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View Full Version : An Interview with SLR Magic about current and future lenses



Simon Shasha
10-29-2012, 01:24 PM
LINK: http://vimeo.com/52212589

Kholi
10-29-2012, 01:47 PM
Need MFT Blackmagic! ARG

Brian@202020
10-29-2012, 02:02 PM
Need MFT Blackmagic! ARG

Well I'm in the first 5 in line at Markertek for the MFT one, wait, maybe not. Damn you Markertek!!!

daveswan
10-29-2012, 02:49 PM
Oh my poor (Now very poor!) bank balance!

That is down right lens porn.:D

Simon Shasha
10-29-2012, 02:54 PM
I'm second in line for MFT with Blackmagic reseller based in Sydney. I really hope "Shipping in December" means "Shipping in December"!

Simon Shasha
10-29-2012, 02:56 PM
For those that missed this, there is also an article here about future MFT lenses from SLR Magic: http://www.thephoblographer.com/2012/09/30/photokina-2012-report-part-6-slr-magic-and-the-rest/

23mm F1.7 seems great value!

daveswan
10-29-2012, 03:44 PM
I'd like to see a fast 15-16mm to fill the gap between the 12 f/1.6 and the 23 f/1.7.

12, 15, 23, 35, 50 would be a very nice set on M4/3 BMC, especially if they were colour matched.

Liam
10-29-2012, 05:57 PM
Oh wow, they're, now getting my attention.

Was I hearing correctly, when Andrew was talking about the new proto types they have, they might be either making them E-Mount OR M4/3 mount native?

EDIT: Yes, I did hear correctly.

Brad Ferrell
10-30-2012, 10:21 AM
Was it SLR Magic that was releasing anamorphic MFT lenses?

daveswan
10-30-2012, 11:57 AM
Here you go.

www.bmcuser.com/showthread.php?1064-Okay-now-I-need-the-MFT-version-SLR-MAgic-anamorphics

Brad Ferrell
10-30-2012, 01:20 PM
That's what I was hoping for with this interview. I'm such a bargain shopper now and have a lot of respect for these guys making solid, manual, metal lenses in this market.

Simon Shasha
10-30-2012, 08:21 PM
I really wish they'd make that 23mm F1.7 prime into a 23mm T2 (or what ever the Transmission rating would equate too) prime with cine-gears and all for the same price of $399. It's not due until February - might have to get the more expensive Samyang/Rokinon instead (which has the cine-gears) - only thing is, I'm hearing a few things here and there about the Samyang/Rokinon 24mm's sharpness.

slrmagic
10-31-2012, 04:04 AM
I really wish they'd make that 23mm F1.7 prime into a 23mm T2 (or what ever the Transmission rating would equate too) prime with cine-gears and all for the same price of $399. It's not due until February - might have to get the more expensive Samyang/Rokinon instead (which has the cine-gears) - only thing is, I'm hearing a few things here and there about the Samyang/Rokinon 24mm's sharpness.

Dear Simon,

We will NOT consider offering our 23mm f/1.7 lens with our CINE labelling because the lens was designed for photography. One of the factors we pay close attention to our CINE lenses are controlled Lens Breathing. Usually this type of design comes at a cost and is not that important for photographers taking stills. I have showed a demonstration to Matt Allard about this but it was not in the interview. We will have a HyperPrime CINE 25mm T0.95 lens that is more suitable for filming.

Kind rgds.,
Andrew

slrmagic
10-31-2012, 04:06 AM
Was it SLR Magic that was releasing anamorphic MFT lenses?

Brad,

Yes. But it takes time to design the lens. It is in the works but definitely not something that can be released in a few months.

Kind rgds.,
Andrew

shittpomfritt
10-31-2012, 06:48 AM
Dear Simon,

We will NOT consider offering our 23mm f/1.7 lens with our CINE labelling because the lens was designed for photography. One of the factors we pay close attention to our CINE lenses are controlled Lens Breathing. Usually this type of design comes at a cost and is not that important for photographers taking stills. I have showed a demonstration to Matt Allard about this but it was not in the interview. We will have a HyperPrime CINE 25mm T0.95 lens that is more suitable for filming.

