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 review – Verdict
It may lay claim to being the world’s fastest lens, but this test has revealed that it has more cons than it does pros. As much as we love the beautiful blurred backgrounds and outstanding bokeh it’s capable of creating at wide apertures, which remains the sole reason you’d buy this lens, it lets itself down in a number of areas regarding its image quality and handling. Corner sharpness is disappointing at wide apertures and doesn’t improve as fast as we’d expect when it’s closed down. It exhibits very obvious purple fringing and spherical aberration at wide apertures, too. Then there’s the handling – it’s bulky and weighs an absolute ton. On a majority of lightweight mirrorless cameras, it feels poorly balanced and far too front heavy.
Micro Four Thirds users would be far better to forego the 1/3 stop of aperture you gain from this lens and opt for the Voigtländer 42.5mm f/0.95 instead. The Mitakon 50mm f/0.95 is a cheaper option for Sony E-mount users looking for a fast manual-focus lens and despite being longer, I’d choose the Fujifilm 56mm f/1.2 R XF ahead of this lens in an instant.
For the time and effort you’ll spend hunting around to find a good price for this lens, you’ll be far off considering your alternatives first. Hopefully the new series of HandeVision IBERIT full-frame lenses, which covers 24mm, 35mm, 50mm, 75mm and 90mm focal lengths with a constant aperture of f/2.4 for Sony E-mount, Leica SL mount, Leica M mount and Fuji X-mount, will be more appealing.