What do you know about: SLR Magic APO MicroPrime Cine 25mm

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thefilmaddict

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What do you know about: SLR Magic APO MicroPrime Cine 25mm

PostWed Jul 20, 2022 12:20 am

I am looking for an affordable prime lens that I can use with my motorized slider. It needs to have a manual focus ring so that it will work with my programmable follow focus system. I’ll use it with the ursa 12k which currently has an ef mount. Would this lens work:

SLR Magic APO MicroPrime Cine 25mm T2.1 Lens (Canon EF)

I figure that 25mm is a wide enough angle for a motorized slider.
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rick.lang

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What do you know about: SLR Magic APO MicroPrime Cine 25mm

PostWed Jul 20, 2022 11:55 am

I have all the original SLR Magic APO PL lenses first released in 2016 ff. My favourite lens is the 32mm, but I can see the APO MicroPrime 25mm is being promoted at $799 versus the normal price if $1,499 so that’s very attractive if you are purchasing through B&H Photo for example. The APO MicroPrime 25mm has several more witness marks and will be lighter than my APO lens. I’d strongly recommend it to test the waters and you have the option of purchasing the 32mm, 50mm, and 85mm later.

I know the original APO cine primes are all spherical glass which means you get a nice bokeh compared to photo lenses that seem to boast about their aspherical lenses, but this can cause an onion skin look in the bokeh which isn’t ideal. Buying an APO lens helps you avoid the green/purple fringing toward the edges which you can see in many lenses for example when you have a tree’s small branches against a bright sky.

The SLR Magic character and look seems designed to emulate the Christie lens look without the heavier chromatic aberrations. So your images are sharp but not so sharp they cut you and the optical glass is warm not cool both going in the opposite direction to the Sigma 18-35 which apparently is cool and perhaps too sharp for cinema involving people. The SLR Magic Cine lenses are well-suited to cinema and its illusion of reality.
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Daniel Rheaume

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Re: What do you know about: SLR Magic APO MicroPrime Cine 2

PostWed Jul 20, 2022 5:11 pm

Hi!
I shoot with a full set (25mm, 32mm, 50mm, 85mm).
I went with these lenses after reading a lot of the really great info and experience that John Brawley
has shared in these forums about using them. His posts about using them are nuanced and thoughtful, definitely worth searching the forum to read more from him.

My own experience has been very, very good.
I think they look great, and they are SO much more functional if you are coming
from a photo lens background with diy gear rings, etc... like I was.

However, the 25mm, which may be my favorite focal length, is also in my opinion the weakest of all the lenses in this set because it has an extremely noticeable green tint (at least on my copy).
If white balance is set at 5600k, tint 10 and looks good on the other three lenses, I will have to take tint to around 35 to get it close to the others with the 25mm. Of course, tinting this heavily then requires some tweaking to the wb as well. In the end, I can get the shot looking good in post, but I feel like I can always tell with that lens that something was off when I work on it in Resolve.

So I find even though I want to use this focal length, I unconsciously try to avoid it because of the noticeable color shift. I have wondered about trying to find some minus green filter or something to fix it, but I suspect the coating is not shifting green in a linear enough way for that to be practical, in addition to losing light transmission. Sigh.

Long story short, I use the lens, I like the lens, and it's a nearly perfect lens set offering from SLR Magic, except for this one major issue. The 25mm is the only reason I've considered looking elsewhere at some of the competing lens offerings (of which there are few in that price point).

Hope that helps a bit!
-Daniel
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Re: What do you know about: SLR Magic APO MicroPrime Cine 2

PostWed Jul 20, 2022 6:13 pm

Great info, guys. Sounds like the green tint is the biggest drawback. I did notice a new contender that's cheaper: Meike 25mm T2.1 Super35 Prime Cine Lens (EF Mount). I wonder how it compares? From the test videos I've watched, I really like the dreamy look that the SLR magic produces.
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Re: What do you know about: SLR Magic APO MicroPrime Cine 2

PostWed Jul 20, 2022 7:08 pm

I have the 25mm SLR Magic APO Microprime EF mount. It's a great lens.