Kind rgds.,
Andrew

Andrew, can you please tell us if SLR magic is considering making a 17,5mm 0,95 cine lens as the on from Voigtlander? It would be great to have a set of 12mm f1.6, 17,5mm f0.95, 25mm f0.95, 35mm f0.95 and 50mm f0.95 which are colormatched with proper CINE housing and features!

Right now I'm considering buying both Voigtlander and SLRmagic lenses, but I dont really like crossing brands when it comes to video!

jdwyer
10-31-2012, 07:01 AM
Any update on when the 35mm Cine lens will be released in December?

Brad Ferrell
10-31-2012, 07:38 AM
Brad,

Yes. But it takes time to design the lens. It is in the works but definitely not something that can be released in a few months.

Kind rgds.,
Andrew

Thanks Andrew for your reply. I think it's SLR Magic that will democratize affordable anamorphic.

rick.lang
10-31-2012, 01:19 PM
Brad,

Yes. But it takes time to design the lens. It is in the works but definitely not something that can be released in a few months.

Kind rgds.,
Andrew

Andrew, I followed that online personal view blog about the SLRMagic anamorphic lens for a while until I became dizzy with the wavering between 1.35x which i strongly felt was the best choice (and it was your suggestion at the beginning of the blog) and 1.5x and 2.0x. What was your final decision? What factor will it be? And will it be a lens you attach to another lens or a complete independent lens?

Thanks and strongly hoping you aggressively go after the cinematography market with your ciné versions of lenses and hope to see micro four thirds mounts for the BMCC. I'm nervous about wear and tear (and misalignment as the years go by) and added cost to using adapters to fit a lens to MFT.

rick.lang
10-31-2012, 01:28 PM
Andrew, can you please tell us if SLR magic is considering making a 17,5mm 0,95 cine lens as the on from Voigtlander? It would be great to have a set of 12mm f1.6, 17,5mm f0.95, 25mm f0.95, 35mm f0.95 and 50mm f0.95 which are colormatched with proper CINE housing and features!

Right now I'm considering buying both Voigtlander and SLRmagic lenses, but I dont really like crossing brands when it comes to video!

Very much agree with your approach: an affordable set of very fast ciné primes with most at the same aperture. Would have been nice if they had the same filter size and were all internal focus and nearly all the same length but I can live without those things if I have too. If I wanted that more than affordable very fast lenses, I'd be looking at Sony's brand new set of lenses for the F5 and F55.

rick.lang
10-31-2012, 01:32 PM
Andrew, can you please tell us if SLR magic is considering making a 17,5mm 0,95 cine lens as the on from Voigtlander? It would be great to have a set of 12mm f1.6, 17,5mm f0.95, 25mm f0.95, 35mm f0.95 and 50mm f0.95 which are colormatched with proper CINE housing and features!

Right now I'm considering buying both Voigtlander and SLRmagic lenses, but I dont really like crossing brands when it comes to video!

Very much agree with your approach: an affordable set of very fast primes with most at the same aperture. Would have been nice if they had the same filter size and were all internal focus and nearly all the same length but I can live without those things if I must. If I wanted that more than affordable very fast lenses, I'd be looking at Sony's brand new set of lenses for the F5 and F55.

pharpsied
10-31-2012, 01:32 PM
Brad,

Yes. But it takes time to design the lens. It is in the works but definitely not something that can be released in a few months.

Kind rgds.,
Andrew

Take all of the time you need. A fast anamorphic for MFT is the greatest thing ever conceived by man, except anything that has women in it...

Philosokilla
10-31-2012, 01:40 PM
Nice interview and thanks for posting. I noticed Andrew said that they are building lenses of focal lengths that are already available not to compete with other companies but rather to provide a set of lenses with the same characteristics. Does that mean that all of their non-toy lenses are color matched? Or maybe all of their cine lenses? I have not worked with their lenses yet and am curious of the consistency of the color rendition.

Liam
10-31-2012, 04:22 PM
Andrew, can you please tell us if SLR magic is considering making a 17,5mm 0,95 cine lens as the on from Voigtlander? It would be great to have a set of 12mm f1.6, 17,5mm f0.95, 25mm f0.95, 35mm f0.95 and 50mm f0.95 which are colormatched with proper CINE housing and features!

Right now I'm considering buying both Voigtlander and SLRmagic lenses, but I dont really like crossing brands when it comes to video!

