Aug 042014
 

ttmitr

The Mitakon 50 0.95 lens Review on the Sony A7s

My Review of the Mitakon 50 T 0.95 Lens as used on a Sony A7s camera by Steve Huff

It appears that B&H photo is taking orders for the popular Mitakon 50 0.95 (see the review I posted earlier today) with a ship date of 2-4 weeks. You can pre-order HERE direct from B&H Photo.  

All images here shot as JPEG on the Sony A7s (review of the A7s is HERE)

A few months ago I wrote a first look on the Mitakon 50 0.95 lens for Sony E mount cameras. The Mitakon is a unique lens in that it is built like a tank to a very high level, comes in a deluxe hard shell case and is uber fast at 0.95. It is also a full frame lens, so basically it is MADE for the Sony A7 series of cameras which all have a full frame sensor. It CAN be used on APS-C E-Mount cameras of course but the full benefit comes when using it on full frame. There is no real vignetting issue (though there is slight vignetting wide open), no color issues and at the price of the lens (which is now $999) it is a great buy for anyone looking for an artistic lens for their Sony A7, A7r or A7s. if you can find one for sale that is…

My 1st look of the lens in April created a buzz and many shooters ordered the lens. I must have had over 75 e-mails from those who said they placed an order within a couple of days of my post. Wow. Only if I made a commission ;) So it seemed to generate quite a bit of attention, and that was with my 1st look and a few other blurbs from others online at the time. Today, four months later there are a few others who own the lens and more is being written about it on various online forums and sites.

My months of use with the Mitakon, still enjoying it!

The Mitakon really surprised me and here I am now four months later, still using it and still enjoying the hell out of it. I have been shooting with it on the Sony A7s as I felt that this combo would be the ultimate low light dream team. An 0.95 aperture lens with a camera that can shoot in darkness as it is. Wow. I used this lens in such darkness that required 0.95 and ISO 102,000. INSANE, but man, it has the capability to be used in some crazy situations when it comes to available light. As of today, August 2014, the A7s is my favorite and most used camera. Pictured below is an A7 with the Mitakon, from my 1st look report.

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This post will be my follow-up to my 1st look (which can be seen here) and I have found that using it on the A7s to be the best experience yet. The color is fantastic, the depth is superb and even the Bokeh is very pleasing in many shots.

Shot wide open with smooth Bokeh. Shot as a JPEG and accidentally had it in Vivid mode but still looks pleasing. Sharpness is there and color is as well. Sony A7s.

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I wanted to use the heck out of this lens before writing this as I was making sure the lens would not fall apart on me or have some other serious issues. To date it has performed flawlessly and is still as solid as it was on day one. I even lucked out and had serial # 000001 sent to me. Yep, the first production model off the line. The fit, finish and performance has gone above and beyond the price range. When you consider that the full frame Leica 50 0.95 Noctilux goes for $11,000, ($10,000 more than this one) and that they are both full frame 0.95 lenses built to a high standard..it makes you wonder..$10k difference? Does the Leica have that much difference in its build and feel and performance? Well, no it doest. The Leica is indeed the much better lens but I would say it is about $2,000 better, not $10,000 better. The Leica will have a better build, is heavier, larger and sharper (when calibrated correctly) and will have world leading Bokeh quality unlike any other lens made. It will also have more CA/Purple Fringing, which is odd but true. The Mitakon is surprisingly absent of CA from my shots (in which I have not seen much of it at all).

Smooth, silky, nice color once again and fantastic sharpness and transitions from sharp to blurred (DOF). Sony A7s

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Bokeh test..looks good to me for a $999 lens.

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When I sit down to write about a lens, or review a lens, I always try to make sure I am not rambling on about it, but sometimes I still do. This review will be short (for my standards, long for most others standards) and I will keep it under 3000 words. There is not too much to say about it anyway but I will break it all down from packaging to build to feel and use to sharpness, issues and final conclusion. Will even throw in a quick comparison to the Sony 55 1.8. While the Mitakon is not a perfect lens, and there are some things to be aware of like the fact that it is manual focus only, for $999 I have never seen a lens like it.

Mitakon has created something that is not only affordable for this  type of lens, but very useful and with good quality all the way around. In no way is the lens they sent me shoddy in workmanship or focus feel. It is up there with any Leica lens I have used or owned when it comes to focusing feel (which is smooth and nice). Remember, the Leica Noctilux is $11,000 (one of mine had to be repaired twice after the aperture blades broke down inside), the old SLR Magic 50 0.95 Hyperpriime was $4500+ (which never gave me one problem) and then there are the various $999 0.95 50’s that were just awful from color, to sharpness, to bokeh. None of those $999 lenses even come close to this Mitakon. None of them.

