Zhongyi Optic’s latest lens is the Chuichi Kogaku Speedmaster 20mm f/0.95, an ultra-fast, manual focus, mirrorless lens designed for Nikon, Canon, Sony, and Fujifilm APS-C cameras that suspiciously shares a lot in common with its 20mm T1.0 Mitakon lens.
The wide-angle prime lens would have a full-frame equivalent of about 30mm (32mm on Canon RF) and the f/0.95 would be essentially equivalent to the depth of field achieved by f/1.4, making it a pretty fast prime with an unusual field of view.
The company says that the bright aperture allows for photographers and filmmakers to use lower ISOs and therefore achieve cleaner, less noisy images in environments with low light such as at night or in a dark room.
The 20mm f/0.95 lens features a construction of 13 elements arranged into 8 groups and features one aspherical lens, one extra-low dispersion (ED) lens, and four ultra-high refractive index optics. Zhongyi says the use of these specialized glass optics will suppress flare, reduce aberrations, and compensate for barrel distortion. The company claims that all have been “significantly reduced.”
The lens features a close-focusing distance of 0.3 meters (about 11.8 inches) and Zhongyi says that “by utilizing the perspective of a wide-angle lens to make nearby objects appear larger and distant objects smaller, it is possible to create eye-catching and dynamic expressions in close-up shots.”
Even though it is manufactured in China by Zhongyi, the name “chuichi kogaku” is Japanese and translates to “11 Optics” and shows a clear aim for the camera enthusiast market there. Zhongyi’s Mitakon line also features an APS-C 20mm “Speedmaster” with the exact same optical arrangement, and that lens’ T1.0 light transmittance would be equivalent to the Chuichi Kogaku’s f/0.95. It is also available for the same four mirrorless camera mounts.
While the Mitakon is designed to be a cinema lens, photographers can very likely expect the nearly the same performance out of the Chuichi Kogaku version.
The two lenses are almost identical in price, too. The Mitakon retails for $499 while the Chuichi Kogaku is available for 76,000 yen, or about $516. Of note, the Mitakon version ships with a hard case while there is no mention of a case with the Chuichi Kogaku. Since both are manual focus, unless the design of the cinema-focused exterior of the lens is a sticking point, the Mitakon is probably the better deal.
Image credits: Zhongyi