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Mitakon’s New 85mm F/1.2 Speedmaster Is A Portrait Photographer’s Dream

By Anthony Thurston on April 17th 2015

Chinese lens maker Zhong Yi Optics has announced their latest fast prime offering: the new 85mm F/1.2 ‘Speedmaster’. This new portrait lens will be available in Canon, Nikon, and Sony FE mounts at launch, with Pentax K and Sony A mounts coming at some point later this year.

speedmaster

This lens isn’t just for portrait shooters though, it also features a clickless aperture ring, making it a great option for video shooters as well. Its all-metal construction makes it one of the more well built 85mm lenses currently out there.

The truly circular aperture creates a shallow depth-of-field that brings attention to the subject and blurs the background, which is critical for portraits. The lens incorporates 9 elements in 6 groups with 2 pieces of Extra-Low Dispersion elements & 4 pieces of High Refractive Index elements. This helps reducing aberrations and maintain excellent sharpness even at f/1.2.

mitakon

Overall, this looks like a good offering from the company, and I am looking forward to getting one in hand to review. According to Zhong Yi Optics, you can now pre-order your copy of the lens directly from their website (which will be given priority over other retailers), and the lens is expected to begin shipping towards the end of May at a $799 price point.

What are your thoughts on this new ‘Speedmaster’ from Mitakon? Do you see yourself adding this to your kit? Leave a comment below and let us know!

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.

19 Comments

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  1. William Emmett

    85mm is a good portrait lens, but I’ve never done a portrait that needs f1.2. Doing some low light, I’ve wished for a larger aperture, but made up for it by adjusting my ISO. As far as price, $800 for a un-tried lens, from a Chinese company, with a shaded reputation, and a country that has such high currency fluctuation, I’ll pass.

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    • J. Dennis Thomas

      I’m not a Chinese lens buyer, but I know a couple of people who have used Mikaton 35mm f/0.95 for MFT and they seem to like it. I’ve handled it. Seems robust. Not ALL Chinese stuff is garbage, but I won’t be buying one. If Cosina/Voigt put one out, I’d hop on it.

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  2. Phil Bautista

    10 more points

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  3. J. Dennis Thomas

    10 more points!

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  4. Ralph Hightower

    I don’t give a damn about the mother-in-law of the sister of your next door neighbor’s.

    Just go away!
    Nobody cares about you!

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  5. Eric Mazzone

    Come on admins, give us a spam report button!

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  6. Graham Curran

    Come on admins, clean out this spam.

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  7. Ed Rhodes

    looks good, but ill pass

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  8. Phil Bautista

    I’m very interested in what the reviews will have to say about this lens. I’d also like to know how an EF version of this performs adapted to a Sony E-mount via a focal booster. 90mm f/1 whuuuuut?!?

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  9. Graham Curran

    Looks good on paper. The crunch will be how it performs in the real world. And hopefully it will be something other than manual or if not then a very good price point.

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    • Eric Mazzone

      Yeah, for $800 it better have great AF.

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    • adam sanford

      Well, on that front, you will be let down. This is a MF lens.

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    • J. Dennis Thomas

      It’s still $400 less than the Voigtländer 35mm f/1.2 Nokton for M-mount. I’d definitely buy this for my Leica, not for my Nikon though. Without a proper focusing screen this thing would be a real bear to focus accurately.

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  10. adam sanford

    These are the guys that make absurd bazooka lead pipe f/0.95 lenses for mirrorless rigs. As a read on Mitakon’s game, has anyone used their stuff and could comment on how they perform?

    Also, can a de-clicked lens actually meter? Or are manual settings the only way to shoot with it? Just curious.

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    • J. Dennis Thomas

      The de-clicking has nothing to do with metering. It needs an AI ridge to couple with with indexing lever and you’d need to enter the non-CPU lens data for it to meter correctly (if your camera supports it) unless it has CPU contacts.

      If that picture is the Nikon version, it looks like a non-AI lens, so it wouldn’t work on any Nikon DSLRs anyway except the entry-level models and the Df.

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  11. Brandon Dewey

    I wish nikon would make a 85mm F/1.2

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    • Jay Protacio

      Yeah, but could you imagine how much that piece of glass would cost?

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    • Michael Young

      I don’t really care about having a 1.2 to be honest. It would be cool in the sense that it’s a 1.2, but the difference of 1/3rd of a stop isn’t worth getting worked up about.

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    • J. Dennis Thomas

      I’ve got a 50 f/1.2 and a 35 f/1.2 and neither of them is worth the negligible amount of speed or difference in depth of field.

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