A few images shot indoors and wide open at 0.95 at low light during a Phoenix AZ meet up I set up last week.

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As you can see from the JPEG images above, in low light, the Mitakon 50 0.95 is a great performer, especially considering what it is, what it costs and what it can do. If you click the images here in this review you will see them how they were meant to be seen. All I have done with these is resize them to 1800 pixels wide for web viewing. They look great on my 27″ screen. Even looking at the Bokeh in these images, in no way do I find it irritating, busy or offensive. Actually, I am finding it pleasing, creamy and “fat”. With that I mean the highlights that are Out of focus are big, fat and puffy which is an effect of the large aperture. Overall the character of the Mitakon is sort of “rounded” meaning it is not analytically sharp nor is it soft. The focus point, which is VERY small when shooting wide open will be sharp but the rest of the image will look more dreamlike. For example…

Shot this below in JPEG and focused on the glasses. The rest of the image is a tad soft due to Depth of Field, not because of sharpness. This lens is plenty sharp, even at 0.95 AT THE focus point! Remember when shooting 0.95 of full frame your depth of field is TINY! All three images below were shot at 0.95 and are right from the Sony A7s JPEG mode.

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In fact. this lens remains pretty sharp wide open but gets sharper when stopped down to at least 1.4. Almost 95% of the images here were shot wide open at T0.95. Yes, this is a T 0.95, not an F/0.95. What does that mean? Well, to make it simple it basically means that it is FASTER than an f/0.95…but only slightly. So for me, having a T 0.95 lens at $999 that is full frame, well made and performs well in regards to color and sharpness at T 0.95, well, it is something we never see. This lens is up there with lenses that cost much more so $999 is a great price point for the lens. Anyone who owns a full frame Sony E mount and has interest in a fast lens..well, I can not imagine anyone being disappointed in the 50 T 0.95.

The lens comes in a deluxe case like the one you see below. Nice touch,

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My 1st Look Video

Below is the video I did of the lens in my 1st look. You can see the lens, the case, etc.

The Sony 55 1.8 vs the Mitakon 50 T 0.95? A comparison.

No, it is not as crisp of analytical as the Sony/Zeiss 55 1.8, which is a FANTASTIC lens for the Sony A7 cameras. The Sony/Zeiss 55 is sharp, has AF and has no issues with color, distortion or sharpness. At all. It has pleasing Bokeh as well. So who in their right mind would choose the Mitakon over the Sony when you lose Auto Focus, across the frame crispness and the lightweight construction of the lens making it easier to carry? Well, that is a tough one as the Sony is such a good lens and the cost is about the same at around a grand.

For me, I would choose the Sony if I wanted ease of use, convenience and perfection. I would choose the Mitakon if I enjoyed using a manual focus lens (which I do) and even faster aperture (T 0.5 vs f/1.8) and enjoyed a more artistic rendering and Bokeh. The Sony is more “correct” but the Mitakon is more “Creative”. The Sony will deliver pleasing results but some have said the Sony lens is too crisp and analytical with no real character. I agree with that somewhat as it is a bit “bland” in its rendering. I am a fan of character which is one reason I love so many old Leica lenses. The Mitakon has loads of character but it may not be everyones cup of tea. The best way to find out is to look at image shot with the Sony and images shot with the Mitakon. Then decide for yourself which rendering you prefer.

Below is a crappy test shot in my yard at 8PM  – one taken with the Mitakon at 0.95 and 1.8 and then one shot with the Sony 55 1.8 at 1.8. You can compare them for yourself.

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Low light use

Many have asked me how hard it is to use the Mitakon, as in.. not only in good light but in low light as well. How is it to focus the lens using the Sony EVF? Does focus peaking work well?

When I was using the lens in almost complete darkness I used the EVF and have my custom button set to magnify for critical focusing. This will slow you down but at T 0.95 in the dark it is hard rot rely on peaking alone as you may miss when you think you hit. Using magnify I never had an out of focus shot but it did slow me down. The Sony 55 1.8 would have AF’d using the A7s in the dark so it would have been a better lens to use for speed but not for character, as mentioned above.

