ZY Optics calls its new Mitakon Speedmaster 90mm f/1.5 a “budget alternative” to the Leica Summilux-M

Nov 30, 2021

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.

ZY Optics calls its new Mitakon Speedmaster 90mm f/1.5 a “budget alternative” to the Leica Summilux-M

Nov 30, 2021

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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Zhongyi Optics has announced their new Mitakon Speedmaster 90mm f/1.5 lens. They’re billing it as “a budget alternative to the legendary Leica Summilux-M“. And at $599, yeah, it certainly sounds like a bit of a bargain compared to the $14,000 Leica lens. They look pretty similar in outward appearance, although it doesn’t appear to be a straight-up copy, containing 9 elements vs the Leica’s 8.

The new lens is available in Canon RF, Sony FE, Nikon Z and Leica M mounts (no Leica L), with the latter being adaptable to other mounts. Offering “buttery bokeh” (their words), thanks to its f/1.5 aperture and rounded 9-blade aperture, it seems particularly well suited to its portrait photography target audience.

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The lens contains 9 elements in 6 groups, as opposed to the Leica Summilux-M which contains 8 elements in 6 groups. Two extra-low dispersion elements help to minimise fringing and chromatic aberration with increased contrast and sharp detail, even wide open, according to ZY Optics. As well as offering a shallow depth of field, the wide f/1.5 aperture means it’s also well suited to low-light and nighttime photography.

Focal length90mm
FormatFull Frame
MountCanon RF, Nikon Z, Sony FE, Leica M
Focus typeManual focus
Aperture RingYes
Max aperturef/1.5
Min aperturef/16
Min focus distance1.1m
Optics9 elements in 6 groups
Angle of view27°
Aperture blades9
Filter diameter67mm
Dimensions74 x 102mm
Weight770g

Despite being a manual focus lens, ZY Optics suggests and even seem to recommend that you can use the Leica M mount version to get autofocus (with Eye AF) and IBIS using the Megadap MTZ11 and Techart TZM-01/LM-EA7 adapters. Do note, though, that the Leica M mount version does cost $50 more than the Nikon Z, Canon RF and Sony EF mount version.

The new Mitakon Speedmaster 90mm f/1.4 for Nikon Z, Canon RF and Sony FE is available to buy now for $599. The Leica M version in either black or silver is also available to buy now for $649 from the ZY Optics website.

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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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