Review: TTArtisan 50mm 0.95

Introduction

ttartisan 50mm 0.95 7artisans noctilux bokeh super fast f/0.95 portrait sharpness leica-m m10 42mp 24mp
TTArtisan 50mm 0.95 on Sony A7rII

The TTArtisan 50mm 0.95 is probably the most anticipated lens by TTArtisan so far, as – at least on paper – it rivals the famous yet unobtainably expensive Leica 50mm 0.95 Noctilux.
And for E-mount users it will be interesting to see if this lens performs better than the Zhong Yi 50mm 0.95 E.
This lens will be reviewed on the 42mp Sony A7rII and the 24mp Leica M10.

Sample Images

ttartisan 50mm 0.95 7artisans noctilux bokeh super fast f/0.95 portrait sharpness leica-m m10 42mp 24mp
Leica M10 | TTArtisan 50mm 0.95 | f/0.95
ttartisan 50mm 0.95 7artisans noctilux bokeh super fast f/0.95 portrait sharpness leica-m m10 42mp 24mp
Sony A7rII | TTArtisan 50mm 0.95 | f/0.95
ttartisan 50mm 0.95 7artisans noctilux bokeh super fast f/0.95 portrait sharpness leica-m m10 42mp 24mp
Sony A7rII | TTArtisan 50mm 0.95 | f/5.6

ttartisan 50mm 0.95 7artisans noctilux bokeh super fast f/0.95 portrait sharpness leica-m m10 42mp 24mp
Leica M10 | TTArtisan 50mm 0.95 | f/0.95
ttartisan 50mm 0.95 7artisans noctilux bokeh super fast f/0.95 portrait sharpness leica-m m10 42mp 24mp
Leica M10 | TTArtisan 50mm 0.95 | f/0.95

Most of the sample images in this review can be found in full resolution here.

Specifications / Version History

So far this lens only comes in M-mount, but maybe we will also be seeing an E-mount version as was already the case with the TTArtisan 11mm 2.8 fisheye. The 50mm 0.95 reviewed here has the following specifications:

    • Diameter: 72 mm
    • Field of view: 47° (diagonally)
    • Length: 75 mm (+adapter)
    • Weight: 700g (+adapter, without hood and caps)
    • Filter Diameter: 67 mm
    • Number of Aperture Blades: 14 (slightly rounded)
    • Elements/Groups: 11/8
    • Close Focusing Distance: 0.7 m
    • Maximum Magnification: 1:12.4 (measured)
    • Mount: Leica-M

You may also have a look at the official page.

You can usually find this lens on amazon.com/amazon.de, B&H or ebay.com/ebay.de for about $755/860€ (affiliate links)

Disclosure

The TTArtisan 50mm 0.95 was kindly provided free of charge by TTArtisan for reviewing purpose for a duration of 4 weeks.

f/0.95

The very fast maximum aperture is what sets this lens apart from most of the other 50mm lenses. I don’t want to anticipate the conclusion right at the beginning, but if you don’t want to use this lens at f/0.95 there are definitely smarter options available. I will therefore heavily concentrate on how this lens performs wide open, especially as a portrait lens.

Handling / Build Quality

ttartisan 50mm 0.95 7artisans noctilux bokeh super fast f/0.95 portrait sharpness leica-m m10 42mp 24mp
TTArtisan 50mm 0.95

From the outer apperance this looks very much like a Leica M lens including the famous red dot. Markings are yellow/white (engraved and filled with paint) focus ring has perfect resistance and turns about 120° from the minimum focus distance of 0.7 m to infinity.
The aperture ring has equidistant and very distinct half-stop click stops and feels very tightly assembled.

The lens features a rangefinder coupling which can be adjusted yourself using a small (supplied) screwdriver. Being an owner of an M-mount camera now I cannot stretch enough what a wonderful design decision this is: the lens can easily be adjusted to be perfectly calibrated to your rangefinder camera and give best possible results without sending it in. I wish every M-mount lens would offer this.
Nevertheless, I would not recommend to rely on the rangefinder when using this lens at wider apertures, the depth of field is too shallow to consistently get decent results.
Leica knows this, so this is what the M10 manual says about accuracy with fast lenses.

ttartisan 50mm 0.95 7artisans noctilux bokeh super fast f/0.95 portrait sharpness leica-m m10 42mp 24mp
Gold bayonet and rangefinder coupling

There is no hood included in the package, which did surprise me a bit, as all the other TTArtisan lenses shipped with one.

