Kerlee jump into the lens market with world’s first super fast 35mm f/1.2 for full frame cameras

Jun 19, 2016

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

Kerlee jump into the lens market with world’s first super fast 35mm f/1.2 for full frame cameras

Jun 19, 2016

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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It seems to be a thing these days for unknown brands to suddenly be jumping into the lens market with things we actually sometimes want and need in our photographic lives. Now, it’s Kerlee’s turn.

The new Kerlee 35mm f/1.2 lens is being pushed as the “World’s First” such lens for full frame cameras, with versions for Canon, Nikon, Sony and Pentax. There is the Voigtländer 35mm f/1.2 available for Leica M, but that’s not an SLR, so doesn’t really count.

Better known for industrial lenses, the 35mm f/1.2 announces Kerlee’s entry into the photographic world with a bit of a bang. Weighing 690g, it’s a pretty hefty lens, and uses 72mm filters. It’s 15% heavier than Nikon’s 35mm f/1.4G at 600g, and almost 19% heavier than Canon’s 580g 35mm f/1.4L, and it doesn’t even contain an AF motor.

kerlee_35mm_brands

One feature of note, which is likely to be more beneficial to video shooters than photographers, is that you can turn the aperture “click” on and off. Keeping it off gives you smooth aperture transitions from one stop to the next as you rotate the ring, while having it on gives us those comforting clicks that photographers are used to.

kerlee_specs_lens_makeup

It’s always nice to see new names and competition in the lens market, but I do wish they’d start to work a little more on autofocus lenses. Don’t get me wrong, I love manual focus as much as the next guy, especially when it comes to video, or street photography. On a DSLR, however, with no split prism or microprism focusing screen, they’re not exactly the easiest of lenses to get spot on sometimes.

You can see some sample images over on the website of New Zealand based photographer, Richard Wong, who’s been playing with one of these for a few weeks now.

Pricing and availability is still to be announced, but you can find out more information on the Dongzheng Optics website.

I’m not sure it’ll be high up on my want list when it becomes available, unless the price is very attractive.  How about you?  Would you get it, if it were cheap enough?  Or do you love your autofocus too much and would rather go with the existing f/1.4 (or even f/1.8) options?  Let us know in the comments.

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John Aldred

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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9 responses to “Kerlee jump into the lens market with world’s first super fast 35mm f/1.2 for full frame cameras”

  1. Justin Drain Avatar
    Justin Drain

    Bryan Joe Corder

  2. Scott E Mc Avatar
    Scott E Mc

    How much?

    1. Johnny Hubbard Avatar
      Johnny Hubbard

      The mortgage on your house…

  3. amipal Avatar
    amipal

    If I were Leica, I’d be looking very closely at that orange font Kerlee have used.

    1. TheInconvenientRuth Avatar
      TheInconvenientRuth

      You could, but you would be wasting your time thinking any Chinese court would acknowledge this was a rip off…

      1. amipal Avatar
        amipal

        Too true!

  4. Joseph Parry Avatar
    Joseph Parry

    Bokeh looks gross (why else would you buy an f.1,2?) samples: http://www.photobyrichard.com/reviewbyrichard/kerlee-1-235-35mm-f1-2-review/

    1. Savage Avatar
      Savage

      I agree… sorta… the images were not good demos of the lenses bokeh capabilities… BUT, I did notice some achromatic aberrations, but those images were not good enough to tell much about what it does.

      1. Joseph Parry Avatar
        Joseph Parry

        Yeah I know what you mean, not a perfect example for sure, though it kinda gave me the impression to not hold my hopes up, looks underwhelming at mid distance.