I shot this guy and pushed it to the limits, even going to ISO 102,000 at T 0.95 in almost complete darkness. I found it has a flare issue if pointed direct into a light source and also found it has some barrel distortion. Other than that, the lens is problem free, or has been for me at least.

The performer I shot in the 1st image personally emailed me and told me how much she loved that image and she invited me back  to shoot them again next time they came to town. It is always nice to get a compliment on your work. The fact that the Mitakon worked here is quite amazing as no other camera or lens would. I tried my Leica M and 50 f/2 and it was impossible even at ISO 6400 (max of the M). Even with an 0.95 lens on the M it would not have worked as I needed to go to ISO 25,000 and up for this light.

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and 102,400 again but with the flare

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Using this combo of A7s and 50 Mitakon in extremely low light, bordering on full darkness in some situations was a pleasure. I had no idea if anything would work out or be usable (especially the insane 102k iso shots) but man…when I came home and downloaded the images I was shocked. Not only were they all usable, they looked good! Up to ISO 32,000 was fantastic, and this was all JPEG shooting!

It was during this time that I bonded with my A7s and Mitakon. This also made the Sony A7s my #1 go to camera for day-to-day shooting. While I normally use the Sony 35 28 and 55 1.8, I bring out the Mitakon when I want the look and feel that it offers, which is similar but different to any other 0.95 lens I have used.

While not perfect for most A7 shooters due to the fact that it is manual focus only, the fact that it is such a fast lens and will be hard for amateurs or those new to fast glass to focus at 0.95, the fact that it does have some slight barrel distortion and flare (if pointed to a light source, but so do many Leica lenses), well, makes it NOT perfect. But no lens is perfect (besides THIS one) and at $999, for a lens of this build quality, speed and performance, well, we have a home run hit for Sony shooters who want something like this and want something that will perform without breaking the bank.

One thing about the Mitakon that is unique to lenses such as this is the close focusing ability. Yep, you can focus this lens as close as .5 meters, which is pretty close. When shooting at the closest focusing distance it is very tricky to nail focus when wide open but when you do, you will get a somewhat sharp image. For comparison, the Leica Noctilux will focus only to 1m.

Two images of our new puppy “Olive”. The 1st one at 0.95 and the 2nd at 0.95 but at the closest focusing distance of .5 meters. Love the OOC color here from the A7s and I even have a print of this I made at 8X10. Looks lovely.

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Where to Buy the Mitakon?

Well, here is the tricky part. I was sent the lens to review and the site that used to have them listed for pre-order has seemingly taken the lens off of its site. I can not find it as of today yet it was there 4 months ago when I wrote my 1st look. I did find a few e-bay listings for pre-orders but this lens is only available buying direct from Hong Kong. There are no distributors in the USA it seems. I remember SLR Magic having these same issues with no real easy way to order their lenses. I find that to be a huge mistake as ordering should be simple, easy and hassle free. Yes, all three of those words mean the same thing but c’mon! Pushing out a cool lens like this, asking for a review and then offering no real way to order the lens? Odd.

So I would suggest going to MXcamera (if you have interest in it) and sending them a message about this lens..as in..”how can I order and when can you ship”. The ordering is the one area that makes me uneasy about this lens. It just doesn’t seem to be obtainable, at least in an easy way. So if you can find one and want one I do recommend it as it is a super lens for any A7 shooter.

You can buy the Sony A7s at Amazon or B&H Photo.

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My Final Conclusion

The Mitakon is a very good lens for full frame Sony A7 shooters and it is MADE for the Sony E mount. It is not usable on Fuji, Micro 4/3 or Leica. It is a wonderful creative lens and I am proud to have one in my collection. I know that if I have to shoot something in insanely low light that the combo of A7s and Mitakon will get it done without issue. The more I use it, the more I like it. There is a slight learning curve here with the lens as well and it may take a few days to get used to focusing it and nailing the shots. The lens does show some slight barrel distortion if shooting straight lines up close and has slight vignetting wide open at 0.95 (as do all 0.95 lenses). It is not the easiest lens to get a hold of but I have nothing but praise for this guy because at $999 it is well wroth it to anyone who has a Sony A7, A7r or A7s. I liked it best on the A7s.