+100000

Now we're talking!!

slrmagic
11-01-2012, 08:00 PM
15151514
Take all of the time you need. A fast anamorphic for MFT is the greatest thing ever conceived by man, except anything that has women in it...

Here is a sample photo taken at 1.8m distance with @25mm T2 x.133 stretch anamorphic prototype. One is with the Anamorphic attachment and the other is without.

1514

1515

Are the attachments working? The images does not seem to be loading. We tweeted the images @slrmagic so if you cannot see it here you can see it there!

efernandezabril
11-01-2012, 10:13 PM
I can see the attachments! looking good, but kind of too stretched with the anamorphic attachment! is that normal? (I know it is a little)
Also, an anamorphic attachment means what you are developing is actually more of a filter than an actual lens?

Thanks!!

rick.lang
11-01-2012, 11:24 PM
15151514

Here is a sample photo taken at 1.8m distance with @25mm T2 x.133 stretch anamorphic prototype. One is with the Anamorphic attachment...

After all the discussion on the personal view blog, your prototype is 1.33x! That gives an aspect ratio of 1:2.35 which is a very old format replaced by the approximately 1:2.39 aspect ratio. Look it up on Wikipedia under film formats I think. Please get back to the drawing board and give us an anamorphic with 1.35x which produces a digital friendly aspect ratio of 1:2.4.

slrmagic
11-02-2012, 05:15 AM
Sorry for so many self portraits! It is my first time using the photo upload feature and there was no immediate preview. There was only a text with no link. After a few minutes there is a text link to the photos. After a few hours the images are showing up now!

Yes we noticed this too. It has to do with the focusing mechanism affecting the squeeze factor. We will add more squeeze in our next prototype so that the proportion is right again.

slrmagic
11-02-2012, 05:21 AM
On personal-view it seems we were the only ones that were for the x1.35 but no one agrees with us and seems that x1.5 and x1.33 is more accepted.

I have the Zacuto EVF Pro that I bought from Cologne at Photokia and it has three modes. x1.33, x1.5, and x2.0 but no x2.35 so we figured out x1.35 is not too mainstream?

Hope everyone here can give us some feedback on the ratio as well. We do not wish to use a crop factor that requires a lot of cropping post processing so it would either be the x1.33 to give 2.35:1 or the x1.35 to give 2.39:1

efernandezabril
11-02-2012, 06:12 AM
Either of those is fine I guess, 2.35:1 was used for westerns and has now been replaced by 2.39:1 but I honestly don't care as long as we have affordable anamorphic.

Jorge De Silva
11-02-2012, 07:17 AM
Andrew... dont forget that you can win FREE resolution with anamorphic lens! Even a 2x anamorphic can be used with great results (specially the better bokeh and flare). Final resolution will be something arround: 1920 x 2 (anamorphic compression) = 3840. You will end with a file at 3840x1080. With that resolution, you can crop easily to any aspect ratio you want. I have one 1.33x anamorphic, a couple of 1.5x, and a couple of 2x. The one that I like more and use more, it's the 2x to be true... but i think, the perfect one, to have some margin for stabilizing and crop, it's the 1.5x.

rick.lang
11-02-2012, 08:25 AM
On personal-view it seems we were the only ones that were for the x1.35 but no one agrees with us and seems that x1.5 and x1.33 is more accepted.

I have the Zacuto EVF Pro that I bought from Cologne at Photokia and it has three modes. x1.33, x1.5, and x2.0 but no x2.35 so we figured out x1.35 is not too mainstream?

Hope everyone here can give us some feedback on the ratio as well. We do not wish to use a crop factor that requires a lot of cropping post processing so it would either be the x1.33 to give 2.35:1 or the x1.35 to give 2.39:1

Well right here in three posts we have a complete summary of that endlessly long and tiresome blog in which 1.33x, 1.35x, 1.5x and 2.0x were all discussed. Jorge has good points about 2.0x and 1.5x in terms of flexibility but the I still strongly endorse 1.35x since it will conform to a modern industry standard.

The argument for using a 1.33x squeeze because the 1:2.35 aspect ratio was used to display old western movies used it (or because 1:2.35 is so prevalent on older DVDs), seems to me to be looking back in time. I thought you would be more forward looking and want to conform to the newer standard ratio of about 1:2.39 or its digitally friendly equivalent 1:2.4.

