The SLR Magic 10mm T2.1 Hyperprime Cine Lens Hits the 4K Sweet Spot

by Karin GottschalkLeave a Comment

SLR Magic, Hong Kong-based maker of high speed manual lenses has released its SLR Magic 10mm T2.1 Hyperprime Cine Lens for Micro Four Thirds cameras, and from the first two videos shot with it, it looks like a beauty.

I have a long history of using prime lenses on mirrorless cameras, from well before the term mirrorless came into vogue for non-DSLR cameras. I learned years ago that using beautifully designed, well-crafted, manual, single focal length optics is a joy in itself and can intimately shape your way of seeing the world. And my favourite way of seeing is immersive, via wide angle lenses with gorgeous colour rendition and as sharp as a tack.

When I recently opted for Micro Four Thirds format as my daily, go-to gear for stills and video, I began looking for manual prime lenses for it and was disappointed. For me, prime lenses need to come in matched sets, especially for shooting movies, and the wide end must be well catered for. But the wide end was missing or not wide enough.

SLR Magic 10mm T2.1 on GH4 4K world premiere, the very 1st shots

Not any more. SLR Magic’s latest lens is wider than I had expected, a great development now that cameras like the GH4 offer 4K video formats like DCI or Cinema 4K at 4096 x 2160 and Ultra HD 4K at 3840 x 2160. Full HD aka 1080p equates to 4608 x 2592. The full area of the GH4’s sensor is 4608 x 3486 at 16 megapixels.

Cinema 4K uses less of the sensor’s area than Full HD. A focal length like 12mm that may be wide enough for shooting 1080p may be too narrow for 4K. SLR Magic’s 10mm lens brings width to 4K that the previous widest prime lens at 12mm does not. And I do need width for establishing shots, especially when I want figures moving around in landscapes and cityscapes.

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Sensor pixel dimensions vary depending on movie or stills format. A 12mm lens wide enough for Full HD 1080p may be too narrow for both flavours of 4K. A 10mm may be a better choice.

For the sake of comparison. if I were shooting 1080p video in a full frame DSLR, my widest focal length of choice would be 24mm. For the same shot on 1080p on an MFT camera, a 12mm lens would be okay. For 4K on MFT, 10mm works like a charm, as Seb Farges amply proves with his two recent videos shot with the SLR Magic 10mm T2.1.

A Sunday afternoon in the Parc Majolan (SLR Magic 10mm T2.1 on GH4 4K)

(cover photo credit: snap from SLR Magic)

Karin Gottschalk

Karin Gottschalk

Karin is a documentary moviemaker, journalist, photographer and teacher who conceived and cofounded an influential, globally-read, Australian magazine of contemporary art, culture and photography. While based in Europe, contributing to the magazine and working in advertising, she visualised a future telling the same sorts of stories with a movie camera and audio recorder. Now back in her home base in Sydney, Karin is pursuing her goal of becoming an independent, one-person, backpack multimedia journalist and documentary moviemaker. Mentorless and un-filmschooled, she is constantly learning and sharpening up her skill set.
Karin Gottschalk

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