Zenit is Back! First Look at New 50mm f/0.95, 50mm f/1.2, and 85mm f/1.2


News broke back in February that Russian camera manufacturer Zenit was going to come back and take on Leica in the luxury camera market. But the first Zenit products to see the light of day aren’t cameras, it’s three very fast KMZ/Zenit lenses: the Zenitar 50mm f/0.95, 50mm f/1.2, and 85mm f/1.2.

Photo Rumors initially spotted the lenses last week on Russian photographer Denis Gavrilov’s website (translated link). And when we got in touch with Gavrilov to ask permission to share the images, he was kind enough to upload even more!

So let’s take the new lenses one by one, starting with the fastest of them.

Zenitar 50mm f/0.95

No doubt meant to give mere mortals an affordable alternative to the much lusted-after Noctilux (although, we hope, at a significantly lower price tag), the Zenitar 50mm f/0.95 is meant for Sony’s FE mirrorless cameras.

Sporting 9 elements in 8 groups, the lens’s 14 aperture blades in 2 levels surprised Gavrilov. The lens will supposedly arrive sometime in 2017 and run you close to $500… so yes, just a touch cheaper than the $9,700 Noctilux.

Here are a few more shots of the lens:




Zenitar 50mm f/1.2

The Zenitar 50mm f/1.2 is designed for full-frame cameras (not to be confused with the 1.2/50s, which is for APS-H sensors), and the first thing you’ll notice is that it’s MASSIVE. At 1200g in weight and long enough to be a 105mm, Zenit is apparently working on the design to make it smaller.

Current estimates have this lens on the market sometime this year.




Zenitar 85mm f/1.2

The Zenitar 85mm f/1.2 is also designed for full-frame cameras, and it was, in Gavrilov’s words, a “pleasant surprise.”

It should be available for Nikon and Canon both, and comes sporting 9 elements in 7 groups, 82mm filter thread, and pretty standard size and weight for this sort of lens.

Estimated price is somewhere around $500, and it’s slated to arrive sometime in 2017.





And here are a couple of sample shots Gavrilov was able to capture using the lens on his Kodak DCS Pro SLR/c:



These are obviously early model, but still an interesting look at some very fast glass from Zenit. The initial assumption was that Zenit would be releasing only luxury products, but the prices quoted by Gavrilov and other sources get no higher than $600, making these very affordable given their optical characteristics.

Image credits: Photographs by Denis Gavrilov and used with permission.