Chinese lens maker Zhongyi Optics has updated its Mitakon Speedmaster 35mm f/0.95 with a new Mark II version. The good news is that it is smaller and lighter but ZY Optics also claims it offers drastic improvement in sharpness and better control of chromatic aberration.
As with its predecessor, this is designed as a lens for mirrorless cameras with APS-C sensors. It is available for Sony E, Fuji X and Canon EOS-M mounts. It looks like ZY Optics swapped the Micro Four Thirds mount on the Mark I for the Canon EOS-M mount on the Mark II model. More good news is that the price remains $599 – like its predecessor.
The new optical design features 11 elements in 8 groups, which includes 1 extra-low dispersion element, 2 extra-high refractive index elements and 3 high refractive index elements.It also has a 9-blade diaphragm instead of the 10-blade on the Mark I, along with a de-clicked aperture ring. Overall weight is reduced from 680g to 460g.
While I found the original Mitakon Speedmaster 35mm f/0.95 lens to work well with the Sony A6000, it was definitely a little on the heavy side. Shaving 220g off the weight is certainly a welcomed improvement.
Overall, I was happy with the Mark I model’s image quality; however, chromatic aberration was a frequent issue. Even though it wasn’t a big enough problem for me to avoid using the lens (it’s actually one of my favorite manual focus lenses), I’m glad to see an improved optical formula to address the Mark I’s shortcomings.
The Mitakon Speedmaster 35mm f/0.95 Mark II is an impressively spec’d lens for the asking price of $599. The improvements ZY Optics are offering in the Mark II should make it well worth the cost for such a unique lens.
While the Mark I is still available, the Mark II is currently available for special order. You can find them both here at B&H Photo.