I liked it so much that when I switched all my camera mounts to PL I got the full set of all 4 PL mount APO microprimes.

I'm selling my EF mount version of the 25mm (since I don't have any EF mount cameras left).
It was only used twice before I switched to PL mount, so it is in new condition.
https://www.gearfocus.com/products/25mm-slr-magic-apo-microprime-cine-ef-mount-9389
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Re: What do you know about: SLR Magic APO MicroPrime Cine 2

PostWed Jul 20, 2022 7:19 pm

I just got two Microprimes, the 17mm T1.5 and 25mm also T 1.5, plus the Hyperprime 10mm T2.1, on recommendation from Rick and others here.

All MFT mounts for my BMPCC4K.

They are a joy to use, amazingly well matched images, and well built mechanically. Easily worked with gimbal and rigged-out focus controls.

Plus ... the images just seem more natural or something. 40+ years as a professional photographer now videographer, and I don't know the words to highlight why the image is just better. But it is.

I'll be getting the 35mm Microprime soon.

I've had lenses costing several times what these did. I like these better.

Now, I've never shot with say an Angenieux, so I can't compare to something of that quality ... ;-)

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Re: What do you know about: SLR Magic APO MicroPrime Cine 2

PostWed Jul 20, 2022 8:31 pm

i am dying for a Vespid vs APO Microprime vs Meike s35 lens comparison.
the Meike is just so darn affordable @ $2500 for a 4-lens set w/ case.

The DZOFilm Vespids have become a go-to for so many who own Pocket 6ks, Komodos, and 12k owners.
But with all the CA in those lenses, i can't seem to justify the purchase!
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Jamie LeJeune

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Re: What do you know about: SLR Magic APO MicroPrime Cine 2

PostWed Jul 20, 2022 10:06 pm

Adam Langdon wrote: But with all the CA in those lenses, i can't seem to justify the purchase!
That's the difference and where the SLR Magic APOs really shine with virtually no chromatic aberration.

This test was done with the hyperprime APO, but the glass in the newer APO microprimes is the same:
https://johnbrawley.wordpress.com/2018/01/15/slr-magic-quick-test/

thefilmaddict wrote:Great info, guys. Sounds like the green tint is the biggest drawback.
It's only a minor drawback if you have the whole set and are trying to match them. If you're only getting the one 25mm lens, there's nothing to worry about matching it to.
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What do you know about: SLR Magic APO MicroPrime Cine 25mm

PostWed Jul 20, 2022 11:04 pm

I can’t think why that 25mm has a green cast, but if the OP purchases the lens on sale, it would be good to post a sample shot and describe how the grading overcame the Colour cast. But my suspicion is that the cast may not appear. SLR Magic continues to use the same glass from which their lenses are made to keep the Colour cast close in their products. These APO MicroPrimes are likely their best housing as well.
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Re: What do you know about: SLR Magic APO MicroPrime Cine 2

PostWed Jul 20, 2022 11:35 pm

Adam Langdon wrote:i am dying for a Vespid vs APO Microprime vs Meike s35 lens comparison.
the Meike is just so darn affordable @ $2500 for a 4-lens set w/ case.

The DZOFilm Vespids have become a go-to for so many who own Pocket 6ks, Komodos, and 12k owners.
But with all the CA in those lenses, i can't seem to justify the purchase!
I really do love the DZOFilm Vespid lenses, and mainly use them on my UMPG2. I’d love to do that comparison however.

As far as the CA, I haven’t had major issues with it as it is fairly well controlled. It’s part of the character of the lenses, and I really love the character of the Vespids. And, again I don’t notice the CA in many situations. Overall, I love the vintage look of the Vespid in the modern mechanics.