Reolution is very important on these sensors, so it would not be a good solution to use higher squeeze factors, especially 2.0x, and then crop the image in post to throw away horizontal pixels to make a smaller aspect like 1:2.39 image in post. if you did a 1.35x squeeze factor, then it would only cost a pixel or two to match the 1:2.39 aspect ratio (or even that 1:2.35 ratio) and that's tolerable. I think the 1.35x squeeze factor is most desireable for serious work because it is less demanding on the post processing when the image needs to interpolate the pixels for the desired output. Less demanding should translate into better final image quality. And it also makes it easier to limit the effect of objects in the foreground to appear to be too wide after the image has been stretched (like you in the sample you provided here) while objects in the background appear normal after stretching the image. So 1.35x squeeze might be the best path to the best quality for general use.

Now if the film display industry tomorrow says, the target display aspect ratio for theatre should now be about 1:2.667 (a 24:9 ratio rather than the current HD ratio of 16:9), I'd be solidly behind that 1.5x squeeze anamorphic and drop my request for 1.35x. I'm all for supporting current and future standards, so understand I'm not making my arguments from an aesthetic perspective or 'personal' preference. Aesthetically, I like both the 1:2.40 (1:2.39) and the 1:2.667 option.

One final note or word of explanation and then I'll be done. The reason i say "about 1:2.39" relates to the true definition as I understand it of this ratio. It's not exactly a size of 1:2.39; it's the approximate value based on the ratio derived from the physical height and width of the gate in the film projectors that were used when both the 1:2.35 and later 1:2.39 factors were defined as the standard. The reason I say "digitally friendly" 1:2.40 ratio is because it is an exact size, not an approximation, based on exactly applying the 1.35x squeeze factor to the internationally adopted standard 16:9 HD definition. Applying the 1.33 squeeze factor you have currently used in your prototype to the HD 16:9 ratio results in an awkward 1:2.37037037... value and just isn't as elegant to work with mathematically. And when we refer to a 1.33x squeeze factor we really mean 1 1/3 of course, i.e. 1.33333333...

Obviously I feel passionately about this but I'm sure others are passionate about their recommendations too. We can settle this once and for all if we meet at the OK Corral (with our digital paint guns)!

Jorge De Silva
11-02-2012, 09:02 AM
The only problem for me about the 1.33x, or even 1.35x it's the lack of anamorphic effects. I like anamorphic not only because of the aspect ratio, but because of the bokeh and flare. If I only need the aspect ratio, I can crop my hd footage. At least for me and for a bunch of people that I know, the anamorphic look (feel / style), it's the most important factor. If 2x it's too much, I keep the 1.5x... , less than this compression, I just prefer to crop without the hassle of using a real anamorphic lens or attachment... (focus, clamps, etc...

;)

rick.lang
11-02-2012, 01:42 PM
You are right Jorge, I wasn't putting any importance on the anamorphic style, which is less evident on a 1.35x anamorphic multiplier. i just felt for me, the wide-screen aspect ratio without cropping (since cropping sacrifices resolution) would be more desirable than the flare effect of a 2x or even 1.5x anamorphic. If SLRMagic proceeds with their plan to use 1.33x anamorphic adapters, we'll both be a little unhappy for different reasons!

If they go with 1.5x as a compromise between the 1.33/1.35 and the 2x squeeze, I'm not going to be upset. 1.33x is just a frustrating choice that prolongs an out-of-date standard.

My fear of losing resolution is because the BMCC doesn't have a lot of pixels to spare... it's not like I have a Red One MX or Scarlet or Epic to through away pixels and still have a beautiful 2K or 4K theatrical projection in the end. The BMCC has a 2400x1350 debayered image size which the 1.5x squeeze will effectively see as 3600x1350 when unsqueezed (for a 1:2.667 ratio). If I then trim it horizontally to 3240x1350, I achieve a 1:2.4 aspect ratio for the debayered frame size. That can support up to a 3K projection and certainly do 2K but at a loss of 10% of my original image size and horizontal resolution. Will make frame composition tricky unless a future firmware revision supports some custom frame guides on their 5" LCD screen (not a problem if using an HD-SDI monitor I suppose unless the SDI output is limited to 1920x1080). Thank goodness the BMCC records more than 1920x1080 internally so there is wiggle room.

