Meike for Fujifilm 50mm f/2.0 APS-C
New lens from Hong Kong Meike Digital Technology. Meike means “beauty” (Mei) and “technology” (Ke) and immediately the lenses remind us of how small and light manual focus optics used to be. Do beauty and technology meet to make something special? Let's find out.
The focusing initially showed a slight roughness at some points, but soon became much smoother with use. Not the same silky smoothness as those classic lenses, but nonetheless not at all bad. The overall finish of the lens is of a good standard.
The six element in five groups optics are multi-coated, closest focus is 2.5 feet (0.65m) and the lens takes inexpensive 49mm thread filters. Maximum magnification is 0.08x. The diaphragm has eight blades. Finally, the lens weighs just 185g.
The aperture ring is unusual. It has no click stops and remains closed to whatever value is set. This will be useful for video shooters but less so for those shooting stills. The progression of apertures marked is f/2, f/2.8, f/3.5, f/5.6, f/8 and f/22. There is no obvious advantage to this departure from the normal markings.
Although supplied for review in Micro 4/3 mount, the lens is marked as suitable for APS-C format. Accordingly, it is also available for other CSCs including Sony E, Canon M, Nikon 1, and Fujifilm X series. The 35mm-format equivalent will be 100mm on Micro 4/3 cameras and around 75mm on APS-C. This is a useful short telephoto length.
There is a highly polished metal mount, smooth and positive and matching the Panasonic Lumix G6 used for this review perfectly. There are no electronic contacts, so the camera does not know the aperture set. The Lumix G6 works fine in manual and aperture priority modes and meters correctly when the lens is stopped down.
In use, the lens is easy to focus, provided this is done at full aperture. There being no auto stop-down it is then necessary to turn the aperture ring to the desired setting. Unfortunately, the absence of click stops means that this is done by guess unless the camera is taken from the eye to look at the settings. With practice, this guess can be honed and could become quite accurate, but the precise value set will not be known unless constantly checked and noted. Otherwise, it could not be simpler in use.
The expectation for this lens inevitably will be set against its modest £65 price tag, although there are no electronic or mechanical complications in it so there are many areas where costs of production can be lower without necessarily sacrificing performance.
Sharpness is very good centrally at f/2 and peaks at excellent levels at f/3.5, thereafter remaining very good to f/8. It dips to only fair at f/22.
The edges are very soft, with poor sharpness at all apertures, but
improving to a fair standard at f/8, and this will be even more noticeable on
The overall look of the images is very good, with nice colour, lovely bokeh and very well controlled CA (Chromatic Aberration). Distortion measures at +1.51% pincushion. CA and distortion can, in any event, be corrected in software.
Flare is also well controlled, although there is a significant loss of contrast when shooting with the sun just out of frame. There are no obvious internal reflections or image artefacts. There is no lens hood supplied, but use of one is to be recommended. They are readily available.
From a purist point of view, the Meike 50mm f/2 gives total freedom from automation. This may well appeal to some photographers who will enjoy the process of using it and live with the soft edges, even using its shortcomings to create distinctive images.
|Warranty||1 Year Service & Spareparts|