[Update 12:05pm PST: 12mm prototype to arrive in April]
The first four Veydra Mini Primes for micro four-thirds cameras, announced on Kickstarter last November and previewed here in December, started shipping last Monday to Kickstarter backers, resellers Hot Rod Cameras and Duclos Lenses, and rental house LensProToGo. I received a set on Wednesday.
My initial testing shows that the production lenses meet or exceed the performance of the prototypes, and allows me to answer some of the questions raised by the prototypes:
- Yes, they're real lenses: gamblers who backed the Kickstarter project get real cine glass in return.
- Focus and iris rings turn smoothly, like butter, with none of the raspiness of the prototypes.
- Focus drag is fairly high, as it was with the prototypes.
- Veiling flare is the same as on the protos.
- The 16mm is a bit warmer than the others… again, just like the prototypes.
- Iris calibration varies by no more than 1/3 stop across a lens's scale; all four lenses are closely matched overall.
I have a few more details over at DVInfo.
The big remaining question is: what will the 12mm T2.2 be like? Answer: I dunno; I haven't seen one yet, but expect to in June or July – I bought the 5-lens set. Stay tuned. [Update: Veydra's Ryan Avery says he'll send a prototype 12mm for review in April, "right before NAB".]
If you're interested in MFT cine primes, $240 gets you a four-day rental of the four current lenses: 16mm, 25mm, 35mm, and 50mm (the page loads scrolled halfway down; scroll up to see the actual info and rental terms). It's a cheap way to try 'em out yourself and see if they're something worth investing in.
Disclosure: I bought the Veydra 5-lens set as a Kickstarter backer, and I’ve pre-ordered the 85mm, too. Aside from that, there is no material connection between me and Veydra, Hot Rod Cameras, Duclos Lenses or LensProToGo, and none of them have offered any payments or other considerations for a favorable mention.