I had heard really great things about this lens, but was still taken aback by how fun it was to shoot with. It is the widest in my set of SLR Magic cine lenses, all of which I’ve come to be a fan of. I paired it with my Panasonic GH4 which has a mFT mount. So no adapter or speedbooster is required.
Two things struck me right away. How sharp it remained with the aperture wide open, and how little distortion it had. It’s definitely there, but nothing like the fisheye effect you get with other lenses. Which makes it a great choice for filmmakers who need to increase their field of view dramatically, without that goofy look associated with many ultra wide angle lenses.
The SLR Magic line-up has a focus on retaining sharpness wide open. Owners of the GH4 in particular will appreciate this given that camera’s noise level at higher ISOs. Also, it’s worth noting that these aren’t clinical lenses. They exhibit some nice character and flare in a unique way.
I set out to deliberately test the flare characteristics of this lens, as well as to pan and tilt to reveal any lens distortion. I also framed a quick extreme close-up to see the exact effect it would have on the actor’s face.
It has a clickless aperture ring and a 77mm front filter thread which pairs perfectly with SLR Magic’s own Variable ND filter. In fact, you can buy them together as a set to save a little money. This will be a great lens to use on a gimbal as you get all the benefit of reduced shakiness, with very little of the unwanted distortion or fisheye effect.
The only drawback I can see is that I wish I could use this on an EF mount too. The entire SLR Magic line-up of Hyperprime cine lenses is proving itself to be a good, low cost, fast, sharp alternative. In a perfect world, I could use a set like this on APS-C/Super35 camera systems that don’t offer a mFT mount.
Having said that, this is still my favorite ultra wide angle prime lens that I own.