My review of the Mitakon 25mm F/0.95

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by janandhiscamera, Jan 17, 2016.

  1. janandhiscamera

    janandhiscamera New to Mu-43

    Nov 14, 2015

    I have just finished my review of the Mitakon 25mm.

    There is also a video version on Youtube:

    The full review is too long for this forum. I get an error message, that I am useing to many characters. This is why I will only post the introduction and conclusion here. You can read the full review and see all the images I am reffering to at my blog.

    The ZY Optics Mitakon Speedmaster 25mm f0.95 is a normal focal length lens for the Micro Four Thirds system released in fall 2015. It is a purely manual lens from China. The Mitakon 25mm 0.95 is the third manual F/0.95 lens for the MFT-system. The other lenses are made by Cosina Voigtländer and SLR Magic. The Mitakon 25mm is a lot cheaper, smaller and lighter than the competition. It has a RRR of 400 $, while the Voigtländer and the SLR Magic have a RRR of 800$. The Mitakon is only 60mm x 5mm (diameter x lenth) and weights 230g. Both the Voigtländer (58mm x 70mm, 410g) and the SLR Magic (65mm x 85mm, 490g) are bigger and heavier.
    Did ZY Optics release a little marvel or did they have to reduce the image quality to achieve this size and price?

    ZY Optics Mitakon Speedmaster 25mm f0.95 – Conclusion

    I did not have high expectations of the ZY Optics Mitakon Speedmaster 25mm f0.95. Such a small F/0.95 lens for such a reasonable price seemed to be too good to be true. However, the Mitakon positively surprised me. The Mitakon has its flaws, but they are not as bad as I would have thought. In fact it is now one of my favorite lenses.

    Let’s start with flaws of the Mitakon:
    1. The most serious flaw is the field curvature. I have argued, that this flaw is not as deal breaking as it seems. Nonetheless there are situations where the field curvature causes parts of the image to be very soft. The Mitakon simply is not a lens for architectural photography.
    2. If there is a strong light source in the image, the Mitakon 25mm F/0.95 produces strong flares. If you want to use them creatively, they are rather nice, but if you want a picture without flares, you have to watch your compostion.
    3. I guess listing the missing autofocus as a flaw is not exactly fair. Everyone who buys the Mitakon 25mm 0.95 knows beforehand that it is a manual lens. With modern cameras with a high resolution EVF, magnification and focus peaking manual focus is surprisingly easy even at F/0.95. But there are situations where it is very hard to take images with manual focus. For example, if I try to take pics of my daughter indoors, while she is playing, it is almost impossible to get the focus right. The depth of field is so shallow at F/0.95 that even the slightest movement of her head or upper body causes the image to be slightly out of focus.
    On the contrary taking pics of adults or doing street photography with the Mitakon 25mm is no problem (at least for me).

    Now let’s talk about what the ZY Optics Mitakon Speedmaster 25mm f0.95 is good at:
    1. At F/0.95 it produces a really shallow depth of field, which makes it easy to isolate objects.
    2. The Mitakon has amazing low-light capabilities. In combination with the image stabilization of the OM-D cameras or if you shoot video (1/50 shutter speed) night turns into day.
    3. The compact size and low weight of the Mitakon 25mm F/0.95 fits the idea of Micro Four Thirds perfectly.
    4. Pure manual focus can be an advantage. Focusing with the Mitakon is a lot more comfortable than the fly-by-wire manual focus of many autofocus lenses. Especially when shooting video this is noticeable.

    Overall I recommend the ZY Optics Speedmaster 25mm f0.95 – with the limitation that you keep its flaws and the things it is good for in mind.
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  2. RogerD

    RogerD Mu-43 Rookie

    Oct 29, 2014
    Thanks for posting this review. I've referred back to it on your blog a few times now.
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