First impressions Meike 35mm f1.7
Review Meike 35 mm F1.7 voor MFT
(For Dutch, please click here)
Recently I received a 35mm, f1.7 lens from Meike. Meike makes various manual lenses for different types of cameras where this 35mm is one of them. Because these lenses are manual, they are much more affordable than the autofocus lenses of the different famous brands. In addition, the lenses of Meike are known for their large aperture opening, such as this f1.7, which makes for a nice DOF and often a very nice bokeh.
When I unpacked the 35mm I immediately noticed the build quality. This lens is made of metal, with a metal mount and feels build like a tank. If that is the case in practice, we will learn, but at least it feels nice and well balanced with my camera (Olympus, OMD E-M1-2). The lens has the appearance of a lens from the fifties or sixties. The diaphragm is stepless, and easy to operate through the ring because of the grooves that are milled. Seems to be something typical for Meike lenses, a stepless aperture. It did not bother me, the set aperture remained perfectly in place. Maybe that will change if the lens is used a lot, but I do not have that experience yet. The only disadvantage of the stepless aperture is that you can not “feel” at which aperture the lens is standing, you really have to look at the top of the lens for your setting or rely on your feeling! In short, despite the price, the lens feels well built, sound and pleasant.
The length of the lens is somewhat strange, 35mm is not a size that often occurs. Actually 35mm is just too short for a portrait in my eyes and just too long for a landscape. But in use I soon noticed that, at least for me, it gives a very nice picture. Both in landscapes, but also for portraits. Because it is everywhere in between, this lens is actually for anything and everything to use. Something I did, and because of which I was often surprised! The manual focus is smooth, there is hardly any distortion. At one of the first times I could use the lens, it was almost dark and the blue hour had already begun. Immediately it was noticed that the lens seemed to suck the light inside and gave a nice and clear picture! During this session I made a photo of the Waal Bridge near Nijmegen, a photo that even featured in the National Geographic Yourshot community for an online publication.
All in all, this is a beautiful lens that offers you a lot of value for money. You have to love working without autofocus. But that gets fast enough. I used this lens with great pleasure and I notice that it is a lens that stays in your bag. It is small and easy to handle. He is unremarkable and because you do everything by hand, you are photographing more and more consciously. The very large aperture ensures that you can isolate your subject nicely but still gives you enough leeway to get a nice part of your image sharp. In short, if you like a vintage look and are not afraid to focus manually, this lens is recommended!
(Disclaimer; I am an experienced, amateur photographer and I have tried to give my experiences with this lens as good as possible, I am not a techie, I can only tell you about my experiences, all sample pictures of this article are made by myself with the Meike 35mm f1.7 on my Olympus OMD E-M1-2 I am not employed by Meike.)