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More image samples of the new Sonnetar (and some of the SLR magic scoope).


There are new and actually (very good looking) image samples taken with the Sonnetar 25mm f/1.1 prototype lens on the GH1. You can see them at KTFdesign (Click here) and KTFturbo (Click here). A japanese source confirmed that it will have the same $650 price of the Pentax Q mount version (here on eBay). It will be a more compact and cheaper alternative of the Voigtländer 25mm f/0.95 lens. No matter if you like the new Sonnetar or not it is great to see such a busy buzz of new third party lenses for the m43 system. Sigma, Voigtländer, Schneider, Zeiss and SLRmagic…that makes the system great!

Speaking of SLRmagic, you can see some image samples taken with their new scoope lenses on Flickr (Click here). Their 12-36×50 ED (420-1260mm) lens is available on eBay (Click here) for US $549.00.

  • Bob B.

    Personally, I will just hang tight with my Pany/Leica 25mm f/ has autofocus…and it is cheaper?

    • Mar

      Ditto, this lens is silly.

    • MJr

      This isn’t something you ‘upgrade’ to, it stands on its own. You either like it, need it, want it, or you don’t. Handmade by a nice guy should be of value to you, ‘caus you’re paying for it.

      • Andy Taylor


      • Mr. Reeee

        This is an artist’s lens. Cat ‘n brat snappers will look elsewhere.

        The bottom line is That it’s nice to have more standard focal length lens options! And a lens this small would be a great size match for the small M4/3 bodies.

        • Bob B.

          I don’t think you have to be a cat and brat snapper to use autofocus. You can be a serious artist and get way more keepers than someone struggling with focus and missing an image composition. AF can free you up to concentrate on other things. It doesn’t have to be a “negative” thing. (and..let’s remember…I can always switch off to MF if I need to work that way).

          • +1
            That’s why I repleaced my CV 25/0.95 with the PanaLeica.

          • MJr

            That isn’t what he said. You use this lens when you feel like it, and when you need to be a journalist with fast AF then you do that. Like i said, this doesn’t replace anything. Is that such a difficult concept ?

            Also, ‘you can always switch to MF’ ? No you can’t because you’ll be using focus-by-wire, which is only useful to lock and tweak focus, for use on a tripod for example. It is hell to use in any real situations, unlike a true manual lens.

            • Bob B.

              LOL! Where was journalism mentioned, exactly? (thanks so much for the translation!).

              • MJr

                THAT’s what you picked up on ? The one thing that could be substituted with anything else for the sake of argument. Wow you really are thick headed aren’t you. With all due respect.

                • Bob B.

                  jibber….jabber. If someone does not see things your way..its an argument….pulease.

                  • MJr

                    uh, yes ? That is what an argument is. Reasoning to a point of view. Feel free to disagree with mine, Mr Reee’s and Taylor’s, and that would be fine, but inability to understand it in the fist place is something else, hence the thick headed-ness.

  • Duchemin

    Why should it be silly?

    Its seems to be very small and light and if make and IQ is good this could be a valuable addition to m4/3-lens family even without AF. The pictures dont look bad.

  • kesztió

    The bokeh isn’t that good, otherwise I like what I see.

    But what we really need is some AF lenses faster than F1.8 for portraits. An F1.4 or F1.2 version of the 45 mm Oly, same excellent quality and just a bit higher price would be stunning!

    • bli

      What about the coming 75mm for portrait? In the good old days, a 135mm FF was considered good for portraits. The 75mm will perhaps stretch a little on this, but with f/1.8, it will give smaller DOF than the 45mm.

      • kesztió

        An F1.4/45 (or even F1.2) would be smaller and cheaper than the 75 mm, and much more usable (the latter is a very specialized focus distance hence less usable).

        • Mr. Reeee

          Sure, but 75mm is a nice intermediate focal length. I could see he 45mm and 75mm, along with a 25mm (your choice) as a great kit of primes.

          • Bob B.


    • joejo

      Buy a real camera

      • kesztió


        • MikeH

          Don’t worry kesztio, joejo’s parents grounded him today and he’s venting.

      • JimD

        joejo, I have a real camera a 6 x 7 Bronica. But I use an E30 and EP2 most which also happen to be real cameras. What do you suggest?

    • MikeS

      Yeah, the bokeh is really harsh and unpleasant imo. Regardless, nice to have an affordable fast lens option for the system.

