SLR Magic HyperPrime 50mm f/0.95 lens with Leica M mount announced

Since SLR Magic initially broke the news about their new HyperPrime 50mm f/0.95 lens (M mount), they had to make some design changes to the final version before today's official announcement:

  • The lens is bigger than the initial prototype and it's a true 50mm focal length. The f/0.95 is also a true aperture and not a theoretical f value
  • Some changes were done in order to use the lens on RED Epic and ARRI Alexa cameras

For comparison, here is the Leica Noctilux 50mm f/0.95:

Here are some samples taken with a pre-production SLR Magic HyperPrime 50mm f/0.95, Canon 50mm-f/95, Leica Noctilux 50mm f/0.95 and Voigtlander 50mm f/1.1 lenses:

Video test:

Press Release

SLR Magic expands its M mount lineup with a new normal focal length lens

Hong Kong, China (January 1, 2012)  - SLR Magic opens up the M mount lens lineup with the new SLR Magic HyperPrime CINE 50mm T0.95 ultra fast normal focal length lens. The world's fastest interchangeable camera lens with an image circle beyond full frame coverage in its focal length, the SLR Magic HyperPrime CINE 50mm T0.95 concept lens will be publicly available for experience testing in September 2012 at Photokina in Cologne, Germany.

The field of view of this new HyperPrime Lens corresponds to a 50mm lens in 35mm format. It is optimized to be shot wide open. This ultra fast normal focal length prime lens opens up many new creative composition opportunities, particularly in the fields of available light, in portrait, and street cinematography. Built with modern non aspherical lens technology, the lens excels at defocusing busy backgrounds at T0.95. A minimum focus distance of 0.70m allows for artistic bokeh effect. A fast maximum aperture of T0.95 makes the SLR Magic HyperPrime CINE 50mm T0.95 ideal for available-light photography.

Our highest priority in the development of all HyperPrime lenses is to fulfill the demands of professional cinematographers and photographers. The design and build of the SLR Magic HyperPrime CINE 50mm T0.95 is solid and reliable.

The SLR Magic HyperPrime CINE 50mm T0.95, a concept lens, will be available from authorized SLR Magic dealers by the end of September 2012.

Technical Data

  • Lens Type: Fast normal lens with seven Tantalum glass elements to  ensure superior cinematic performance.
  • Compatible Cameras: All RangeFinder M mount, LM mount for cinematography, E-mount, and Micro Four Thirds cameras
  • Optical Design: 12 elements in 7 groups
  • Distance range: 0.70m to ∞, combined scale meter/feet
  • Aperture: Manually controlled diaphragm, 12 aperture blades (circular), lowest value 16
  • Bayonet: M-mount, E-mount, micro four thirds
  • Filter Mount: 62mm; filter mount does not rotate
  • Surface Finish: Black anodized
  • Dimensions (length to bayonet mount): approx. 95mm (approx. 3.74in) without hood, approx. 110mm (approx. 4.33in) with retractable hood
  • Largest diameter: approx. 73mm (approx. 2.87in)
  • Weight: approx. 975g (approx. 34.39oz)

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  • Brian

    Can’t wait to see some samples. That’s pretty heavy though.. the Leica is heavy enough.

  • EnPassant

    Those exemples were quite good for showing what each lens can do wideopen. Although exposure could be a tiny bit different Leica Noctilux stand out as the clear winner. The whole image is so much more pleasing, full of life with that glow in the brighter areas, or simply more contrasty, giving more of a 3D feeling. It is also the sharpest lens.
    The others look more dull in comparance, especially the Canon.

    Leica also has the best bokeh, the best combination between smooth and interesting. Voigtländer and Canon on the other hand are a bit too harsh while SLR Magic is a bit too soft.

    Stopped down the performance of Noctilux is known to be excellent and better than the Canon and Voigtländer. It remains to be seen how the SLR Magic perform stopped down. With that cotton bokeh it wouldn’t surprise me if the corners still are soft. But as these lenses mostly are supposed to be used at wider aperatures thet may matter less. Judging from these photos only it appear to be at least on pair with the Voigtländer but with very different rendering. If the price will be on level with Voigtländer budgetminded now will have two choices depending of which kind of rendering they prefer. For the best lens no matter of cost Leica Noctilux has still no contender being even close except for the specs on paper.

    • David S

      You, sir, are a victim of the Leica placebo effect.

