I wanted to compare these two lenses in a shoot out in part one but the Canon 50mm f0.95 won’t fit the SpaceCam Leica M mount. (The locking ears are too thick and prevented the lens from fully making contact with the back of the mount.) This is the only lens that I experienced this with, so part II of this review will be done using a GX1. I will probably revisit this when my RED Leica M mount ships out. But until then…
DAY TIME BOKEH and OOF AREAS:
In day light the SLR_M renders smooooth OOF areas. It almost reminds me of bokeh/oof produced by a long telephoto lens. The SLR_M can produce classic looking bokeh but just had to work a little harder to do so in the daylight. Maybe this was due to the subject being photographed in this comparison shot. Curious if this might be due to the different field of view of these two lenses and/or the different close focus distances. The SLR_M has a much close focus range (.7m) then the Canon “Dream” lens.
Split view on a PANASONIC GX1
(Full resolution on Flickr)
Backgrounds completely melt into a soft field of color in the SLR_M shot…while lacking the oof bokeh circles . The SLR_M renders an extremely sharp image and coupled with the smooth oof/bokeh the image evokes that Leica “3D” effect. The Canon gives you the dreamy soft-ish focus, diffuse/glowy hi lights and slight low contrast and saturation images, and classic bokeh.
NIGHT TIME BOKEH and OOF AREAS:
The same smooth oof/bokeh performance from the SLR_M on the EPIC-X. I almost needed a ND filter shooting 800 ISO at night with the EPIC X and the SLR_M Hyperprime on the streets of Los Angeles. The streets at night are pretty bright and I seriously had to up the shutter rate to compensate for the extra stops this lens produced. I was a bit suprised… I can only imagine the performance on the EPIC when its rocking a RED DRAGON sensor. Night vision???
I did run into something of note with the SLR_M Cine. I noticed this in the RED EPIC footage more so then the images from the GX1. At 5K you could see that there are dark dots or white dots in some of the bokeh circles. This only showed up occasionally in a shot or two. Its visible in the footage around 6:22. I have been told that this is a side effect in all lenses f1.0 and faster due to the inherent design of the optics.
Not a deal breaker but something to keep an eye open for while shooting with these fast lenses. I will have to test this further…as it is apparently present in the Leica Noctilux as well.
Conclusion/Thoughts: For the price the SLR_M CINE you can’t beat what you are getting. A low light monster that can deliver that LEICA 3D effect while staying very sharp wide open. To me the SLR_M delivers a super clean, sharp modern feeling image. As for the Canon, I do like the size and the vintage feel the “Dream” lens brings. The flaws of the Canon are what give it a ton a character. Each has its place in my arsenal of lenses.