Steve

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  88 Responses to “The Mitakon 50 0.95 lens Review on the Sony A7s”

  1. Hi Steve.
    Tony Northup say that this lens is T 1.4 and it’s full of CA. What do you think about that?

    • No idea who Tony is, but as I showed, it does have tons of CA wide open. Stopped down, no. If he says it is a T 1.4 due to being M 4/3 he is wrong. Light gathering this is a full T 0.95. For shallow DOF it would be more like a T 1.4. People always screw that up. Always.

      • ” For shallow DOF it would be more like a T 1.4. People always screw that up. Always.”

        What you mean by shallow DOF ? How can you test whether it is a T0.95? Do you compare it to the 55mm Zeiss @ 1.8 – near 2 Stops?

        • This is a faster lens than the Sony. 0.95 vs 1.8 is massive when it comes to DOF.

          • Meant something different.
            How can u be sure that the lense is a True -> T0.95 Stop? Do you have the cinema T0.95 for a comparison ?

            How can people without comparable cinema lenses measure the transmission in stops? (T Stop)

  2. Hi Steve. I have this lens for the A7S but it’s the 2nd version. My top button on the camera is use for manual zoom focus and for some reason it’s not working with this lens. Any ideas?

  3. Have you tried the Mitakon on the A7m2 with image stabilization?

    I am curious how nice image stabilization will be with this fast lens.

  4. Was in HK recently and I took a walk down to MxCamera and bought one for US$ 810. The guys were super and the transaction was swift. Love the lens.

  5. Looking at the 800 odd pictures on Flickr it would seem that the IQ is a bit off. Not as natural as the Noctilux. (OK, I know, whopping price) Would love to buy it, for its F0.95, but IQ will eventually irritate me. Save, save, save…damn!

    • Hello Trevor,

      care to elaborate what you mean by the statement “… IQ is a bit off…”?

      What do you dislike – the rendering as such, the bokeh, …?!

      I’d just like to understand what drove you off.

      For me, I kept my FDn 50 f/1,2L with Novoflex FD-E adapter – I preferred the general rendering, and the half f-stop gain did in my opinion not justify the expense.

  6. what would you pick between voigtlander 50/1.1 or this??? Your comment would be very very important to me. Thanks

  7. and Mitakon 50mm vs 35 mm?

  8. I know what u mean by economic. probably because u’re comparing with a7. but comparing with the same ISO and low light capability, i’d say the only cheapest comparison is canon 1dx.

  9. Steve, seen this new .85 lens? I know it’s a 40mm but it may still make an interesting compare to the Mitakon.

    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1056301-REG/handevision_hvib4085se_ibelux_40mm_f_0_85_lens.html

    Roger Ciccala at Lensrentals was really impressed with the test results on his copy.

  10. Hi Steve, which one do you think best color rendering, A7s or RX1R ? thanks

  11. https://www.facebook.com/mxcamera

    We just noticed from the manufacturer, they will have a large amount of product to release, and we will delivery all the products during 20 to 23 Aug 2014. For thankful for everyone’s long waiting and we will upgrade your order to higher quality, better image performance and almost perfect handcrafting’s professional version “The Dark Knight” . The Following information is “The Dark Knight” major upgrade specification:
    1. Improved lens coating, which makes the lens have better performance
    2. Filter thread changed to 67mm from 58mm
    3. New bayonet lens hood to prevent light flare and improve “back light “s situation performance.

  12. Steve,

    Did it right this time and ordered the lens using your B&H link. Thanks again for the real world reviews.

    Don

  13. MX Camera just wrote on FB that there will be a new version of this lens :

    “Dear everyone who had purchases the Mitakon 50mm/ F0.95,

    Thank you for your long waiting and support, all customers who have not received the product, that is a good new for the delivery! We just noticed from the manufacturer, they will have a large amount of product to release, and we will delivery all the products during 20 to 23 Aug 2014. For thankful for everyone’s long waiting and we will upgrade your order to higher quality, better image performance and almost perfect handcrafting’s professional version “The Dark Knight” . The Following information is “The Dark Knight” major upgrade specification:
    1. Improved lens coating, which makes the lens have better performance
    2. Filter thread changed to 67mm from 58mm
    3. New bayonet lens hood to prevent light flare and improve “back light “s situation performance.

    The following page is “The Dark Knight” the most update’s picture, We will launch more detail information to http://www.zyopticlens.com and facebook: MX Camera ~ You won’t miss it !”

    • I’d sure be pissed if I had just bought one of these and they’re already coming with an improved version. The Dark Knight will probably be tack sharp wide open to boot.

