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Forget the $13,000 Leica Summilux – this Mitakon 90mm f/1.5 lens is just $649

Mitakon 90mm f/1.5 lens
(Image credit: Zhong Yi Optics)

Zhong Yi Optics has just launched the Mitakon Speedmaster 90mm f/1.5 lens for full-frame cameras, being marketed as a budget alternative to the impressive Leica Summilux-M – which costs over $13,000. 

This super-fast, wide-aperture lens will come in Leica M, Canon RF, Sony FE and Nikon Z mounts, and promises to produce distortion-free images with minimal aberrations. It's the latest in the manufacturer's line of ultra-fast primes, which includes the Mitakon Speedmaster 50mm f/0.95 (opens in new tab) that's a bit of a favorite of ours. 

Read more: Best lens for portraits (opens in new tab)

Made up of nine elements in six groups, the Mitakon 90mm f/1.5 delivers – according to Zhong Yi – a flawless focus drop-off where the out-of-focus areas are silky smooth while the in-focus areas are pin sharp. It has a nine-bladed iris design to capture rounded bokeh, which is especially desirable at this time of year with the abundance of Christmas lights around. To ensure that there are minimal lens flares and aberrations, it features two extra-low dispersion elements which concentrate and direct the wavelengths of light more effectively.

For anyone who regularly shoots in low-light environments, having a lens with a fast aperture of f/1.5 means that even by night you’re less likely to miss a shot. It has a minimum aperture of f/16, if you want everything in the shot to be perfectly in focus, possessing an angle of view of 27° and a filter thread of 67mm. It weighs a little more than the equivalent Sony FE 90mm G OSS, at 770g, but it is f/1.5 rather than f/2.8. 

If you weren’t convinced by how good this lens is already, perhaps the price point will turn you: a brand new Leica Summilux 90mm f/1.5 will set you back $13,649 / £10,700 / AU$19,900, which is an incredible amount of money! The Mitakon Speedmaster 90mm f/1.5, on the other hand will only set you back $649 for the Leica  M version or $599 for the Nikon Z, Canon RF or Sony FE versions.

The lens can be ordered now from the Zhong Yi Optics website (opens in new tab).

Read more:

Best Leica M lenses (opens in new tab)
Best full-frame cameras (opens in new tab)
Best mirrorless cameras (opens in new tab)
Best lens for portraits (opens in new tab)

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Hannah Rooke
Staff Writer

Having studied Journalism and Public Relations at the University of the West of England Hannah developed a love for photography through a module on photojournalism. She specializes in Portrait, Fashion and lifestyle photography but has more recently branched out in the world of stylized product photography. For the last 3 years Hannah has worked at Wex Photo Video as a Senior Sales Assistant using her experience and knowledge of cameras to help people buy the equipment that is right for them. With 5 years experience working with studio lighting, Hannah has run many successful workshops teaching people how to use different lighting setups.