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Re: What do you know about: SLR Magic APO MicroPrime Cine 2

PostWed Jul 20, 2022 11:40 pm

"Green cast" is somewhat overstating the difference and only relative to the other lenses in the set. There is a minor difference in the glass on the 25mm that you can see when carefully comparing it against the other APO lenses in the set (and if you're really carefully comparing them you'll notice that the other 3 all also vary slightly, though less between them than the 25 does to the other 3). If the OPs plan is to mix lens brands + models anyway, depending on what those are and how they render light, the 25mm might appear warmer or colder, or more magenta. It all depends on what is being identified as the baseline for the comparison. At the end of the day, if the OPs lens kit is a mix of brands and models, none of them will match regardless.
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Re: What do you know about: SLR Magic APO MicroPrime Cine 2

PostSat Jul 23, 2022 3:25 pm

I went ahead and purchased the 25mm lens. It sounds like it's a great value, regardless of any minor issues. Cine lenses are so expensive. Since it's on sale, it makes it a no brainer in my opinion.

I went with the 25 because I have the URSA 12k and it's a super 35 sensor. I needed a solid wide angle.

When I eventually purchase another lens in the set, should I go with the 32, 50 or 85?

I'm leaning towards the 50 because I think that the 35 would be similar to the 25 and the 85 would be too tight for super 35 for a lot of shooting. I would also imagine that 25mm to 50mm would also cut together nicely in a shot sequence.

Thoughts?
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What do you know about: SLR Magic APO MicroPrime Cine 25mm

PostSat Jul 23, 2022 5:20 pm

thefilmaddict wrote:I went ahead and purchased the 25mm lens… When I eventually purchase another lens in the set, should I go with the 32, 50 or 85?

I'm leaning towards the 50…


This really depends upon how you are shooting. Traditionally Super35 primes include lots of focal lengths; Angënieux has 12 different focal lengths matched.

I bought the SLR Magic APO as they were available, first 50mm, then both 85 and 25mm, finally 32mm. As you can see from the rig photo posted today in another thread, the 32mm is my go to lens on the BMPCC4K (typically used at 2.6K) and the UM4.6K (typically 4K/UHD) for 2K/HD deliverables.

As you are shooting with the 25mm say at 4K/UHD, you can emulate the 50mm scene coverage by simply using a windowed 2K/HD. If you use a window and feel that’s often too tight, then the 32mm at 4K/UHD is best.

50mm on Super35 is my ‘portrait’ lens where you isolate your subject in a closeup; when you’re shooting people often being able to be physically close while covering more than one actor with more of the scene visible is desirable so you’re going to use the 25mm and 32mm more often. I’ve even used the Tokina 11-20mm then at around 16-20mm because I don’t have a prime shorter than the 25mm.

My APO primes seemed costly at the time, but I’ve managed with the four primes and not felt the need to use anything else. If the ‘promised’ 18mm and 135mm APO were available say four years ago, I would have bought that 18mm next. I don’t need 135mm in a prime and rarely used that long a focal length with my Fujinon zoom.

Aside
I do want another zoom though but can’t manage the finances on the Tokina 25-75mm Cinema ATX PL mount yet due to other priorities. Perhaps someone will offer a 8-80mm or 10-100mm PL zoom. That would be an ideal range for me but very expensive. Or maybe this from Venus Optics 25-100mm T2.9 PL as it’s a similar price to the Tokina.

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1584484-REG
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Re: What do you know about: SLR Magic APO MicroPrime Cine 2

PostWed Aug 10, 2022 2:24 am

I'm very intrigued and slightly confused to hear so many say the green tint is such a minor or non-existent issue. As I mentioned before, to even come close to compensating for the shift between any of the other lenses in the set, it requires me to adjust upwards of +20-30 tint towards magenta. Yes, it's true that each of the focal lengths varies somewhat in how they render tint/temperature, but all of those are within a small variation of tint and wb shift. My 25mm is significantly off of a very standard 5600k/10tint base daylight white balance setting on the BM cameras compared to not only the microprime lens set, but virtually every other common lens I've used (with the exception of my laowa probe lens which also has a heavy, heavy green cast).

Someone else in this thread mentioned testing them side by side.
I'll have to snag a free moment in the next few days to do just that and demonstrate just how far off the 25mm is compared to all the other focal lengths in the set. Again, could be just my copy, but would be interesting to show. As I stated earlier, I am an SLRMagic fan and love my lens set, but the 25mm has been the thorn in my side color cast wise.

