Holy 50mm! The Mitakon 50 f/0.95 Speedmaster for E-Mount Arrives.

Holy 50mm! The Mitakon 50 f/0.95 Speedmaster for E-Mount Arrives.

lens

What you see above is serial# 000001 of the brand new Mitakon Speedmaster 50 f/0.95 FULL FRAME lens for Sony E Mount. Yes, the A7 now has a 50 f/0.95 and from a few shots I have seen circulating online this lens looks AMAZING. Holding it, I can tell you that the quality is flat-out amazing. Leica quality in feel. Size wise, it is not so bad and much smaller than say a Leica Noctilux f/0.95. This lens will sell for $799 and start shipping end of May but I will be doing a FULL review on this bad boy on an A7 over the next few weeks. But imagine this on the new A7s! Wowzers. This lens and an A7s could indeed be a dream team of the night.

There is a funny story about how I managed to get this lens. I remember reading about it a while ago and seeing some images from it. A few days ago I received a random e-mail from someone I did not know and never heard of. He asked me if I wanted to review a 50 0.95 lens he designed for Sony NEX. I asked him where his website was, if it was full frame and where it can be ordered. He wrote back saying it was full frame but with no other real info. I had no idea it was this lens! Pretty cool that I get to review serial# 000001. Sweet.

The packaging is stellar and the lens arrives in a very nice case, the nicest I have ever seen any lens ship in.

case

opencase

The lens itself feels so solid and it is constructed in a very high quality. Smooth dials, a click less aperture ring and a metal screw in lens cap.

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I will start reviewing and using this lens at the end of the week once I am done with another camera I am wrapping up a review for 😉 But I am excited about this one because I have a very good feeling about it. I will also test it on the new A7s whenever that camera surfaces! Stay tuned…

71 Comments

  1. All reviews of fast glass want to show the back ground blur in a capture of a person or object BUT why not show it’s real gravy night shots 1. faster shutter speed allowing street shots with people or things in motion but no blur of motion, 2. less star effects on lights 3. Milky Way capture with lower ISO, like doing pano’s at 50mm faster allowing for better patching with more light capture. Yes it is 50mm and the 12mm and 14mm f/2.8’s are killers but the .95 would be great to see night stuff.

  2. I’m impressed with so many people interested in a new lens from China. SLR Magic (which is from Hong Kong, not China) didn’t seem to receive so many favorable comments from readers when it first came out with e-mount product. However many of their (SLR Magic) lenses are thoroughly enjoyed by actual users. I have a few in my collection and find their 35 T0.95 (M mount) one of the finest lenses I own. It has color and character that outshine my beloved Voigtländer lenses as well as early Canon rangefinder glass. Heck, it even gives Leila’s a run for their money.
    It’s great to see start-ups and smaller groups trying to put new product out. Can you imagine the hurdles in going from nothing to a remotely acceptable lens, the engineering, manufacturing, then trying to take a no-name brand to market. It must take huge cajones and even more cash.
    Mainland China is king of copy. Today’s headline is counterfeit Sunkist oranges. It will be interesting to find the genuine heritage of the Mitakon offering and see how it develops. I wonder if SLR Magic will throw another weighty lens out? They seem awfully quiet these days.

  3. Sonyrumors tells today that the Mitakon 0.95/50mm ist announced by mxcamera.
    This rumor is unfortunately wrong.
    There are only one picture from this lens, no further specs.
    Ralf.

  4. I’ve heard some rumors about this lens. It has the same structure as the SLR Magic 50/0.95, which is oemed by the same chinese firm 中一光学.

    • Key word is rumor. From what I see it is nothing like the SLR Magic T 0.95 Hyperprime M mount. For one, it is much smaller and it is indeed lighter.It also seems nothing like the older SLR Magic 50 f/0.95, which is garbage. This lens is much sharper, much richer in color, larger and better made. So it looks, feels and performs nothing like either of two SLR Magic 50 0.95 lenses, the low or high end one.

  5. IMHO I would consider the Sigma 50/1.4 Art before buying this lens. It will perform much better and costs only slightly more. I am not saying that you shouldn’t buy it, but don’t let the the super-wide aperture fad distract you from choosing your lenses.

