This Massive, Unique 50 Is Imperfectly Beautiful: Zenit 50mm F0.95 Review

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Modern lenses are becoming increasingly sharp, with an impressive ability to suppress flare and aberrations. The sharpness is impressive, but photographers have taken to foggy filters, prisms, and Photoshop to add character that this sharpness has dampened. Enter the new Zenit 50mm f0.95: a Sony E mount lens made from a Russian company that’s been around since the 1940s. The Zenit 50mm f0.95 is a freshly-released lens that looks like it time-traveled to get here. It sports an all-metal look that’s difficult to find outside of Leica or adapted film lenses. And the images? The lens flare will make those Photoshop brushes jealous.

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The Zenitar 50mm f0.95 for Sony FE Will Need Their Awful Focus Peaking

If you’re considering the Zenit Zenitar 50mm f0.95 lens, then just remember one of Sony’s biggest problems.

When I saw the news of the new Zenit Zenitar 50mm f0.95 lens I was truly as excited as so many of you are, but then I remembered just how terrible it is to use the focus peaking feature on Sony FE cameras. Now lots of you may say, “Chris, you can just use magnification.” But the truth is that you shouldn’t have to do that and it really isn’t a faster way of working with the lens because you need to move the focusing point around depending on your scene’s composition unless you’re an absolute master of the focus and recompose method of shooting–and I doubt many of you are. So while the Zenit Zenitar 50mm f0.95 seems to be quite tempting, I’m going to warn folks against it at least initially.

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