      • Doubtful there will be a significant improvement. The only thing optically that has changed is the lens coatings and it remains to be seen if it really is an improvement. It’s possible it could even be worse. Same for the overall build quality. They’re using a different supplier for this lens and until we see some test shots and reviews we just don’t know.

        • It probably is going to be a fatter lens..from 58 to 67mm…..but what I felt pissed was the better coating… probably better performance too.

          • The lens already has great microcontrast and practically no chromatic aberration. There isn’t much a different lens coating can do to improve on that. Only redesigned lens elements can improve overall sharpness or significantly increase contrast. And only a redesigned diaphragm can improve the bokeh. They haven’t changed any of those things with this lens.

  14. How would you say this lens compares to the Canon 50mm f/1.2L? Which one would you prefer?

  15. Steve,
    are you planning to try the 85mm f/2 and the 135mm f/2.8 that Mitakon also makes? Would be interested in your comments.

  16. This looks much sharper than the SLR Magic 50mm f/0.95, the review that you posted with NEX camera I think.

  17. I used to shoot with canon 7 with 50 mm f0.95 using tmax3200 film and truly enjoyed that combination especially with payed wedding jobs back then. Now this modern combination is the equivalent! And yes Steve focusing a 0.95 lens is always tricky then, now and in the future!

  18. Steve may you describe the difference in performance between SLR Magic and the Mitakon?
    Have same perfomance? Same quality?
    Sure SLR can be used on Leica, have stunning 12 blade….but what about sharpness, CA, fringing, bokeh…

    Excellent work as always

    • The SLR Magic Hyperprime M mount 50 T 0.95 is a better performing lens than the Leica Noctilux, and yes, I owned it and tested it side by side with three Leica Noctilux 0.95’s. The SLR Magic also cost $5k so… You may be referring to the APS-C SLR Magic 50 F 0.95 which is garbage IMO. It’s an sold converted TV lens and is not sharp at all, color is off and will not work on an A7 series camera as it is not full frame. That lens was about $999 and not very good (as my review showed). But the SLR Magic M mount was amazing..and a much different lens than either of these.

      • No I mean the 50 LM, because I have it and I’m curios to know how do you find the mitakon in a side by side with the SLR 50 LM.
        As you said…no lens is perfect, and SLR have some trouble with direct light, with high light scenes (worst case in distance scene), have distortion….but it’s incredible how it performs at 0.95, and in a low contrast light scenes can give incredible result.
        So my curiosity was about a lower price lens that seems to perform very similar (?? or not?)

        Tnx Steve, it’s a real pleasure read your tests/articles and see a lot of a good shot and believe me…it’s very hard because a lot of site that give a lot insane and stupid informations.

        • If you have the Leica Mount Hyperprime, the beast..the lens that is larger than the Noctilux, then yes, that is a better lens than this one is. My copy of the Hyperprime, as I said, beat out the $11k Leica Noct in side by side tests I did. Less CA, very similar Bokeh, superb color, sharper, etc. The Mitakon is not up to that level but it is not that far behind.

          • Tnx, I understand perfectly.
            again.

            PS
            a7 with adapter is a perfect backup for every system in a professional use (obv. manual focus) but even with 0.95 lenses the output in extreme condition was rear to the top DSRL, now with a7s the capability of that system can reach something that wasn’t possible before.
            Maybe a7s+mitakon (or other similar) are not economic but I can’t immagine other instruments capable to give similar possibility in low light.

  19. Steve the Lens is now $849 at B&H, ref your article mentions $999.
    FYI :)

  20. Manual Aperture Ring or Electronic? Any electronics at all (like A7 to be able to read aperture value)? Or control the aperture from the camera?

  21. How would this be on an A6000? Would it crop in enough to help the wide open vinegetting & barrel distortion? Would it make it a touch easier to focus as you would think? What would it do for minimum focus distance? Curious as to what a pic from the a6000 would look like at high iso down sized to 12mp with this lens. Lastly can anyone loan me $1000 :D

  22. I wonder if the company takes this long to process new orders what support would the provide if something goes wrong! – not that it should.
    I am not sure I am liking the bokeh, would rather wait for the Zeiss 50/1.2

  23. I’ll probably grab a copy of this lens mostly because their simply aren’t that many FF e-mount choices of reasonable quality to be had yet. That said, I find shooting with Sigma 35 1,4 Art lens (A-mount with LAEA4) to be quite satisfying on the a7 series cameras. And in low light, shot wide open; it is tack sharp with fabulous high ISO, low noise results. The extra girth and weight doesn’t bother me all, especially since I have the ability to go back to small shooting with the Zeiss 35 2,8 FE. It’s actually kinda cool to be able to have the best of both worlds. The Siggy gives the “we mean business” look that unfortunately is still a requirement on many shoots. The PDAF doesn’t hurt either.

