Shut it! Before you even say anything, I know, bokeh beast on a crop sensor – what the hell dude? And sure of course, full frame gives you more blurry goodness way easier…but there is the thing. Unless you wanna spend a kidneys worth on a Leica with quality lenses you are shit out of luck to find a rangefinder like my beloved X-Pro 2. So now you might tell me that your oh so amazing Sony Alpha A-whatdoiknow-R has the better sensor and better autofocus and that you get your knickers in a twist over how anybody can not realise how Sony reigns supreme. And you probably would be right about that. But what is the biggest aperture you will possibly get on that platform? 1.4? Maybe adapt a 1.2 Lens from Canon? Ha, pathetic!
What if I told you, that a random Lens from a almost completely unknown chinese brand could deliver an actually functioning lens with a whopping F0.95. Read that again. Zero point fucking nine-five. So you will realise how nobody gives a damn about full-frame anymore. Fuji already has way more than decent ISO-performance. And this lens is full manual anyway, so the question about autofocus is out of question. Fujis excellent focus-peaking system makes the hassle of manual focussing actually really enjoyable. So shush, you Sony fanboys!
But back to the actual lens now! I stumbled over the existence of this piece by mere accident and was more than skeptical. Chinese-made, apperture nobody else could offer, full manual…would it really be worth actually spending money on this? So I looked up some reviews. Not many of those are around, but those that are where overwelmingly positive up to the point where my curiosity overtook and smashed that Order-button like Chris Brown did with Rih…okay lets not go there maybe.
When the lense finally arrived the first surprise came before even unboxing it. Unless any other lens by the more publicly approved brands, this one comes in a really nice, if maybe a bit overdone, (faux)-leather box. Point to Mitakon there! So I proceeded to take it out and…woah, this fucker is heavy! No plastic or such here, this lens is a beast of steel and glass. Which odly enough makes it really satisfying to screw onto the metal Fuji-body and therefore make it very well balanced! So far no signs of cheap china crap!
First shots were taken and I immediately realised how difficult it will be to nail focus on F0.95. And thats where you wanna shoot! Move just slightly – you miss. Subject moves a tad – you muss. I dare say without focus peaking it would almost be impossible to constantly achieve useable results when shooting with a moving model.
The results though when you do hit a bullseye are amazing. Even on fully open aperture you get decent sharpness, at least in the centre. Stop it just slightly and it gets even better. I feel like this is the moment to mention that pretty much all pictures in this article were shot between 0.95 and 1.4. Rarely do I feel the need to stop it down further. The focus- as well as the aperture ring move buttery smooth and a bit firmer than known from Fuji-lenses, however the aperture ring is completely stopless. A ‘feature’ to get used too!
So, sharpness is decent, usability is all set…what else is to say? Oh yeah, the bokeh! Thats why you are here, aren’t you? Well, it has amazing depth and contrast to it, produces lovely blurs that make the images incredibly moody. The whole rendering of the lense is purely fascinating and like nothing I have really ever seen in the sector of what is affordable for the mere mortal! Of course a Noctilux-Leica lens will be superior in any way you could think off. But it also costs 20 times as much. So for most people that is not really an option and this Mitakon lens comes closer than I would ever have expected!
In short, my mind is made up! I simply adore this lens and it won’t leave my camera so quickly!