If you have a Micro Four Thirds camera and are looking for a fast lens, a really fast lens, Noktor has announced the HyperPrime 50mm f0.95. Wow, f0.95! Now that is a wide aperture. The lens has an affective focal length of 100mm when used on a Micro Four Thirds camera with its 2x magnification factor, and its f0.95 aperture is more than 2.5 stops faster than a traditional f3.5 kit lens.
The HyperPrime 50mm is a fully manual lens; both aperture setting and focusing are manual. No electronics to communicate with the camera body, fully mechanical construction. So you won't even have focus confirmation like you would using a standard lens in manual focus mode. There are two rings on the lens, one for setting the aperture, from f0.95 to f16, and one for focusing. There is a 62mm filter thread, it weighs 17.1 ounces, and it focuses as close as about 23.5 inches.
At f0.95, it is currently the fastest Micro Four Thirds lens available. Not only would that fast aperture allow for extremely low-light shooting, but would also create an extremely shallow depth of field for portraits and other creative effects. Fast does not necessarily equate to sharp, though, and little is known at this point about the quality of the glass, how sharp it is, and how much contrast it has. Leica has a 50mm f0.95 lens available for its rangefinder cameras and it sells for about $10,500; the HyperDrive 50mm f0.95 will be $750 when available in April 2010, so we will have to wait and see how the quality is for the money.
Below is a sample video clip from Noktor shot with the Noktor HyperPrime 50mm f0.95 lens on a Panasonic Lumix GH1.