Jackar 34mm 1.8 vs SLR Magic 35mm 1.7 vs 35mm 1.7 CCTV Lens – What’s the Best Inexpensive Option for M43 and NEX?

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Here’s a great video from Kenny Lee (via 43Rumors) comparing the Jackar 34mm 1.8 lens and what should be it’s closest competitors, the SLR Magic 35mm 1.7 and a 35mm 1.7 Closed Circuit TV lens.  These are all manual focus lenses that will work with micro 4/3 and Sony NEX Cameras (although you’ll need an adapter to use the CCTV lens with either).

The Jackar Snapshooter is the new lens in town.  It has solid metal construction and it definitely wins the packaging award as it comes in a cool, tricked out package, complete with a leather case and lens hood.  It’s also the most expensive of the trio, coming in at $175 USD – beating out the SLR Magic lens by $26 for the NEX mount (which costs $149 USD) and $36 for the M43 mount (which costs $139 USD).  Of course, the SLR Magic lens doesn’t come with all the goodies, so you’ll have to factor those into the equation.

Then, there’s the CCTV lens, which comes under the name “Rainbow Imaging”, even though it says “Fujian” on the lens.  It’s the cheapest of the three by far at $27.28 with an NEX Adapter and $30.99 with a micro 4/3 Adapter, but the quality seems to be on par with the other two.

All three of these lenses will give you great results, despite the low price-tag.  Will they replace you Leica, Zeiss or M.Zuiko lenses?  No…  But they ain’t too shabby either.   They’ll generally give you sharp focus, especially at the center of the lens, and pleasing, creamy bokeh. They do get a little soft towards the outside, but you’ll find that they also give a unique look to you images.

It’s interesting to note that most CCTV lenses are converted from 16mm movie cameras, and since a micro 4/3 sensor is very close to the size of a 16mm lens frame, they work extremely well on M43 cameras.

Which one is the best?  That’s entirely up to you.  I haven’t had the chance to pit them against each other in a full on, head to head showdown.

I personally own one of the 35mm CCTV lenses and have a great time shooting with it (Learn more about it >>HERE<<), and for 30 bucks, you can’t go wrong – but do the Jackar Snapshooter or SLR Magic lens offer any advantages over my el cheapo wonder that warrant popping an extra hundred bucks or so?  The jury is out, but stay tuned!

If anyone has any experience with any of these lenses, please leave a comment below.  We’d love to hear your thoughts!

Check Out the Lenses Below

Jackar Snapshooter 34mm 1.8 Lens for Micro 4/3 Cameras

Jackar Snapshooter 34mm 1.8 Lens for NEX Cameras

SLR Magic 35mm 1.7 lens for Micro 4/3 Cameras

SLR Magic 35mm 1.7 lens for NEX Cameras

35mm 1.7 CCTV Lens with Micro 4/3 Adapter

35mm 1.7 CCTV Lens with NEX Adapter


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