If all goes well, test charts to follow....

-Daniel
Last edited by Daniel Rheaume on Wed Aug 10, 2022 5:16 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: What do you know about: SLR Magic APO MicroPrime Cine 2

PostWed Aug 10, 2022 3:56 am

Okay, so I couldn't resist going straight into a test right after my last post.
This is by no means a conclusive or very scientific test, there are a lot of variables I have not accounted for, but perhaps it's close enough to a real world experience to be useful. I feel that these test images don't show the full extent of the green shift because it becomes a lot more apparent in skin tones than on test charts. Nonetheless, my corrections to bring balance are consistent with my experience of the lens over the last 2 or so years.

METHODOLGY -
- An X-RITE video color chart was lit by a single Aputure B7C bare bulb set to 5600k.
- The charts aren't super sharp because I did this handheld and quickly. Sorry!
- Chart was measured with an illuminati light meter and read 5080k.
- Camera was a BM pocket 6k Pro, no ND, 400iso, WB 5100k, tint 10.
- All lenses were set to f/2.8, and framed by eye.
- The chart was lit by false color so that the middle gray section was as close to uniformly green as I could get it.
- 32mm lens at 2.8 let in more light than any of the other lenses, so the intensity of the light source was reduced slightly to get consistent exposure.
- Lenses all had the exact same Hoya UV filtration filter. No other filtration was present.
- All clips were converted from BM Gen 5 LOG to Rec.709 gamma 2.4 using a color space transform in DR 18.

IMAGES
Image
25mm Straight out of Camera

Image
32mm Straight out of Camera

Image
50mm Straight out of Camera

Image
85mm Straight out of Camera

Image
25mm Corrected via RGB picker in Resolve on middle gray chart patch

To correct the green cast, a measurement was taken using the RGB picker in the Resolve viewer pane, and chosen at a point that seemed to generally represent the middle gray patch accurately.

To bring the 25mm into proper WB and within the tolerances of the other lenses,
the following corrections were necessary:

PRINTER LIGHTS:
+ 0.5pts RED
- 3pts GREEN
+ 1pts BLUE

OR CAN BE ACHIEVED IN RAW USING:
RAW WB:
+20 magenta tint (total corrected tint = +30)
-200 kelvin (total corrected WB = 4900k)

PERSONAL CONCLUSIONS
These are great lenses, and they are a joy to shoot with. In fact, they are just about the only lens set I use on most of my work. But I wish someone had really explained it to me that the 25mm is far off enough from the other three that it must be accounted for specifically, either in-camera, or in post.
The other three can be swapped no problem and WB can be left more or less untouched, but not so with the 25mm. I still love them, but find it to be a bit of a bummer, and also a possible reason that SLRMagic has essentially put that focal length on perpetual sale...
It's just a shame to find myself hesitating to use a focal length because I'm concerned about having to do extra work to get it to agree with the rest of the matched set.

This is, of course, a very unofficial/unscientific/average joe .02 cents kind of test..

And SLRMagic, if somehow you are reading this, and I'm just an unlucky fellow with weird green copy, don't hesitate to get in touch to help me fix it! ;)
All the best!
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Re: What do you know about: SLR Magic APO MicroPrime Cine 2

PostWed Aug 10, 2022 7:50 am

Not too unusual.
In a large test over at Reduser some lenses were even showing different color casts at different stops.
The software may be free, but the hardware needed for smooth performance is not.

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Adam Langdon

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Re: What do you know about: SLR Magic APO MicroPrime Cine 2

PostWed Aug 10, 2022 1:15 pm

When i was testing out the 25mm, i found wide open it looked like a Black Pro Mist filter was on. Stopped down to 2.8 it was a near perfect match to a DZO Vespid 25mm. Which is saying something about the color of those lenses.

