Fancy a new 200mm f/4 prime for only $600? Well, that's still not cheap enough

Zhongyi Optics 200mm f/4 lens
(Image credit: Photo Rumors)

According to Photo Rumors, a new telephoto prime lens could be about to launch. Chinese lens manufacturer Zhongyi Optics, makers of lenses like the Mitakon Speedmaster range, looks set to announce a 200mm f/4 for no fewer than NINE different lens mounts: Canon EF and RF, Nikon F and Z, Sony E, Fuji X, L mount, and even the Fuji GFX and Hasselblad XCD medium-format mounts, on which the lens is likely to have an effective focal length of roughly 158mm.

(Image credit: Photo Rumors)

The lens itself is said to be made up of 11 elements in 7 groups and will contain 9 aperture blades. Minimum focus distance is listed as 0.48mnm, and the lens takes 67mm filters. Size wise, the 75x205mm dimensions are similar to those of a full-frame 70-200mm f/4 optic, though at 1300g, the Zhongyi lens is almost as heavy as a 70-200mm f/2.8.

(Image credit: Photo Rumors)

As this is a lens available for so many different camera mounts, it's almost certainly going to lack autofocus, optical image stabilisation, or indeed any electrical contacts to communicate with the host camera. As a result of this no-frills design, the cost of the lens is predicted to be relatively accessible - 3980 yuan, or around $600.

(Image credit: Photo Rumors)

However, while manual focus primes can work well at shorter focal lengths up to around the portrait/85mm mark, a manual focus, non-stabilized 200mm lens could well be a hard beast to tame. A wafer-thin focal plane at 200mm will necessitate ultra-precise focussing - not easy when tracking a moving subject - and with no stabilisation, handheld shooting won't be easy.

We'll reserve full judgement until which time we can actually test the lens. But after we recently reviewed this fully manual telephoto prime which was darned near unusable, we're now rather sceptical of cut-price telephoto lenses.

Story credit: Photo Rumors

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Ben Andrews

Ben is the Imaging Labs manager, responsible for all the testing on Digital Camera World and across the entire photography portfolio at Future. Whether he's in the lab testing the sharpness of new lenses, the resolution of the latest image sensors, the zoom range of monster bridge cameras or even the latest camera phones, Ben is our go-to guy for technical insight. He's also the team's man-at-arms when it comes to camera bags, filters, memory cards, and all manner of camera accessories – his lab is a bit like the Batcave of photography! With years of experience trialling and testing kit, he's a human encyclopedia of benchmarks when it comes to recommending the best buys.