Exclusive on 43rumors: New Noktor 12mm f/1.6 lens!

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The new 12mm f/1.6 Noktor lens (Click on image to enlarge!). P.S.: The bulge is not a lens hood. its part of the lens.

I have been contacted by the guys from SLR Magic which are now also the owner of the Noktor company. We had a long chat and they were so kind to send us the very first pictures of their upcoming new Noktor lens. It is a 12mm f/1.6 manual and native Micro Four Thirds lens! Unlike the 50mm f/0.95 Noktor the 12mm lens has been designed from scratch for the m43 system!
SLR Magic told me that: “In August last year we asked on some forums what kind of lens people want. The conclusion was many want a wide angle prime that is fast, sharp, and round aperture. We hope this is what everyone wanted and we want to thank everyone for their suggestions.

SLR Magic had a thread on dpreview.com in August 2010 asking for the “Most wanted micro four thirds lens” To thank those who participated in the thread for the making of this lens they have a friendly price offer for them. All they need to do is email support@slrmagic.com with their dpreview username and mention their interest in buying this lens. They have a record of those who participated in the thread and only those people will be eligible.

As you can see the lens is smaller than the mount itself. The product manager from SLR Magic told me that if the lens would have been f/2.0 the lens would have become noticeable shorter. But they wanted to make it as fast as possible: “We made it to target professionals. As we are a full manual lens, we aimed to have low distortion with no software correction for best quality” And the lens has been optimized for video: “It has stepless aperture as smooth manual focus. We put in the cinema lens design into it with the 12 aperture blades.“. The Noktor HyperPrime 12mm will have an 58mm filter thread and even the built-in flash light does not get covered by the lens.

As you know Slrmagic already makes three lenses (but they are not as good as the new Noktor):
SLR magic 11mm f/1.4 lens you can preorder on eBay (Click here) Toy Lens 26mm f/1.4 lens on eBay (Click here) SLR Magic 35mm f/1.7 MC lens on eBay (Click here)

The lens will be available in a couple of months. You can follow their updates on twitter @slrmagic and/or @noktor.

Click on the thumbnails below to enlarge the pictures. All pictures have been taken with the Noktor 12mm preproduction lens!

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  • I hope they are priced low as SLRMagic’s original products were. The newer ones, whilst acceptable, are priced high for what it is. Please No.

    • Godot

      Everything I read in Admin’s post says you should expect to lay out a few hundred bucks for this.

      Admin: you accidentally typed “Nokton” near the end.

      • Yeah, Not a good sign. Admittedly, I’ve bought a few of their lenses because I’m from Hong Kong and would love to support local lensmakers. But cost is really a barrier to entry here.

  • Agrivar

    Lol. Yep. Its a noktor. Not nokton

    • admin

      Fixed :)

  • om-4

    As a cinelens with stepless iris it will be an interesting addition to m43.

  • Bimbo

    i want.

  • compositor20

    how much would you pay for it?

    200 euros?

    (samyiang or vivitar and rokinon have a 85mm f1.4 manual focus) for 250 euros and that is an high quality lens that is acceptable sharp wide open…

    what do you find about wide open performance?

    is the lens hood included separately or built-in ?

    • That bulge looks like lens hood, but I think that is lens body because that lens has 58mm filter thread.

  • The Noktor 50/0.95 was a modification of CCTV lens. I wonder this lens is original design of Noktor(&SLR Magic) or not.

    And….. sample at f/2.0 looks very nice to me. Great!

  • Agrivar

    Yep. Any idea on price?

    • admin

      No idea yet. But definitely cheaper than the upcoming Olympus 14mm 2.0.

  • Olympius

    My goodness, even SLR Magic “gets it” in terms of small, light, high quality fast primes for micro 4/3. Olympus should have been making this sort of thing from the first day. Well, I guess they’ll have their own 12mm to show us in a few weeks.

    Glad to see SLR Magic taking micro 4/3 so seriously. I hope this lens is priced right, and that they sell a million of them. Good job guys!

    Olympius

  • Hippo

    argh … the GF2 looks like an Leaf Blower with this lens ;-)

  • Does anyone have a link to the Most Wanted Lens thread, so I can see if I participated or not?

  • andy

    Slrmagic…original products? Yeah okay!
    Rebranded cheap cctv lenses sold for a hiked price? Search on ebay and you will find the same generic cctv lenses cheaper without the slrmagic brand.

