Meike Brings Its Very Affordable $170 50mm f/1.8 AF Prime Lens to L-Mount

Meike 50mm f/1.8

Earlier this year, Chinese lens maker Meike announced a 50mm f/1.8 AF lens for full-frame E and Z-mount cameras. The affordable $170 prime lens is now coming to L-Mount cameras, including those made by Panasonic, Leica, and Sigma.

Nothing about the Meike 50mm f/1.8 AF lens has changed in its L-mount iteration, but it’s still worth discussing its specifications and features for L-mount photographers who didn’t pay it much attention when it arrived for other mounts in February.

Meike, one of the most well-known Chinese lens manufacturers, promises its 50mm f/1.8 AF lens delivers professional-caliber image quality in an “easy to carry” form factor. The lens delivers “sharp and clear images for portrait photography.”

It has a nine-bladed aperture, promising “soft” bokeh. Thanks to its f/1.8 maximum aperture, the lens can deliver the defocused background many portrait photographers love, and Meike’s available sample images, as small as they are, do look good, with clean bokeh and no noticeable aberrations.

The lens incorporates 11 elements arranged across seven groups, including an ED lens element and a high-refraction element. Meike promises that the optical design controls chromatic aberration, ghosting, and flare.

A black Nikon Z6 mirrorless camera with a large Meike lens attached. The camera features a robust handgrip, multiple control buttons, and a variety of ports. The lens is cylindrical and prominently branded. The overall design is modern and professional.
The Meike 50mm f/1.8 AF lens on a Nikon Z6 mirrorless camera.

As for focusing performance, the autofocus lens can focus as close as 0.63 meters (2.1 feet). The lens works alongside specialized autofocus modes on compatible cameras, like eye-detect and subject-detect autofocus. The autofocus is provided via a stepping motor.

Based on photographers who have gotten their hands on the Meike 50mm f/1.8 AF for Sony and Nikon cameras, the lens appears to be very good for the price, delivering strong imaging performance and a positive overall user experience. Consider the review below from photographer Andrei Dima, who lauds the lens for its optical quality while saying that the autofocus could be a bit better for video recording specifically.

The Meike 50mm f/1.8 AF lens weighs around 380 grams (13.5 ounces) and has a 58mm filter thread. While Meike hasn’t published the lens’ length, it appears fairly long in product photos. That said, Dima thinks it balances nicely on his Nikon Zf camera.

The unique selling point of the lens is definitely its price, and the new L-Mount version is available to order now directly through Meike for $169.99. It will begin shipping on July 15th.

It is an affordable alternative to Panasonic’s Lumix S 50mm f/1.8 lens, which is currently on sale for $347.99, a $100 discount compared to its typical price of just under $450. This is actually the only other native L-Mount 50mm f/1.8 lens, so it’s nice for photographers to have a second option that is considerably less expensive.

Image credits: Meike