Finding good cine lenses isn’t hard – you just have to pay. Unless you are a rental house or high-end production studio you likely aren’t just going to have some Supreme Primes lying around for daily work and that puts many independent filmmakers in the market for affordable optics.
These can be hard to sort out because of unknowns like build quality or the glass itself. Or, you can just take some recommendations from people who already searched them out.
One person who found some budget cine lenses they like is Alex Perri – the SLR Magic MicroPrimes. This is an entire series of affordable lenses for full-frame systems. Let’s check them out.
This is an entire set of primes:
An area that SLR Magic may pull ahead from competitors is the build quality. It’s a durable metal housing and feels good in the hand. Sometimes just the feeling of a lens can make you feel more comfortable using it since you aren’t worried about it.
Size & Weight
There are a lot more compact systems out there for filmmaking. Cinema lenses, at least premium ones, don’t exactly match up well. The MicroPrimes are, as the name implies, much smaller.
This allows you to create a smaller and lighter package which is ideal for handheld run-and-gun filmmaking as well as for working with gimbals and drones. You can also pack a few of them in your bag without feeling overburdened.
SLR Magic designed this set to be a matching set. This means that all the lenses are practically the same exact size and weight. Swapping out lenses shouldn’t require a complete reconfiguration of your kit. Gears and such should line up right.
Each one runs from $300-600, which is actually extraordinarily cheap for cine lenses. There’s isn’t that much even in competition here and SLR Magic is a good brand.
Last but not least is the image quality. The MicroPrimes have a film-like quality that you want from a set of cinema primes. You aren’t going to get that super sharp and clean look from them, but most of the time you want a little bit of character from your lenses.
The softer look and feel along with the look of the flares gets you a “cinematic” look right in camera. Add on some film grain in post or using a mist filter will just double down on the look.
What do you think about the SLR Magic MicroPrimes? It’ll be interesting to see how this market develops with new releases, such as the 7artisans Spectrum Line, coming out.
[source: Alex Perri]
- SLR Magic MicroPrime Cine 15mm T3.5 Lens (B&H, Amazon)
- SLR Magic MicroPrime Cine 18mm T2.8 Lens (B&H, Amazon)
- SLR Magic MicroPrime Cine 21mm T1.6 Lens (B&H, Amazon)
- SLR Magic MicroPrime Cine 35mm T1.3 Lens (B&H, Amazon)
- SLR Magic MicroPrime Cine 50mm T1.2 Lens (B&H, Amazon)
- SLR Magic MicroPrime Cine 75mm T1.5 Lens (B&H, Amazon)
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