Personal View site logo
Make sure to join PV on Telegram or Facebook! Perfect to keep up with community on your smartphone.
12mm f/1.6 Noktor
  • 739 Replies sorted by
  • Below are stills shot at 1.6, 2.0, 4.0, 8.0. The exposure was 1/4000, 1/4000, 1/2000, 1/200 respectively. All are at ISO160. The disclaimer is that it is not a scientific test, the shots were made at extreme lighting conditions, the sun as almost opposite to the lens, that is why there are flares all around which do not disturb me at all but non-focused image. The distance to the tree was about 10 meters, focus was set to infinity. I understand that the lens is designed mostly for video, that is why checking stills is not fair to the lens. Anyway, there is definitely problem about focusing. I will post videos later this week.

    4608 x 3456 - 3M
    4608 x 3456 - 3M
    4608 x 3456 - 4M
    4608 x 3456 - 4M
  • @JackBayer Post some pictures so that we can see how your lens is working.

    @dream_beam Great test, I think that your lens seems to be similar to mine. It would be nice to see if someone is able to get sharper pictures at 1.6. I think that stills are a great way to compare softness/focus problems.

  • I will shoot some pics tomorrow, but @dream_beams stills look even a tad sharper to what I could get while not quite in focus yet. This is strange behaviour, normally a wider lens is sharper by its wideness itself.

    Assuming this is not a flaw, this lens becomes a special purpose item for groups of people in a small room i.e. only. I however really need deep focus...

  • My lens was also unable to focus to infinity, but not that extremely. The maximum focus distance was around ten meters for me. Then after putting on and off the lenses several times suddenly the Lens focused beyond infinity and became very unsharp. I have no Idea what happened inside the lens...

  • @JackBayer.. OK, sounds really strange, like something is misplaced.

  • $10 says you're turning the aperture ring thinking it's the focus ring because on the SLR Magic 12mm focus is where the lens meets the body and aperture is on the front end right where the lens gets wider. I've had my 12mm for months now and I still fiddle with the wrong ring from time to time. Force of habit.

  • @Shaveblog :) I guess most of us turn the correct ring. How do I know that? While shooting tests I was not in hurry and I was definitely putting my fingers on the correct focus ring close to GH2 body, secondly if one turns aperture, then image becomes either under or overexposed, it is clearly seen in EVF or LCD histogram. While turning the focus ring one actually see how things are getting focused/unfocused (or in case of Noktor: from unfocused to heavily unfocused). So it's actually not the mistake about rings, there is something about the lens itself. You are definitely lucky having no issues about Noktor 12mm lens.

  • @Shaveblog Are your lens sharp at 1.6. It would be great to see if anyone has a copy that's better than mine and dream_beams so that we could know for a fact if they are faulty or if they behave like other SLR Magic 12mm.

    Please post some pictures.

  • << working fine @ 1.6 and up, think the quality control is a bit squiffy down on the SLR Magic factory floor!

  • @Alfaerik +1, I´d definitely love to see pictures shot wide open that are sharp in the distance.

    @Shaveblog I´ll pm you my paypal adress for your ten bucks :)

    I rechecked anyways, of course...when set to infinity-"un"focus I can hear elements moving inside the lens. :(

  • OK, definately sounds like your lens is faulty, then @JackBayer..

    I'll do a quick test of mine when I get around to it. I've shot with it already of course, but images are no good as tests without settings.

  • @soundgh2 Please post some pictures, so that we can compare our copies to yours. Lenses usually go softer at wider apertures, but they should at least keep some sharpness in the center. My slr-magic shouldn't even have the option to go as wide as 1.6 since the quality of the image is too bad, therefore it is false marketing to sell it as a 1.6-lens. It would be really useful to see someone post a picture of a 1.6 image that is sharp so that I could know for a fact that mine copy is faulty.

  • @JackBayer Sorry about your lens, it sounds like it's broken after all. I was hoping it was just the usual focus/aperture confusion but if you hear elements moving around, something's wrong.

    I feel for anyone who spends $500 and gets a broken lens, and I'd be hopping mad if it happened to me. But let's be realistic, this is a niche of a niche of a niche lens made by hand in China in very small batches and for it to cost only $500 you can be sure it wasn't made alongside iPads at Foxconn. You guys ever buy hard drives in bulk? A 10% DOA rate means you got lucky. This is the world you wanted. Low prices, free worldwide shipping, and QC. Pick two.

    Guys here act like there are other, better alternatives to a 12mm f1.6 lens for M43 so SLR Magic must be messing up somehow. The only other fast 12mm for M43 I know of is the Oly and it's $800, and starts at f2 where the SLR Magic is already sharp and flare-free. Yes I've seen the "comparos" and yes the Oly has its own look which you may or may not prefer to the SLR Magic. But for the money the SLR Magic has no competition.

    If you want one, prepare for a long wait and the possibility of a bum sample and another wait for a replacement. But I can tell you that once you get this lens on your camera all the hassle will have been worth it.

  • @Alfaerik I'll post some up tomorrow - was filming all weekend wide open (though a fader ND and looks sharp enough i.e. doesn't look soft enough to be unuseable, bit Lomo-like.

