Lens review

Mitakon Speedmaster 50 mm f/0.95

22 December 2017
Arkadiusz Olech

3. Build quality

The following chart presents a comparison between the tested lens and other very fast full frame 50 mm devices. What’s interesting, of all of them the Mitakon is neither the biggest nor the heaviest nor the most complex optically. What’s even more interesting all those adjectives fit the Canon, a device slower aperture-wise than the Mitakon and the Leica. Still the Mitakon is better than its rivals when it comes to the minimum focusing distance, amounting to just 0.5 of a meter.

In the photo below the Mitakon Speedmaster 50 mm f/0.95 is positioned between the Sony FE 50 mm f/1.8 and the Voigtlander Nokton 25 mm f/0.95 which, on Micro 4/3 sensors, provides the same angle of view as the Mitakon on full frame.

Mitakon Speedmaster 50 mm f/0.95 - Build quality

The tested lens starts with a metal mount devoid of any contacts. It is a serious problem: EXIF data embedded within the image file won’t feature any aperture and/or focal lengths values and a camera won’t know that it cooperates with a manual device. When you turn the focus ring your image won’t be enlarged automatically.

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Mitakon Speedmaster 50 mm f/0.95 - Build quality

A movable rear element, 35 mm in diameter is situated less than 0.5 of a centimetre inside when you set the focus at infinity. After progressing to the minimum focusing distance it hides over 1 cm deep. That movement reveals an inner tube which upper part is dark and ribbed. Still when you glance deeper you see light, shiny aluminium, a huge slip-up when it comes to build quality.

The proper body of the lens is made of metal. It starts with an immobile ring on which you can find a depth of field scale with marks by f/16 , f/11, f/8, f/4, f/2 and f/0.95.

Mitakon Speedmaster 50 mm f/0.95 - Build quality

The next part is a manual focus ring, 33 mm wide. There are metal ribs in the middle of it, ensuring a firmer grip, and below you see a distance scale expressed in feet and meters. The ring moves smoothly and is well-damped; its working range amounts to almost 180 degrees.

Further on you see a clickless aperture ring, 14 mm wide. It moves smoothly, with a far greater resistance than the focus ring, but its performance remains acceptable. Still, it’s worth noticing that on the ring you won’t find the f/11 aperture mark. Behind the ring you see an immobile part of the lens which turns into a hood mount.

Mitakon Speedmaster 50 mm f/0.95 - Build quality

The front element of the lens is 51 mm in diameter, surrounded by an inscription with the name, parameters and the serial number of the device and a non-rotating filter thread, 67 mm in diameter. The front element extends forward when you focus along with the whole optical system.

Mitakon Speedmaster 50 mm f/0.95 - Build quality

When it comes to optical construction you deal here with 10 elements positioned in 7 groups. As many as four of them are made of low dispersion ED glass and one – of glass with high refraction index. Inside there’s also a round aperture with nine diaphragm blades which can be closed down to a value of f/16.

Buyers get both caps and a very stylish, hard case in the box. Still, it is strange there’s no hood in that bundle.

Mitakon Speedmaster 50 mm f/0.95 - Build quality

Real aperture values

During our Mitakon 0.95/35 test we found out that aperture values stated on the casing are one thing and the real ratio between iris diameter and focal length is quite another. As the Mitakon 0.95/50 also features a clickless aperture ring we decided to check its parameters as well. In the f/1.4- f/8.0 range there were no problems at all, with the ratio of the entrance pupil beams between full aperture values amounted to about 1.4 so as much as it should. Still when you progressed to a range from f/1.4 to f/0.95 that ratio was just 1.285 which means the real aperture fastness of the Mitakon might be closer to f/1.09 than to f/0.95.

Mitakon Speedmaster 50 mm f/0.95 - Build quality