Monday, February 25, 2013

Lens Review - Mir 24N 35mm f2

As i'm doing my Project 365, i'm going to consider that this review be part of my P365 as i'm still adding photos :p

So I received my lens in the mail today and I was pretty excited. Didn't know what to expect as there weren't many reviews on this lens. I bought this lens basically to be used exclusively used on my NEX 5n, as I wanted a natural 50mm field of view on my NEX and was getting fed up with the unsharpness from the Fujian 35mm f1.7.





As much as I do love the Fujian, there are instances where the spherical focus ruins the image and renders them almost unusable except for web. The spherical focus is nice when subjects are close to the lens/camera, however there are plenty of times when I don't want that, and want to be able to focus on distant objects.

There were a few options in mind when I was 35mm lens shopping, the Nikon 35mm f2, Vivitar f1.9 and this lens. Now sure, there are other GREAT 35mm lenses, but they're in the thousands of dollars, and considering that this lens was meant to be exclusively for my NEX I wanted something cheap. 

I settled on the Mir 24 as it was the cheapest and it also came in a Nikon mount. For the price I got it at, I was happy to have it as a fully manual lens. As my Nikon-NEX adapter hasn't arrived yet, this review is a review of the Mir on my Nikon D3s. So lets get started!





As you can see it's not a terribly big lens and it does feel quite comfortable on the D3s. The focus is nice and smooth and focussing on subjects is done easily enough. My only gripe is that it takes about 2 full turns to focus from minimum focussing distance to infinity, which can be troublesome if subjects are moving quite quick, or if you want to focus pull quickly.

Speaking of minimum focussing distance, this thing is insane! I'm not sure what's considered normal but I was definitely not expecting it to focus on subjects 10-15cm from the lens.


This would be a considered a pretty stock standard kind of shot, as you can see there's a bit of shallow DOF but at 35mm you're not going to get what you'd get with an 85 or 50mm at the same aperture. As I was saying, this is how close you can get to subjects with this Mir, I was pretty amazed.



This lens is pretty sharp, not razor sharp, but sharp enough - for me. I'm not a pixel peeper so I don't care about charts and brick walls, more about real world shooting. Like I mentioned earlier, this lens focusses pretty close. The spider below would've been about  |      | that big in real life, so when I had a look at the photo at 100% I was pretty impressed.



Pretty sharp! 

I've never shot on a 35mm lens before (I've shot at 35mm obviously but not exclusively with a 35mm lens) so I was curious to know what kind of imagery and field of view i'd be getting with the lens. Having a day off can be fun, but with no one to take photos of and raining outside, imagery can be quite restrictive. When it stopped raining briefly I went outside and did some tests with the lens shooting pegs - exciting! Playing with the DoF, f2.0 is certainly large enough to render the background out of focus and create pleasing bokeh (blur) in the images. The one thing I need to remember is that these images are shot with a full frame camera, so the DoF i'm getting with this lens now will be different when I put it on the NEX. I've read that when put on an APS-C sensor the f2.0 will probably become a 2.8/3.5 50mm lens. I'm not too sure about that, but whatever, like I said, don't really care, aslong as it looks good. 





Although shooting cars pegs and spiders is good fun, it's hard to tell how good a lens is without seeing how it looks on people. Being that it was my day off, alone at home, there was no one to do portraits on except... myself.. 



Excuse the messy hair and bummy clothes! This lens is pretty dang sharp, it renders skin tones quite nicely and the DOF is quite pleasing, bear in mind that we're taking this photo probably about 50-55cm from my face, being so close will exaggerate the DoF, but having said that, it looks good enough. I'd imagine while shooting portraits with this lens, i'd get in pretty close, so that works well for me!

The colour rendition and contrast is really pleasing and although 35mm is not considered a portrait lens, as it has the tendency to distort due to its widish angle, I don't mind it - aslong as you're careful. This photo has probably stretched my head a little, but i think it's quite pleasing - instant weight loss!

As i've only had this lens for.. 3 hours now (as of 18:30) it's hard to know whether there are any severe problems with the lens. So far, really really good, i'm really impressed with it so what are the Pros and cons so far?

Pros:
- Sharp
- Smooth focussing
- Good build quality - all metal
- Nice bokeh

Cons:
- Focus although smooth is a little stiff,
- Huge focus turn - I don't know the correct term, but at least 2 full turns to focus from Min to Max.

So that's all I have to say about this lens for now, I'll continue to do some more tests and update this review as I get more images through the lens, but right now it's looking very promising for a fully manual lens. When I get my Nikon-Nex adapter it'll probably never come off my NEX but at least I will have a 35mm for my D3s if I need it!

Until next time,

Cheers.