Vignetting

light falloff

ttartisan 50mm 0.95 7artisans noctilux bokeh super fast f/0.95 portrait sharpness leica-m m10 42mp 24mp

Wide open there is strong light falloff of roughly 3.7 EV in the extreme corners, stopped down to f/1.4 this improves to 3.0 EV, stopped down to f/2.8 it is 2.8 EV and further improves to 2.5 EV at f/8.0.
At wider apertures these values are comparable to the dreadful Zenitar 50mm 0.95 E and about 1.5 EV worse compared to the Zhong Yi 50mm 0.95 E-mount lenses.
Stopped down the extreme corners remain pretty dark, which can be quite obvious in real world shots:

ttartisan 50mm 0.95 7artisans noctilux bokeh super fast f/0.95 portrait sharpness leica-m m10 42mp 24mp
Sony A7rII | TTArtisan 50mm 0.95 | f/8.0

This may be due to the difficulty of making an f/0.95 lens for the small M-mount bayonet, but it may also be the case that the image circle of this lens is slightly too small.

optical vignetting

Very fast yet compact lenses usually show a significant amount of optical vignetting. Without going too much into technical details optical vignetting leads to the truncation of light circles towards the borders of the frame.
In the center of the frame almost every lens will render a perfect circle, but only lenses with very low optical vignetting will keep this shape in the corners.
So in the following comparison we move from the center (left) to the extreme corner (right) and see how the shape of the light circle changes.

For comparison’s sake I included the Zhong Yi Mitakon 50mm 0.95 II here. Despite the significantly smaller rear lens diameter interestingly the amount of optical vignetting is very much comparable to the Zhong Yi 50mm 0.95 and there is also none of that strange light spill.
But you also see some onion ring patterns and the mostly straight aperture blades stopped down.

This comparison was done at 0.7 m focus distance, you may get slightly different results at other distances.

Sharpness

infinity (42mp Sony A7rII)

ttartisan 50mm 0.95 7artisans noctilux bokeh super fast f/0.95 portrait sharpness leica-m m10 42mp 24mp

In the center the resolution at infinity is quite okay at f/0.95, but we can clearly see some glow (spherical aberration) and also a small amout of purple fringing. Midframe and corners are nothing to write home about.
The center gets better fast as you stop down and shows good resolution figures at f/1.4 and really good ones with high contrast at f/2.0.
Midframe and corners never look really great on the Sony sensor though, so we will check if there are differences when using the lens on a Leica M10.

By comparison the Zhong Yi 50mm 0.95 III designed for E-mount shows similarly bad corners but the midframe looks quite a bit better from f/2.0 onwards.

infinity (24mp Leica M10)

ttartisan 50mm 0.95 7artisans noctilux bokeh super fast f/0.95 portrait sharpness leica-m m10 42mp 24mp

Center and corners look very similar to what we have seen on the E-mount camera, the midframe looks about 2 stops better though (meaning f/2.0 on M10 looks comparable to f/4.0 on Sony A7rII).
The TTArtisan 50mm 0.95 is not a great choice for stopped down landscape shooting but I do not think anyone expected it to be.
So let us have a look how it performs at the more important portrait distances.

portrait distance

For portraiture it isn’t so important how flat the field is, it is more interesting to see what the sharpness is like when focused at different parts of the frame to take field curvature out of the equation.

positions of crops in the frame

We will be looking at 100% crops from the 24mp Sony A7III and the Leica M10. Both cameras do not have an anti aliasing filter in front of the sensor.

2.1m distance (24mp Sony A7III vs 24mp Leica M10)

Sony A7III <—> Leica M10

 

observations
At a focus distance of 2.1 m we see some noticeable differences when using the lens on a Leica camera or a Sony camera with its thicker filter stack. On the Leica camera we see pretty decent performance even in the outer midframe while the Sony pictures look rather blurry. This also matches my findings in the field.

1.4m distance (24mp Sony A7III vs 24mp Leica M10)

Sony A7III <—> Leica M10

 

observations
Now at a focus distance of 1.4 m the situation is a different one, here the Sony pictures look slightly better than the M10 pictures.
Keep in mind though that it is harder to properly focus on the Leica M10 so focus accuracy with the Leica camera may also account for some of the differences here.

close (0.70 m, 1:12.4)


100% crops from center, A7rII, because of focus shift (see corresponding section) I refocused for every shot.

