Best Micro Four-Thirds Cinema Lenses Under $1K?
Sirui recently announced a new set of budget T/1.2 cine lenses called the Nightwalker series. I had the awesome opportunity to get an early release of the Nightwalker lenses in 24mm, 35mm and 55mm. I spent the last few weeks exclusively shooting on these lenses with my LUMIX GH6. And I have to say, I’m quite impressed with the Night Walkers, especially for the price.
Sirui Night Walker Review || LUMIX GH6 Test Footage
Night Walker Lens Pros
Let’s talk some specs and why I enjoy shooting with the Nightwalker lenses. Here’s a quick list:
- 67mm Filter
- Light-Weight 500g
- Matching sizes for gimbal work
- Built-in Focus and Aperture Gear Teeth
- Solid Build Quality
- Buttery Smooth Bokeh
- Tack Sharp
The T/1.2 allows you to really open up your aperture and let in as much light as possible, especially on a Micro Four-Thirds sensor, like the LUMIX GH6. Can you say “buttery-smooth bokeh?” If you haven’t watched the video above, I highly encourage you to check out my sample footage.
These lenses are also much sharper than Lumix’s kit lenses. I really enjoy the aesthetics and picture each lens produces. In addition to picture, the build quality is solid. Those are the two most important things in any lens, in my opinion. The Nightwalkers sound like the perfect lenses, right? Let’s take an unbiased look at some features you may or may not like.
Night Walker’s Aesthetic Character
There are some aspects of the Nightwalker cine lenses that you may not like. Personally, I consider each of these to be character, not deal breakers.
- Subtle Chromatic Aberration
- Subtle Highlight Bloom
Chromatic Aberration, also known as color fringing, happens with most, if not all lenses when they’re shot with the Aperture wide open. I think one of the best features of the Nightwalkers is low-light performance, eg. shooting wide-open. I find the blue-ish glow around bright lights to be a character of the lens more than a flaw; I kind of like it to be honest.
Side Cinematography Rant: Lenses have almost become too sharp these days. “Heresy!!” you may say… When I think of what cinematic means to me, it’s not overly edge-to-edge sharpened video. If your footage is too sharp, it feels digital and fake. Whether you’re a photographer or videographer, our lenses are the tools we all use to create our art. I prefer tools with a certain aesthetic, and the Nightwalker Cine Lenses fit that really well.
I feel the same about the Highlight Blooming. Similarly to chromatic aberration, the blooming or glow around highlights is more apparent at t/1.2 and is less obvious around t/2.8 and t/4. I personally enjoy it, and find it “cinematic” or film-like. You can see examples of both of these in the test footage of my review.
Sirui Night Walker Cine Lens Conclusion
Overall, the Nightwalker Cine Lens Series is a steal for under $1,000 (USD). It’s hard to find a single quality lens for that price, much less three. Sirui has also share that they plan to add two more lenses, one wider and one longer focal length. I’m really hoping to test these additional lenses as well.
I think the Nightwalkers would be a great addition to any run and gun creator’s kit. It’s great glass for budget filmmakers. If you want to pre-order your Night Walkers, check out Sirui’s IndieGoGo Fundraiser!
Until next time, get out and go shoot!