  • Dan

    Those scope photos don’t look good enough to make me want one. Are there any other samples around?

  • PS

    The good thing that is happening is the great veriety of options that are being made possible in the m43 mount.It is becoming a full system!

    This is the largest selling mount in Japan, and that is no small feat keeping in mind the long and strong monoply of Canikon.

    Does anyone know the count of available lenses for the different mounts of Canikon?

  • pdc

    The entire topic of lens designs for M43 cameras is a worthy topic for this forum, and some structure for the discussions would be useful.

    We need to recognize two classes of M43 lens:
    A. Electronically recognized/controlled lenses – by manufacturers under NDA;
    B. Passive non-electronic lenses – by after market adoptees (NDA not required) – think of these as “purist” lenses, from boutique manufacturers.

    Panasonic and Olympus will design and build lenses to take full advantage of the intelligence in the M43 specifications. These are always Autofocus, sometimes powerzoom, sometimes IS, but always subject to in-camera image abberation correction.

    In-camera abberation correction is a key component in making lenses cheaper to manufacture. However, there are limits to what can be done and there are residual artefacts in the images produced.

    In-lens abberation correction produces images at the back-end which are cleaner than those out of simpler electronically connected and controlled lenses. This means that they are more complicated optically, requiring more elements and specialized coatings.

    A good case in point is the Nokton 17.5/f0.95. This is a BIG HEAVY lens, but it will reflect the state of the art in Japanese “purist” lenses. Could it be made simpler and lighter? – yes, if it uses more aspherics and plastic elements in the internal groups, but that requires a high volume run of these elements, which simply may not be an option for Cosina.

    Could Panasonic or Olympus make a lighter AF 17/f1 close-focus lens? – for sure, but the AF (and IS) adds considerable bulk and the price-point would be too high for most consumers. Hence they will continue to leave the field open to the boutique manufacturers.

    Lens design is as much about art as optical and electronic imaging science. M43 may drive a renaissance in purist optical solutions, and that can only be a good thing, as it will keep the more electronic imaging solutions honest.

    • I don’t know the 17/0.95 at all, but for example the my CV 25/0.95 was very-very soft in the extrem corners even at f/5.6, while my PL 25/1.4 is much better there.
      In theory you are right, but in practise…

  • David Mayer

    Lens design is indeed an art, the various qualities one looks for are sometimes at odds with each other specifically bokeh vs sharpness, distortion etc. the samples are difficult to judge except for the coma in the speculate highlights. The

  • David Mayer

    So much for commenting with an iPhone. I meant specular highlights. These are produced in small batches only, and Miyazaki-San’s company doesn’t sell or ship outside of Japan. I would get one if I could for that price, for the uniqueness and handmade nature of these lenses.

  • BLI

    Check out Pekka’s note on configuring the E-M5 ( — important for the efficient use.

    • Bob B.

      Oly FanBoy? :-)

      • BLI

        Fanboy — Pekka or I?
        Well, I can only speak for myself: my second camera was an OM-2 ca 1980. I used it for 1-2 years, then grew tired of the bulk when on trips, etc. Switched to mju, and went through perhaps 5 cameras. Then an 0.8 Mpx digital Olympus ca 1998, a 2.5 Mpx Oly ca 2000, and then a number of digital Olys until ca 2006. At this stage I was totally disillusioned because of pathetically slow AF. So I switched to Nikon D80, and later D300. I loved these cameras. But gradually I used them less and less. Why? I got tired of lugging them around on my many trips. (And perhaps as a nerd I need some new things to keep up the interest — hope not so…). So I bought the Oly XZ-1 w/ EVF-2(after an intermediate period w/ a couple of Lumix & Sony). Still not happy — I love the lens on the XZ-1, but too much shadow noise even at ISO 3-400… At this stage, I had already for a couple of years been attracted to the compromise of the m43.

