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Initial Impressions On The Mitakon 35mm F0.95 Mark II

So I’ve been seeing a lot lately about the Mitakon 35mm F0.95  Mark II around the Fujifilm photographer community and I wanted to have a look at it for myself. I have always stayed away from these ultra fast lenses after some bad experiences with other options that just left a lot to be desired in terms of image quality and build quality, despite hefty price tags.

But I have been hearing and seeing great things about the Mitakon 35mm F0.95 Mark II, so I decided to break my personal rule about using these ultrafast lenses and bring the Mitakon in for a look – and boy am I glad that I did. I’ve been able to use the lens now on two shoots and the results have been nothing short of spectacular. Its sharp and the image quality is outstanding, build quality is top notch as well. The only real grip against it is the click-less aperture ring, as has been pointed out in almost every other review of this lens.

Fujifilm Mitakon 35mm F0.95 II Impressions

I have been testing the lens on the Fujifilm X-Pro2 (duh) and so far I have been incredibly impressed. Using the built in focusing aides (peaking, and zoom to 100%) it has been incredibly easy to get tack sharp focus wide open with the Mitakon 35mm F0.95 Mark II. The focusing is smooth and precise, it has really exceeded my expectations in every way imaginable, it even feels good on the X-Pro2, something that can’t be said for every lens that I have used on it, so thats another point in the Mitakon lens’ favor.

I have talked about my love for manual focus on the Fujifilm cameras, and how it makes me a better photographer by helping me to slow down and really think about all the elements in my frame in a way that I simply don’t when using AF. this lens is the epitome of that, offering an incredible shallow depth of field look rivaling that of F1.4 lenses on full frame without sacrificing on image quality, color, or contrast.

Obviously two shoots isn’t enough time to formulate a full opinion on the lens, but as you can see the early results are great. At this point I would put this lens up against any of the native Fujifilm X-Series lenses. I could seem myself buying this Mitakon 35mm F0.95 Mark II and using only this lens going forward. Wow.

But enough chit chat, I am sure you want to see some of the resulting images. Well, I don’t like to disappoint, so here we go…

Mitakon 35mm F0.95 Mark II Sample Images (Processed)

 

6 Comments

  • Martin Smyth
    Wonderful Images Anthony.
    • Thanks Martin!
  • Gareth
    Hi Anthony - I know you're a big fan of the Samyang 50mm f1.2 But.... if it was going to to be a straight shootout at 35mm between the Samyang 35mm f1.2 and the Mitakon 35mm f0.95 - and you could only have one for portraits - which one would it be please?
    • Hey Gareth, hands down I would take the Mitakon. I am enjoying shooting with it a ton! I don't recall enjoying the Samyang as much. That said, I have not used them side by side, so I can't say that for sure. Maybe I need to get my hands on the Samyang again to compare them directly.
  • Ton Letsch
    Now I have the replacement of this lens, and I'm pretty pleased with it. Here are some of my observations on the lens (between f/0.95 and stopped down to f/1.4): * Defenitly more bokeh @ f/0.95, so is it worth it? To me, Yes. * Focus- shift: the Mitakon has serious focus shift between f/0.95 and f/1.4. Byond f/1.4 not anymore. I had to re-focus all the time. * Cats-eye on highlights @ f/0.95. At f/1.4 almost perfectly round. * No 'onion' rings at highlights. Just beautiful 'blobs'. * Bokeh is soft and smooth at both apertures. No nervous or swirly bokeh, but still be careful with bushes or brick walls and structures in the background. * At f/0.95 the lens is properly sharp, but -no surprise- notably softer. * f/1.4 has better contrast. * Close to the point of where focus sharpness has transition to out-of focus, sharp lines and contrast points seem to 'bleed'. This can be really beautiful soft and give the image a 'dreamy' glow. * The lens can really give a nice 3-D 'pop' that Fuji lenses (despite their good sharpness and bokeh) seem to miss sometimes. * Sharpness is not as 'biting' sharp like Fuji lenses, but has a very 'classic', film-like rendering. Nice! * Strong field-curvature, the sides and corners bend inward in their point of sharpness. * Very soft corners that seem to 'smear' and only get acceptable at f/4.0. I guess the strong field curvature adds to this too. * At f/0.95 there's serious light fall-off at the corners (though I like that!). At f/1.4 it's almost gone. * The clickless aprture ring is not linear. There's more space between stops wide open then between closed. Therefore missing f/5.6 an f/11. * Focus ring and aperture ring can easily be mistaken by feel Because it is clickless). https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/32cd2c0c65364b9c93c11e481609d4ed23aa84c4262c010cd4a678c259c3f5c0.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/0ce8c7ac2148d69902161c30c56d029f6ad7be6ac37f221a03659e7e9dc1f7e1.jpg * Focus throw is linear and not helicoid. The focus throw byond 3 metres to infiity is WAY too narrow. A real, real pain to focus. I‘d say almost impossible at f/095!!! This is my MOST serious issue with this lens!!! * Used fixed aperture and shutter (1/60sec). Auto ISO. f/0.95 had iso 740, f/1.4 had iso 1250. So there's less than one stop difference between f/0.95 and f/1.4. I guess this is due to the vignetting @ f/0.95.
  • Ton Letsch
    I have this lens too. Crushed silver edition on my X-Pro2. Beautiful combo. But it came with some nasty issues: Though properly sharp, my first sample had a serious centering defect, causing the left side of the image to focus much closer than the right-hand / center side. Thus completely out of focus and unsharp. With portraits not too much of an issue, but full-body portrait- or shots at byond 5 metres it was absolutely a pain. Off-course, f/0.95 makes things worse, but even at f/5.6 it was still notaceble. I wanted the lens to be replaced by Mitakon, but their service is the most awful I've ever experienced. It took them 2 months to respond to my e-mails (they didn't react at all first), then saying I'm stupid because the lens is no autofocus (I'm a pro for over 40 years now and used technical camera's and Hasselblad. So, 'stupid'?) It took me 7 e-mails plus photo proof that the lens was a dudd. Finally they agreed to replace the lens. After returning my defect lens, it took them another 3 months and 11 e-mails before the finally send me the replacement. So be warned!!! Their facebook page is filled with similar complaints. Still, great on my X-Pro2... https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/4cd87a9bf2fc222f5ee20130def6d69892939334ad3368dbd718de2bf1f7db4d.jpg