Showcase Zhongyi Mitakon Speedmaster 25mm f/0.95

BDR-529

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For me, the reason is that I already have the Panasonic Leica 25mm f/1.4, which also has character and has autofocus. Also, the Mitakon 25mm isn't offered used very often, and I haven't seen good prices on it (at least not better than the € 275 that I paid for my PL25). However, if I see one offered for a good price, I might buy it and test it out.

I have been browsing sample images of all extremely fast budget primes and noticed a clear trend which is repeated in this thread as well: nobody ever bothers to share images which are actually taken at f/0.95 which should be the sole reason for the existence of this lens. I'd like to buy a 15 or 25mm f/0.95 lens to take low light MFT images which are possible only at f/0.95 so it's irrelevant how the lens performs at faster apertures because I have already way better lenses for that but it must really be optimized for f/0.95 which is the case with Voigtlander.

Unfortunately samples are in line with the reviews I have seen online. They claim that optically these chinese lenses are so bad wide open that they must be stepped down to f/1.2-f/1.4 - also one full stop - before they produce acceptable results. Those few nightime samples shot at f/1.4 are nice but no better than what Leica or Sigma f/1.4 could take and these two have AF so they are good for low light sports shooting/video as well.

So where's the whole point? The best price I find for Mitakon 25mm is almost 400€ and even then I have to order it from China. This would be bargain if Mitakon is an alternative to Voigtlander f/0.95 but it's a *lot* for a manual no-brand lens that's only usable above f/1.4. Is someone selling these on ebay at half the price?

This makes no sense because even Leica 25mm f/1.4 is cheaper if I take the risk and order something from eGlobal Central again. So, did I miss some essential benefit these "f/0.95" budget primes have?
 
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sprocket87

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I have been browsing sample images of all extremely fast budget primes and noticed a clear trend which is repeated in this thread as well: nobody ever bothers to share images which are actually taken at f/0.95 which should be the sole reason for the existence of this lens. I'd like to buy a 15 or 25mm f/0.95 lens to take low light MFT images which are possible only at f/0.95 so it's irrelevant how the lens performs at faster apertures because I have already way better lenses for that but it must really be optimized for f/0.95 which is the case with Voigtlander.

Almost everything I have posted in this thread has been wide open at f/0.95. The camera doesn't record the aperture on this manual lens so it doesn't indicate this in the EXIF, but I can assure you almost all of my work with this lens has been wide open. As you said, it's this lens' raison d'etre. Although I it sharpens up tremendously when stopped down 1-2 stops, it's still a great performer wide open.
 

BDR-529

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Almost everything I have posted in this thread has been wide open at f/0.95. The camera doesn't record the aperture on this manual lens so it doesn't indicate this in the EXIF, but I can assure you almost all of my work with this lens has been wide open. As you said, it's this lens' raison d'etre. Although I it sharpens up tremendously when stopped down 1-2 stops, it's still a great performer wide open.

OK but how on earth did you manage to take those surfing/beach shots on extremely bright sunshine at f/0.95?
Did you change the tint in post or is this one of those lenses which create sort of mild polaroid/1970's colors wide open? I have two adapted lenses which do just that thanks to coating. Or actually the other one likes to turn everything into extemely warm peach dessert.

There are night shots from some kind of light festival in this thread but they were at f/1.4 which didn't really show the potential of a f/0.95 lens. These images looked good but Sigma or Leica can do f/1.4 too and they are way sharper in the corners. ZM bokeh looks nice and round in the center but turns into Doritos when you come closer to edges which is really unsual.

Your shot of lighthouse presents a very nice starburst but I assume it has to be in the very center and there are several images with demonstrate how ridiculously narrow the DOF is at 0.95 This gives very good results when the target is narrow and in the center of the image to start with (like those golden hour shots by mountaingoat)

I definitely want this lens if only I come across a good second hand deal below 200€ because there's no way I would ever find a low enough price for Voightlander f/0.95. There's only so much use for a manual lens which I would only shoot at f/0.95 and around 400€ I can already buy a new Sigma/Leica f/1.4 with proper AF so new Mitakon is out of the equation.
 

sprocket87

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OK but how on earth did you manage to take those surfing/beach shots on extremely bright sunshine at f/0.95?

My GX85 has a minimum shutter speed (electronic) of 1/16,000th which allows this lens to be shot wide open in almost any scenario. If I ever did stop down for exposure reasons it would not have been more than 1 stop.

Did you change the tint in post or is this one of those lenses which create sort of mild polaroid/1970's colors wide open? I have two adapted lenses which do just that thanks to coating. Or actually the other one likes to turn everything into extemely warm peach dessert.

