Is the world’s fastest prime lens all it’s made out to be? Michael Topham finds out if it’s a good choice for mirrorless users
HandeVision Ibelux 40mm f/0.85 – Features
Take a glance at the underside of the barrel and you’ll come across some engraved lettering that tells us more about the design of the lens and where it’s made. Jointly developed by camera adapter specialist Kipon and IB/E optics GmbH in Germany, the Ibelux 40mm f/0.85 is manufactured in China by Shanghai Transvision. By merging German engineering standards with Chinese cost-effective production, the companies decided to create a new brand name for the partnership, which is HandeVision. The first three letters ‘Han’ stand for China in Mandarin, while the following two letters ‘De’ represent the first two letters of the German name for Germany – Deutschland.
The Ibelux 40mm f/0.85 features an optical construction of 10 elements in 8 groups, including a concave front element that’s said to reduce chromatic aberrations and maintain a central angle of incidence of 2.6° for sharp results and minimal distortion throughout the aperture range. The lens benefits from a 10-blade aperture to ensure out-of-focus points of lights (or bokeh) are portrayed in a circular shape. It’s easy to make out these 10 aperture blades when you peer down the barrel and rotate the aperture ring across its f/0.85-f/22 range.
At the rear, the lens employs a metal mount, but being manual-focus only there are no metal contacts to form an electronic connection between the camera and lens, meaning the EXIF data recorded by the camera won’t offer any information about the focal length or aperture used. If you’d like to keep a record of your aperture settings, you’ll need to write these down as you shoot. The only other alternative is to use your camera’s rating system as a reference – for example, I rated all the images I took at the lens’s maximum aperture with one star and all the images I took at f/2 with two stars.
Other features to note include its 75cm minimum focusing distance and its 67mm thread at the front for attaching screw-in filters and adapters. Unusually, HandeVision supplies the lens with a screw-in metal lens cap as opposed to the pinch style that we’re much more familiar with on today’s lenses. As part of the boxed contents, you also get a leather case that features a well-padded interior to provide additional protection on the move.