      “The whole image is so much more pleasing, full of life with that glow in the brighter areas, or simply more contrasty, giving more of a 3D feeling. It is also the sharpest lens.” This is pure Leica-masturbation. (And before you dismiss me as a Leica-hater, know that I own several Leica lenses and cameras).

      I defy anyone who watches this without advance knowledge to tell which lens was used for which shot. The only shot that seems slightly duller is the Voigtlander.

      Play this slideshow for anyone, photographer or not, and try to get them to find the “magic” Leica. Anyone with any sense would laugh at you.

      • There is no placebo effect… Leica equipment are time-proven treatments for suppressing certain personality disorders.

        • Huggs


          • why.worry

            The red dot doesn’t make the diference … as long as no one seriously compares the lens. i.e. not just under lab-conditions, but real life at -20 +50 deg …
            … my take is: it is not the equipment being superior – it still takes someone using it properly … now I better stop benchmarking discussions

      • I don’t know about the placebo effect but I do see some differences between the Noc photo and the others. Admittedly, I own a Noc so I am probably partial. The difference isn’t so much the “leica beauty” or what not, but if you look at the chair pattern and also the green ribbon (lower left corner) you can see that the Noc renders a bit creamier bokeh for higher contrast objects. The strength of the Noc is most obvious when you have lighted background (like street lights or Christmas lights). So long as you are not pointing the Noc wide open directly at the light source, the Noc does a superior job of fading the glow of the background light sources.

        Granted the Noc isn’t the only lens that does this well (and may not even be the best; Nikon 85mm AF-S f/1.4 for one is terrific at this as well); but it prob is the best when you limit the competition to f/0.95.

        Happy New Year!

        • Adech

          Not quite true. Which Noc do you have? I have both the f/1 and f/0.95 and Christmas lights is the weakness of the Noc. For street lights it can control sagittal coma flare quite well but for christmas lights it just shows its weakness. all the tiny lights will show up as tiny birds with wings and the background blur with the annoying birds will become the center of attention rather than the subject. Try it and you will know what I mean.

          From the chair pattern the Noctilux has busy bokeh. I am a volunteer and I took the photos. Another volunteer Seb Farges also clearly showed situation with many lights the T0.95 can turn OOF lights into bokeh bubbles rather than annoying birds. I think there are 6 volunteers so there will be more and more samples coming out soon.

      • Arnold

        No placebo effect, I didn’t know which is which and I found the 2nd one to look the best, and I found out it’s the Noctilux after clicking on it.

        The Noctilux has better color, sharpness, and contrast, but well it’s 5X more expensive.

        The bokeh is better on the SLR Magic on the chair but I think it’s because it was taken from a bit farther.

        The question is, for 2000$ could CV make a better lens ? I think so.

        • TC

          the photos are taken from the same distance. it is just that the Noctilux has a longer focal length. Leica lenses are always a bit off from what they state for maybe simplicity reasons. the Noctilux is like a 53mm lens from the top of my memory so the SLR is not taken further away. I have the Nokton 50mm f1.1 and the 0.95 Nocti and the Nokton is wider (like taken farther away) . The Nokton has ugly bokeh. I would rate bokeh quality as SLR, Nocti, Canon, Nokton

          • Arnold

            Very interesting thank you.

      • zd

        What has he done to deserve such a harsh comment? I can’t view the images at work, so I will not comment on the Noctilux f/0.95 versus everything else. However, here’s my own little Leica tale.

        A few years back, I visited a close friend of mine in San Jose. Her father is a well-known photographer in the city and his favourite treat was to invite guests to his studio to showcase his works. I was deeply impressed by one of his wedding albums. Seeing me hooked on to it, he made me guessed what camera he had used. I guessed it was an M6 but it turned out to be an R8. About 80% of the shots were made by the R8—he had the camera’s model written at the back of his favourite photos, which wasn’t visible to me at first. Most were shot using the 50mm Summilux-R.

        The moral of the story is that the “Leica look” is definitely not a myth. You may not be able to define it, yet you will perceive it when you see it. In the hand of a capable photographer, Leica glasses really shine. With digital photography, many more factors are involved: sensor quality, post-processing, color profiles, etc. so they effects may have been less profound. However, the people who claim that Leica glasses are only better in “lab conditions” is just as ill-informed as those who claim Leica is better all the time.