Similar to many other (especially fast) lenses without a floating elements design the performance wide open at the minimum focus distance ain’t that great (unless you are after a dreamy look).
Stopping down yields steady improvements and by f/2.0 the performance is good to very good.

Flare resistance

ttartisan 50mm 0.95 7artisans noctilux bokeh super fast f/0.95 portrait sharpness leica-m m10 42mp 24mp
Leica M10 | TTArtisan 50mm 0.95 | f/0.95

The Zhong Yi 50mm 0.95 E lenses really struggled here and the Zenitar 50mm 0.95 E set a new negative record so I was very curious to see how the TTArtisan 50mm 0.95 fares.
Also here when shooting backlit scenes at f/0.95 you will catch all kinds of veiling flare and ghosts.

ttartisan 50mm 0.95 7artisans noctilux bokeh super fast f/0.95 portrait sharpness leica-m m10 42mp 24mp
Sony A7rII | TTArtisan 50mm 0.95 | f/0.95

Same holds true with the sun close to a corner of the frame.

ttartisan 50mm 0.95 7artisans noctilux bokeh super fast f/0.95 portrait sharpness leica-m m10 42mp 24mp
Leica M10 | TTArtisan 50mm 0.95 | f/0.95

When stopping the lens down you can still catch all kinds of ghosts and also some rainbow artifacts with the sun close to the corner of the frame:

Sony A7rII | TTArtisan 50mm 0.95 | f/8.0

The lens seems to deal with point light sources at night a bit better than the Zhong Yi 50mm 0.95 E though and also seems to have significantly less issues with internal reflections.

ttartisan 50mm 0.95 7artisans noctilux bokeh super fast f/0.95 portrait sharpness leica-m m10 42mp 24mp
Sony A7rII | TTArtisan 50mm 0.95 | f/0.95

Coma

Wide open there is noticeable coma visible. Stopping down to f/2.8 improves the performance significantly, but as we have seen in the sharpness section the corners never look great.
Also note that I focused on the corners for these shots, if you focus on the center the corners will look slightly worse.
This is not a lens I would recommend for astrophotography.


100% crops from extreme corner, focused on corner, A7rII

Here you can see what it looks like when taking a picture of a cityscape at f/0.95:

ttartisan 50mm 0.95 7artisans noctilux bokeh super fast f/0.95 portrait sharpness leica-m m10 42mp 24mp
Leica M10 | TTArtisan 50mm 0.95 | f/0.95

Distortion

Sony A7rII | TTArtisan 50mm 0.95 | f/4.0

The TTArtisan 50mm 0.95 shows pincushion distortion with a wavy sub frequency. To correct this we would need a lens specific profile which is not available (yet).
For most portrait applications this will not be a problem though.

Bokeh

ttartisan 50mm 0.95 7artisans noctilux bokeh super fast f/0.95 portrait sharpness leica-m m10 42mp 24mp
Sony A7rII | TTArtisan 50mm 0.95 | f/0.95

When looking for an f/0.95 lens the bokeh rendering will most likely be the most important aspect to you, it most certainly is for me.
It is obvious that there are slower lenses that offer higher resolution, contrast and generally better correction of optical aberrations.
Still, for some a very nice bokeh rendering can easily make up for shortcomings in these areas, so let us have a closer look what the TTArtisan 50mm 0.95 has in store for us.

Close to the minimum focus distance we have butterly smooth bokeh, but as we have already seen in the sharpness close section the lens is not exactly bitingly sharp at these distances and obviously the depth of field is thin as paper.

ttartisan 50mm 0.95 7artisans noctilux bokeh super fast f/0.95 portrait sharpness leica-m m10 42mp 24mp
Leica M10 | TTArtisan 50mm 0.95 | f/0.95
ttartisan 50mm 0.95 7artisans noctilux bokeh super fast f/0.95 portrait sharpness leica-m m10 42mp 24mp
Sony A7rII | TTArtisan 50mm 0.95 | f/0.95

At half body portrait distance (roughly 1.2 to 1.5 m focus distance) the lens generally worked best for me, as it seems to be optimized for these distances. So sharpness and contrast are good enough, bokeh is smooth and undistracting.

ttartisan 50mm 0.95 7artisans noctilux bokeh super fast f/0.95 portrait sharpness leica-m m10 42mp 24mp
Leica M10 | TTArtisan 50mm 0.95 | f/0.95
ttartisan 50mm 0.95 7artisans noctilux bokeh super fast f/0.95 portrait sharpness leica-m m10 42mp 24mp
Leica M10 | TTArtisan 50mm 0.95 | f/0.95
ttartisan 50mm 0.95 7artisans noctilux bokeh super fast f/0.95 portrait sharpness leica-m m10 42mp 24mp
Sony A7rII | TTArtisan 50mm 0.95 | f/0.95

