New Super-Fast 25mm F1.1 Micro Four Thirds Lens From MS Optical

Miyazaki-san does not get tired of coming up with exciting new lens designs! Only recently we reported on his latest ultra-compact lens for Leica M-mount, the Super Triplet Perar 28mm f4, and now he surprises us with a new super-fast lens for Micro Four Thirds — the Sonnetar 25mm f1.1. Originally introduced for the Pentax Q mount earlier this year, the new Sonnetar 25/1.1 for Micro Four Thirds is still under development. But chances are we can buy it very soon. Read more after the jump.

According to this post on 43rumors.com, MS Optical is currently inquiring with Micro Four Thirds users whether or not to produce the lens in larger quantities. Its introduction to the market depends on whether there would be any demand for the lens. But since the Pentax Q version of the lens is already available on eBay, I reckon that it won’t be long until the Micro Four Thirds version can be bought. The price will be around US-$ 650, just like the Pentax Q version, according to 43rumors.

With its focal lengths and speed, the Sonnetar 25/1.1 will be a direct competitor to the Voigtländer Nokton 25mm f0.95, over which it has one great advantage: size. While the Nokton is very large and heavy, the Sonnetar is almost a pancake lens in size, as you can see from these pictures. The Sonnetar’s advantage in size over the Nokton is due to two facts.

  1. The Nokton has a complex optical formula with 11 elements in 8 groups, whereas the Sonnetar has only five elements in four groups.
  2. The Nokton is highly corrected for maximum image quality. The Sonnetar, on the other hand, uses a classic Sonnar-like optical formula (hence the name) which allows for small and fast lenses that are very sharp in the center, but get gradually less sharp towards the corners.

Due to these technical differences, the Sonnetar’s rendering is much less “perfect” and much more “classic” and “characterful” than that of the Nokton. (Those qualities are entirely subjective and may not meet everyone’s taste). Should it be introduced to the market, it will certainly not be everyone’s cup of tea. But I am sure many will like it for its size, while others will love it for its optical qualities — imperfect though they may be. In any case, it is a good sign for the Micro Four Thirds system that more and more manufacturers are jumping the bandwagon. And the more choice there is, the better for us users!

In the meantime, until we receive word whether or not the lens will be introduced in Micro Four Thirds mount, check out these sample pictures so you can decide if you are going to buy it or not. For my own part, I certainly like the way it draws. Way to go, Miyazaki-san!

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