Voigtlander 17.5mm and SLR Magic 12mm on the Blackmagic Cinema Camera MFT with John Brawley
We are still waiting on the official word about whether we’ll start seeing volume shipping in the next few weeks on the EF version of the Blackmagic Cinema Camera, but John Brawley has been busy putting the Micro 4/3 version through its paces. That version, which has a passive (non-electronic) mount, may actually be more suited for the camera considering the sensor is about the same size as MFT. There may not be a tremendous amount of lens support at the moment, but Brawley has tested a few that MFT BMCC users might think about purchasing, the Voigtlander Nokton 17.5mm f/0.95 and the SLR Magic 12mm T/1.6. On a pre-shoot for a feature film he is working on, he busted out the BMCC and grabbed these shots:
Here’s a little bit about his process and when each lens was used:
The day shots are all with the SLR magic 12mm and the shots after sunset of the reeds are the 17.5mm Voightlander. This was shot RAW and with a single node of correction. All handheld with no rig.
He mentions that the 17.5mm is a little bloomy and soft wide open in the comments on the Vimeo page. I think the SLR Magic 12mm is probably going to be the best fast/wide option for this camera in either mount. There really aren’t any other lenses like it that can cover the Micro 4/3 size, and as long as the sample you get is fine, it’s going to be pretty sharp wide open. Even though I’m confident you can get plenty shallow with the BMCC if you want, both of these lenses are going to help for those who are into crazy shallow DOF. You still won’t be able to get quite as shallow as wide open on a fast prime on a Canon 5D Mark III or Nikon D800, but it should be enough for even the most adventurous filmmakers. The 12mm is equivalent to a 27.6mm on full-frame and the 17.5mm is equivalent to about a 40mm.
The other nice thing about a lens that can open up to 0.95 is that you’ve got another stop of light over an f/1.4 lens — which is equivalent to going from ISO 800 to ISO 1600. Since the BMCC is noisy if you’re pushing past 1600 in RAW, the 17.5mm and 25mm Voigtlanders will be good for available light shooting.
Who has the MFT model pre-ordered? If so, do you own any of the lenses above, or are you considering them? Let us know what you think about them in the comments.
- Voigtlander Nokton 17.5mm f/0.95 — B&H
- SLR Magic 12mm T/1.6 — Amazon
- Sunset — John Brawley Tests — Vimeo
- John Brawley Blog