    • The Sigma ART is an amazing lens but if you aren’t crazing instance DoF and low-light then you’d be better of with the FE 55mm on E-mount. The Sigma isn’t much more than this Mitakon and has AF but it is bigger, heavier and requires an LAEA4 adapter. Also because of all the glass in the Sigma the actual light transmission is rated (DXO mark—don’t trust their conclusions but their measurements are pretty sound) very close T1.7 vs T1.8. So, in the end it depends on what you want.

      I don’t know if I’ll be buying the Mitakon but the price/size is very compelling.

  6. I*am interested on the MTF-Charts from the new Mitakon 0.95/50mm.
    This lens is very solid built.
    Ralf

  7. The Mitakon 0.95/50mm is very solid built.
    I*am interesten on the MTF-Charts of this lens.
    Ralf

    • Not sure if we’d ever see a RF coupled M-mount version just for the extra complexity it would add to the lens design. It would be nice to have even an uncoupled M-mount just so you as an owner wouldn’t be restricted to a single mount with the lens though as SLR magic did with their 50/0.95. An interesting thought – what would an affordable fast-50 shootout look like? This lens, Voigtlander 50/1.1, MS-Optical 50/1.1, non-RF coupled SLR Magic 50/1.1 (cheaper). Plus maybe the Canon RF 50/1? You’d get a decent mix of small size and sharpness with each and I think we all might have a chance of owning one of these, unlike the Noctilux.

  8. Oddly, the previous manual-focus, built-like-a-tank, almost identical, 58mm-filter Mitakon 35mm f0.95 (behaving, or sold, as a 70mm on a quarter-sized micro4/3 mount) gives a far better, or more satisfying – for me – result as a 50mm when mounted on an APS NEX with an m4/3-to-NEX adaptor – it has the coverage to match the size of an APS sensor; even a full-frame sensor!

    I think it’s to do with the “fall-off”, or transition, from in-focus to out-of-focus. Its very shallow d-o-f as a 70mm ‘telephoto’ lens seems rather weird; not the kind of thing you’d see with your own eyes. But the same shallow d-o-f when used as a 50mm – with a broader general field of view, and so with a less “sudden” apparent transition from in focus to not in focus over the whole frame – appears “gentler” and less abrupt.

    (The Mitakon 35mm has wide enough glass inside to cover even the full-frame sensor of an M9 as a proper 35mm lens – but when built on an m4/3 mount it can’t be fitted at the correct distance from an M9’s sensor except for very close shots, and then the usual scenic width of a 35mm lens just isn’t apparent at such close distances.)

    What I’m saying, in a very roundabout manner, is that the previous 35mm f0.95 Mitakon (which was sold as a 70mm for m4/3, and also worked as a 50mm on the Sony E-mount) gave its best, or most pleasing, results when used on the largest possible (full-frame) sensor ..and – I thought – was rather disappointing when used on smaller-sensor cameras.

    So the new(?) full-frame 50mm – a very similar lens – is probably better suited to being used “full frame”, like its predecessor 35mm was, because, when sold as a micro-four-thirds lens, the predecessor 35mm looked rather “soft” and with quirky bokeh.

    Does that make any sense? ..The more I read what I’ve just written, the more I think that I shouldn’t have bothered ..maybe I’ll go and make a cup of tea and take a walk..

    In brief, the Mitakon 35mm was best used as a native 35mm, and not as a ‘pretend’ 70mm on m4/3 or even as a 50mm on APS. So this ‘native’ full-frame 50mm should give more pleasing results than those predecessor lenses. In a nutshell.

    • They made the 35mm in other mounts including E-Mount, have any links showing the lens being used on a full frame camera? It was sold as a crop only lens, so it would be interesting to see the results on FF. And yes, what you wrote makes sense, it is much more difficult to resolve detail on a more densely packed sensor, like m43’s than it is for larger sensors, so ‘iffy’ lenses will perform better usually on the larger sensors. Try using a medium format lens on an APS-C camera and despite the high quality of the lens on its original format, it will be pretty darn average on the little crop sensor.

      • I have tested the Mitakon 35/0.95 on my A7R. Definitely vignetted. The lens was designed to cover APS-H, larger than APS-C but not as large as full frame.

        • In other words it covers the M8 sensor, not M9. But on the A7S in video mode, with the slight crop and 16:9 aspect ratio, it could probably just almost cover full 4K, which would be great.