  • Agrivar

    Not sure if this is just a rebranded CCTV lens but the sample images are pretty good. So if the price is right… Might be worth a look.

  • Duarte Bruno

    Stepless aperture Iris is no big deal!
    I can get it done on any of the four Konica Hexanon lens I own in under 2 minutes if you give me watchmaker’s screwdrivers. And I’m counting the time it takes to mount the lens back in one piece (except for the beads that make the stops click, of course).

  • che

    to wide, nobody gets it we want alternative to 20 1.7 wich is under 100e and manual focus no vignette. and like 1.4 if possiblle pencake. it can be plastic i dont care.

    • Good stuff has its price. The Panasonic 20mm is worth every EUR or Dollar it costs. It’s possibly the best lens available for Micro Four Thirds and has been my first purchase after I got my E-PL1.

  • Brod1er

    Good addition to mft. I really hope it is a new design with good quality. Certainly puts the big names to shame somewhat. For the right price it makes a lot of sense ( ie must be significantly less than the new Oly lens). In some ways I don’t think SLRmagic should have bought Noktor. They were more realistic about claims and prices, whereas we all know Noktor was a cynical marketing exercise.

  • io

    This is the first SLRmagic lens I’m interested on… At least if it isn’t very expensive.

  • designed for m43 from scratch? now i am sitting right up….

  • Bomberesque

    WAAAANT. I would be happy with F2 at that FL though especially if it made it “significantly shorter” (blimey, I’d manage with f4 of you could make a pancake 10mm rectilinear) but a proper WA prime, now that’s grist to my mill. it’ll either be this or the oly 12mm for me when they are both out and I can compare.

  • I think up to $200 might b alright but I need to see more samples before biting the bullet. Hopefully less though.

  • Daemonius

    Quite decent samples..

  • Thomas

    would a great lens @hyperfocal distance – on F8 it’s 1.2 meters to infinty! no more need for autofocus… :)

    T.

  • The sample pictures look compelling. I hope it is as good as it looks, I’ve been using the 20mm on my GH2 as my primary cinema lens, I would love to have something that’s a bit wider.

  • Jevfp

    As long as anybody can offer a great quality lens with reasonable price , i believe , us M/43 user we’ll glad to welcome it it doesn’t matter about the brand ,.. And yes more wide lens

  • Mar

    Bokeh seems nice…

  • atze

    hmm, 1.6 doesn’t look sharp at all. 2.0 looks fine though

  • Simon

    No price estimate? How about vignetting?

    • Jeff

      I did notice all the samples were 3×2 rather than 4×3…

  • Abi

    Let’s see… Noktor and Nokton as outside companies has been building 12mm F1.6 and 25mm f0.9 while Oly is keeping building SLOW lenses and rehashing cameras. Don’t you see why Oly lost its momentum and lead its path of destruction…

    • Gino

      NoktoR lens is junk and NoktoN one is very niche lens made in small batches.
      On general note, wide angle lens are not narrow DOF lens. Wide angle photography require quite extensive DOF and from very close distance. So making WA lens faster than f2.8 is just a gimmick – in real life people will have to stop them down anyway.

      • Nick Clark

        *Some* types of wide-angle photography require very deep DoF, not all… A large-aperture wide angle would be great for low-light street photography and for an alternate take on portraiture.

  • looks good! waiting to see 100% crops,
    also hope itll be cheap enough to compete with the upcoming olympus 12mm

  • Biro

    This is very exciting… but what will the list price be… and the eventual street price?

  • LTH

    obviously it seems much more bigger than 12 mm, why ???

  • Daywalker

    It’s very interesting, i wish the price is like the other slr magic lenses between 100-200€. If it will be, i will buy it 100% :)

  • I’m a bit tired of exotic “designed for m4/3” lenses with poor image quality. Why should the diameter be smaller than the mount? It just doesn’t make sense. Perhaps the image circle does not quite cover the whole sensor? I wouldn’t be surprised.
    As far as the samples go, anything but the center is quite soft at f/2.

    • Uwe

      …because the sensor diameter is smaller than the mount diameter, too.
      I think that the statement regarding the lens’ diameter is pure guessing of the 43rumors author. Don’t know. Anyway, picture quality looks promising (as long as the price is low, though).

