It’s true – all the innovation really is coming from China, and while nobody is going to be challenging the Japanese manufacturers anytime soon in terms of camera bodies, increasingly creative lenses are emerging from this new market.
It’s called the Zhongyi Mitakon 20mm f/2 4.5x Super Macro Lens and as the name suggests, it’s a wide-angle macro lens with a reproduction ratio up to 4.5:1.
Unlike the Laowa, the Zhongyi Mitakon 20mm is very compact, although that doesn’t mean it’s better. Both have their uses, and the Laowa clearly is meant to get into hard-to-reach places.
What this does provide however, is fantastic clarity and detail for macro images without the use of extention tubes.
There are 6 elements in 4 groups for what appears to be a decent edge-to-edge performance, and the lens isn’t heavy at all. For an auxiliary lens that you’ll probably carry along with your main gear, weight is important. It only weighs 230g, and has a decent amount of metal in the construction.
For a lens like this, many people will be curious, and without a doubt the best part about what Zhongyi has done is to make it super affordable, and widely available. It’s going to be made for Canon EF, Nikon F, Sony FE, Sony Alpha, Pentax K, Sony E, Micro Four Thirds, and Fuji X, and it only costs US$199.
It sounds like a fantastic bargain for a truly unique lens.