    • Doubt it as coupling for an M mount would make it much more pricey and complicated for them. I do not think they have ever made an M mount so doubt they will. Then again, you never know.

  9. I don’t suppose you could share just one teaser shot to whet our appetite Steve? Have been very interested in this lens since announcement, but these things often get rather dodgy reviews, so am VERY grateful you have got your hands on one to give us your opinions on!

    • What kind of educational background do you have that it allows you to pay for a nikon 1.2 while simultaneously throwing such ignorant remarks ? Do you still live in the 60s ? ¨Made in China¨ does not mean bad quality by default, just like made in germany does not guarantee flawless manufacturing (ask anyone who has had to send their leica back to Wetzlar).

      Anyway, back to topic.

      Steve, I’m wondering if this lens is going to be released on other systems, if so, maybe it’s possible for you to test this lens on other platforms as well? I’m thinking this lens would make an interesting candidate for adaptation through speedbooster (!). Just think about it, this lens with an speedbooster on either an APS-C or m4/3 camera would be so fast it could probably see into the past (E=MC2) hehehe, just joking of course, nevertheless, I’m wondering if such a combo could bring any substantial benefits to other mirrorless users. I’m eagerly awaiting the upcoming Leica surprise, thanks for everything!

    • olympus 12-40/2.8 is made in china. camera bag is not with me but im pretty sure the 75/1.8 is also made in china. doesnt mean much now, does it?

        • Hi Steve. Whilst I agree with almost al of your views – i think you’re wrong about the Nikon 50 f1.2. I use it on my Leica M240 with a cheap adaptor. The IQ is simply amazing! Soft and dreamy at f1.2 and bitingly sharp at f2 already. Perhaps I just have a good copy.
          Dont know why but the bokeh with this lens on the M240 seems smoother than when I use the lens on a D800.

  10. Steve, I hope this would not be like what happened to SLR Magic, great first batches of lenses and then problems came and never settled in a good and orderly way.

    • Actually SLR Magic never really had problems and they still sell their 50 0.95 M lens, which I still know many who own that lens with zero issues. I am one of the few who know the real story with SLR Magic and how they were blindsided but I will not be getting into that one. If a lens is good a lens is good. I will soon know if this one is or if it is just mediocre. The SLR Magic 50 T0.95 Hyperprime M mount is a fantastic lens that in reality beat out the Leica Noct in IQ when used on an M9 with two random samples I and others tested.

  11. Very interesting, for some reason I find lenses far more interesting than camera bodies.
    This lens will be competing with the $300 more expensive Nokton 1.1. Which would be a great comparison.
    I’ve seen the Nokton recently sell on ebay on auction (i.e. not buy it now) for just over $600.

    I gotta be honest here, the sample images floating around on SonyAlphaRumors and PetaPixel, especially the 100% crop, don’t look so hot. The 100% image looks really waxy/detail free. Almost cartoonish.

    Steve, when you test it can you check that the .95 actually transmits .95 levels of light? Maybe by comparing meter readings with a 1.4 lens? Some fast lenses transmit about 1 stop less light than expected.

    Best regards
    Huss

    • From what I have seen from this lens it is much different than the Nokton 1.1. In fact, the Nokton 1.1 on the A7 is not so hot IMO. The 50 1.5 is, but not the 1.1. This lens is MUCH better made and hefty than the Nokton as well (or so it appears) and will deliver 0.95 DOF with a much more dreamy Bokeh. As for the waxy crop you have seen, to me it appears to be from a JPEG with NR applied. Not sure but will find out soon enough. Keep an eye out here for full testing.

      • I think you’re right about it being a jpeg. It looks really cooked and no lens will make an image look like that by itself.
        Looking forward to the test!

        • Doh! I own a A7 and was able to get the Nokton 1.1 for around $600. Your review made it very compelling at this price but didn’t know about your opinion of it on a A7. Would love some elaboration on that, but maybe I’ll post that question on the other thread 😉 I haven’t received it yet so of course I’ll be able to judge for myself. Very interested about this lens now however. 😀

          • When I reviewed the A7 I tested it with about 15-20 lenses in M mount, the 50 1.1 was one. Either I used a bad 1.1 or it is just not a good fit for the A7. The 50 1.5 did MUCH better as did the Zeiss 50 f/2. But as I said, could have been a bad 1.1 as they were not my own lenses. Let me know how it goes, $600 is a great buy.

