Speed by name, speed by nature


Look out! There’s a Mitakon Speedmaster about! Specifically a 50mm f/0.95 lens for full frame mirrorless Sony ENikon Z and Canon RF cameras. With that kind of maximum aperture it’s going to appeal to low-light shooters and anyone wanting to work at the extremes of selective focus. You have to be intrigued.

If your head’s still spinning from the news – and who could blame you? – let’s put it in perspective. This super-fast standard lens has beaten Nikon’s own version to market. When Nikon’s Z Series was announced in 2018, one of the biggest buzzes was around the development of a Nikkor Z 58mm f/0.95 S Noct lens, taking advantage of the Z Series’ new bigger lens mount. We all got very excited about it – but we’re still waiting. Canon hasn’t even announced such engineering, and in the meantime, other fast glass is hitting the market. Glass like the 50mm f/0.95 III.

The Mitakon/Zhongy Speedmaster 50mm f/0.95 III has a bit of a retro look, but it’s destined for the latest in mirrorless cameras.

Unlike the recently announced Zenit 50mm f/0.95, the Mitakon Speedmaster 50mm f/0.95 III will be available in more than just Sony E mount – Canon RF and Nikon Z users will get to enjoy its massive wideness, too. And there should be plenty to enjoy, particularly as the lens is slated to retail for under $800 – far, far less than the expected price of Nikon’s version.

The lens has nice clear distance markings, but it’s still going to be a test focusing at f/0.95. Good luck with that.

Now of course we don’t know how the optical quality of the lenses will compare, but the 50mm f/0.95 III is certainly claiming some quality elements with a “carefully-designed 10 element, 7 group system” including one High Refractive Index and five Ultra-low dispersion elements to minimise “chromatic aberrations and deliver exceptional image quality.” It’s also said to offer “a better flare resistance” than the previous version, and there’s an eleven-blade diaphragm for softer bokeh.

The lens is manual focus only, has a minimum distance of 50cm. It uses a manual aperture ring and has a 67mm filter thread. And in terms of build, it has a metal barrel, weighing in at 720g, and measuring 73.3×83.5mm, which compares quite favourably to some more hefty modern fast aperture 50mm lenses.

Here are some nice pictures taken with the lens and shared by its manufacturers.

© Wen Tai

© Wen Tai

© Richard Wong

© Christopher Frost

© Christopher Frost