Low-cost lens offers lo-fi creativity for Micro Four Thirds cameras
By Paul Ridden
October 18, 2011
Strange though it may seem, despite manufacturers going to great lengths to provide the very best in image quality, there are quite a number of snappers who long for the kind of warm and fuzzy (and often accidental) creations from the good old days of 35mm film cameras. Olympus or Panasonic Micro Four Thirds camera owners looking for a cheaper alternative to the kind of soft edging and background blur effects offered by the likes of Lens Baby might well be interested in SLR Magic's 35mm f1.4 toy Micro Four Thirds camera lens.
In the right hands, deliciously lo-fi effects like soft edging, vignetting, Bokeh, lens flaring and low contrast can add a wonderfully warm feel to an otherwise pixel-perfect, high resolution digital image. Such effects can be added using image processing software on a computer but with a dedicated hardware solution you get to see the effects on the camera itself while taking the shot.
The 4 cm (1.57-inch) long SLR Magic SLR toy lens and C-mount adapter is said to be like having three lenses in one. Users will see a range of image effects such as tilt-shift-like edge distortion and smooth Bokeh presented live on the display when opening and closing the aperture. The 300g (10.5 ounce) lens is capable of focus down to 0.3 meters (1 foot), has a 35mm film equivalent focal length of 70mm and a filter thread diameter of 37mm.
Compatible with Olympus and Panasonic Micro Four Thirds digital cameras, the manual focus lens is available from Photojojo for US$90.