I little over a year ago SLR Magic announced, and produced, the APO-HyperPrime CINE 50mm T2.1 PL Cinema Lens. It was the first in a CINE family, and a serious foray into high-end optics. Something not wholly un-expected from the plucky lens manufacturer. The (APO) stands for apochromatic lens. Yes, I pulled a dictionary definition out to explain.
At NAB 2016 Nathan Thompson and I met up with Andrew Chan from SLR Magic to see, and try, the two new additions to the APO-Hyper Prime Line: the 25mm and the 85mm. Both lenses sport a 2.1 aperture just like the 50mm. In the video below we shoot all the B-Roll on the 50mm APO-Hyper Prime lens and a portion of the one-on-one on the 25mm APO-Hyper Prime lens. The shape and size of the 25mm, 50mm, and 85mm are identical. Mechanically the lenses are made well. Focus rings and iris rings are in the same place making lens changes during production easier and faster.
Did we have a ton of time shooting with these lenses to give you a complete run-down of their optics and characteristics? No, it was NAB in all of its craziness and glory . We’d need way more exhaustive tests to truly see how great these lenses may be. But, we did shoot with them briefly. Again, all the b-roll was shot on the APO-HyperPrime 50mm and at the end of video we shot on the 25mm. In my very brief experience, these lenses felt good in hand and looked good through the EVF. The lenses have an interesting, subtle, look and are capable of very close focus. The image looked sharper, and more interesting, than the Canon 17-55mm F2.8 I was shooting on the 4K Blackmagic URSA Mini.
Does the APO-HyperPrime CINE family end with three lenses? No, rumor has it SLR Magic will produce a 32mm and a 135mm. Those are two lenses close to my heart. If you already have the 50mm expect the newest lenses to cost a touch more, around $2500USD. If you’re wanting to read more about the 50mm check out these reviews by: EOSHD and John Brawley.
EF to PL Lens Adapter
Also with the CINE Lenses, Andrew showed us a PL to EF adapter. In a matter of seconds, Andrew unscrewed part of the PL lens mount and swapped the mount to EF. This is not a flimsy EF adapter either. I shot with the 25mm and 50mm on the adapter and I can say it was a very solid mount. So these lenses, which will work on a full-frame camera, can be solidly adapted to two of the most popular mounts available. If you want flexible agnostic lenses SLR Magic may have the ones you’re seeking.