  • Anon

    lens is mounted on a rangefinder…

    front of the lens has the letters SLR in big font….

    please tell me they’re going to take that off -__-

    • That’s the cine version… I think it’s just mounted on to a rangefinder to show that it has the M mount. Other than that, it’s not meant to be used on a rangefinder.

      • Arnold

        He means that M mount cameras are not SLR…

        • MJr

          He means that it’s not rangefinder coupled anyway. Is it ?

          • Adech

            it is RF coupled.

  • OMG! 7 elements of Tantalum. It is clear why this lens weights almost one kilogram.

  • Hakan Kara

    My new Noctilux f/0.95 which I got 3 weeks ago looks different from the one in the picture here. The depth of scale on my copy at 16 starts from around 5m. not 8m. Has Leica revised the Noctilux design?

    • john

      is it set to infinity? the lens in the pic is at infinity

      • Hakan Kara

        Yes. Have a look at where the f/16 markers are on my copy.

        • john

          Interesting. Your copy focuses faster than the original one. The original has more precise focus and yiur is faster. Where did you order it? Ask Leica why an dget back to us on that one!

          • Interesting indeed. I will also contact Leica and report back here.

          • BTW, I used B&H image in the post:


          • the Noctilux on Leica’s website is identical:


          • ron

            The focus throw on the HyperPrime is faster/shorter than the Nocti, which I suspect could be a pain for precise rangefinder focusing.. Regarding the depth of field scale, my ZM50 Planar shows 5m at f/16 also. Could it be that SLR Magic is using a different circle of confusion value for their depth of field calculation? It would also be nice if they made the grip portion of the focusing ring wider.

          • David K.K. Hansen

            If Leica did change the focus throw, they would have to change the angle of the threads inside the lens, no? Not necessary an expensive change as such, but I could imagine it might be a headache down the line, as there wouldn’t be any real distinct visual differences between the long and short throw versions of the Noctilux.

            I’m wondering if it’s an engraving mistake on the lens barrel? Looking forward to hear what Leica has to say on this.

          • MJr

            lol David, you don’t really expect Leica to say oh yeah whoops, we miscalculated the distance scale / send the wrong data to the engraving machine staff. Not even Holga would make that kind of mistake.

          • Adech

            I am one of the 7 volunteer testers of the T0.95 lens and the lens is very easy to focus. It is RF coupled so as long as the images are on top of each other the image is in focus.

            As for the 50mm f/0.95 the 5 mark is also at 16. Lets wait to hear back for the answer from Leica by the admin.

            It sucks there are so many versions. I rather have the slower focusing. Is it possible to take the lens back to leica to exchange for the version on the photo?

          • Are you testing it on a video camera or on a rangefinder?

          • Adech

            I am testing it on the M9 and M6. I am one of the 7 volunteers. The photos you posted were taken my me. I am a lens collector so I have many lenses to compare the lens to. The others are testing on video camera I believe. I think there are only five rangefinder versions made so far and I have one of them.

          • Thanks, let me know if you publish your review online.

    • on my 50mm Summilux the f/16 is at 5m as well

    • zd

      According the Leica’s technical data on the lens, the depth of field for infinity focusing at f/16 starts at 5.27m. The marketing picture doesn’t even show the correct depth of field (???) while Leica is known for taking the engraving seriously.

      Leica may have designed a short throw version of the lens, but then they decided to release the long throw version so focusing is more accurate.

  • Maybe a stupid question: As this lens is intended for cine use, does it have a proper cam for rangefinder coupling on Leica M mount, or not?

    • John

      the RF coupling cam can be seen in the last photo. i think the bokeh of the SLR is terrific.

    • My understanding is that they will produce two versions – one for CINE and one for rangefinders, both will be M-mount. Maybe they mistakenly labeled both versions as CINE.

  • Joe

    They present a Noctilux competitor with bad dark amateur photos… Ouch.

    • Adech

      they do not even have a website…what do you expect? but their time is well spent on making lenses and I rather they do that. The T0.95 is a really beautiful lens. This is why they have so many volunteers to help them. Look at the samples of the 12mm f/1.6 and they all look great..product photos were so so only

      • Joe

        Yes i await some good product shots from a company that want to be taken seriously. Especially a photo orientated company. Is that asking too much?

  • why.worry

    Having that on a Nikon camera would be great – anyone with me? I’d pre-order it, if the price tag is in a proper range.

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