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Toy Lens : First Look

By • Mar 4th, 2011 • Category: Digital stuffs

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This new toy arrived at my desk … just a day after I placed an order (from Hong Kong). Super fast! The Toy Lens from SLR Magic … a lens that a blog reader/friend … ‘poisoned’ me with recently. You know who you are?!!! 😀

With a focal length of 26mm (which equals a 52mm on M4/3) … this little lens sure sounds fun! So how does it perform (or in toy lens/cam lovers’ perspective … ‘not perform’)?

The lens is TINY! It is even smaller than the Pentax 25mm f1.4 C-mount lens that I have. Why did I go for this Toy Lens when I have the Pentax? Check out my earlier test run on the Pentax (here) and you will see why. The Pentax … though gives some vignetting effects … is no toy lens. 😀

The lens comes with a set of colorful plastic/rubber loops that goes onto both the focusing & aperture rings. No black???!!! I didn’t want to look too weird with two colorful stripes but unfortunately the loops only comes in some fancy bright colors. Oh well … I went for my favorite color … red.

You can find a comprehensive review by Steve Huff here and also also a cool video here by director & filmmaker Philip Bloom. Since I had a little bit of time after dinner … after the unboxing ceremony of the cute little lens … I did some simple test shots around the house. After just a short test run … I must admit that I’m loving this little toy! It will definitely be one lens I bring along whenever I have the E-P1 with me.

Here are some photos taken with the different aperture settings. You can set the aperture using the ring closer to the front of the lens … choosing from f1.4, f2.0, f2.8, f4.0 and f8.0.




… and sweet spot (sharper … focused area) gets bigger when you hit f4.0 and above … but hey … who cares about sharpness when it comes toy lenses?!!!



Unlike lucky Steve Huff who got to test run this lens during happy hour with some pretty ladies … I had to make do with this ‘model’ of mine … at home … with a nice cup of coffee.

Some might as if this lens gives similar results like a Lensbaby. The answer is ‘no’. The Lensbaby and this Toy Lens are two different toys … with the Lensbaby focusing (pun intended) towards selective focus in a bendy way. This Toy Lens is for those who are looking for a tiny, cute, cool lens that (just like the Lensbaby) … provides lots of creative and fun photo opportunities.

Then there will be those who are wondering if this lens is similar to what the Lomography’s Diana F+ lens (with adapters to DSLRs). The Diana lens when mounted on DSLRs (especially those with crop factor) doesn’t give much (if at all) the magic of toy lenses. The reason being the Diana lens is meant for a larger format (ie. medium format) camera and thus you lose all the magical feel that it is suppose to produce. If you have a Micro 4/3 camera … get this one from SLR Magic instead! 😀

The Toy Lens has a multi coated glass lens and not a plastic one.

Using the lens is fun and easy. I just set my camera to Aperture priority mode and fired away. 😀 The only thing that got me a little stressed out was that I kept turning the wrong ring. I kept turning the aperture ring when I wanted to focus. Hahaha! Ok … that’s my fault.

That’s all for the ‘first look’ of this fun little toy lens. More photos with the lens will be coming … during the weekend.

Oh … there also also a complimentary hotshoe cover with a bubble level thingie that came with the lens. 😀

Interested in one? Check out the lens (and more) on SLR Magic page here.




  1. OMG!!! This is crazy and I WANT IT but….no Micro Four Thirds camera….sigh…

  2. @Jer : Ermm … there are cheap E-P1 & E-PL1 flying around in the buy/sell section in CS. 😀 Go pick one up!

  3. So very kewl!!!!!!!!

  4. @Ta : Hahaha! All thanks to you. 😀 Ok … stop the poison now. I need money to buy milk powder. 😀

  5. Argh! Curses!

    Wish I didn’t read your post now.

    As soon as I finished reading, I couldn’t resist buying one for my E-P1. Now I’m $120 poorer. 🙁

    But can’t wait to play with it. 🙂 Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

  6. @MeshForce : Hahahaha! I’m sure you will find the $120 well spent. 😉 Have fun!

  7. Cute little lens! What’s the damage?

  8. @cyanwater : Not too much. Just very slightly above the US$100 mark.

  9. Is this only for 4/3rds cameras :O
    Would love one for my dslr!

  10. @Joe : Not for 4/3 … but they are for Micro 4/3 ones like the Olympus Pen.

  11. Hey so in conclusion would you prefer this or the Pentax cctv lens? A friend of mine said they almost the same and the Pentax one is cheaper

  12. So in conclusion is this better than the Pentax cctv lens? A friend of mine said this is way more pricey but they are both equally similar in terms of quality

  13. @Zakaria : I’ve used both and I personally prefer this one than the Pentax. Sharpness wise both are pretty close but this one gives swirly bokeh. 😀

  14. may i ask where to buy this lens from hk?

  15. @Debbs : You mean buying it from a physical shop in HK? You can email support@slrmagic.com for info. To buy it online, you can search for ‘SLR Magic’ on eBay. Hope that helps. 🙂

  16. […] SLR Magic Toy Lens Pinhole comes in cute little box that has a similar design as their Toy Lens. The pinhole lens sits comfortably inside in a crystal […]

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