by Johnnie Behiri | 28th December 2015
The new SLR Magic Cine 50mm f/1.1 is just about to start shipping and a fresh copy of the renewed lens just landed on our table. As previously described in my original news post, the prototype had suffered from some serious limitations which strongly affected its performance especially when attempting to film at a wide open aperture. You might (like us) be asking yourself how a manufacturer can improve the optical performance of a lens in just under a month? Apparently it is absolutely doable! My hat off to SLR magic for listening to our remarks, holding production, improving the overall lens performance, adding a lens shade to combat lens flares at no additional cost and delivering an upgraded product just in time for the new year…. Below you can see photos compering the new vs old lens. SLR Magic F/1.1 | Crop of upper left-hand corner One of the problems were the very soft left side corners of the lens when the aperture was wide open. (The right side looked sharper). As you can judge from the above photo (crops from the upper left hand corner of the image produced by the lenses), this is no longer the case. The optical performance of the SLR Magic Cine 50mm f/1.1 was significantly improved and now is matching the right hand side of the lens. Please note that the sharpness at the centre of the lens stayed almost identical to the original prototype. Strong vignetting at F/1.1 is making the overall image, but especially that upper left hand side crop you’re seeing, darker. All in all, well done SLR Magic! (And as a side note, I truly enjoy using that lens for taking portrait photos!) The video below was taken with the PROTOTYPE LENS. I’m sure that the new version will satisfy most users even better.Read more
by Johnnie Behiri | 1st December 2015
This was supposed to be a normal comprehensive lens test/review of the new SLR Magic Cine 50mm f/1.1 made with a production unit we received from the manufacturer about 2 weeks ago. After working with the new lens, we’ve raised our concerns to the manufacturer especially about the softness of the image at the corners of the picture when shooting with a wide open aperture and setting the focus point to infinity. All was ready to be publish today when an e-mail from SLR Magic landed in my inbox. Here is an excerpt from their message: From the two weeks of real life testing by several testers, we received 3 main concerns. – Corner softness at infinity – Sharpness at f/1.1 – Lens flare We are currently making some changes within our capability to address the issues. The new changes would improve corner sharpness at infinity by approximately 20% but do not expect perfection after the changes. Sharpness at f/1.1 is not affected. Lens flare would be addressed with an optional lens hood. It is encouraging to see a manufacturer who is taking action in order to make his product better after feedback from beta testers like us! As such, we decided to suspend the publication of the written review itself and wait for the new version to come, BUT, we also decided to publish the above video as it is a good example of what the combination of a fast lens together with the Sony a7SII can deliver in extreme low light situations. We will review and test the new lens soon. In the video above, I wanted to mimic a realistic documentary working situation. To my help came Tina Walzer who is the responsible historian for a very old close to the public Jewish cemetery located in Vienna. I was presuming it will be dark out there, at least at the heart of the cemetery with some light bouncing near its fence from the streetlights facing towards the street itself. Boy I was right! Even at a wide open aperture I had to tune the camera to a range of ISO 128,000 to 409,600. Below you can see a picture of “what my eye could see” vs. “what the camera saw in high ISO”. One of the reasons for those insigne high ISO values is my wish to expose correctly. If you would like to successfully work in Slog-2 during shooting in high ISO conditions, I advise you to do the same, otherwise you will be recording a lot of noise. What the camera can see on the left vs. what my eyes could see on the right About this video: Shot in 4K/25p, 100 Mbit, Slog-2, ISO 28,000 to 409,600, Edited on Adobe Premiere CC 2015, graded with James Miller’s DELUTs. NO de-noising of any sort was used. The “trick” is to use a LUT that can mask well most of it. Music used in this review: Ghosts Seldom Stay In Their Graves and The Grave by Triads by Triads courtesy of themusicbed A special thanks to Tina Walzer for helping me out in producing and executing this video. Johnnie Behiri is a freelance documentary cameraman/editor/producer working mostly for the BBC and other respected broadcasters. He is also co-owner of cinema5d.comRead more
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