A couple of months ago, we reported about an upcoming 50mm f0.95 lens by Chinese manufacturer Mitakon, made specifically for Sony’s new full-frame E-mount cameras. Back then, we didn’t know when it would appear, or what its specifications would be. A little later some first sample images popped up, which showed that the lens would be able to deliver solid image quality even wide open.
Now, finally, Sony Alpha Rumors has received word that we might actually see the lens very soon, and that it’ll come at a very reasonable price. According to an anonymous source, the first superfast aperture manual focus normal lens for Sony’s A7, A7R and new A7S cameras will be introduced this month, on April 20th 2014. As for its price, it will allegedly come in at US-$ 799, which if true would almost be a steal for a lens with these specifications.
For comparison, the only other superfast 50mm lenses capable of covering the full 35mm sensor area are the insanely expensive Leica Noctilux-M 50mm f0.95, and the less-expensive-but-still-unaffordable-for-most SLR Magic HyperPrime CINE 50mm T0.95. The former sets you back a cringeworthy $11k, while the latter comes in at an eye-watering $3000. While the Mitakon will probably not be as strong a performer as these two, it is still the most affordable option if you want a superfast 50mm for your A7(R/S). That is, if the reported price tag turns out to be true.
In the world of enthusiast’s compacts, lenses with fast initial apertures have become somewhat a standard. The Panasonic LX-series first featured an f2.0 lens in the LX3, then came the f1.8 lenses in various models, and for a while now we’ve had f1.4 lenses in the Lumix LX7 and the Samsung EX2F. But in the next Olympus model, we might just see an über-fast 50mm-equivalent f1.0 lens.
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Finally, half a year after the development of this lens was first disclosed by Panasonic, the Leica DG Summilux 15mm f1.7 ASPH. has now been officially announced. The lens is the first Micro Four Thirds lens to feature a physical aperture ring and looks almost like it belongs on a proper Leica rangefinder camera. Unlike a proper Leica rangefinder lens, though, the designation ‘Summilux’ is a bit misleading as its initial aperture is really only f1.7, and not f1.4.
The lens sports an internal focusing mechanism that promises super fast autofocus when combined with Panasonic’s latest Lumix G camera models that support 240fps sensor readout. It sports 9 lenses in 7 groups, three of which have aspherical surfaces. To further boost image quality, the 15mm f1.7 Summilux has been treated with Panasonic’s Nano Surface Coating.
The lens will be available later in June in black and silver, and can now be pre-ordered from B&H Photo for US-$ 599. It will reportedly also be available in kit with the Lumix GM1, but the US retail price for that combo has yet to be announced. Full specs of the lens after the break.
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Third party lens makers have pretty much caught up with the original equipment manufcaturers, if not even surpassed them in many cases. Samyang, otherwise known as Rokinon or Bower, is a relatively young player on the DSLR lens market, but the company has already made a couple of respectable lenses that can easily hold their own against the OEMs’ offerings. One of these is the 24mm f1.4, a super fast wide-angle lens that is available for various DSLR mounts. DxOMark has tested it in EF mount, so it’s only logical that it be compared to the company’s own 24mm f1.4L offering.
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Don’t we all love lens patents! The designs may never see the light of day, but they get us excited and show us what our camera brands of choice are currently working at. And maybe, just maybe, some of the ideas will actually make it to production. Which we hope will happen to at least one of these incredible lens design patents that Olympus just filed.
The patent descriptions that were posted over at Egami show four patents for two super-fast wide-angle lenses for Micro Four Thirds: a 12mm f1 and a 14mm f1. Currently, the widest super-fast lens for Micro Four Thirds is the Voigtländer Nokton 17.5mm f0.95 (which we totally dig,) but that’s an all-manual lens. According to Egami, the Olympus patents are for autofocus lenses.
Should these lenses ever be made, they’d be the fastest production wide-angle lenses with autofocus. Currently, the fastest AF lens for Micro Four Thirds is the Panasonic/Leica Nocticron 42.5mm f1.2, and one of the fastest AF lenses ever made was Canon’s 50mm f1L, which has been discontinued in favor of the 50mm f1.2L–however, these are both normal lenses, and not wide-angles.
Egami also mentions that the lenses will have issues with distortion and chromatic aberration, which does not surprise us at all considering the focal length and speed. These will be dealt with in-camera, as already happens with most other Micro Four Thirds lenses. As always with patents, there’s no way of telling whether the products they depict will ever be made. But as we here at The Phoblographer are huge fans of fast prime lenses, we sure hope they will.
Samsung has been making interesting moves in the in the photography world recently. Their NX cameras have all been really well designed and innovative so far. Along with these cameras, Samsung has also introduced some unusual but clever lenses. The 20mm f2.8 pancake lens is one of them: a small and simple wide-angle lens with an uncommon equivalent angle-of-view of 30mm. Read our review to find out how it fares in everyday use.