SLR Magic HyperPrime 35mm f/0.95 and 24mm f/1.4 lenses for Leica M cancelled

SLR Magic HyperPrime 50mm f/0.95 lens

I received this email from SLR Magic announcing that they are now canceling the development of 35mm f/0.95 and 24mm f/1.4 lenses for Leica M rangefinders - I was not even aware that they were working on those new lenses (recently they did announce a new 35mm T0.95 lens for APS-C sized cameras):

We are now working on lenses for anamorphic and cancelled all rangefinder coupled lens projects due to too much effort in defending our brand from Leica community attacks. It had been tiring for us and tiring for moderators of many websites. It is hard to develop in a market where users do not want another alternative to Leica lenses and that is understandable. Hopefully when the HyperPrime LM 50mm T0.95 get acceptance as a new third party lens we will consider to continue future rangefinder coupled lens projects again.

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  • Expecting the Leica community to be rational? What were they thinking? 🙂

    But I don’t think this is too different how people speak badly of Samyang/Rokinon lenses although they’re just as good and sometimes better than Canon and Nikon lenses.

    The manufacturers should also look in to how they can get their points across. Why not do some head-to-head comparisons on their websites? Minimal information’s offered in their sites to begin with. Why not offer limited, money back guarantees if the customer can prove that their lenses are not up to the standards claimed in the marketing material? Add a focus chart in the lens box and give some reference images to compare against on the web.

    • What surprises me, that a brand is so worried about name calling in forums that it suspends R&D? Not sure about rest of world sometimes, but thought companies try to make money offering product to consumers even if few people say do not want, that not stop those who do want. If I make enough noise, does that mean Toyota will stop making ugly looking Prius or at least make Prius look like normal looking car!?

      • SLRMagic isn’t Toyota. They are not a large company, and require acceptance for the community for success. I don’t blame them for pulling R&D of Leica after seeing all of the negative feedback they’re getting. Who’d end up buying the rangefinder coupled lenses if they still made them? Not a lot of people I’m guessing.

        • Not convince, any small start up would not be around long if a detractor on public message board so do not make.

          Lot of people said no one would buy cars hundred, yet look at Ford or Toyota. People say all time on boards like this no one wants, they don’t want, since when that dictate. Small company won’t be round long if they cave in to a few people.

          Those same Leica fans also made a lot of noise on here and RFF that Fuji should not make X100, and later X-Pro. Seems like making X-series worked magic on bottom line, didn’t it?

          • That’s different though. How large is the market for a 5000 dollar lens? There are cars that cost less than that. How many do you think would SLRMagic actually sell EVEN IF there was support for it. I’m sure the 35 0.95 would be as expensive, if not more. It’s a tiny market which needs all the support that they can get. It’s a high risk, high reward type market, and I’m sure they know better than anyone if they should still try to break into it.

            They’re not stopping all operation, they’re only stopping R&D for future rangefinder coupled lenses.

            And again, you’re comparing Toyoto, FujiFilm and Ford to SLRMagic. The companies you mentioned are giants compared to SLRMagic. Not at all a fair comparison.

    • Tom

      The issue was people request for refunds to them by attacking on forums because they needed money to pay for other Leica lenses they preordered even after 2-3 months

    • Mike

      Not Surprise at their withdraw from the market given a review like the one here:

      Extensive SLR Magic Hyperprime 50/T/0.95 review

  • sad.. would’ve loved to see this in production.

  • Ben Miller

    I would have been a supporter. There is a place for third party M lenses.

    • Brian

      If the lenses were not glued together maybe I could be a supporter too.
      Peoples confidence in SLR magic is gone after the 50 .95 fiasco.

      • Tom

        At get DPI and dpreview you can see Zeiss and Leica lenses were glued together as well and people made a huge deal over it. It turns out one person spreading the rumors on the glue and lens falling apart was not telling the truth and just said that to attack them as the owner denied of his lens falling apart. If you follow them they just shifted concentration into making anamorphic lenses instead. They were working on a while lineup of rangefinder lenses till this happened.

  • Mike

    I would have definitely supported the company especially the 24 f1.4.

  • pete

    Trying to put few pieces of cheap glasses and charge people for thousands or half of Leica? What are they thinking? Not even big company like Nikon/Canon/Sony dare to do that. Too much greed. Glad that they figured its just not going to work. Nice try but not!

    • Tom

      If you look at reviews the SLR Magic was actually sharper than the Leica at half the price and Sharper than the Voigtlander as well. If they used cheap glass then the Leica must be very cheap. There are recent complaints on the poor quality of the Noctilux on the Leica M so maybe the Noctilux it is cheap as you say as well

  • I think they spent too much time trying to control the message of their product. I tried the 50mm 0.95 and it was OK but I didn’t appreciate SLR magic trying to give me advice of how to and how not to postion the product. You don’t need to constantly defend it. Just let it stand on its own. People ultimately vote with their wallets…

  • 35mm 0.95 would have been sweet. Shame.

  • They are Cantonese so face is a big issue for them. I got to play with the 35 hyper prime here in Hong Kong. A friend of mine tests for them. Any how no loss.

  • HiredArm

    I was sad to see them stop developing all rangefinder lenses but I wouldn’t place blame 100% on the Leica community. The truth is it was a large risk and many Leica users were excited about the lenses based almost solely on their appearance for those at Steve Huff’s LA workshop. They put the lens in the hands of many capable photographers and got a good rap. Again I think the general opinion of most in the Leica community was that it was a capable lens but selling price was certainly going to be a factor for success.

    IMO they bummed their sales at the preorder price of $4200 (there were those who only wanted to compare it to the Noctilux but you can’t ignore used Noctilux prices or Nokton prices as well) from the get go. I myself was interested in it, as the results were great from the prototypes, but I gave myself a cutoff price of $2500 (I may have talked myself up to $3000.) Most aren’t going to pay that much for something that doesn’t say Leica or Zeiss on the barrel – it’s as simple as that. No one would even pay that much for a Voigtlander and they have a track record of some proven gems in their fold (35/1.2 Nokton II for example.) Add to the fact that SLR Magic announced that they were changing the optical formula to a different glass that was “just as good yet cheaper and attainable” and that was strike two. Strike three was when they announced that if you didn’t preorder by August of this year the price would jump $1000 (which happened coincidently after many people started canceling orders to buy Leica made lenses.)

    I wish them success but the Leica crowd generally is particular. It’s really not all snobbery as many suggest – it’s just that people are particular about what they spend several thousand on. I think when you spend that kind of money you have a right to be particular.

  • Take 2

    I have GH3 just for Movie function…the 4/3 slr magic (12mm) is an amazing wide after dark CIN-period. Just snaged a 35mm CIN in mail and want the 50mm CIN for a third option. The stills are pretty crazy too.

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