  • mapleflot

    Yes that f2.0 flower close-up looks impressive and the f8 panorama isn’t bad either. Will keep my eye on this lens.

  • Duarte Bruno

    Assessing sharpness from these samples is a joke.
    All samples are reduced size and suffer terribly from heavy JPEG compression. It’s a macroblock fest! :(

    • +1 Duarte

      I’d be amazed if this doesn’t turn out to be another rebadged cctv lens. What else could it be? The truth will surface soon enough I’m guessing.

  • mpgxsvcd

    They would be foolish to turn away customers just because they did not post in some obscure forum post. I imagine they would be willing to cut a deal for anyone who is willing to buy one sight unseen on day one.

  • Francois Rimasson

    i own also a 5dMkII with a 35mm f1.4 for indoor portrait in small spaces, and that’s THE lens that i miss in 4/3 (wide angle + shallow dof) , so this Noktor is welcome.

  • borissimo

    YES! YES! YES!

  • grzybu

    I would rather prefer much smaller 12/2.8 or even f/4. It will be more than enough for some architectural or landscapes. No need for very fast lens for that purpose. AF isn’t necessary too in those cases. Just good quality lens which gives sharp pictures at f/4.
    Probably Oly’s 12/2 will be good, but it will be rather expensive, probably even more expensive than 20/1.7 pancake.

  • thanksSLRMagic

    Thank God I participated in dp review thread :)
    I’m buying mZD 12mm f/2.0 and also have 11/1.4 toy on order.
    Quality looks good, sure it’s Voith… can’t wait pricing!

  • Bob B.

    I won one of these in the contest that SLR magic had by showing them some of my work.
    I think I should be getting it…any day now….It looks like fun.

  • D

    Looks nice but it’ll all depend on the price. I got my Computar 12.5mm f/1.3 for less than $40 and I’m very happy with that so this’ll have to be competitively priced for me to consider it.

  • Alphonse2501

    I would like to get this one for astrophotography. It may provides enough stars to my camera.

  • I find it hard to believe they actually developed their own lens design. That being said I can’t find any cinema or CCTV lenses this could be based off of… except maybe the Fujinon-TV 12.5mm f/1.4 which has been the subject of modification experiments to cover the 4/3 sensor: http://www.flickr.com/groups/c-mount_/discuss/72157626729448835/

    This one’s 12-blade aperture (the Fujinon has an octagonal 8-blade aperture) and the slightly higher f-stop could explain why the bokeh doesn’t have the characteristic c-mount swirling. The more you stop down a lens the less swirly and more circular the bokeh.

    So (maybe, this is just a theory) they bought up a bunch of of the Fujinon HF12.5HA-1B CCTV lenses, still in production, then swapped the glass into their own barrel based off of the old Fujinon-TV design but with a focusing helicoid modified to cover the sensor like the one linked above, and slapped a m4/3 mount on the back. I believe this is the same way the Noktor 50mm f/0.95 was produced. The previous owner of the Noktor brand (in Atlanta?) contracted with some HK/Chinese factory to change the label and swap the mount of a Senko, Goyo, Navitron or Navitar CCTV lens.

    • Abi

      Joe… I think that’s not true. Fuji is 12.5mm and vignettes wide open, so if you make it wider with same amount of glass it will vignette even more… that’s not the case in the samples.

      • You’re wrong Abi…
        The ekoehler7’s modification results in close to full coverage of the m4/3 sensor in 4:3 mode, with slight vignetting in the corners. In 3:2 mode, there is just the slightest hint of vignette. The modification consists of 12 separate adjustments. It started with the efforts of GetDPI forum users “Vivek” and “zcream”, but ekoehler7 taken the modification further to achieve greater coverage.The modification includes collimation for precise infinity focus and upright 12 o’clock lens marks on m4/3, and a perfect pairing with an ultra-thin C-Mount to M43 adaptor.
        SLR Magic and Noktor glasses are almost cheap quality, but Fujinon glass is gorgeous.
        The Noktor samples don’t look very real, maybe they’re cropped, so I can’t tell if there’s vignette or not.

        • Actually, Abi’s not wrong… the HF12.5HA JoeBenjamin mentions above is for 1/2″ video and it vignettes heavily on m4/3. For my modification, I use the Fujinon 12.5mm/1.4 for 1″ video. If only SLR Magic would reveal what lens they’ve based this 12mm/1.6 on.
          My bet is that it’s a generic 24mm/1.6 re-housed with a 2x wide converter and an m4/3 mount.