          • FWIW I saw a couple really fantastic detailed images floating around the DPreview forums taken with the Nokton 50/1.1 The downside was that you had to sift through the rest of the forum haha. It will be an interesting comparison to see the super fast 50s pitted against each other – not unlike that old comparo by Kristian Dowling with a zillion lenses I can’t afford. Oh well. A guy can dream.

    • Huss, I just compared the transmission of the Mitakon 50mm V2 (Pro, 67mm) to a Leica Noctilux 50mm. At f/0.95, the Noctilux transmits +0.20EV more light vs the Mitakon, as measured on a grey patch in the center of the frame.

  12. I’ll be interested to see the review (and I’ll also be interested to see if they stick to that price once the slavering demand starts!)

    BUT… I don’t think this lens on the A7s will be the “dream team.” After all, it’s only one stop faster than readily-available f/1.4s — and given that the A7s has an ISO range up to 409,000-something, in most cases it will be easy to just crank it up another stop instead of using a faster lens.

    Where I think this lens will be most interesting will be on older bodies with lesser high-ISO performance — ones on which being able to shoot at, for example, ISO 3200 instead of ISO 6400 makes a noticeable difference in image quality.

    The manual-focus-only thing is a bit of a downer, of course…

    • I have no issue with it being a manual focus lens, then again, I shot the Leica Noctilux 0.95 for a long while (which is $11k and manual focus) with superb results. I prefer MF as focus will always be on what I focus on instead of the camera deciding. If the performance is up there then this will be a HOT lens.

    • I don’t see your point JL Williams. What you say about bodies with lesser High-ISO performance remains true with an A7s. It’s still a stop faster, it still allow you to use lower ISO values and it’s better. Maybe the significant gap will be between 6400 and 12800 instead of 3200/6400… Whatever you use, A7,r,s or even a Nex, you just have to ask yourself if this extra stop is worth the money comparing to some classic 50 1.4. I have seen some examples : nice but sometimes very weird bokeh. But at this price, it’s a bargain… Let’s see the real usability, quality of build, etc…

      • 0.95 two stops faster than 1.8. And Ayoul is correct, you can’t replace lens speed ith ISO and not loose something in the trade-off.

        • 2 stops wider, but not necessarily 2 stops faster. at the very extreme apertures, t-stops starts to lag f-stop more and more. so if we’re talking about the effect it has on shutter speeds, its probably 1.5 or 1.3 stops faster

  13. is it manual lens or can autofocus? sorry for noob question, because im new in photography and confuse how to find lens is manual focus only or have autofocus too. thank you

    • It is a full manual lens. No autofocus, you have to manually set focus (and aperture). But if you get used to it with the A7 you can focus pretty fast.

    • I don’t imagine this lens struggling on 12MP FF, it’s one of the enticing things about the A7S, doesn’t need super sharp lenses.

        • I guess that depends on your perspective. A7S has other advantages, likely better AF in low light with cleaner EVF, smaller files, EFCS, faster frame rates etc.

          • or course – it’s all about perspective in photography 😉

            The 0.95 50 mm has no AF – so better AF in low light is pointless with this lens and the cleaner EVF is somewhat also pointless if you have more light flowing through your large aperture lens – you win almost two stops compare to an already very fast f/1.8 lens – that should compensate for the slightly worse EFV on 36 Mpixel – if at all 😉

            For faster frame rates I’d rather buy a completely different camera like a D4 from Nikon or a 1Dx from Canon – these cameras have fast frame rates – the A7S is still an unacceptable slow camera for action and sports.

            IMHO these cameras are great for photo journalism and traveling and SLOW PHOTOGRAPHY and I will buy an A7R or an A7R successor in parallel to my existing gear – for above mentioned use cases.
            File size is not an issue for years now on contemporary LapTops – even my 13″ travel LapTop has 1 TB of PCIe SSD storage – that should be good for several weeks of traveling and photographing

            I am sure the reduced A7R files are as clean as the A7S files for 12 Mpixel image sizes – I am also sure hardly anybody would be able to tell which print is from which file if done properly

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