        I finally bought the E-P3 in 2011. Why the Oly and not the Pana? To tell the truth, I considered both. I like both brands, in fact. The reasons why I ended up with Oly, in spite of their economic turmoil:
        * I prefer to use EVF, and already had the EVF-2 for the XZ-1 ==> could save some money
        * Olympus made a huge improvement in AF speed with the E-P3
        * Pana was too slow in coming out with a GF-1 replacement. Had I not already owned the EVF-2, and had the GX-1 come out earlier, I would most likely have had a Pana m43 today.
        * Btw — I don’t have the patience to edit movie clips into movies, so my movie needs are rudimentary…

        Does this make me into a fanboy? I don’t know. Will I buy the E-M5? I don’t know. Why do I get engaged in the debate? For one thing, I can’t stand non-constructive/destructive, negative, lazy statements. Especially against people or — companies (with workers/engineers doing their best) lying down. OK-perhaps I loose my head sometimes and am unfair — if so, I apologize. Perhaps I pose lazy/uninformed questions myself. I apologize. But there is no better way of learning…

        Why do I inform about Pekka’s blog? I think his preview was excellent, I think he writes well, and on topics that are interesting. Perhaps his writing is less interesting for Pana fanboys, if there are anyone. In any case, I do think for myself :-). And I enjoy negative comments on the Oly and any other camera — as long as they have a constructive angle.

        • Bob B.

          Def. OlyFanBoy! WOW…but…how about that Sonnetar? LOL!

          • Charlie

            Bob is a closet Oly fanboy,

            He has beautiful JPEGs hidden under his bed.

            • Bob B.

              Pekka Potka, Pekka Potka, Pekka Potka……….

              • Bob B.

                Oh…WOW…look what I found this under my bed.

                • Charlie

                  Must be a pretty darn big bed to fit a ferris wheel under.

                  • Bob B.

                    and the whole beach, too!!!!!!!!

              • BLI

                Is that your new “serenity now” mantra? :-)

                • Bob B.

                  it’s my new Olympus-Buddhist chant…OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM!

  • pdc
    • Vivek

      Yes. :)

  • Vivek

    These are better samples. It is a cute lens! :)

    I need a GXR or EPL3 with a built in EVF for this lens. :)

  • pdc

    So what they have done is built a 50% scale version of their 2006 FF MS-MODE-S 50mm/f1.3 lens.

  • Andy Taylor

    This looks like a really neat lens. People complaining about the strange bokeh / manual focus seem to be missing the point that this weighs 62g and provides f1.1! Beyond that, you take what you get.

    Incidentally, I quite like that bokeh. It’s fussy, but definitely interesting and somewhat artistic at times.

  • pdc

    The 2006 FF MS-MODE-S 50mm/f1.3 lens seems to be a close crib of the 1930s Zeiss 50mm/f1.5 ZM (see The Zeiss has 10 iris blades, the 2006 Miyazaki MS-MODE-S has 12. The M43 scaled-down version, depending on the iris construction, should deliver similar results as the old Zeiss or the 2006 MS lens. If you like that old (and dated look) this little M43 lens may be for you, but you will have to get someone in Japan snag it for you. For the money you would be better off with the PL 25/1.4.

    • Vivek

      PDC, This 25/1.1 is no Sonnar. The out of focus back ground is silky smooth with most Sonnars and this ain’t it.

      • pdc

        Identical construction design, so still a Sonnar crib. Don’t know what the iris is like in the M43 Sonnetar, and therein may lie most of the bokeh issues.

  • Charlie

    Ha … go back & read my report. No “e” in scoop. ;)


  • Yun

    No much different between F1.1 & F1.4 , I still prefer summilux . Manual focus not my type .
    If really want to go for huge aperature , why not go for F0.95 straight away ?

  • Tom

    OW!!!! My eyes. Bad bokeh, bad! The out of focus areas look like what I see when I put on someone else’s glasses. Sorry, the thought of a hand-made f1.1 lens is enticing indeed, but that bokeh….

  • Pity that the lens is so expensive and unreachable. Definitely MF lenses can be so much smaller.

    I have an Industar 28/2.8 which is the smallest adaptable lens – a Tessar design triplet. While not excellent aat the edges, it is at the center – so v. good tiny pancake for street shooting in hyperfocal.

    But I also have a Sonnar 75/2.0 which is sharp from edge to edge. Those Russian lenses cost respectively 30 and 80$.

    If only Cosina or Samyang could provide their modern equivalents at a sensible price – I am sure there is a niche market for them.

    But the Sonnetar? It will be sold in hundreds – too expensive.

  • The scope is very soft (and dark, only 50mm opening)for digiscoping. :(

  • Personally, I would have cleaned the dandruff off it before I photographed it.

  • Camaman

    Zeiss m43? where?

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