  24. Steve, great review. Certainly something to aim for! Thanks

  25. Apart from the manual focus, is the lens auto otherwise. Can you shoot “shutter priority” or even “auto”? I have issues with my Voigtlander. I have to open the aperture on the lens to focus and then close it to f16 (for example) to shoot…

    • Why would you shoot a fast lens at f/16? It will perform at its worst at that aperture. I focus and shoot between 0.95 and f/2. This is not a lens one would but to shoot at f/8 or f/16. I shoot in Aperture Priority mode, set my aperture, focus and shoot.

      • Sometimes I want to shoot a landscape at f11 of f16 to get everything in focus…
        Anyway, can you use the Mitakon in “aperture priority”? I guess you could since is an FE mount… Can the camera open and close the aperture automatically (electronically)?
        How does the Mitakon 50mm f.95 compare with the Voigtlander 50mm f1.1?
        Thanks

        • I meant “shutter priority” not “aperture priority” above. But I read where you answered my question elsewhere. The Mitakon is a “dumb” lens – No communication (electronics) between the camera and the lens… I’m now budgetting for the Zeiss 35mm f2.8 and the 55mm f1.8.

          • > I’m now budgetting for the Zeiss 35mm f2.8 and the 55mm f1.8.

            The Sonnar FE 55 f/1,8 is a must-have.

            The Sonnar FE 35 f/2,8 is ok, but not mandatory. You may be significantly better off with the Zeiss Loxia 35 f/2, even if it is not AF.

        • The lens is a manual lens – therefore the camera cannot automatically open and close the aperture.

          In my comparison, the Mitakon 50 f/0,95 (E58) version is significantly superior to the Voigtlaender 50 f/1,1

  26. What do you mean by “But no lens is perfect (besides THIS one)” ?

  27. Thanks for the G.A.S. Steve.

    I bought the 55/1.8 for my A7 because I wanted the AF convenience. I thought with that and my Voigtlander 35/1.4 I was set as far as standard length lenses go, but then I had to go and read this excellent review.

    I must stay strong. I don’t NEED an A7s and this awesome lens to get good shots in low light. My current kit has gotten me all the shots I’ve tried to get. I don’t need it, nope.

    If anyone needs me I’ll be in the corner repeating this to myself until the want goes away…

  28. I pre-ordered this lens in May, and still have not received it. I have received many very apologetic emails from MX Camera customer support in broken English about serious production delays, and offering to refund my money. I told them that I don’t want the refund, I just want the lens.

    Apparently MX Camera received a batch of lenses from the manufacturer not up to quality standards and they will not ship them out unless they are correct. I have a lot of emails back and forth about this. I can’t blame them for not shipping a faulty product, but there was a serious miscalculation somewhere for them to miss the original early June ship date by this much. I can sympathize with how frustrating this must be for them to see their big launch not go right. But I think they are in fact being responsible about the situation.

    I’ve been getting impatient, and I almost took them up on the refund until I saw this review. I’ll wait. This looks perfect for me.

    • I wonder if B&H is going to check the quality of each lens… It’s a good thing they take returns… I’m having second thoughts about this lens.

  29. For additional information.

    The Mitakon lenses turned out to be produced by a local company named Zhong-yi (ZY) in China. Btw, I checked, my Olympus cameras (EP5, OMD1 and TG-3) and lenses are all made in China. The company’s official website, all in Chinese of course, is poorly designed and not updated that the 50 0.95 was not even featured on the site. Looks like a company that did not know marketing 101 but they pulled that master stroke by sending the #00001 to an influential tester like Steve Huff whose raving review alone was enough to cause the phone to ring off the hook at the factory. Too bad Mr. Huff does not charge commission!

    This particular lens, among others, can be bought easily on the net through Taobao, the Chinese version of Amazon, whose holding company Alibaba will go for IPO on New York Stock Exchange soon. Glancing through customer comments on the product page on Taobao, the IQ and low light shooting capability are highly praised by local enthusiasts but there is complaint that the aperture and focus rings are not smooth enough, not to Leica level. But hey, as Steve asked, does that worth $10,000? By the way, all local purchases do not come with boxes like the one received by Steve. The customers said the lens arrived in plastic foam bubble wrapping but no damage complaint was reported. It remains unclear when and if ZY will supply the storage box at a later stage. Hope the international customers have better luck on the packaging…and will they worry over small matters like boxing when the lens is this good for the price they pay, if they can get their hands on it?