  • I took a picture with my Nokton 25mm wide open at 0.95 Just to compare SLR-Magic with another lens at maximum aperture. I know that the Voigtländer is more expensive etc. It goes much softer wide open, but it still has a decent center sharpness. The SLR-Magic is blurry all over.

    Both pictures were taken in nostalgic mode (-2,-2,-2,-1), jpg straight from the camera.

    SLR-Magic 1.6.JPG
    4752 x 3168 - 6M
    Nokton 25mm 0.95.JPG
    4752 x 3168 - 6M
  • I received a replacement 12mm yesterday evening and I it´s 1000 times better than the broken one before, obviously.

    My overall impression (now) is pretty much the same like the ones I´ve read here and there: A little on the softy side, rock solid (although I´m not sure what that really means, since my first one was broken right out of the box), smooth aperture- and focus ring, vignetting.

    All pictures have been shot Raw and then converted/downsized a bit to Jpeg, all sharpening and noise reducing deactivated.

    @ F1,6: (first two attached images) For such wide "landscapy" shots I guess it´s sharp enough only for video purposes. But I´d rather not. F2,0 is already much sharper.

    Those flary highlights are always there at wide open, but at least the object (my blooming thyme) is in focus underneath all that flaring.

    And then @ F5,6 and F11, both as sharp as it gets with this lens.

    Edit: I added two samples of F2 to show the difference between 1,6 and 2,0

    So, will I keep it? I guess so, but I´ll need to find a solution to use it with a follow focus...

    3000 x 1688 - 2M
    3000 x 1688 - 2M
    3000 x 1688 - 2M
    3000 x 1688 - 2M
    3000 x 1688 - 2M
    3000 x 1688 - 2M
  • @JackBayer - I'm glad they replaced it. How long did that take? I'm scratching my head over this lens. I tried to put a converter on my voightlander 17.5mm; the results were like filming through a cola bottle. Pretty funny eh? I remember there was a company called Kinoptic that made lenses like these. Kind of on and off quality, but good intentioned. If they are really b uilding by order, perhaps they should disclose this to the customers. Thanks for posting the frames!

  • @bheath Since I ordered it from an Amazon Market place dealer, who had two more in stock, replacing was no problem. And as with my first order which I "Evening Expressed" with DHL so came the second just 20 hours after setting up the complaint on (Shipment was handled by amazon)

    As of now I can recommend the lens to the degree described in my previous post. F2 is what you get and an awesome wide angle. Spend a little more and you´d get the Olympus F2, which would probably be much more usable wide open as the SLR Magic @F2. But at the loss of manual focus (it seems to step-focus when set to manual on the lens, or when set to manual on the cam it motorizes its manual focus)...and then you get auto focus for photos.

    In the end my decision was purely moneybased, "how much can I spend right now"...

  • @JackBayer Thanks for that. That is good service. I dislike these focus by wire lenses of oly and panny, only because you can't repeat focus marks. I'd buy and SLR Magicthat way. Amazon Marketplace dealer? So I search Amazon? cheers!

  • @JackBayer Glad you got your lens replaced and that the new one is working to spec. I didn't know about the stepped focus in MF mode on the Oly 12mm, one more reason to choose the SLR Magic for video-leaning users.

    I think this is something that rarely gets discussed on these forums - some lenses are better at video than stills and vice-versa. If I was primarily a stills shooter I'd probably go with the Oly, as it's sharper and has AF. I shoot the occasional photo with the SLR Magic and in this respect it's just okay, I feel. But for video, the samples I've seen of the Oly just don't have the appealing character and cinematic look of the SLR Magic/GH2 combo.

    Some of my lenses are great for both stills and video, like the Canon FD35/2, Minolta 24/2.8 and Pana 20/1.7. But I see the SLR Magic primarily as a video lens, where its shortcomings are largely irrelevant and its strengths are abundant and welcome. This is the lens I've been waiting for since I started shooting M43 video.

  • I just got my 12mm lens and I'm afraid I got a bit paranoid after reading about the several defective lenses some people received. I did some tests and while the image quality seems fine, there seems to be a bit of play in the rear mount and also on the front barrel. If I hold the focus ring tight and try to move the front barrel it actually moves a bit. Does anyone also experience this? Is it normal? Thanks!

  • @eiji I have maybe a third to half a millimeter play between the lens and the mount.

  • @JackBayer thanks :-) it should be normal then. And does the front part of your lens also move? (at the separation where the f stop value is indicated)

  • Here's a recording of one of my projects. Noktor 12mm lens, GH2, Cake2.3, 24H, smooth all -2. F around 2-2.5. ISO 1600 or more, don't remember.

    2 things before you go judging sharpness from this clip:
    - the space is filled with thick fog from a hazer, it makes the light rays come out but surely makes the picture softer as well.
    - I'm filming AND performing. Which means I set the camera beforehand as good as I can, press record and move in front of the camera. I'm sure it can be improved by tweaking in shot.
    (And of course the clip's downscaled to 720p and recompressed by Vimeo)

    Password: preview

  • Bought it from the SLR Magic website on April 21st, recieved shipping info today, expecting to recieve it on the 21st of May. Fingers crossed.