. But that is the only thing that is similar between those two lens. Focused to infinite, the 50mm f1.2L trumps the 50mm 0.95 noktor in just about everything else. CA is well controlled wide open in the canon 50mm f1.2L but instead suffers a little from green fringing, which maybe someone can explain why this is so. Sharpness at the centre of the Canon is better than even the Penf 40mm, with corners that are also better than the 40mm Pen F average wide open.

    After all these measures and quick tests I felt a little depressed, especially since Noktor did not come cheap, and I did buy it already knowing its faults. After using it a bit on the street, somehow these fault tend to melt away, literally and the character of the lens starts to grow on you. From the alluring glow effects, to the total dream factor, and hey it is 0.95 so you will appreciate faster shutter speeds and lower ISO settings. The Canon 50mm f1.2L alternative although clinically better, is very heavy, and its large cowling and lens diameter alerts everyone around you are shooting them. The Oly 40mm PenF is the best here for being the smallest lens I had to compare against, and it's performance is is not far off behind Canon, but it's only negative being having busyish bokeh, which for the Bokeh enthusiast may and may not like.

    I know there is a new Noktor out in M Mount which is meant to have improvements over this noktor, but it cost about 4 times more, plus it is alot bigger since it is designed for full frame. In the hands this Emount noktor feels about right, and having the black inner ring instead of the green, does make for a somewhat less conspicuous lens. Also if you want to consider the newer noktor 50mm M mount for your NEX camera, size wise getting the 50mm f1.2L with conurus smart adapter will be very similar, just 1/2 stop slower for shutter speeds.

    Finishing up, I think I will keep this Noktor for a while. It is nice to be achieve narrow depth, and the ability to use the Noktor in the lowest light is a great advantage. I would not recommend this lens for any type of landscape photography, as it will just let you down, as even at f8 there will be some softness in the corners.

    Comments welcome your opinion counts hehe
    Last edited by mazor; 27th May 2012 at 22:53.

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    Re: SLR Magic Noktor 50mm 0.95 Emount NEX

    Some pics from the 50mm 0.95 Noktor Emount at 0.95

    Was standing quite far from the bike, so impressed at the narrow depth achieved


    Ideal for non clinical portraits, where you want a smooth skin tone, without seeing right into the skin pores

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    Re: SLR Magic Noktor 50mm 0.95 Emount NEX

    Hi Mazor,
    Your thoughts on this lens have been very helpfull for me, thanks for posting!
    I've been eyeing this lens for some time now and I was wondering how you like it now that it's been in your hands a few weeks.

    BTW there's another nice write up about the Noktor here:

    My New Glass Paintbrush – The SLR Magic 50 f/0.95 for Sony NEX – By Keith Lickteig | STEVE HUFF PHOTOS

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    Re: SLR Magic Noktor 50mm 0.95 Emount NEX

    Hi Peterv.

    I am still enjoying this lens very much. The additional bokeh having 0.95 is wonderful, and especially pleasing. In low light, this lens is a real wonder, and catches more light than my 40mm penf 1.4.

    My daily kit I carry around is 15mm VC, 24-105 4.0 IS and 50 0.95. The 50 0.95 gets the most use, and indeed is the default mounted lens. I have recently acquired a step up ring to 77mm, so I am now able to use my home made variable ND from two polarizers stacked of which one is inverted to control the amount of light getting into this lens. Without this it is impossible to use the lens at maximum aperture 0.95 in bright daylight.

    As for sharpness, now after many weeks of use, I find it perfectly adequate for the like of my 5n, and although not clinically sharp, it is still sharp, of which the center of the frame is deadly sharp when stopped down to 2.0. As for the corners, they only become sharp when aperture is set at f8 or greater, and even then it never really becomes clinical sharp.

    For creativity, this lens is a real asset in ones kit, thanks to it's amazing bokeh, the ability to use it in extremely low light, plus the effective 75mm makes for a nice street portrait lens. I am sure the SLR magic latest Leica M version is better, but really it has to be more than 3x better being more than 3x the price, plus it is bulky, so not so stealth for street photography.

    here are some images I captured of late with 50 0.95 and nex 5n






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    Re: SLR Magic Noktor 50mm 0.95 Emount NEX

    Interesting of course your comparisons to the 50L. It does look like a minor rocket launcher when mounted (the 85L is the full cannon!). Perhaps even just a kit to get rid of the red ring would help.
    I am not a painter, nor an artist. Therefore I can see straight, and that may be my undoing. - Alfred Stieglitz

    Website: http://www.timelessjewishart.com

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