Mitakon Zhongyi Speedmaster 50mm f/0.95 Lens

This is a strictly a first impressions look at the lens as I've just had it a week and wanted to get my thoughts out on 'paper' for you. I actually haven't left the house yet with it, but have played a bunch with it so far.

f/0.95 FF 50mm Lenses

Looking at just the ones made for full frame here - as there are other for MFT, etc.

The lens is a giant chunk of glass, weighing in at 1.6 pounds (720 grams). When you consider that the A7R II weighs in at 1.3 pounds (582 grams), it feels a little front heavy in use. The Speedmaster was designed specifically for the full-frame Sony E-mount system and is fully manual. It doesn't appear to relay the f-stop to the viewfinder or file. With mine, I just see "f--" in the finder.

Though a full metal, solic build, this is an inexpensive lens, when you are talking the world of 50mm f/0.95 apertures. Right now, they are trending below $800 on most websites. The lens comes nicely packaged in a faux leather box (above) that, as Cody says, resembles a fancy lunch box. In the box are the front and rear lens caps, but no hood.

The aperture ring is clickless - which is nice if I was doing video, which I am not. I have found that without the readout in the viewfinder, it's easy for me to nudge the ring while focusing and kick it up to f/1.2 or so. The focus barrel is easy to grasp and rotates really nice.

IMG_20170714_144815.jpg

For focusing, I have resorted to a mid-range peaking on the Sony A7R II camera. I've read complaints that it is tough to focus wide open, but really, it isn't. Focus peaking pretty clearly shows you the zones you have in focus and I've had only a miss or two using it. Without the focus peaking enabled, I am batting pretty low. Wide open, it's a bit on the soft side, but I'll work on getting some stopped down images into this post as well for a compare. Below are a few shots taken with the peaking turned on and the aperture at f/0.95.

In bright conditions, it does suffer from CA on the edges (easy Lightroom fix) and a bit of vignetting, which isn't too bad and I haven't not corrected in any of these images. It seems to be a typical condition of lenses of this speed.

For your peeping, here is an SOOC image, just to give you an idea what it produces right out of the camera.  Focus was on Ashley's left eye. And of course, f/0.95 at ISO 50. I overexposed it a bit, but you still get the idea here.

Mitakon Zhongyi Speedmaster 50mm f/0.95

I don't think I see this as an "everyday" lens, rather as something fun to have for special occasions. I'm sure I'll be playing quite a bit with it over the summer with some crazy bokeh shots though.

Oh, and yes, you can focus fast enough at f/0.95 to grab a moving target.  Just ask Chief Brody, below:

Speedmaster f/0.95