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Meike 85mm f/1.8 Review - Performance

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Meike 85mm f/1.8 Performance

Looking first at sharpness, centrally we start off at a very good level at f/1.8 and f/2.8, rising to excellent from f/4 to f/8. Sharpness is still very good at f/11 and f/16, only falling off to fair levels at f/22.

Edge sharpness is quite poor at f/1.8, fair at f/2.8 but then perks up to being very good at f/4 and excellent at f/5.6 to f/8. It is still very good at f/11 and f/16, falling off to being only fair at f/22.

This is a strong result, apart from the edge softness at open aperture. However, as always, this is something that for portraiture might be seen as an advantage and something that could be used creatively to excellent effect.

 

MEIKE MK-85mm f/1.8 MTF Charts

How to read our MTF 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 Canon EOS 5DS R using Imatest.


CA (Chromatic Aberration) is remarkably well controlled throughout the aperture range. It is very unlikely that CA will be seen as a problem and if further correction is ever needed we can of course look to software solutions.

 

MEIKE MK-85mm f/1.8 Chromatic Aberration Charts

How to read our CA charts

Chromatic aberration (CA) 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 Canon EOS 5DS R using Imatest.

 


Vignetting at open aperture is quite obvious at -1.5 stops, although this does have a useful side effect in that corners of an image are often darkened in post processing to concentrate our eyes on the centre of the image. Here we have a natural effect, more often seen in wide angle designs. At f/2.8 darkening has reduced to around two thirds of a stop and this has reduced to about one third of a stop by f/4. It doesn't really get any better than this, the mild -0.3 stop vignetting continuing right through the aperture range.

The lens shows +0.63% pincushion distortion, which again is an excellent performance. Further correction could be made in software if the need arose, but for most purposes this would not be necessary.

Performance against the light is excellent as well, and flare was not observed in any of the conditions found throughout the test period.

Bokeh, the quality of the out of focus areas, is beautifully smooth. The amount of selective focus possible with a wide aperture 85mm lens helps anyway and the overall effect is very pleasing. This will be very useful for beautiful portraits, which is one of the areas where an 85mm lens is quite likely to be used. 85mm lenses are also suitable for a wide range of other subjects, including selective architecture, landscapes, short range sports and theatre photography.


MEIKE MK-85mm f/1.8 Sample Photos

 

MEIKE MK-85mm f/1.8 Aperture range

 


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