With the performance at full body portrait distance (rougly 3.0 m) I had my issues though. Many optical aberrations (especially coma and astigmatism) seem to be more pronounced here and also the background bokeh can be distracting at times.

ttartisan 50mm 0.95 7artisans noctilux bokeh super fast f/0.95 portrait sharpness leica-m m10 42mp 24mp
Leica M10 | TTArtisan 50mm 0.95 | f/0.95
ttartisan 50mm 0.95 7artisans noctilux bokeh super fast f/0.95 portrait sharpness leica-m m10 42mp 24mp
Sony A7rII | TTArtisan 50mm 0.95 | f/0.95
ttartisan 50mm 0.95 7artisans noctilux bokeh super fast f/0.95 portrait sharpness leica-m m10 42mp 24mp
Sony A7rII | TTArtisan 50mm 0.95 | f/0.95

The lens design also incorporates a big aspherical element. These can lead to quite noticeable onion ring structures in highlights, as is also the case here:

Sunstars

I think the TTArtisan 50mm 0.95 is the first lens with 14 aperture blades that I have reviewed. At f/1.1 the diaphragm opening stays mostly round whereas it gets more edgy as you stop down further.
The sunstars are not as pronounced as they are on lenses with 10 or 12 straight blades but they are well defined (rays have even length and distance) and unobstrusive.
If you want to know more about sunstar rendering of different lenses have a look at this article.


50% crops from center, A7rII

Chromatic aberration

lateral


100% crops from border, A7rII

There are minor lateral CA visible that are easily corrected either in camera (for Jpegs) or in a raw developer like Lightroom by one click.

longitudinal

Sony A7rII | TTArtisan 50mm 0.95 | f/0.95 | 50% crop

In close up scenarios there is green behind and magenta in front of the focal plane visible, but this aberration is masked by spherical aberration a bit when shooting at wider apertures here. It takes stopping down to f/2.8 to mostly get rid of this aberration (see focus shift section).

As is usually the case with lenses this fast purple fringing is quite pronounced:


Leica M10 | TTArtisan 50mm 0.95 | f/0.95

In extreme scenes like the one below you can easily spot longidutinal CA, but without having done a direct comparison it seems to me loCA are slightly better corrected than on the Zhong Yi 50mm 0.95 E III.

ttartisan 50mm 0.95 7artisans noctilux bokeh super fast f/0.95 portrait sharpness leica-m m10 42mp 24mp
Sony A7rII | TTArtisan 50mm 0.95 | f/0.95

Focus shift


50% crops, A7rII

With some lenses when stopping down the plane of optimal focus shifts to the back or the front. Here the focus shift is minimal and should hardly be an issue in the field, good news for M-mount users.

Alternatives

I will only cover the really obvious alternatives in detail here, but if you ended up here by accident and you are looking for a slower 50mm lens or even an AF lens may have a look at our Guide to 50mm lenses for Sony E-mount.

E-mount

Zhong Yi 50mm 0.95 E II and III:
At half body distance it seems to me the Zhong Yi lenses and this TTArtisan 50mm 0.95 perform very similar.
If you focus on something farther the Zhong Yi lenses are slightly sharper and the bokeh also renders a bit smoother.
The TTArtisan offers slightly better (still not great) flare resistance and the build quality inspires more confidence.
buy from Amazon.com | ebay.com | B&H | Amazon.de for $679 (affiliate links)

Zenitar 50mm 0.95 E:
Still holds the crown of being the worst lens reviewed by us. Stay away from this one.

Voigtlander 50mm 1.2 Nokton E:
If you are not after that f/0.95 maximum aperture this Voigtlander is a better lens in many ways (e.g. sharpness, contrast, flare resistance) and way more portable.
buy from CameraQuest | B&H | Robert White | amazon.com | ebay.com | ebay.de for $999 (affiliate links)

M-mount

Leica Noctilux-M 50mm 0.95:
I have never used this lens personally, mainly due to it being roughly 12 grand. I have seen some comparisons online between this Leica lens and the TTArtisan 50mm 0.95 though, where the TTArtisan looked indeed better. I would still expect the Leica lens to do better in certain scenarios but I cannot compare these lenses personally due to reasons mentioned above.
If you have a spare 12 grand and want to check please consider using one of these affiliate links.
buy from amazon.com | amazon.de | B&H | ebay.com | ebay.de for $12.500 (affiliate links)

SLRmagic 50mm 0.95 Hyperprime:
It seems this has only been manufacturerd for a short time and I don’t know much about it. There is a test at opticallimits that might give you an idea.