Okay, I'm feeling better about it either way, hope you are too. If 1.35x wins the day, we get better resolution and you'll have to use VFX to get your flares etc (will never understand how an oval bokeh looks good to people; flares, yes I agree). If you get your 1.5x, then we'll need to sacrifice 10% of the image when it's important to be 1:2.39/1:2.4. And who knows someday, the next standard may be 1:2.667. What aspect ratios are James Cameron and Peter Jackson using? Doesn't every indie filmmaker aspire to compete visually with the heavyweights wielding their mighty BMCC against their mighty Alexas etc.?

Brandon
11-02-2012, 03:36 PM
The only problem for me about the 1.33x, or even 1.35x it's the lack of anamorphic effects. I like anamorphic not only because of the aspect ratio, but because of the bokeh and flare. If I only need the aspect ratio, I can crop my hd footage. At least for me and for a bunch of people that I know, the anamorphic look (feel / style), it's the most important factor. If 2x it's too much, I keep the 1.5x... , less than this compression, I just prefer to crop without the hassle of using a real anamorphic lens or attachment... (focus, clamps, etc...

;)

Well said Jorge, I agree with you completely.

Rick, as far as the 1.33x and 1.35 squeeze ratios are concerned, I honestly believe the difference will be negligible. Different taking lenses affect the squeeze ratio of anamorphic adapters. I would often adjust my squeeze ratio anywhere between 1.4 and 1.7 on my 1.5x Iscorama to compensate for different taking lens focal lengths with very little visual difference.


Sigh. I hate anamorphic adapters. I want a anamorphic prime so bad!

Kholi
11-02-2012, 04:00 PM
The truth is it would be far more beneficial to have these companies recognize that 4:3 HD recording is an option we would really love to have versus trying to force lens manufacturers to make anamorphics for 16:9 formats.

We'd get a lot more mileage out of the former, but I guess only RED and ARRI consider it worthwhile.

rick.lang
11-02-2012, 04:05 PM
Rick, as far as the 1.33x and 1.35 squeeze ratios are concerned, I honestly believe the difference will be negligible. Different taking lenses affect the squeeze ratio of anamorphic adapters. I would often adjust my squeeze ratio anywhere between 1.4 and 1.7 on my 1.5x Iscorama to compensate for different taking lens focal lengths with very little visual difference.


Sigh. I hate anamorphic adapters. I want a anamorphic prime so bad!

Thanks, Brandon. I've never used an anamorphic and was unaware that the squeeze could be adjusted using the adapter.

As for an anamorphic lens instead of an adapter: this was also discussed in that personal view blog and due to the significantly higher costs involved, SLRMagic only planned to make a less expensive adapter that could be used attached to various lenses. As for how much less expensive, we'll have to wait until next year (NAB or Photokina 2013?). Considering the after market prices of the classic quality anamorphics, it could still be a fairly expensive adapter but at least it will be modernized technology and new. Not meant as a putdown of any classic lens, but would be very nice if SLRMagic can match the colour and character of their anamorphic to their other cinema lenses which won't happen using the classic lenses.

Barry Green
11-02-2012, 04:48 PM
The truth is it would be far more beneficial to have these companies recognize that 4:3 HD recording is an option we would really love to have versus trying to force lens manufacturers to make anamorphics for 16:9 formats.
Well, for those with access to cinema anamorphics, this is certainly true. Enabling the full 4:3 aspect ratio of the sensor would allow you to use all the magnificent cinema glass that's available with its 2:1 aspect ratio. And it would definitely give you the highest resolution with minimal cropping, if it were possible.

I wonder if that'll actually be the most practical choice for the users who don't live near LA/NY/Chicago where anamorphic rentals are easily found... for those folks, a 1.33 or 1.35 option from an affordable lens manufacturer seems like a more practical course. Not to mention, we don't know if the 4x3 sensor would even be possible... that would mean something like a 50% increase in data, 50% larger frames, so -- no prores, likely, no dnxhd, and can the processing in the camera even shove around 50% more data? It may just be a case of where the chip could theoretically do it but the camera itself physically couldn't.

But I do agree, I'd frickin' love it if they could open up the whole chip and provide a true anamorphic option for cinema anamorphics, the way anamorphic was meant to be shot.

