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Gear Reviews

Another Look at the Handevision IBELUX 40mm F/.85 | Fuji X Mount

By Anthony Thurston on January 3rd 2015

A while back, I did a review on the Handevision IBELUX 40mm F/.85 in the EF-M mount for my EOS-M cameras. In short, I was not impressed. The lens was big and heavy, and had issues with its focusing ring. Overall, it was not a great experience for a lens they are charging almost $2,000 for.


Fastforward a few months, and while I still have my EOS-M bodies, I now use a Fuji X-T1 as my primary rig. Being as the Fuji offers an EVF, and stellar manual focus support features, I decided to give this lens another try and see if  a different body changed my perspective on it at all.

Handevision IBELUX 40mm F/.85 on My Fuji X-T1

Well, let me just say that I do in fact like the lens a lot more now that I have it on a body with an EVF, and better manual focusing support. I am able to nail focus much easier, and the weight of the lens balances much better on the Fujifilm X-T1 than it did on the tiny EOS-M.


The build quality issues, specifically with the focusing ring, that I had to deal with on the EF-M mount version are not an issue on this Fuji mount version. Which leads me to think maybe I just had a bum copy when I tested it on the EOS-M.

Optically, it is still not quite up to par for a lens that costs so much money. But that said, it looks much better wide open then the SLR Magic 50mm F/.95 that I just shared my initial thoughts on yesterday.


The lens is still not worth what they are charging for it in my opinion, but if you can get it for a deal, like the one they ran a little while back for only $1299, it is a much easier pill to swallow.


ISO 100, 1/400th, 40mm F/.85

Overall though, the Fuji 56mm F/1.2 is still a better lens optically and cheaper at that. So unless for some reason you absolutely need to be able to shoot at F/.85, then I say stick with the Fuji lenses.

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Anthony Thurston is a photographer based in the Salem, Oregon area specializing in Boudoir. He recently started a new project, Fiercely Boudoir to help support the growing boudoir community. Find him over on Instagram. You may also connect with him via Email.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Stephen Gatley

    How do you think the pill is now Anthony $799 bargain? I have the 56 1.2 but for personal fun I enjoy manual focus more! (Real Manual not by wire)

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  2. Basit Zargar


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  3. Danny Latter

    I’m sure these sub f1 lenses are nice to have and use, but like Zeiss’s Otus range they are way out of mortal hands via their very nice prices. Most will probably be brought by the kudos fraternity but if this kind of thing makes you happy then great go buy one, hope those people actually shoot with it rather than just brag about owning one, nice to see the articles though thanks to Anthony and SLR lounge.

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  4. Henrik Bruun

    why on earth spend that amount of money for a f1 lense and then put it on a crop camera, loosing an aperture step, — save money , buy a fullframe house and use a f 2 lense and get the same look aka DOF….

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    • Stan Rogers

      One stop down from f/0.85 would be f/1.2, so if you can find a 60mm f/1.2 for a full-frame camera, you’d have the equivalent. Well, f/1.4 wouldn’t be too far off either, given that the crop factor actually puts the difference at around a stop and a third. f/2, though, would be noticeably different. Focal lengths aren’t interchangeable; a 50 is wider, so you’d need to crop to get the same framing, and an 85 (the next lens up that’s available faster than f/2.8) won’t give you the same intimacy.

      I can see this lens (or a full-frame 60mm equivalent) working remarkably well for some kinds of pictures — kids and the “Madonna and child” genre crave shorter focal lengths and their implied intimacy, and can benefit quite a bit from a gentle softness and shallower depth of field — but it would be a specialty tool, no question about it. The key is in knowing what the tool does, and why a Phillips screwdriver doesn’t work properly in a Reed & Prince screw, even though both are cross-shaped. If you don’t need it, there’s no need to complain about its existence, just don’t buy it.

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  5. David Hall

    Interesting but I don’t see me purchasing one.

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  6. Jeff Ladrillono

    A lot of these expensive sub f/1 lenses seem more marketing gimmick than useful tool.

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    • Steve VanSickle

      From the sub-f/1 lenses I’ve seen, the bokeh is far less than stellar, too. I’m not the foremost expert in the field, but I see these extreme apertures being useful for a very limited range of uses: Either it’s got good AF, so you can use it in low-light event shooting, or it’s optically beautiful for studio use. Again, most of the lenses, I’ve seen in this group fail to some degree on both accounts.

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  7. Steven Pellegrino

    Cute kid! That’s a great photo.

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