Silver Hair

Things get a little bit better with 3D motives, the wide open performance of the Mitakon Speedmaster is useful despite its fuzzy sharpness - but the overall impression is better than with"flat" images or motives. The way the lens renders the background - even the not very distant one - i find really cool !


Other photographers would perhaps not approve

so, the fuzzy ƒ1.4 aperture 'sharpness' does kind of work for me. Yet, I could image that many would reject such an inferior optical quality. It does indeed remind me a lot of older, analog ƒ1.4 lenses. Or the Canon EF 50/1.2 L when you focus is only set to 0.7 to 1 meter, where the optical sharpness decreases quite a lot.

So, it has a classic, analog character of a vintage, super bright lens.

Stop it down to ƒ2.8 and you get a lot more definition and increase sharpness - as well the sharp range expands to a much larger portion of the image towards the borders.




Chameleon in Character

I would say that super bright vintage lenses are tricky; they are like a chameleon. Very much like the Leica Noctilux-M 50/1 which Dr Mandler's created without aspherical elements: the lens can make disastrous bad images - and it can make absolutely fantastic ones (both at aperture ƒ1) And when you stop it down to ƒ5,6 is is very, very sharp - and nothing of the wide open "flair" is left. It changes character completely.


Background blur compared with Fuji GF 55mm f 1.7

I noticed that the background blur of Fujifilm's own very bright lens, the GF 55mm f 1.7 - isn't really that nice. It is a very sharp lens, even at ƒ1.7 (wide open aperture) - but the background blur certainly didn't do it for me. It had a somewhat harsh, unsettled appearances.

The Mitakon on the other hand, has this beautiful "flowing" background blur - like many bright vintage lenses use to have.

So, you get a lens with beautiful character, but vastly inferior sharpness when you use it wide open. Once you stop it down to ƒ2.2 - tings crispen up. While if you go beyond ƒ 2.8 you better overall sharpness. Albeit with the cost of less character.

Page 25 • (2024)