I returned the APO Microprime (along with a Meike s35 25mm) and kept the Vespid, at least for the time being. The CA on it seems to be so bad at times that i need to think about recomposing my shots.
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Re: What do you know about: SLR Magic APO MicroPrime Cine 2

PostWed Aug 10, 2022 1:34 pm

Daniel Rheaume wrote:… clips were converted from BM Gen 5 LOG to Rec.709 gamma 2.4 using a color space transform in DR 18…
Image
25mm Corrected via RGB picker in Resolve on middle gray chart patch

To correct the green cast…
RAW WB:
+20 magenta tint (total corrected tint = +30)
-200 kelvin (total corrected WB = 4900k)


Thanks for the tests, Daniel. Did you also apply changes in RAW WB for the other lenses or were they all consistent in the Colour picker as set for your exposure?
+10 magenta and
5100K?
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Re: What do you know about: SLR Magic APO MicroPrime Cine 2

PostWed Aug 10, 2022 3:30 pm

Adam Langdon wrote:When i was testing out the 25mm, i found wide open it looked like a Black Pro Mist filter was on. Stopped down to 2.8 it was a near perfect match to a DZO Vespid 25mm. Which is saying something about the color of those lenses.
This matches up with what I've seen as well — and referring back to the question of the OP who will be mixing lens brands anyway, the minor "green" cast of the 25mm is **only** relative to the other SLR Magic APO lenses in the set. What gets determined as "green" is relative. Also good to keep in mind when looking at the numbers here is that a camera sensor is not a calibrated colorimeter. The temp and tint values set in the camera (or in the raw tab in post) are only relevant to that single camera, they are not absolute measures.

Adam Langdon wrote:I returned the APO Microprime (along with a Meike s35 25mm) and kept the Vespid, at least for the time being. The CA on it seems to be so bad at times that i need to think about recomposing my shots.
I am curious to know why you went with the Vespid given the prominent CA. The lack of CA is one of the reasons I chose to go with the SLR Magic APO primes. Are there other characteristics about the Vespid that sold you on it?
Last edited by Jamie LeJeune on Wed Aug 10, 2022 6:44 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: What do you know about: SLR Magic APO MicroPrime Cine 2

PostWed Aug 10, 2022 4:14 pm

rick.lang wrote:
Daniel Rheaume wrote:… clips were converted from BM Gen 5 LOG to Rec.709 gamma 2.4 using a color space transform in DR 18…
Image
25mm Corrected via RGB picker in Resolve on middle gray chart patch

To correct the green cast…
RAW WB:
+20 magenta tint (total corrected tint = +30)
-200 kelvin (total corrected WB = 4900k)


Thanks for the tests, Daniel. Did you also apply changes in RAW WB for the other lenses or were they all consistent in the Colour picker as set for your exposure?
+10 magenta and
5100K?


Hi Rick!
All other photos were straight out of camera, display corrected to R709 with a display transform.
No WB adjustment in RAW or any other adjustments were made except for on the 25mm "corrected" image at the very end to show that it can be brought into proper color. But yeah, the other three are actually quite similar without adjustment!
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Re: What do you know about: SLR Magic APO MicroPrime Cine 2

PostWed Aug 10, 2022 4:47 pm

Excellent, thanks, Daniel.
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Re: What do you know about: SLR Magic APO MicroPrime Cine 2

PostWed Aug 10, 2022 7:01 pm

Jamie LeJeune wrote:
Adam Langdon wrote:I returned the APO Microprime (along with a Meike s35 25mm) and kept the Vespid, at least for the time being. The CA on it seems to be so bad at times that i need to think about recomposing my shots.
I am curious to know why you went with the Vespid given the prominent CA. The lack of CA is one of the reasons I chose to go with the SLR Magic APO primes. Are there other characteristics about the Vespid that sold you on it?


The Microprimes (while i have owned them prior) have like a springy nature to the focus ring, where it feels like it's floating or something.... and the mismatch in color for the set.

The Vespids have multiple focal lengths and consistent color across the set. Plus they are readily available.
BUT STILL... I'm not completely satisfied with the 25mm i bought... so much so that I'm considering returning/selling it.

I have high hopes for the Dulens APO set, but they are limited in focal length options and start at T2.4, AND aren't readily available.

