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Meike 35mm f/0,95 - is bokeh enough for you?

Meike has a long list of budget lenses (also expensive cine) with very appealing focal and apertures. So, it’s almost with no surprise that we see the brand new 35 mm, f/0.95 for APS-C sensors. We tested it on a Canon M50 with EF-M bayonet, but you also get it on Sony E /Fuji X /4/ M4/3 /Nikon Z /Canon RF-S.





Presentation and Specs


You won't find appealing packages or fancy boxes here. We get a simple plain small card box, with the essentials. And to be true, who cares about it? We only saw it when buying or selling the lenses, so there’s no harm in it. It is also another way to cut costs and offer you a better deal.



Simple but effective box of the Bokeh lens

This fully manual and multicoated lens has a 52 mm thread, a minimum focusing distance of 0,39 m, and 10 elements in 7 groups, this 35 mm weighs a considerable 380g which gives a pleasant sensation of robustness when you grab it. Don’t forget it's all metal.




The Aperture Control ring varies from f/0-95 up to f/16. All the data on the lens body is engraved.









It has no lens hood, instead a protuberance before the lens, and quite a simple plastic hood.

The price is quite low, at around 240 euros.



Usage Who is this lens for? Is bokeh enough for you? On an APS-C sensor, the focal length is around 52-56 mm (depending on the crop factor) so it’s still a very usable lens on a day-to-day basis. A modern content creator has a great tool to absorb and deliver great output, no matter whether you use it for stills or video.



Canon M50 @ f/1.4 | 1/80 | IS0160


With a wonderful defocus and low light capabilities, we think that only the lack of creativity like ours will be limited, not the lens itself. Portraits, night scenes, cityscapes, and daily objects that can be easily separated from the background are possible.



Canon M50 @ f/1.2 Canon M50 @ f/0,95 Canon M50 @ f/0,95 The first sensations are that the aperture control ring rotates quite smoothly and effortlessly, has no clicks, and has many intermediate values. This is good for videography.

You can surely feel how robust and well-built this tool is. In our case, it weighs the same as the M50 of the tests. It's well-balanced on the hands.




Canon M50 + Meike 35mm f/0,95





It has no electronic communication with the body, so you want to get data on the EXIF like the aperture value. Still, you will maintain the shutter speed and ISO.





We first had our reservations about using a fully manual lens. Let’s be honest. We only had one many years ago, a Rokinon 14 mm for Astro, and using it on a DSLR was a pain. Though on a mirrorless, the use is really straightforward since you have many aids to focus. On the M50 the focus peaking highlights the sharpest are in focus. We found it extremely easy to start using it. In fact, we even dare to say that it is quite fun to use it. The pace slows only a little, compared to an AF lens. With practice, it will be much quicker than you think.

During the focusing process, the front element of the lens moves internally, not to the exterior. The breath effect is quite low. The marks on the barrel are perfectly aligned, so no worries when you focus on the infinite.



Image Quality


Like everything in life, you get what you pay. Is this lens stellar and brilliantly sharp? Of course not. But wait, don’t go yet. If you consider the price tag, and the mechanics of it well in that case you are close to a perfect bang for your buck. I checked many times during my tests and I got to admit that it surprised me in certain situations, like wide open the vignette is very little, and around f/2-2.8 I couldn’t find it.



f/0,95 f/2.8 f/11

The sharpness depends much likely on the distance between you and your subject. Since it ain’t a mechanical or electronic way to avoid the differences in IQ during focusing on different distances, sometimes we have inconsistencies in sharpness.


Canon M50 @ f/0,95 | 1/10| IS0 100

Canon M50 @ f/11 | 1/100 | IS0 100

At 0,95 the center of the image is very sharp, the corners not so much, the diffraction small, and the chromatic aberration on contrast scenes against the light source occurs again on the far corners. Personally, I don’t find any problem because at that aperture you will only use it to focus your subject and get a great bokeh elsewhere. And by the way, the bokeh is quite pleasant.



Canon M50 @ f/1.4 | 1/80 | IS0 100

Canon M50 @ f/0,95 | 1/300 | IS0 100


Where’s then the so-called sweet spot? We have no doubts that the best combo is between f/2 and f/2.8.



Canon M50 @ f/2.8 | 1/30 | IS0 320


On smaller apertures, it depends on the distance of your subject, the light source, and how you are focusing. Curiously, before f/8 we got great corner sharpness.



f/0,95 f/2.8 f/8


Conclusions


Curiously enough, the Meike 35mm f/0.95 bring out some real joy of shooting. The robust metal body, the smooth controls, and the effective wide aperture make the usage quite pleasant. It doesn’t matter if you shoot stills or video, the utilization will be simple, and effortless.

Sharpness-wise, it's decently sharp from f/0,95 to F/2.8. Also, quite usable till around f/11, but you don’t want a fifty-ish focal length to shoot landscapes, right? Portraits, products, and midrange shots are the perfect environment for it. All at a very nice price point.


Canon M50 @ f/2


The things we didn’t like that much were the absence of electronic connectors and hood-lens critical for flaring since it’s a little prone to deal badly with flares are these sorts of lenses always are. In the middle, there’s a small inconsistency like a non-linear stepping between f/5.6 and f/16.



In the end, it remains a solid performance till f/2.8, is easy to use, and is a very cheap way of achieving shots that only could be done with lenses that cost 5 times more. And trust me, the final images don’t have 5 times more quality. Maybe superior ease of use if they have AF, not more. After all just as I asked in the title, this is more than just a lens that creates a good bokeh, this is a photographic experience that slows us down a bit and makes it more enjoyable the creation content.


Our final score is a solid 4,5 You can buy it on non-affiliated links by me on Amazon or directly at Meike

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