SLR Magic Hyperprime LM 50mm T/0.95 - Review / Test Report | Photography Gear News |

SLR Magic is an interesting young chinese lens brand. They are manufacturing manual focus lenses for various mounts including Micro-Four-Thirds and Sony NEX. So far most of their lenses were found on the cheaper end of the food chain but they are keen of delivering more prestigious products. One of their latest releases is the Hyperprime LM 50mm T/0.95, which is ambitious in two ways: it's their first lens to feature a Leica M mount with rangefinder coupling, and it obviously targets and competes with the "king" of that eco system, the Leica Noctilux 50mm f/0.95 ASPH.

Interestingly, SLR Magic provides a T-number in the lens name instead of a f-number. The T-number refers to the effective light transmission characteristic rather than the calculated f-number of the lens. Since a small amount of light is lost in transmission, the T-number is always a tad slower than the f-number. Or, in other words: the f-number of the lens is even faster than T/0.95, according to SLR Magic it is around f/0.92.

The Hyperprime 50mm T/0.95 is a build-to-order product, which is available in two different versions. There is the LM version, which features an M-mount with rangefinder coupling and thus is fully functional on any Leica M camera. This version of the lens currently retails for $4995.
The CINE version of the lens features identical optics, but no rangefinder coupling. It's targeted at videographers and users of mirrorless cameras (including full frame cameras like the Sony A7/A7r), which intend to use adapted M-mount lenses. Retailing at $2995, it is considerably cheaper, but due to the lack of coupling not usable on most Leica M cameras (with the exception of the latest M 240, which features a live view mode).

SLR Magic is still a very small company with a limited distribution (& service) network. Their products can be primarily ordered via their website.

To avoid some confusion: SLR Magic offers another 50mm f/0.95 lens, which they aquired together with the Noktor brand. The former Noktor lens is also called Hyperprime now, but it is a completely different design for APS-C and smaller sensors, available in MFT- and E-mount (Sony NEX) and completely unrelated to the full frame LM/CINE lens which is reviewed here.