Take your photography to the next level and beyond...

  • NEWS
  • REVIEWS
  • INSPIRATION
  • COMMUNITY
  • COMPETITIONS

Why not join for free today?

Join for Free

Your total photography experience starts here


Meike 25mm f/0.95 Lens Review

Meike 25mm f/0.95 Lens Review - John Riley reviews the ultra-bright Meike 25mm f/0.95 prime lens for Micro Four Thirds and APS-C mirrorless cameras.

 Add Comment

MEIKE 25mm f/0.95 in Interchangeable Lenses

Handling and Features
Performance
Verdict
Specification

MEIKE 25mm F0 95 MFT Lens (3)

There is currently an amazing variety of specialist lenses in the marketplace, a testament to the healthy innovation originating in some relatively small optical manufacturers. The Meike 25mm f/0.95 is the latest manual focus ultra-bright lens to appear, a solid metal and glass optic supplied for review along with the Panasonic Lumix G6. Let's see if this turns out to be a magical combination.

Meike 25mm f/0.95 Handling and Features

Meike 25mm F0,95 Front Oblique View

The Meike 25mm f/0.95, here reviewed in MFT fit, is designed for CSC cameras with formats up to APS-C size. The 35mm-equivalents are 50mm and 37.5mm respectively. This equates to a traditional standard lens on MFT and a wide standard on APS-C. This is and always has been an excellent general purpose, high-quality focal length. The difference is, of course, the ultra-bright f/0.95 aperture. This is not unique, but it is uncommon and certainly can be very expensive.

The lens feels heavy for its size, being mainly metal in construction. It weighs in at 540g. From the front, we find a useful but not particularly deep pull-out lens hood. It's a nice touch and makes use of the lens hood as convenient as possible. Lens hoods are always a good idea, and if convenient they will be used, hopefully, all the time. The front element is surrounded by the 55mm filter thread. Peering into the glass we see the 12 bladed diaphragm, almost perfectly circular and no doubt helping to improve the bokeh of the lens. The diaphragm is totally manual, so stays where it is set.

The wide and comfortable focusing ring is marked in feet and metres and behind this a depth of field scale is provided. These scales are rarely accurate, but definitely useful in providing a rough guide. Finally, the aperture ring is marked with several of the normal values not shown. There are no click stops, fine for video shooters, not so helpful for stills as the aperture set has to be guessed if the camera is kept to the eye. Both focusing and aperture rings are smooth and precise in their action.

Highres MEIKE 25mm F0 95 MFT Lens 9 1466065729

The bayonet mount is well made, although a slight amount of rotational play can be felt. This will not affect the focus of the lens and is very slight, but it does indicate a slight lack of precision.

Optical construction is 12 elements in 10 groups. The lens focuses down to 0.17m, or 0.6 feet. This is a maximum magnification of 0.135x.

Handling is very straightforward, the manual focus point being very precise as a consequence of the minuscule depth of field at f/0.95. Focusing at open aperture and then stopping down to make the exposure seems to work fine, the only difficulty being estimating the aperture set. That is, if we don't want to bring the camera away from the eye to actually look at the value set. In practice, I would suggest focusing at f/0.95, closing the lens all the way to f/22 and then learning how far to turn it back to the common settings used, such as f/8. This can be surprisingly accurate after a short while. The only difficulty is keeping the spot at wider apertures, so with moving subjects such as people it may take a number of shots to catch the eye exactly at the right focus point.

Meike 25mm F0,95 Rear Oblique View

Meike 25mm f/0.95 Performance

Sharpness centrally is very good even at f/0.95, excellent by f/2 and outstanding from f/2.8 to f/8. F/11 is still excellent, and even f/22 gives a very good account of itself. This is a very satisfactory performance and results are beautifully crisp. That bright aperture really is usable.

The edges start off quite soft, but by f/2 results are good, very good at f/2.8 and f/4, excellent by f/8 and then remaining very good at f/11. The next marked aperture is f/22, by which time results have dropped to good. The most even aperture from edge to edge is f/8.


 

 
Meike 25mm 0 95 MTF
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. 

The scale on the left side is an indication of actual image resolution as LW/PH and is described in detail above. The taller the column, the better the lens performance. 

For this review, the lens was tested on a Panasonic Lumix G6 using Imatest.

 

As expected for a fast “standard” lens, there is some barrel distortion, measuring -2.74%. This can be addressed in software. Likewise, CA (chromatic aberration) can be removed using software. Centrally, CA is very well controlled anyway, and even at the edges is rather less than one pixel. This is not an issue with most subjects.


