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Gear Reviews

Handevision IBELUX 40mm f/0.85 EF-M Mount – Initial Thoughts

By Anthony Thurston on August 22nd 2014

At ~$300, for the kit and 22mm lens, the EOS-M is one of the ‘best bang for your buck’ options out there right now. The problem though, is the lack of Canon support for the system in the form of fast lenses. This means you must look to the third party manufacturers, use big heavy EF glass via adapter, or rely on manual focus lenses via an adapter.

Today, I am going to be sharing my initial thoughts on the new Handevision IBELUX 40mm f/0.85, and what makes this lens semi-unique is it actually comes in the EF-M mount, so no adapter is needed to use it on your EOS-M or EOS-M2. It also comes in just about every other mirrorless mount as well, but given that I have a couple EOS-M cameras, I opted to get in in the EF-M mount.

ibelux-efmInitial Thoughts on the Handevision IBELUX 40mm f/0.85

First off, this lens is an absolute beast, especially on a small/light camera like the EOS M. It is made very well, 100% metal and glass, and we are not talking about panes of glass – this thing feels like a solid chunk of glass. The focus and aperture rings both work as expected, though since I mostly use my EOS-M for video, I wish that the aperture ring was step-less (can’t really complain about that though on a lens designed for stills).


The lens is a 64mm equivalent on the M, a nice portrait length for a camera without any clear portrait lenses in its native mount. Obviously, the max aperture of .85 is what gets the headlines for this lens, and if I am honest, it’s almost easy to think this lens is a little soft wide open, when in reality, it’s just harder to nail focus when the focus plane is so narrow.

I have not had a ton of time with the lens so far, basically only brought it out for some unscientific testing. But so far, I have been impressed. Is it worth the $2,000 pricetag? Well, I will reserve judgement on that until my final review.


The Quick Hits

  • Lens is HEAVY, especially on a small body like the M.
  • Build quality is superb
  • Optical quality is great so far
  • Nailing focus wide open is a challenge on the stock M, focus peaking with MagicLantern helps ALOT.

Overall, my initial impressions of this lens are good. I can tell you that I won’t be spending $2,000 on one, because it doesn’t make sense for my needs. But for someone else out there, this could well be a great purchase. I will be able to elaborate on that a little more in my final review of the lens, so stay tuned. In the meantime, here is a quick sample shot taken with this lens with just candle light.


Canon EOS-M , 1/60th, ISO 400, with IBELUX 40mm @ f/.85

The above shot (yes I know its simple and boring), would not be doable on the EOS-M without this lens. Not useable anyways. I’ll have some better examples of this in the full review, but as I said, this was just a quick test shot of my friend’s makeup desk lit with just a candle.

If you are interested in the Handevision IBELUX 40mm f/0.85, you can find it over on B&H for just over $2,000.


What are your thoughts on this lens? Do you think its .85 maximum aperture makes it worth the $2,000? Leave a comment below!

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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. Rafael Steffen

    Great lens but way too expensive for being Manual Focus!

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    Great lens … expensive for me

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  3. Jeremy Gehlen

    Seems like a very interesting lens! Too bad they are not making a NX mount version. Seems like no one (other than Pentax) wants to make a Samsung NX mount lens which is a bummer for all the NX users since Samsung doesn’t have that many lenses…

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  4. Pete McWade

    To me its pricy for a manual lens. But one would need to see more results first before plunking down $2k. I’d like to do a review of the lens on my Sony A7R to see how it handles full frame.

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  5. Phil Bautista

    I remember when mirrorless was still young and a company called Noctilux came out with an f/0.95 lens for something like $750 and the net went crazy with how and where do I get one…that is until it was outed as just a glorified CCTV lens. This isn’t a commentary on Handevision Ibelux or the lens it just made but if you want fast glass and don’t want to spend a fortune, look for f/1.2 CCTV lenses (C-mount, CS mount) that cost as little as $25. They won’t be the best lenses in your arsenal but they’re a lot of fun to play with (DoF and low light use) and great bang for your buck.

    p.s. I am in no way comparing this lens just reviewed with the CCTV lenses I just mentioned. Their build quality is light years apart. All I’m suggesting is if one needs a bright lens without breaking the bank, now you know where to look.

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  6. Anthony Thurston

    Adam, I agree with you on many levels, specifically related to this lens on the EOS-M. But as noted, it comes in other mounts, with cameras that DO have viewfinders, etc. The lens itself is pretty nice, found myself wanting to get closer with it, but its minimum focus distance prevented me. Its a brick, and an expensive one at that, but its also very nice. I just can’t see myself spending $2,000 for it.

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  7. Kim Farrelly

    That is a lot of money for a M mount lens. A Fuji X-T1 +56mm F1.2 wouldn’t be much more but I guess you buy a F0.85 Lens for bragging rights or perhaps it will be amazing. Look forward to reading about it.

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    • Anthony Thurston

      It comes in Fuji X Mount as well, and Sony E Mount, and several other mirrorless mounts. But, yes, I agree that $2,000 is a big ask for most mirrorless shooters. But if you absolutely need max F/.85 aperture then maybe it is worth it to you.

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    • adam sanford

      Roger Cicala at Lens Rentals gave it a thumbs-up in an informal test:

      But I have no flippin clue why you’d strap a pickle jar that weighs more than an 85 F/1.2L II to something the size of a deck of cards.

      Canon people who want discreet, small DOF primes should use the ancient 50 F/1.4 or 85 F/1.8 lenses, or the new non-L IS wide primes. Everything sharper than that (in the Canon ecosystem) is either enormous or flashy looking.

      People who want a stellar portrait lens **probably want a viewfinder** (Canon — c’mon, you are KILLING me with no EOS-M EVF) and should probably shoot a 50 prime on a crop or an 85 on a FF rig.

      But if you want to show everyone the laser hotness of a prime + integrated speedbooster that is *this* lead pipe, knock yourself out.

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    • Kim Farrelly

      No doubt about it, I’d be more than happy to have a lens like that in my bag, if I shot XME mounts, there is plenty of times I’d be wishing for something faster then 1.2 in my work but that’s on a full frame so a stop & a bit less noise over APSC anyway. I love to see a little tip towards the faster end rather then the IS end but that’s a different article.

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