7Artisans 50mm 1.1:
This is a very different lens as it is not optimized to give smooth bokeh at maximum aperture but rather nervous bokeh with lots of field curvature. Does not fit my taste, but maybe the cheapest option to get a new very fast 50mm lens.
buy from amazon.com | amazon.de | B&H | ebay.com | ebay.de for $349 (affiliate links)

Voigtlander VM 50mm 1.2 Nokton:
See E-mount version above.
buy from CameraQuest | B&H | amazon.com | ebay.comebay.de for $1.059 (affiliate links)

Conclusion

good

  • f/0.95
  • bokeh (mostly)
  • sunstars
  • build quality and handling
average

  • sharpness and contrast (center, midframe)
  • correction of CA
  • size/weight
  • price
not good

  • corner sharpness
  • flare resistance
  • coma correction
  • vignetting
  • wavy distortion

As a Sony user:
By now I have tried/reviewed no less than 5 different 50mm 0.95 lenses. What has been clear so far: it is not easy to design a lens with these parameters, especially if the dimensions are ought to stay within reasonable limits.
It seems to be even more difficult to design lenses like this for the Leica-M bayonet, due to the comparably small opening which is in part blocked by the rangefinder coupling.
Nevertheless the people at TTArtisan decided to design such a lens.

The obvious question to Sony users is: how does the TTArtisan 50mm 0.95 compare to the slightly cheaper Zhong Yi 50mm 0.95 III?
At half-body portrait distance the differences are not that big. But if you focus on something farther away the Zhong Yi pulls ahead when it comes to sharpness and bokeh.
In exchange for that the TTArtisan lens features much nicer build quality (including click stops on the aperture ring) and slightly better flare resistance as well as correction of longitudinal CA.
As E-mount user I lean a bit towards the Zhong Yi lens here but both lenses have their flaws you should be aware of.

I of all people know the appeal of owning an f/0.95 lens, but if you do not intend to use that aperture all the time you might want to consider a slower alternative, especially the Voigtlander 50mm 1.2 E.

As a Leica user:

ttartisan 50mm 0.95 7artisans noctilux bokeh super fast f/0.95 portrait sharpness leica-m m10 42mp 24mp
TTArtisan 50mm 0.95 on Leica M10

Well, there aren’t that many f/0.95 alternatives for M-mount available. If you can afford the Leica Noctilux 50mm 0.95 I wonder why you would be reading this, so I will assume you cannot afford to spend 12 grand on that Leica lens, which by the way is also true for me.

In the end we are in a similar situation here as we were with the TTArtisan 21mm 1.5. At this price point there is no alternative with the same specs available, but there are clearly some compromises you should be aware of, which I tried to outline in this review.
For those that can live without having an f/0.95 lens the Voigtlander VM 50mm 1.2 might be the more compelling option here, too.

You can usually find this lens on amazon.com/amazon.de, B&H or ebay.com/ebay.de for about $755/860€ (affiliate links)

