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Reviewed: Mitakon Zhongyi Speedmaster 50mm f/0.95 for Sony Mirrorless

See my Sony mirrorless wish list.

Note that rebates on Mitakon lenses end TODAY and that the Speedmaster 50/0.95 is $150 off.

I obtained the about $699 Mitakon Zhongyi Speedmaster 50mm f/0.95 on a lark—prepared to be disappointed. It was not so. This lens represents serious value with a build quality greatly exceeding my expectations.

Mitakon Zhongyi Speedmaster 50mm f/0.95

Native-mount versions exist for many brands of mirrorless cameras and also DSLR cameras. Fast sibling lenses include the $799 Mitakon Zhongyi Speedmaster 85mm f/1.2 and the about $499 Mitakon Zhongyi Speedmaster 35mm f/0.95 Mark II.

  • Sony E-Mount Lens/Full-Frame Format
  • Aperture Range: f/0.95 to f/16
  • Four Extra-Low Dispersion Elements
  • One Ultra High Refraction Element
  • Stepless, Silent Aperture Control
  • Manual Focus Design
  • Depth of Field and Distance Scales
  • Nine-Blade Aperture
  • Minimum Focusing Distance: 1.6"

No EXIF info is communicated to the camera.

Mounting the Mitakon Zhongyi Speedmaster 50mm f/0.95 on the Sony A7R II, I could have sworn it was a Leica Noctilux for Sony. While I cannot speak to the quality or longevity of the internal construction (I did not disassemble the lens!), the heft and feel remind me of the Noctilux. It looks and feels like a very well built-lens. The value proposition is exceptional; the $699 price is 1/15 the price of the Leica Noctilux, it offers the same lens speed, it mounts natively on Sony and it delivers very respectable optical performance.

First up are an overview and close-range evaluation:

Overview of Mitakon Zhongyi Speedmaster 50mm f/0.95

Aperture Series: Japanese Dolls (A7R II)

Images in sizes up to 28 megapixels, with large crops, all from f/0.95 to f/8.

Planned for review in February (subject to availability) is the Meyer-Optik Gorlitz Nocturnus 50mm f/0.95 II. Given the performance of the Mitakon 50/0.95 for 1/15 the price of the Leica Noctilux, I am wondering what the about $2999 Meyer-Optik 50/0.95 can do, particularly with its unprecedented 15-blade aperture.

f0.95 @ 1/50 sec, ISO 100; 2017-01-01 17:08:18
Sony A7R II + Mitakon Zhongyi SpeedMaster 50mm f/0.95

[low-res image for bot]

Note that rebates on Mitakon lenses end TODAY.

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