Lens review – Mitakon Zhongyi Speedmaster 35mm 0.95 Mark II (FX Mount)

sXIZ73077Mitakon Zhongyi SPEEDMASTER 35mm F0.95 version II released in Feb 2016, and there are still almost no reviews online on this new interesting lens.

I’ve decided to try it, and ordered one sample directly from Hong Kong, attracted by 9% discounted price.

It arrived yesterday, so posting some shots and first impressions. Feel free to ask questions if any.

Out of the box (taken with ZSM 35mm on 0.95 + X-E2)

post-1789-0-96478700-1457663557

post-1789-0-12788200-1457663565

Sample on F2.8

post-1789-0-89124700-1457663579

Sample on F0.95

post-1789-0-08485200-1457663600

Look on X-E2

ZSM_on_X-E2

Few words about “magic” F0.95 number. Usually when photographers see that on the first time, they say (or think) “Wow! F0.95”.

Yes, there are old film lens like Canon 50mm f0.95, which are massive and huge lens with extremely narrow DOF wide open.

But it’s not something unusual in terms of APS-C or m4/3 frame coverage. I’m ex-Nikon shooter, and often used quite popular lens like 50mm 1.4 and 85mm 1.4. With that lens + autofocus the narrow DOF on F1.4 is very usable for portraits.

With Fuji system, its nice and lovely XF 56mm 1.2 replaces Nikkor 85mm 1.8 it terms of DOF. And using 1.2 there is almost the same.

F0.95 35mm is just corresponding equivalent of Nikkor 50mm 1.4

So the main reason for me to try ZSM 35mm 0.95 – getting similar results I had with Nikon. From that perspective this “magic” 0.95 number is just regular F1.4 I got used to.

post-1789-0-04225400-1459658300

post-1789-0-25355400-1457742506

Couple of night B&W street shots, all on F0.95

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

One thing noticed when comparing shots from Voigtlander 40mm and Zhongyi 35mm made under incandescent light.

It looks like Fuji WB on X-E2 adds quite noticeable “red tint” with Zhongyi, comparing to well balanced WB on Voigtlander.

One more observation on optical design. While focusing the rear lens remains on place, and when I look inside from the front it looks like most of front lens area move together.

Zhongyi makes Focal Reducer adapters. So I believe most of their F0.95 lens are kind of combined combo of lens + adapter in single body.

I personally think (but may be wrong) that first version of 35mm 0.95 lens was kind of 50mm 1.4 + speed booster.

With this version 2, looks like the optical formula is improved by using different glass types. I don’t know if elements/groups formula changed.

Following shots are made on f0.95-f2, with NR-2, few of them are slightly PP for better contrast. I’ve also cut crop sample from each shot.

One noticeable flaw with this lens – aperture ring feels almost the same as focus ring.

I quite often start rotating aperture ring, and increased DOF in EVF looks like focus is moved : )

Stepless aperture also forces me to look at the numbers each time. I got used to count “clicks” on other manual lens to know which value is selected.

F2.8

post-1789-0-00178000-1457841947

From the perspective of picture you may look for different rendering, DOF, contrast, colors, flare resistance, etc.

And from ergonomic perspective it can be: real manual focus, lens size, weight, durability, etc.

Also economic reason, or just curiosity.

I have XF 35mm 1.4, and plan to keep it – it’s very sharp, light, small, and has autofocus. That’s nice option for many situations.

I personally like how fast and completely silent camera operates with manual 35mm alternative, and I like precise and responsive control of manual focus.

I tried different Voigtlander 35mm lens: VC 35mm 1.2 II, VC 35mm 1.4, VC 35mm 2.5. All they are awesome glass, I spent nice time with that lens and made a lot of different pictures.

Zhongyi 35mm 0.95 II just surprised me. Its set of POS and CONS in general attracts me more than any other 35mm lens I had chance to shoot with for a long time.

Like with Fuji 35mm, this lens allows to easily focus on very close distances up to 35mm. That’s quite handy.

F0.95

post-1789-0-89305700-1457855204

F1.2

post-1789-0-22414600-1457906910

Few shot crops on 0.95, 1.4, 2.8 with backlight reflections. It’s visible that aperture blades are not symmetric from the center.

It’s round on most important values of 0.95-1.4 and then starting to distort its shape.

F0.95 / F1.4 / F2.8

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

More pictures.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Slightly asymmetric look of closed aperture blades, it’s observed on many samples.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

4 thoughts on “Lens review – Mitakon Zhongyi Speedmaster 35mm 0.95 Mark II (FX Mount)

  1. Hello, i know this is a bit late but thank you for the review. I also saw your disassembly articles of this lens. I have a small concern and i would love your opinion.
    My lens produces a small noise when shaken (glass sound), i recorded it: https://vimeo.com/332155013/

    Did you get the same glass sound? Is it normal?

    Thank you so much.

    Like

    1. That sound is definitely unusual for this lens. Mitakon 35mm F0.95 II may only produce some small sound from shaking when aperture is set to F0.95 – then aperture blades may slightly move. That sourse is easy to confirm by closing aperture to F16 and aperture shaking sound should disappear – and that is normal behavior.
      I already read your other comment about loose front ring with lens naming. It’s great to know that it was the case and simple tightening solving your concern. If you want that ring to sit more firm try to find thick rubber circle for better grip while tightening it.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you for the suggestion! I also think the reason it was not tight enough is that the previous user might have used it a lot, and with use it was loosened. However, with the filter and hood on, i think it will be hard for it to be loosened and even if that happens i can secure it when needed. (which might take months to happen i assume)

        Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s