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Kaili Optronics Kelda 85mm f/1.8 Lens Review

Kaili Optronics Kelda 85mm f/1.8 Lens Review - Gary Wolstenholme tests the manual focus Kaili Optronics Kelda 85mm telephoto lens.

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Category : Interchangeable Lenses
Product : Kelda 85mm f/1.8
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Handling and Features
Performance
Verdict
Specification

Kelda 85mm f/1.8

 

This manual focus telephoto lens offers a fast f/1.8 maximum aperture for a price of around £136, which seems very good value for a lens of this type. So what’s the catch?

Kaili Kelda are a Chinese company who produce a variety of budget-orientated basic manual focus lenses. This lens is available to Canon and Nikon SLRs. In this review, we'll take a look at how it performs.

Kelda 85mm f/1.8 Handling and Features

Keilii Kelda 85mm F1 8 Lens (5)

Given the price of this lens, you’d be forgiven for having low expectations of almost every aspect of this lens. A mix of high-quality plastics with a lightly textured finish and metal have been used for much of the lens barrel, with a red ring placed near the front end of the optic. This lens isn’t overly heavy for one sporting a fast f/1.8 maximum aperture either, tipping the scales at 385g. As a result it balances well with the Nikon D600 camera body used for testing.

Keilii Kelda 85mm F1 8 Lens (4)

The manual focus ring feels a little gritty in operation, although there is enough resistance in the mechanism to help with applying fine focus adjustments. Closest focus is 85cm, which is fairly typical for a lens of this focal length and aperture. 72mm filters can be attached to the deep circular hood supplied with this lens, or 55mm filters can be attached directly to the lens. The filter thread does not rotate, which makes it ideal for use with graduated and polarising filters.

This lens has no electronic or mechanical coupling with the camera, so stop down metering has to be used when shooting. The aperture ring has values marked at seemingly arbitrary values, with the distance between stops getting less as the lens is stopped down more. The values marked on the aperture ring don’t quite line up with the click stops either, which may cause confusion when using smaller apertures.

Keilii Kelda 85mm F1 8 Lens (8)

Kelda 85mm f/1.8 Performance

Surprisingly, this lens isn’t a bad performer. At maximum aperture, sharpness is very good in the centre of the frame and fairly good towards the edges. Stopping down improves performance with outstanding sharpness being achieved in the centre at f/4.5 and excellent sharpness towards the edges at f/6.
 

 
MTF
 

How to read our charts

The blue column represents readings from the centre of the picture frame at the various apertures and the green is from the edges. Averaging them out gives the red weighted column.

The scale on the left side is an indication of actual image resolution. The taller the column, the better the lens performance. Simple.

For this review, the lens was tested on a Nikon D600 using Imatest.

Chromatic aberrations are kept under control, hovering at around half a pixel width towards the edges of the frame for most aperture settings. These low levels of fringing should be difficult to spot, even in very large prints, or harsh crops from the edges of the frame.

 
CA
 

How to read our charts

Chromatic aberration is the lens' inability to focus on the sensor or film all colours of visible light at the same point. Severe chromatic aberration gives a noticeable fringing or a halo effect around sharp edges within the picture. It can be cured in software.

Apochromatic lenses have special lens elements (aspheric, extra-low dispersion etc) to minimise the problem, hence they usually cost more.

For this review, the lens was tested on a Nikon D600 using Imatest.

 

Falloff of illumination towards the corners is typical for a lens of this focal length and aperture. The corners are 1.3 stops darker than the image centre at f/1.8 and visually uniform illumination isn't achieved until the aperture is stopped down to f/3.5 or beyond.

Imatest only detected 0.13% pincushion distortion, which is an extremely low amount and should very rarely need correction in image editing software afterwards.

The supplied circular hood does a good job of shielding the lens from extraneous light that may cause issues with flare, however, shooting into the light does result in a noticeable loss of contrast.

Kaili Optronics Kelda 85mm f/1.8 Sample Photos

Value For Money

With a price of only £136, this lens is very inexpensive indeed. The closest equivalent currently available Samyang’s manual focus 85mm f/1.4 lens, which is available for around £211 and sports a faster maximum aperture and overall better build and handling. Nikon’s 85mm f/1.8G costs around £350 and Canon’s EF 85mm USM can be picked up for £240.

 

Kelda 85mm f/1.8 Verdict

With a price of only £136, you’d be forgiven for having poor expectations of this lens. As far as build quality and handling are concerned, you can see where corners have been cut with the gritty manual focus ring, bizarre range of apertures and an aperture ring that doesn’t line up properly with the printed markings.

If you’re able to see past these flaws, this lens is certainly capable of delivering high-quality images with very good to excellent sharpness.

You can purchase the Kelda 85mm in Canon and Nikon fits via the Kauser International website. 

 

Kelda 85mm f/1.8 Pros

Very good sharpness from maximum aperture
Low CA
Low distortion
Inexpensive

Kelda 85mm f/1.8 Cons

Gritty manual focus action
Strange range of marked aperture values 
Loss of contrast when shooting into the light

FEATURES  
HANDLING  
PERFORMANCE  
VALUE FOR MONEY  
VERDICT  


Kaili Optronics Kelda 85mm f/1.8 Specifications

ManufacturerKaili Optronics
General
Lens Mounts
  • Canon EF
  • Nikon F
Lens
Focal Length85mm
Angle of ViewNo Data
Max Aperturef/1.8
Min Aperturef/22
Filter Size72mm
StabilisedNo
35mm equivalentNo Data
Internal focusingNo Data
Maximum magnificationNo Data
Focusing
Min Focus85cm
Construction
BladesNo Data
Elements9
Groups7
Box Contents
Box ContentsNo Data
Dimensions
Weight385g
HeightNo Data

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Comments


sasan 3 36 England
20 Jul 2015 1:54PM
Impressive bokeh!Grin

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