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Noktor 12mm f/1.6 hands-on (Straight Spotting Scope on eBay)


There is a double hands-on review of the new 12mm f/1-6 Noktor lens:
You can read the first hands-on at ThePhoBlographer (Click here): “How does the lens feel? It’s very well built: all metal body and quite heavy for a micro four thirds lens. But it’s not overpoweringly heavy.
And the second hands-on has been written by Steve Huff (Click here): “I can see that at f/1.6 it is a little teeny bit soft at the edges but still looks VERY nice. By f/2 it sharpens up and is just about flawless. Also this lens has VERY LITTLE distortion. Oh, did I mention it also doubles as a macro lens?”.
If you are interested in getting this lens there is still NO preorder option yet. The only Noktor lens that ships right now is the Noktor 50mm f/0.95 on eBay or on their website.

Spotting Scope lens in Stock:
The other news is that the SLR Magic 12-36×50 ED Straight Spotting Scope lens (w/ hand grip) is now available on eBay (Click here).

Other SLRmagic lenses for Micro Four Thirds:
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)

  • Jim

    That looks like a nice lens!

    Sharp, nice blur, stepless apature, close focus… only AF away from an oly killer :)

    What is the price of this one?

  • John

    It says $499. Looks promising! I dont ming AF as infinity is probably 4 feet away.

  • I do not trust these lenses. The lens construction looks like someone used a normal focal length lens and married it with one of those cheap screw on wide angle converters.

    • Esa Tuunanen

      Look like that but might be also fully dedicated design:
      Wide angle/very short focal length lenses have big front elements (even the ones with smaller max aperture) making also lens barrel rather fat in usual even thickness design lenses but notice how barrel of this lens is actually smaller than lens mount in diameter. So might be just result of keeping optical performance high while trying to keep weight down.
      And even if design actually includes built in wide converter this thing outperforms Oly 12mm in optical performance which should be the important thing instead of some fashionable look.

      • TC

        +1 many Zeiss WA glass adopt such a design as well. I doubt its a WA converter.

      • Miroslav

        Yes, and note that this one does not have digitally corrected distortions in camera, like Olympus’ 12mm. So, Oly had more freedom in their design.

  • Cteve

    Fantastic garbage.

    That lens is probably really made cheap and within a matter of a few weeks you’ll already have dust in it etc…

    Would stay away from it. Better invest the extra 300-400$ and get the Olympus which is 2x smaller and has AF.

    • Esa Tuunanen

      And Panasonic doesn’t have those?
      14-42mm is plain horribly plastic construction and even expensive 7-14mm has little plastic stickyness in zoom ring.

      And it’s actually zoom lenses which have the risk of getting dust in because extending zoom lens sucks air in. In primes that possibility doesn’t exist and about only way for dust to get in would be falling in through cracks between parts.

  • TC

    that is a crazy amount of aperture blades on that lens. looks sexy to me. Screw on WA converters do not look like that and usually says x0.45 on it with lots of distortion so dont be silly!

  • Oliver

    Nice lens. But what I don´t understand: Why the hell the lens is tested by making a macro-like picture? In my opinion a 12mm lens is predestinated for landscape, architecture, street, food … resp. wide angle photography! But flowers???

    • Miroslav

      Agree, I’d like to see night landscape / architecture / group of people shots in order to judge its true performance concerning distortion, corner sharpness and vignetting. Dog near the center of the frame during the day isn’t what this will be used for.

      • bilgy_no1

        Landscape samples would be nice too, but a bright 24mm equivalent will also be used for fashionable wide angle environmental portrait with blurred background. That’s why these shots are still interesting.

        And to be honest, for landscape it’s no problem to stop down for better sharpness in the corners. As it is, f/2 already looks pretty good.

  • Mr. Reeee

    Looks okay. Still would want to try it to see the build quality.

    With infinity at about 10 feet, AF would be moot.
    Possibly a fun walkabout lens with no need to focus! AF be damned! ;-)

    Me? I’d still like a good 10mm! I miss my Nikon 20mm f2.8 AIS.

    It’s great to see more M4/3 lenses!

  • Miroslav

    A poor man’s 12mm F2 :). 500 USD ~ 400 EUR is a bit steep for the poor, but I’d give it a try if it was 250-300 EUR. But even poor people need better MF assist than Olympus m4/3 cameras have :( …

    BTW, Huff’s lens looks much sharper at the edges than PhoBlographer’s. IMO there’s no point in wide angle lens that has cornes like these: . And that’s resized at F4! Hope other 12mm F1.6s will be sharp as Huff’s one.

  • Cinemator

    To each to their own. I have no use for autofocus with my GH2, I use it exclusively for videos. Af-lenses with fly by wire manual focusing are horrible to use. I prefer smooth mechanical focusing ring that stops at infinity.

    I will make my judgements regarding the “Toy Lens” status of the company after I see how their lens compares to Olympus 12mm at F2. Huff’s initial samples look sharp, but phoblographers sample looks garbage.

    According to The Phoblographers talks with the manufacturer, Noktor’s offering is actually calibrated in T-stops, so the FOV and DOF should be somewhat similar to a fullframe 24mm f2.8. Though markings on the front say F 1.6… Go figure. I doubt that they can measure transmission values for every single lens produced.

    There has to be some compromises included with this price tag. For example lens breathing during focusing remains to be seen…

  • Bob B.

    OK..enough nonsense…I have to call this the way I see it.
    $499, huh? “I can see that at f/1.6 it is a little teeny bit soft at the edges” ??? Did anyone look at the f/1.6 photo of the purple flower petals on the Phobloggers review?…it looks as though someone smeared vaseline on the corners.
    This isn’t being marketed as a Lens Baby …but a “premium” wide angle?
    Has anyone noticed who one of the advertisers is on Steve Huff’s homepage?
    nuff said.

