I took a little trip to Bornholm this summer, and had an SLR Magic Toy Lens for Micro Four Thirds lens with me. The shit cost around 70 Euro (495 DKK) at Goecker, so of course I had high expectations for it. And after a week’s time with the lens, the verdict was clear …
With a focal length of 26mm (equivalent to 52mm full-frame) and a maximum aperture of f/1.4, it fits well into the category of “nifty-fifty” lenses:
Nifty-fifty: A very good 50mm lens at a relatively good price: Typically a 50mm f/1.8 can be obtained quite cheaply, as it can be made with a relatively simple constructionA mix of different sources found on the web
The lens is fully manual, both in focus and exposure. So the error rate is of course somewhat higher than with other lenses. But it doesn’t matter that much: there is plenty of chromatic aberration, vignetting and other errors. So one more source of errors doesn’t mean that much. It’s all about shooting from the hip in the best lomo style.
Chromatic aberration: a failure of colors to be seen correctly through a lens (= curved piece of glass), caused by the lens not being perfectdictionary.cambridge.org
Shooting from the hip was also what I did at Bornholm (I was there with two kids and the in-laws so there was no time for slow photography). Have a look at the results:
The pictures were shot with an Olympus OM-D EM-10 Mark iii with manually set aperture and shutter speed, auto ISO. Manual focus. Standard color profile, shot in jpg format.
As something interesting, the lens can make a pretty good “swirly bokeh,” where it looks like the subject’s background gets “twisted” around. A great example of this is the Lomography Daguerreotype lens, whici is approx. 9 times as expensive as the SLR Magic Toy Lens. So, if this is the effect you are looking for, this is a nice and cheap way to achieve it.
Match the lens to your clothes!
As a funny little gimmick, a series of rubber rings come with the lens. You can use them to match the camera’s appearance with ie. your clothes. I use the yellow and pink ring so the lens matches the colors on my website 😉
You don’t buy an SLR Magic Toy Lens lens for its sublime sharpness or fast autofocus. But what the heck – it’s just about having fun with it and not giving a fuck about image quality. It’s wonderfully liberating and at the same time you can get some pretty evocative pictures out of it. So buy one – it’s cheaper than a night in the city:-)