Most or all of my shots are processed to some degree. I've not noticed a particular color cast with this lens straight-out-of-camera, unless you have flare in the shot. This lens is definitely prone to flare, but it can be used as a creative asset.

Your shot of lighthouse presents a very nice starburst but I assume it has to be in the very center


Yeah, I have not tried to get sun stars off-center. I imagine it would do fine, but I think the most important factor is a strong, small-point light source.

and there are several images with demonstrate how ridiculously narrow the DOF is at 0.95 This gives very good results when the target is narrow and in the center of the image to start with (like those golden hour shots by mountaingoat)

One neat thing about this lens is that it's a clickless aperture ring, so you can smoothly adjust the iris "to taste". I leave the lens wide open by default, but if I decide I need a little more DOF or want to maximize sharpness for a detail shot, I will slightly rotate the aperture ring a small amount without really paying attention to what specific "f-stop" it is set to. Might be more or less than 1 stop down.

Personally I don't view the ultra-shallow DOF as a negative trait. You can always stop it down slightly to get the desired DOF and razor sharpness, or if the subject & setting is suitable, rock it wide open. It's a remarkably flexible lens. I would rather have the ability to do f/0.95 than not, especially on m43 which is already handicapped in terms of shallow DOF potential. I used to have the PL 25 1.4 and it's a dandy lens, but sometimes I was left wanting for even shallower DOF for creative purposes.

Of course photography is all about trade-offs. Prime vs zoom, AF vs MF, shallow DOF vs wide DOF, clinical/technical perfection vs "personality", etc etc. It's a balancing act and there is no single lens that gives you everything. My priorities may not be the same as yours and that's OK. But one thing I am learning is that the feel of a lens (both physical and the way it renders) is just as important as all the technical aspects. It's easy to analyze all these sample photos and technical specifications and comparisons, but sometimes you just gotta try it out and see how it feels in your hands, for your type of photos. Since most lenses hold their resale value so well, it may not be a huge risk just to try it out (assuming you can find a good price on a second hand copy).

I definitely want this lens if only I come across a good second hand deal below 200€ because there's no way I would ever find a low enough price for Voightlander f/0.95. There's only so much use for a manual lens which I would only shoot at f/0.95 and around 400€ I can already buy a new Sigma/Leica f/1.4 with proper AF so new Mitakon is out of the equation.

I'm not sure why you would "only" shoot it at f/0.95. I haven't done any comparisons, but my instinct tells me this lens is sharper stopped down than the Sigma or PL 25 1.4 (at least in the center. I would never claim this lens has the highest corner acuity, but that is not a priority for the types of shots I use it for). Plus it just has personality. Lately I have been taking this lens out instead of my P20 1.7 and PL15 1.7, because I just like the look so much. Of course if AF is a real priority there is no getting around that.

I paid $275 USD for my second hand copy and I think that was more than fair for the quality and enjoyment I've gotten from this lens. Don't get me wrong, I would never put it on the same level of the Voigtlander, but if you can find the Mitakon for a reasonable price it's a real crackerjack lens. Also it's crazy small and light, and really well machined.
 

DeeJayK

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Recently acquired this lens from a forum member (thanks, @kahren). Love the bokeh in this image

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*Real* Andouille
(Panasonic GM5 w/ Mikakon 25mm @ f0.95)

- K
 
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Tili

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Just got this lens locally for under 200 euros. Very fun and quirky!

Wanted to see how it performed with really close up subjects at wider apertures.

GX9 sooc: f/1.2 | 1/400 | iso 200 at closest focusing distance (~25 cm)
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GX9 sooc: f/0.95 | iso 200 at closest focusing distance (~25 cm) (might have missed focus a tad)

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Will defo be posting more pics here.
 

Tili

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Tili

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SOOC All at f0.95
 

fredlong

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Here’s something a little different from how most people seem to use this lens. Here’s a couple of friends during a break on a gig. Probably f2.8-4. There was a flash involved. I used it because of the focal length not it’s f/.95 aperture.

E-M10 ISO800 1/125s

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ibd

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I sold this lens for much too cheap, starting to regret it! :p

Keep 'em coming.
 

Tili

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I've no idea how I managed to get semi sharp image while walking and at f0.95. Can't complain though!
 

Tili

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f0.95 shooting through a really dirty window
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f~2, but should have increased it :/
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f~1.5
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Tili

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~ f1.2 ish + tiffen Glimmerglass 1 filter.

I am loving this look.

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frankmulder

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(Shot at f/0.95.)
 

Tili

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frankmulder

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frankmulder

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