    • Cinemator

      Good call. Steve Huff is clearly affiliated with the company. I hope some unbiased reviewers will get hold of this lens soon!

      • Bob B.

        Well…it may be that the corners are out of the plane of focus in the photo that I saw of the purple flowers on the PhoBlogger (which was actually shot at f/4…I mistakenly said 1.6 in my post) …not sure. I just think $499 is very expensive for this type of lens… I just received the 12mm f/2 from Olympus, yesterday…which is VERY steeply priced (with the lens shade at a $100 premium extra…bringing the total to $900!)…but I have to say I am impressed with the IQ AND the small size.
        It’s all there (and I am a Pany fan). That is what MFT is all about in my world.

    • TC

      I have the Olympus 12mm and I can tell the flower petals are taken really up close and smeared corners is not unusual. when taking a photo so close. to take such macro photos it should not be taken at an angle.

  • fta

    And they are calling this a “Hyperprime” as well?! (Look at the box)

    The more crap “Noktor” releases, the more I don’t trust them and don’t like them. $500 for a c-mount conversion with a wide angle adapter, wtf?

    And whats with SLRmagic “Toy” lenses? Hmm.. Let’s put bright colored PLASTIC on the lenses so that they do look like a toy your toddler would play with. Hey, m43 users, do you ever wonder why nikon/canon/sony owners are laughing at you?

    Ya, ya, ya… It doesn’t matter what the lens looks like to take a good picture…

    • TC

      ane you are so certain about the c-mount conversion part? If you had more knowledge before making stupid comments c-mount lenses wider that 50 would vignette. c-mount lenses wider than 35 would vignette even more. 4/3 c-mount lenses cannot even fit in a m43rds body as the lens miunt is too small. The cheapest wide angle 4/3 wide angle lens runs for more than a grand too. correct me if I am wrong and that you have seen a successful 12mm c-mount conversion without any vignette before

  • TC

    the photos on huffs website is wide angle. the photos on phoblography is macro. it is common to have softer edges for macro shots for those who has not shot with mqcro before. if phobogrsphy take whoto samples wider I am sure the samples will be just as sharp.

  • lnqe-M

    Well, the is realy type video lens.

    • Bob B.

      Inqe-M …I think so too, but do not know enough to comment if it is a converted video lens or not.

      • TC

        this lens is not converted. they post something on dpreview 1-2 yrs ago and we all discussed what lens they should make. I was reading the forum at the rime. i must say i am quite impressed they followed through and listened to the users. hope olympus and panasonic would put down their ego and did something like that

        • Bob B.

          OK…I would really like to see a disinterested third party review the lens with more extensive photos. It doesn’t have to be a total tech review..blah blah..but I guess we need more info from a neutral source.

          • jf

            There are tons of C-Mount lenses of this type in the $100 range for 1/2 to 2/3 inch CCTV lenses. I am not sure if this is converted but I think it is. It is most definitely based on a CCTV lens since there are many of this type. I would also guesse it’s a china manufacturure Either way from samples this and look it seems way over priced.

            • John

              Jf thats a funny statement cause this lens is made for use on a GH2 with the multi aspect ratio sensor. 1/2 or 2/3 lenses would never work. Many of us adapt the 1″ Angeniuex on it and it still vignette heavily. If ex-tele mode was used it would only work on movie mode but these two reviewers obviously took stills not from video feed and ex-tele does not work. Are there really tones of lenses 1/2 or 2/3 that work fullframe on m43rds? Please share the light to us all. We do not appreciate internet spamming on this forum with unsupported facts

              • Ben


                This has got to be a 4/3 lens. I have not tried any of then as they run from $1200-2000 per glass. This lens seems to be made ground up at the low asking price

            • Cinemator

              Yes, and there are also tons of expensive, high resolving, fast aperture industrial C-Mount lenses in the $1000+ range.

              Take a look here:

              It is most definitely NOT based on a $100 low resolution CCTV-lens…

              • john

                thanks for the link. so you think the lens is converted from the Kowa 12mm f2.0 4/3 lens? the NoktoR lens certainly looks a lot larger than the Kowa thus explaining the large f/1.6 aperture it has though…

  • iluvhatemail

    looks like a decent wide for video, wouldnt buy it for photography tho.

  • Bob

    I just did a quick and dirty test, and I can confidently say for video at least, it is a fantastic lens.

    • john

      huh??? how did you do the “quick and dirty” test?

  • Chris

    So……………whos going to put some cash in for the spotting scope, we need samples too see if worth the bucks hey.

  • Tulio

    Finally, a focal length that is useful for MFT.

    • It is indeed a modified, $432.00 C-Mount lens.

      Hyperprime 12mm is most likely based on Kowa 8mm f1.4 C-mount lens with custom teleconversion to enlarge the image circle. What puzzles me is how did they manage to keep the light loss so minimal? Astonishing!

      Original Kowa 8mm lens has claimed 120 lp/mm resolution at center and 80 lp/mm in corners. (It is sharp.) Custom teleconversion means more lenses, so final resolution is most likely lower than that.


      • Ben

        Corners look too sharp to be modified

  • Posted that bit of information on Huff’s site as well. Let’s see if it passes moderation…

    • Brod1er

      It does seem unlikely SLR magic have built this lens from scratch. All their products so far are adapted c-mount. It may be ok and will be of use to niche markets (videographers etc) so it has it’s uses. For stills the Panny 14, 7-14 and Oly 12 look much more sensible.

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