Sample Images

ttartisan 50mm 0.95 7artisans noctilux bokeh super fast f/0.95 portrait sharpness leica-m m10 42mp 24mp
Leica M10 | TTArtisan 50mm 0.95 | f/0.95
ttartisan 50mm 0.95 7artisans noctilux bokeh super fast f/0.95 portrait sharpness leica-m m10 42mp 24mp
Leica M10 | TTArtisan 50mm 0.95 | f/0.95
ttartisan 50mm 0.95 7artisans noctilux bokeh super fast f/0.95 portrait sharpness leica-m m10 42mp 24mp
Leica M10 | TTArtisan 50mm 0.95 | f/0.95
ttartisan 50mm 0.95 7artisans noctilux bokeh super fast f/0.95 portrait sharpness leica-m m10 42mp 24mp
Leica M10 | TTArtisan 50mm 0.95 | f/0.95
ttartisan 50mm 0.95 7artisans noctilux bokeh super fast f/0.95 portrait sharpness leica-m m10 42mp 24mp
Sony A7rII | TTArtisan 50mm 0.95 | f/0.95
ttartisan 50mm 0.95 7artisans noctilux bokeh super fast f/0.95 portrait sharpness leica-m m10 42mp 24mp
Sony A7rII | TTArtisan 50mm 0.95 | f/0.95
ttartisan 50mm 0.95 7artisans noctilux bokeh super fast f/0.95 portrait sharpness leica-m m10 42mp 24mp
Sony A7rII | TTArtisan 50mm 0.95 | f/0.95
ttartisan 50mm 0.95 7artisans noctilux bokeh super fast f/0.95 portrait sharpness leica-m m10 42mp 24mp
Leica M10 | TTArtisan 50mm 0.95 | f/0.95
ttartisan 50mm 0.95 7artisans noctilux bokeh super fast f/0.95 portrait sharpness leica-m m10 42mp 24mp
Leica M10 | TTArtisan 50mm 0.95 | f/0.95
ttartisan 50mm 0.95 7artisans noctilux bokeh super fast f/0.95 portrait sharpness leica-m m10 42mp 24mp
Sony A7rII | TTArtisan 50mm 0.95 | f/0.95
ttartisan 50mm 0.95 7artisans noctilux bokeh super fast f/0.95 portrait sharpness leica-m m10 42mp 24mp
Leica M10 | TTArtisan 50mm 0.95 | f/0.95
ttartisan 50mm 0.95 7artisans noctilux bokeh super fast f/0.95 portrait sharpness leica-m m10 42mp 24mp
Leica M10 | TTArtisan 50mm 0.95 | f/0.95

Most of the sample images in this review can be found in full resolution here.

Further Reading

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My name is Bastian and I am your expert here when it comes to ultra wide angle lenses, super fast portrait lenses (ranging from a 50mm f/0.95 to a 200mm f/1.8) and I also have reviewed way too many 35mm lenses. Don't ask me anything about macro or wildlife shooting though.

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47 thoughts on “Review: TTArtisan 50mm 0.95”

  1. Thank you for this review, was waiting on the edge of my seat 😉

    After reading this I’m glad I didn’t order one the minute it turned up on the European market, although it was hard to resist the inevitable GAS. I’ll read up more on the Zhong Yi before deciding on what superfast 50 to get.

  2. Thanks Bastian, for this excellent review (as we have come to expect from this blog). Having had my eye on the Mitakon for a long time, I was waiting on the edge of my seat for this review since I first learned about the existence of this lens, somewhere in the comments on this very blog.

    I was hoping for some improvements as compared to the Mitakon, certainly in the areas where I had some doubts, but it seems that hope was mainly in vain. Maybe the biggest improvement is the build quality, which always seemed to be the Achilles heel of the Mitakon (for that amount, one would expect a lens that doesn’t easily fall apart). I think in the end, I am going to take the smart route, and go for the Voightlander. 0.95 sounds so good (and one cannot discount the bragging rights :)), but seems to limit the versatility of a lens too much.

    For otherSony users interested in the Voightlander 50/1.2: this month the “SE” version should come out, which has the same optics, but has no “declicking” possibility, and is cheaper (and ever so slightly smaller). If you are not intending to film (much), this seems to be the smart choice.

      1. Hi Bastian, some affiliate links to the SE version might also be helpful to both the visitors as well as the blog itself :).

        The SE versions for the 40mm and 35mm have already been released the previous months. Although at the moment it seems only the SE version is available for the 35mm in the E-mount. Don’t know if they plan to ever release the regular E version of the 35mm.

    1. Bram, I have owned the Voigtlander 50 mm f/1.2 for a year and a half now and I can assure you it is fantastic in that it has a beautiful character at f/1.2 along with acceptably sharp image, allowing it to render the elusive “3D pop” if you compose your image in a certain way with visual cues and leading lines and place the focus plane such that it falls somewhere in the middle of a textured surface. At 1.2 it it renders gorgeous bokeh and is particularly nice for half body portraits. It has incredible color accuracy and contrast, and micro contrast. If you stop down to f/2 it sharpens up extremely well such that it competes with the Leica 50mm f/1.4 ASPH. At f/4 it has “record breaking sharpness” (i.e. you’d be hard pressed to find any $10,000 lens to compete with it). At f/8 it is a truly ideal landscape lens, the details are astounding and color.

      1. Thanks Curtis! Appreciate this! Indeed exactly what I am looking for: an all-round lens that can make great portraits (I generally prefer half or full body) and that gives excellent across the frame sharpness stopped down.