    I don’t work for or benefit from ZY for posting this. I don’t own the lens and have not used it myself. The comment here is only for the benefit of my follow readers of this site.

  30. Your review just pushed me over the edge. Just snagged one from a HK reseller on ebay that claims it was the last one in-stock :)

    • Zy optics just announced that a newer version of Mitakon 50mm/f0.95 late August. New coating, filter size will be 67mm, …and they call it The Dark Knight.

  31. To my eye the mono images are excellent but the general color of most of the images have an orange hue ?
    Is this PP camera or lens ?

  32. I love image 21 Steve, great review. I own already 4 50mm lenses (summicron , CZ551.8ZA, The Minolta MC Rokkor 58mm 1.2 but still I would love to use in on special occasions

  33. I don’t know if I want the lens, but I could really go for some Portillo’s hot dogs right now.

  34. Dear Steve. Thanks for posting those great portraits. They certainly show that the A7S has great potentials beyond the low light situations.

  35. Crazy comparison: Mitakon vs. Zeiss C-Sonnar? I know at f0.95 which one would win, but I would love to see what could be a legendary bokeh battle.

    • Yeah, I’d like to see that comparison as well Steve, if it’s possible? Not only for the bokeh, but to compare their unique characteristics overall. Do you still own the C Sonnar, Steve?

      • No I do not but can get a hold of one.

        • Great! In fact I’d be interested to know how any of the M mount Zeiss manual lenses handle on the A7s …particularly in the 50mm range. Might make for a cool shoot out with some Leica or Voightlander glass as well (depending on what you can get your hands on of course!)

          • The M mount lenses by Zeiss work great on the A7s. Most worked great on the A7 including the 50 sonar (which I already shot on the A7s and posted), 50 Planar and the Voigtlander 50 1.5 as well. Even the 21 2.8 worked good on the A7s but not on the A7 and A7r.

          • Thanks Steve, that’s good to know. Sounds like the A7s is really quite versatile with many different lenses! I’ve been saving for a secondhand M9 with a Zeiss 50 for some time now, but now seriously considering the Sony, after reading so many of your positive experiences! Cheers

  36. Steve – are those standard cinema follow focus gears on the barrel or just friction grips? Also, I’m assuming the lens has hard stops and does not just rotate freely like an auto focus lens. Lastly, is the aperture ring de-clicked – obviously I’m interested for video applications. Thanks for the comprehensive review.

    • Well, I am not into cinema so to me they appear to be standard grips. It has a click less aperture which I go over in the video :) The lens works just like any other manual focus lens. No different than using a Noctilux besides for the click less aperture.

  37. These images are very impressive indeed. The absence of auto focus is a real challenge in real life situations, imo. I have a 55mm f1.7 and a 30mm f1.4, and already with these it is a real It is ok for static situations like portraits and concerts, but snapping kids running around with a 50mm @f0.95 will take a lot of technique (and multiple shooting). But then again, many fast auto focus lenses will fail too wide open in low light, right?

  38. I’ll probably get it for my NEX-7. Won’t come close to the A7s combo, but should be sufficient for when I need better low light performance. For other occasions, the Touit 2.8/50M will be better anyway.

  39. Thanks for yet another great review, Steve. The Mikaton certainly does look like an intriguing lens

  40. Thanks for the review Steve. When you posted your first look, I went to their website and pulled out my credit card. Then I put it back because I wanted to wait for your review. Your review makes me want it…but now I can’t get it! Ah, oh well.

  41. Steve, please could you post some more pictures comparing zeiss 55 with this one? – a portrait and a general street photo? I am unable to appreciate the difference looking at the two you have posted here.

  42. just got my A7s delivered from HK! and now THIS!..:) It certainly looks a lot less ‘glowy’ on highlights wide open than for example the fast Voigtlanders but I’m not convinced on the bokeh yet.. I’ll spend a few months with the Leica M 35 and 50 1.4’s before I take the plunge, but it does look interesting! Thanks for the review!

  43. totally photos are very very nice, but the cat photo is soooo cute…

    thanks for sharing these pictures.

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