As we all know there are lenses for our cameras that are cheap and 90% of the time just that. This Meike 35mm f1.4 lens is something different and yet still cheap in comparison to other brand Lenses.
Lets start with looks and feel. As you can see on this photo below it fits my Fujifilm X-E3 perfectly and looks really nice.
Now using this lens is a bit different as I did expected. Focusing mechanism is a nice and smooth but in my copy of this lens there is some sort of dust or fine dirt and when I am focusing with one hand I can feel slight grinding but nothing to serious to be honest.
Aperture ring is stiff and adjusting is easy and without problems even with click less ring (wish there were hard stops so I don’t have to visually check my F stop). Focusing marks are a bit weird since Infinity goes beyond actual marker and hard stop is beyond marked position…
Now to the Image Quality. Well I am pleasantly surprised to be honest. This lens is actually usable all the way from f1.4 and up. At f1.4 in the middle lens is sharp enough and at F2.8 it is really sharp.
Distortion is present and visible from f1.4 till f16.
Vignetting is visible at f1.4 and at f2 is actually acceptable. Corner to corner usable sharpness is only possible at f11 and that is the F stop to use if you are shooting landscapes and corner sharpness is important. Take a look at those images below and see for yourself. I didn’t include crop photos since this lens is sharp in the middle thru whole range.
I decided that this time I will need to include real life samples since this lens deserves that. Chart might say that it is not good till f11 but how many times will your subject be a flat wall or chart 😀
In those photos below focus was on the left side of the bridge at Königsallee in Düsseldorf. Look for middle sharpness and also corner sharpness, distortion, vignetting.
Now it is time for Bokeh shots. Since this lens is f1.4 and on my Fujifilm X-E3 it will give me DOF of f2 on Full frame sensor. This is not the closest focusing distance since I wanted to include this bottom part of this flower so you can also see how DOF is changing. For me it is a bit messy but decent (wish it was f1.2)
I saw this lens on YouTube channel from Damian Brown and he was right this is a pretty decent lens to have all in all. Of course there will be some drawbacks in terms of IQ and lens flaring and Contrast but with post processing one can really pull some nice shots with this little guy. Here take a look, those are some shots that I have made with this lens in my home town in Düsseldorf Germany. I think you will be surprised how nice and useful this lens is. 90% of all those shots are at f1.4 except that bridge shot on Königsallee.
To sum this up is actually easy. This review took me more than I wanted but not because it was hard, rather because I like this lens a loot and I wanted to shoot more with it.
This lens represents what should be considered as useful and affordable. It is not the perfect lens of course but it will get job done and you will be surprised after few shots and edits.
This lens is one that I can recommend and can say that I did not regret buying. If you need simple prime that is equivalent of 50mm field of view and DOF at f2 on Full Frame sensor than this is the one to get. Having in mind price of this lens I will not even try to compare it to Fujinon 35mm f2 WR lens since that one is obviously way better but also 3,5 time more expensiv.
Soon I will have comparison post about Chinese Trinity 35mm lenses where I will explain myself and have some ideas for one of those Companies that produce those lenses 😉
Lets finish with Pros and Cons from my point of view.
- Image Quality
- Compact Size
- Cheap Price of 120€
- Center Sharpness from f1.4
- Overall usability
- QC could be better since my copy have some fine dirt in Focusing mechanism (this is copy to copy case I guess, your might be perfect)
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