Mitakon has announced their newest lens. It’s full-frame Mitakon Creator 28mm f/5.6, which they say “recreate[s] the iconic Leica Summaron M 28mm f/5.6 lens with faithful adherence to the original lens characters”. Except, in this case, Mitakon is doing it at a fraction of the $3,095 price the Leica lens demands. In fact, it’s an entire order of magnitude cheaper, at only $299.
Exactly how well the Mitakon adheres to the Leica original remains to be seen, but this is where Mitakon claims to be aiming its sights. Given the price difference, though, even without the Leica name stamped on it, I expect it won’t be identical in terms of image quality.
As with the original Leica Summaron M 28mm f/5.6, the Mitakon Creator 28mm f/5.6 is a very small and compact lens. Unlike the Leica, though, the Mitakon isn’t just available in Leica M mount. This one also comes in Fuji X, Fuji GFX, L mount, Canon RF, Nikon Z and Sony FE. Its maximum f/5.6 aperture means this isn’t the lens you’d want to get for low-light photography. But being at a 28mm focal length, it’s perfectly suitable for use in the daytime as a documentary, street or travel photography lens.
Mitakon says that the Creator 28mm f/5.6 offers complete sharpness across the frame. They say it has minimal field curvature to maintain the highest resolution, even on the edges of the image. The smaller f/5.6 maximum aperture means that it’s not an extremely versatile lens. That is to say, there are definitely going to be many low-light and shallow depth-of-field circumstances where this is definitely not the lens you’re going to want to use.
But there are plenty of times when such a lens is perfect. After all, if it didn’t suit some people, at least some of the time, Leica wouldn’t be trying to sell it for three grand. Mitakon sees this lens getting into the hands of photojournalists, street photographers and travel photographers. These are areas where the wide field of view is advantageous but the smaller f/5.6 maximum aperture is not a disadvantage. In many travel, street or documentary shots, we have to stop our lenses down to at least f/5.6 to not blow out the scene anyway.
|Mount||Leica M, Fuji X, Fuji GFX, L mount, Canon RF, Nikon Z and Sony FE|
|Focus type||Manual focus|
|Min focus distance||35cm|
|Optics||8 elements in 7 groups|
|Angle of view||76°|
|Dimensions||51 x 44mm|
The lens is built with solid metal construction for maximum durability, performance and longevity. And if you’re doing street, documentary and travel photography, having durable gear is essential. Stuff gets knocked around a lot when you’re constantly on the move. The company hasn’t said much about the rest of the lens’ construction just yet, so we’ve no idea how weather-sealed it may be (if it is at all), or what coatings may be on the elements to keep them clean and reject flaring, chromatic aberration, etc.
That being said, the sample images supplied by Mitakon do look quite good. Of course, these are cherry-picked, so if you’re on the fence, you might want to hold off until a few more people actually get them in their hands and post some real-world experiences.
From looking at the samples, it’s certainly not the sharpest lens out there, no matter what the marketing says. Don’t get me wrong, it’s plenty sharp enough for most people, but some may feel a little disappointed. Of course, we can’t expect too much from a $300 copy of a $3,000 lens. That being said, as $300 lenses go, this one seems to do its job rather well.
The Mitakon Creator 28mm f/5.6 is available to buy now for $299 from the Mitakon website in Leica M, Fuji X, Fuji GFX, Canon RF, Nikon Z, Leica L and Sony FE mounts.