        If possible, can you slightly elaborate on what you mean with the “middle of a textured surface”? Not entirely sure what you mean by that.

        1. Hi Bram, it is best to explain what I mean using some sample photos I have taken: JPG links here: http://curtispatterson.com/Voigtlander50mm12asphVM_NikonZ6/

          Images that exhibit 3D visual effect:
          _CP07607.jpg (leading lines, focus plane in middle of scene, textured ground)
          _DSC2203.jpg (leading lines of path, bushes, focus plane midway in scene)
          _DSC2492.jpg (leading lines of path, textured ground, focus midway in scene)

          All of the photos I have put into that web folder are taken at f/1.2 with the Voigtlander M-mount lens adapted to a Nikon Z6, a few photos are scaled down in size, some not. Shot in RAW, used circular polarizing filter for most shots, default settings were used in Capture One software except for the dead tree (slight saturation applied), and lady approaching on the orange dirt path (reduced highlights in sky). I have applied very slight sharpening by using the “Structure” tool in Capture One (used about level 5 to 10 in the tool), due to slight spherical aberration wide open. Some images I have not applied that. I do not think it is even necessary to. Anyway I threw in a few half-body portrait shots using natural light, since you mentioned that above. I love this lens for travel and hiking as it is so small and has good character.

          1. Some really good “pop” from those images Curtis. Some of the best samples I’ve seen from this lens. Some reviewers have not been too favourable on the Voigtlander. I have to admit that the bokeh is probably a little busy and less creamy compared to some other lenses but I have to say that it doesn’t distract from it being a great lens. I might think of adapting it to my Z7. 🙂

  3. Great and eagerly awaited review ! Thanks Bastian !
    The sample shots i had seen, and the ones you shot, give me the same feeling : i’m not “wowed” by this lens. I have the 7artisan 75mm f1.25 (now renamed TTartisan 75mm f1.25 btw !!), and this lens wowed me from the beginning. But, apart from the built quality, i do not see this TTartisan having made much progress vs the Mitakon. Maybe someone has to design a 50mm 0.95 optimised for native Sony E-mount from scratch (and pleeeease with electronic contacts). Looking at you, Voigtlander or Laowa !

      1. it seems there is some connection. They are both using the same company for producing their lenses (DJOptical), and now one of the 7artisans lens has been renamed TTartisan. I guess one of the “artisans” has drifted away from 7artisans and started TTartisan as a separate company…But this is just guesswork from my side…

        1. I got the impression that they’re trying to position TTArtisan as more of a “premium” brand, maybe to fight the “cheap Chinese” stigma associated with 7Artisans.

  4. I wonder how the new lens will perform Meike 50mm F1.2 Sony E ,it costs 360 $, Specification:
    Focal Length:50mm
    Maximum Aperture: f/1.2
    Minimun Aperture: f/22
    Filter Size:67mm
    APS-C Visual angle:diagonal 33.1° horizontal 25.8° vertical 17.4°

    Full frame Visual angle:diagonal 46.9° horizontal 39.3° vertical 26.4°

    Lens construction is 12 elements in 7 groups, multi-layer coatings
    Minimun Focus Distance:0.6m
    Length:72mm
    Product Weight:620g

  5. Bastian, great review! Normally I wait to see what you post about a lens before purchasing but I was pretty excited so I bought it as soon as it was available. My experience is the same as yours in all regards although my copy seems to have less of a problem with onion ring highlights. Your coma analysis is spot on, I took some shots of NEOWISE and the Milky Way for fun and wide open the coma was aweful. However The most annoying part is the softness closer than 4 ft and farther than 25ft wide open but you can’t duplicate the look that 0.95 gives with a sharper slower lenses. It reminds me a little of my canon 85 1.2 when it comes to rendering. Like you stated it is not a good landscape lens, not nearly as good as my 20$ Minolta 50mm f2 or nikkor ais 50 1.8 but that is not what it is designed for so I can live with it. Thanks for the great review as usual, it helped me feel good that my analysis of the lens was the same as yours, I’ll keep it as my “dreamy” 50mm but I wouldn’t keep it if I could only have one 50mm.

    Andrew

  6. So, I’ve recognized Venice, of course, and Ortisei 🙂 I’m often in Venice and used to work a lot in South Tyrol.
    Anyway, thanks for the good (as always) review. Not that interested in the lens, already owning the “slower” 50mm from 7Artisans, but choices are always good.

  7. Giving this one a try on my M10. Thanks for an honest straightforward review with some actual photos of the camera and lens results.