I also shoot so much documentary work that zooms are still my go to. I haven't had much narrative work, which is a bummer.
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Re: What do you know about: SLR Magic APO MicroPrime Cine 2

PostWed Aug 10, 2022 8:57 pm

Adam Langdon wrote: The Microprimes (while i have owned them prior) have like a springy nature to the focus ring, where it feels like it's floating or something.
I did not experience that with mine. I had the EF version and the switched to PL. The focus is nicely dampened.
Adam Langdon wrote: I have high hopes for the Dulens APO set, but they are limited in focal length options and start at T2.4, AND aren't readily available.
I hadn't heard of those. Interesting. I see what you mean about the limited range with the widest angle offered being 31mm. This might be a clue that wide angle APO is perhaps a little more difficult to make in this more affordable price bracket.
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What do you know about: SLR Magic APO MicroPrime Cine 25mm

PostWed Aug 10, 2022 10:44 pm

The SLR Magic APO originally were to include 18mm, but the shortest focal length remains 25mm for the longer FFD lenses. At the time it was recognized something had to give to retain the purely spherical design of the lens elements as the 18mm couldn’t meet the same optical and lens housing specs of the T2.1 25, 50, 85mm set.

Most modern lenses rely upon non-spherical lens elements (asymmetrical) and a variety of low dispersion glass.
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Re: What do you know about: SLR Magic APO MicroPrime Cine 2

PostThu Aug 11, 2022 8:02 pm

Thank you for the additional details Rick.
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Re: What do you know about: SLR Magic APO MicroPrime Cine 2

PostSun Aug 14, 2022 9:47 am

rick.lang wrote:Aside
10-100mm PL zoom. That would be an ideal range for me but very expensive. Or maybe this from Venus Optics 25-100mm T2.9 PL as it’s a similar price to the Tokina.

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1584484-REG


Damn the 10-100 would be huge and heavy. The OOOM is great visually (better than Pictors if you want slightly cleaner/modern look) but also so bloody heavy. Made me need a whole new support rig for handheld/locked off shots.

I am tempted to sell it, stick to EF for now and get 70-200 and build out Microprime set.
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Re: What do you know about: SLR Magic APO MicroPrime Cine 2

PostSun Aug 14, 2022 2:37 pm

rick.lang wrote:The SLR Magic APO originally were to include 18mm, but the shortest focal length remains 25mm for the longer FFD lenses. At the time it was recognized something had to give to retain the purely spherical design of the lens elements as the 18mm couldn’t meet the same optical and lens housing specs of the T2.1 25, 50, 85mm set.

Most modern lenses rely upon non-spherical lens elements (asymmetrical) and a variety of low dispersion glass.


I'm curious how well a DZOFilm Vespid 16mm or 21mm would cut with the APO line? (aside from the Chromatic Aberration)
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Re: What do you know about: SLR Magic APO MicroPrime Cine 2

PostSun Aug 14, 2022 2:41 pm

That would be interesting to see, particularly the bokeh.
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Re: What do you know about: SLR Magic APO MicroPrime Cine 2

PostSun Aug 14, 2022 8:22 pm

Adam Langdon wrote: aside from the Chromatic Aberration
Yeah, wide open on Vespid the chromatic aberration is not good. That's why I went with the SLR Magic APO instead.
Color balance differences are trivial to correct for compared to trying to remove chromatic aberration in post.
https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=&ved=2ahUKEwigh7SPksf5AhUGDEQIHUkeB0sQqJcEKAl6BAgFECA&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DlEC91tjX71s%26t%3D397&usg=AOvVaw3ESFD29GaxsJTtkSAuS-ka
CleanShot 2022-08-14 at 13.07.12.png
CleanShot 2022-08-14 at 13.07.12.png (704.04 KiB) Viewed 450 times

Compare that to this trailer for a series I shot for Portrait Displays using SLR Magic APO microprimes wide open at T2.1 in a location + lighting setup with high contrast edges in nearly every shot and note the relative lack of chromatic aberration. If I had used Vespid primes wide open, the chromatic aberration would have been a distraction.
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