  • Nat

    can’t believe people like the samples… they really sux! I’m sure this lens will cost $200+ and for that still overprice.

  • I’ve got the “ekoehler7 modified Fujinon-TV 12.5 mm f1.4” and it’s a great lens.
    The colors are gorgeous, and the lens is very sharp from f2.8 to 22.
    I made a Flickr album :
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/gekopaca/sets/72157626714271375/
    and a review :
    http://www.mu-43.com/f40/ekoehler7-fujinon-tv-12-5mm-1-4-full-coverage-modification-12723/

    We will see three interesting informations about that Noktor :
    – The price (The Noktor 50mm f0.95 was EUR750 priced)
    – The image quality
    – The vignetting…
    … and the samples sent by SLR Magic aren’t so clear… they’re really compressed, and maybe cropped.

    So : I need to see more about price, IQ and vignetting to know if it’s a good opportunity…

  • Miroslav

    So far the samples look good. Although the lens itself is ugly, I’m interested, as long as it’s sharp enough and does not vignette at 16:9 wide open. And now we wait for Panasonic and Olympus to provide us with some advanced manual focus assist (“peaking” ?).

  • Robbie

    The sample images are quite good (though the f8 is a little sub-par) if the lens is reasonably priced.

  • It’s interesting to see an alternative to my Fujinon-TV 12.5mm/1.4 modification for m4/3.

    However, I’m disappointed by the sample images. Compare these sample images to Gekopaca’s photos taken with my Fujinon 12.5mm/1.4 modification in his review (linked in Gekopaca’s comment above).

    Why haven’t they shown us coverage in full sensor 4:3 mode?

    Also, I see no focus or aperture indication mark in the one photo of the lens. If this lens was designed for m4/3, then why is the focus and aperture indication mark not upright at 12 o’clock where it should be?

    I can say with some certainty this SLR Magic 12mm is not in any way based on any of the Fujinon-TV 12.5mm/1.4 lenses, particularly HF12.5HA. The HF12.5HA is made for 1/2″ video and it vignettes heavily on m4/3. The Fujinon-TV 12.5mm/1.4 I use for the ekoehler7 modification is for 1″ video, so there is a greater image circle to work with.

    There were other fast 1″ video 12.5mm CCTV lenses, however… from Canon, Sony, Cosmicar, Computar, Soligor, Apollo, Navitar, etc. But I don’t recognize the silhouette of the SLR Magic/Noktor 12mm/1.6. It still looks quite prototype/awkward. I suspect it may be a generic 24mm/1.6 CCTV lens re-housed with a 2x wide converter and an m4/3 mount, which would explain it’s size. That would not qualify as ‘designed for m4/3’ by my standard.

  • Richard

    The output from this lens looks…not very good. Honestly, an older 12mm Pentax Cosmicar C-mount lens, even with the hard vignetting it produces, would probably give you a better image wide open at f1.9 than this one at f2.0. If it comes in at $100 or less, it might be worth having though.

  • _gl

    Found this on their twitter feed (https://twitter.com/#!/slrmagic):

    “$499 will be the price for the Noktor HyperPrime 12mm F1.6 for mFT. We only have limited quantities though.” (17 Jun)

  • Fernando

    I don’t think the samples are so great (and look cropped to me) but a couple are decent. They lack any optical magic anyway…

    So it’s all about the balance with it’s price (price/quality ratio). I would pay $100 maybe $120 max. if it’s really good within it’s range (to me, it’s still clearly into the CCTV quality range)
    As a reference $145 for the 11mm toy lens is a bad joke! But since there’s some incautious buying them…

    No worries, sooner or later we’ll have a decently priced quality wide lens for the m4/3, I’m sure.
    Maybe someone could do like audio tube manufacturers and use old west factories to produce well priced lenses with some of the magic of the 50s and 60s lenses, instead of the sterile modern lenses.
    I’d prefer a f3.5 24mm eq. with some real magic instead of a f1.6 lens that will only satisfy an android’s taste :P

    Anyway, in this particular case, I’d prefer it to be f1.8 or f2.0 and it being smaller and for $100-$120 max.

    Let’s see…

    best to all

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