  8. (NEW) Mitakon Speedmaster 50mm f/0.95 (Canon EF)
    Another 0.95 lens
    The design is different to FE version
    Hope to see a review of it

    Thanks

  9. Thanks a lot for your detail and honest review. I ordered this len lastly and very agree your point there is no alternative for Leica user in this price. My len so far performed same as your review but I found the the focus will be over if stop in infinity mark. Do you have same issue in your copy?

      1. I use sl. This happens on Leica adapter.
        I also got ttartisan official adapter for l mount but it even cannot reach infinity. Guess ttartisan tube slight taller.

          1. So this lens will work on a full frame L mount camera (Panasonic S1 in my case) and maintain the f/.95 aperture?

  10. Great review, as always!
    I use the Nokton 50mm f1,1 VM on my A7R3 and I’m thinking of switching to that TTartisan 0.95 or the Nokton E 50mm f1,2.

    According to your reviews, both of them seems better performer regarding sharpness, CA and flare resistance than the f1,1? (MFD would also be better since MFD is 1m without close-focus adapter on f1,1). Good across frame sharpness and sunstars for cityscapes are almost as important to me as the dreamy bokeh.

    This TTartisan is very tempting with that 0.95 aperture but I can place a bid on a Nokton E f1,2 in good condition for 400.- (I own FE55 as walk around AF 50 and my other MF kit lens are Loxia 21 and CV Nokton 35mm f1,2 VMII). I’m also thinking of upgrading the 35mm for VM version 3 or the SE but the gain in performance seems not as big as with the 50.

    What do you think? and what would you do?
    Many thanks for you help.

  11. Wonderful article and mesmerising images as always Bastien! Venice must be deserted indeed and a different photographic experience from usual crowds.
    I have decent results on the Z6 with the Nikkor 50 1.2 but hate the bulky adapter and am now tempted by the Mitakon mark-iii in Nikon z-mount – but not sure how the larger aperture renders especially in low light.

    Stay safe!

  12. Hello there! Really love your work; this website is probably the most comprehensive website for details and reviews on lenses for the Sony E-mount.

    ZY Optics has recently released a Canon EF-mount version of their 50mm f/0.95 lens. It seems to have a different optical formula compared to the E-mount version and seems to be significantly heavier (1.5 kgs vs 720 gms) with a larger filter thread (82mm vs 67mm).

    As someone looking buy one of these for my Sony a7R III, I’m curious in terms of whether there’s any difference in real-world performance between the two lenses. As the price is the same, I’m wondering if it makes sense to buy the Canon version and use it with an adapter (for a significantly heavier setup) or just stick to the lighter Sony version.

  13. Of all these manual 50mm lens options, which would you recommend for portraits and cityscapes with a focus on smooth round/oval bokeh? F0.95 is sure nice to have but I assume I’ll shoot mostly around F1.4 and am not a fan of hexagonal type bokeh when stopping down.

    Also will you be testing the new Meike 50mm F1.2?

      1. Thanks for the feedback. I understand your favorite manual 50mm lens is the Voigtländer 50mm 1.2. My question was concerning which of these 50mm lenses has the most rounded bokeh when stopping down because I thought the Voigtländer 50mm 1.2 exhibits blocky bokeh when stopping down. But if this one performs the best in that regard, then thanks!

        1. You are mixing up optical vignetting (ovalized bokeh towards the corners) and mechanical vignetting (shape of highlights stopped down due to aperture diaphragm construction) which makes it really hard to answer your question.
          If you mainly want to shoot at f/1.4 I would recommend to get an f/1.4 lens (e.g. the TTArtisan 50mm 1.4) as it will save you money, bulk and the opening will be perfectly round at f/1.4.
          Rounded aperture blades are not really a strength of the recent small manual 50s.

          1. Thanks again! In this case I believe I am referring to optical vignetting. As in the overall rounded bokeh balls quality in out of focus areas like when taking portraits.

            I was unaware of the difference between mechanical bokeh vignetting.

      1. Great suggestion! Loved your review for it, but the lens still has the maddeningly deformed bokeh balls the EF does, though not quite as bad. I guess that’s just where we’re at right now with Mitakon’s foray into full frame f/.95 madness.

      2. Also – any clue when the Zhong Yi 50mm f/.95 for M mount is supposed to release? Can’t find anything even announcing it online.

          1. Then October can’t come soon enough. Can’t wait to be cleansed of this EF monstrosity. Away Satan! Begone!

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