KamLan 50mm F1.1 Mark I : Is it really so bad?

Started 4 months ago | Discussions thread
Tom Schum
OP Tom Schum Veteran Member • Posts: 9,900
Re: KamLan 50mm F1.1 Mark I vs Mark II // Many thanks

Rightsaidfred wrote:

Dear Tom

Many thanks for this! It gives really a good impression. I downloaded the photos and took a closer look.

I personally prefer the sharpness of the Mk II over the character and smaller size of the Mk I. Here's my first impression of the Mk IIfor those who are interested. Tom knows it already

How did you manage to focus? There must have been someone skilled in MF behind the camera I guess. I'd say it is impossible with the self-timer.

Best regards,


Thanks for the compliment!

I was also very highly impressed with the Mark II.  It's a great lens.

Yes in a real situation it is going to be virtually impossible to hold good focus on the eyes at F1.1.  Something like the Fuji 56mm F1.2 with autofocus would really be what is needed for this kind of shooting.

Anyway, I found something to take the place of my head, and put it where I expected my head to be, then focused on that. It was a book placed on a small table at what I thought would be the right distance.  I had to fine tune the focus for a while for each lens, taking a sample shot, then chimping, making a small change in the focus setting, then trying again, again, again.

Then I took maybe 20 shots or so (10 second self timer), and later picked out the best one. I was up against a small bookcase, so I basically sat in the same place for each shot and just held my head a little different to change where the best focus was.

Back in the days when you had to sit still for 30 seconds for a portrait, photographers had head braces set up.  The subject would basically stay right there.  These might be hard to find nowadays.  I'm not old enough to know what these look like anyway.  Is anyone?

Really, at F1.1 it is just hit and miss.

I had to re-do the Mark I image because I didn't get a good image the first session with focus maximized on the eyes. This was all trial and error and it took a couple hours.  Since the last shot was maybe 1.5 hours later in the morning the light might have changed a little and made the Mark I yield a nicer color balance, I don't know.

It's been an interesting few days playing with these lenses. They have returned to their honored storage area for now.  I need to do some low light F1.1 street shooting with them sometime.  I know the Mitakon 35mm F0.95 Mark II does quite well this way.

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Tom Schum
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