 

 
Meike 25mm 0 95 CA
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 minimize the problem, hence they usually cost more.

For this review, the lens was tested on a Panasonic Lumix G6 using Imatest.

 

Bokeh, also as expected, is really smooth, especially at the wider apertures. This is a combination of the bright f/0.95 aperture, but also the 12 bladed diaphragm. Despite the wide aperture, the lens is remarkably free from flare issues, even with light sources included in the picture area.

Overall, this is a very impressive performance and the lens is indeed a high-quality offering.

MEIKE 25mm f/0.95 Sample Photos

Value For Money

This is a unique market segment, with just a handful of optics with the 25mm f/0.95 specification. The Meike is priced at £455 and its competition will be the Zhongyi 25mm f/0.95 (£261), the Voigtlander 25mm f/0.95 II (£742) and the SLR-Magic 25mm T0.95 Cine Lens (£579).

Considering the optical quality of the Meike it is well priced and probably the main contender in the f/0.95 lens group.

For more options have a look at the Top 7 Best Panasonic lenses, Top 5 Best Olympus Micro Four Thirds lenses, or have a look at the Top 27 Best Portrait Lenses

Meike 25mm f/0.95 Verdict

Of course, we have to accept that this is a manual focus lens, which will not be to everyone's taste, but if we are prepared to live with that then we end up with a very desirable lens. It is sharp, albeit not at the edges until f/2, in the centre outstandingly sharp, there is no trace of flare, CA is well under control and the price very reasonable for what we are getting. We can add to that the creative possibilities for stills and movies of that f/0.95 aperture and it makes a good case for giving the Meike 25mm f/0.95 serious consideration.

Meike 25mm f/0.95 Pros

Outstanding central sharpness
Good flare resistance
Low CA
Well made
Built in hood

Meike 25mm f/0.95 Cons

Edges soft till f/2
Manual focus only

 

FEATURES  
HANDLING  
PERFORMANCE  
VALUE FOR MONEY  
VERDICT  

The Meike 25mm f/0.95 is a high quality, well-priced lens with an ultra-bright f/0.95 aperture.

 

MEIKE 25mm f/0.95 Specifications

ManufacturerMEIKE
General
Lens Mounts
  • Panasonic Micro Four Thirds
  • Olympus Micro Four Thirds
  • Sony E Mount
  • Nikon 1
  • Canon EOS M
  • Fujifilm X Mount
Lens
Focal Length25mm
Angle of ViewNo Data
Max Aperturef/0.95
Min Aperturef/22
Filter Size55mm
StabilisedNo
35mm equivalentNo Data
Internal focusingNo Data
Maximum magnification0.135x
Focusing
Min Focus17cm
Construction
Blades12
Elements12
Groups10
Box Contents
Box ContentsNo Data
Dimensions
Weight540g
Height101mm

View Full Product Details

Join ePHOTOzine and remove these ads.

Explore More

Comments


josa 5 25 Czech Republic
6 Jul 2016 3:01PM
I checked the 17th Century Architecture shot and it's not sharp at all...

Join ePHOTOzine for free and remove these adverts.

themak 4 1.0k Scotland
6 Jul 2016 3:25PM
Well, it's a good thing that bloke's knees aren't too sharply defined.
It's a pity the f-stop data is missing on a lot of the test shots.
6 Jul 2016 4:50PM
Most of the outdoor shots were around f/8. There's no communication between lens and camera, so unfortunately the apertures are not recorded properly.
ChrisV 10 1.8k 26 United Kingdom
8 Jul 2016 1:01PM
It looks like this copy might be a bit soft at the top [slightly decentered?] or perhaps it's a little bit of CA that's making the architecture shot seem that way. Some softening toward the edges is to be expected on a lens like this, but it seems reasonable at the bottom [but maybe that's an f8 shot?] In any case this does look optically better than some of the f0.95 lenses we've seen reviewed. I have the PanaLeica 25mm f1.4 which is my favourite for the MFT format, but I have to say this does tempt me a bit. More than the low-light performance I like the idea of an extra stop in terms of subject isolation, but I'm agonising over how much benefit I'd feel...
Edge soft only? Really? Your test shots of the watch between below f2 are not usable. The center is very fuzzy, like shaky hands fuzzy. F2 and up are acceptable. This viewed directly on web without zooming to 100% or high-rez image. I'm not a pro, and but I would consider this a F2 lens really. If the center was sharp, then that'll be OK.

Sign In

You must be a member to leave a comment.

ePHOTOzine, the web's friendliest photography community.

Join For Free

Upload photos, chat with photographers, win prizes and much more.