There’s a new 35mm SLR lens on the block, and it’s claiming to be the “world’s fastest.” We’re talking about the new Kerlee 35mm f/1.2 by Chinese manufacturer Shenzhen Dongzheng Optics Technology.
Now before you scoff at their “world’s first/fastest” claim and point out that the Voightlander Nokton 35mm f/1.2 has been around for years, take note that this is the world’s first 35/1.2 for full-frame SLRs. Until now, nobody (to our knowledge) has made a 35mm f/1.2 for an SLR system, so DZOptics does seem to have a first on their hands with this lens:
Speaking of which, let’s dive into the tech. The Kerlee 35mm f/1.2 is a manual-focus lens that uses 11 elements in 10 groups, including two high refractive index elements and one low-dispersion element. The minimum focusing distance of the lens is 0.3m/1ft, but the company claims it works optimally “within 1-5 meters,” and the aperture clicks all the way from f/1.2 to f/22.
Oh, and speaking of clicking, the lens comes with a “switchable aperture lock,” so you can switch over to smooth transitions when shooting video:
The company currently plans to manufacture the lens for the Nikon F, Canon EF, Sony E, and Pentax K mounts; however, no pricing or specific release date info is available for the Kerlee lens just yet.
Here are a few sample shots from the DZOptics website:
Of course low-res samples (even on DZOptics’ website, these are 1500px on the long edge at best) can only tell you so much. So it was a pleasant surprise to hear wedding photographer Richard Wong, who has been trying out a pre-release version of the lens IRL, tell Bokeh that after a few minor fixes, the Kerlee would be “easily the most well-made Chinese lens.”
Watch out Mitakon.