Kholi
11-02-2012, 05:02 PM
Well, for those with access to cinema anamorphics, this is certainly true. Enabling the full 4:3 aspect ratio of the sensor would allow you to use all the magnificent cinema glass that's available with its 2:1 aspect ratio. And it would definitely give you the highest resolution with minimal cropping, if it were possible.

I wonder if that'll actually be the most practical choice for the users who don't live near LA/NY/Chicago where anamorphic rentals are easily found... for those folks, a 1.33 or 1.35 option from an affordable lens manufacturer seems like a more practical course. Not to mention, we don't know if the 4x3 sensor would even be possible... that would mean something like a 50% increase in data, 50% larger frames, so -- no prores, likely, no dnxhd, and can the processing in the camera even shove around 50% more data? It may just be a case of where the chip could theoretically do it but the camera itself physically couldn't.

But I do agree, I'd frickin' love it if they could open up the whole chip and provide a true anamorphic option for cinema anamorphics, the way anamorphic was meant to be shot.

Solid points on location. Yeah, it would be hard to source Anamorphics outside of the main cities.

To sort of add to that, it also may be more difficult for lens manufacturers like SLRMagic to work around a 4:3 frame, or the 2x squeeze? I'm not sure. Maybe it's easier? We should ask!

Does anyone know how hard it is to just open up the pixels for anamorphic? Arri had to create an entirely new camera for it.

rick.lang
11-02-2012, 05:08 PM
Well, for those with access to cinema anamorphics, this is certainly true. Enabling the full 4:3 aspect ratio of the sensor would allow you to use all the magnificent cinema glass that's available with its 2:1 aspect ratio. And it would definitely give you the highest resolution with minimal cropping, if it were possible.

I wonder if that'll actually be the most practical choice for the users who don't live near LA/NY/Chicago where anamorphic rentals are easily found... for those folks, a 1.33 or 1.35 option from an affordable lens manufacturer seems like a more practical course...

I'd frickin' love it if they could open up the whole chip and provide a true anamorphic option for cinema anamorphics, the way anamorphic was meant to be shot.

Interesting point about the options available in the hinterlands where a few people still live but don't usually get much love from the big city... maybe I should get back to LA.

If 4:3 was an option, you can bet I'd throw my weight behind a 2x anamorphic and Jorge could have his marvellous flares with a 1:2.667 aspect ratio!

Liam
11-05-2012, 06:37 AM
I thought instead of starting a new thread, I would ask this here.

Has anyone in the motherland (australia) bought any SLR Magic lens from them direct? especially the 12mm, I'm now looking at getting this lens and with it being $500 odd on the website, just wondering about (if they do it?) postage to aus, the cheapest I've found it elsewhere (ebay) is over $1k.

There a hong kong company right, should be cheaper to post to Aus than America (for example)

slrmagic
11-05-2012, 07:11 AM
I thought instead of starting a new thread, I would ask this here.

Has anyone in the motherland (australia) bought any SLR Magic lens from them direct? especially the 12mm, I'm now looking at getting this lens and with it being $500 odd on the website, just wondering about (if they do it?) postage to aus, the cheapest I've found it elsewhere (ebay) is over $1k.

There a hong kong company right, should be cheaper to post to Aus than America (for example)

Its $549 for 12mm T1.6 only shipped worldwide. In Australia there is no import duty below $1000 I think so you do not need to worry about the import duty part.

efernandezabril
11-05-2012, 08:19 AM
I hear you guys (SLR Magic) have canceled your range-finder lenses development in order to focus on mFT and anamorphics, have you made any decision in terms of if it will be an anamorphic prime or an adapter?

also, can we expect a SLR magic 17,5mm lens? It's a big gap in your lens set right now I think. The rest is fine for budget shooters: 12mm f1.6, (17,5mm missing), 23mm f1.7 and 35mm f1.4.

Thank you!

Liam
11-05-2012, 05:15 PM
Its $549 for 12mm T1.6 only shipped worldwide. In Australia there is no import duty below $1000 I think so you do not need to worry about the import duty part.

Hot dog! that's good news, thanks a lot, will be purchasing one sometime...... soon!

bowman
11-09-2012, 09:27 AM
Could we get a look at the proto type? I'm curious about the size?