Manual, but still interesting lens - 25mm f1.8 and hopefully not expensive. Comes in native E-mount!

Started Dec 10, 2015 | Discussions
Donny out of Element here Contributing Member • Posts: 996
Manual, but still interesting lens - 25mm f1.8 and hopefully not expensive. Comes in native E-mount!
2

For many of us who wondered why E24mm F1.8 Zeiss should cost so much and why Sony didn't made a "bread and butter" non-Zeiss lens in such a versatile Focal Length.

It's manual, so it still no AF and thus no alternative to E24 in that regard. However, it's small, light, comes in black too, and it's same F1.8 and basically same 25mm - yey! The best part is that similar to Sigma primes, there is a MFT version already available on ebay and it costs $133 with free shipping! Cheap! I hope they will release it in E-mount any minute now and price will be basically same (well maybe couple of dollars difference). No adapter needed!

Zonlai 25mm F1.8 on Sony a6000 (silver).

This is for the first time I see a cheap lens without adapter, small and with F1.8 and same FL as E24 available for Sony NEX line cameras.

http://www.mirrorlessrumors.com/zonlai-discover-25mm-f1-8-lens-comes-in-sony-e-mft-and-fuji-x-mount/

Considering it comes in E-mount, MFT and Fuji X mount - I think its optical IQ is on par and decent. there are some samples shot on Sony A3000 already available: https://www.flickr.com/photos/hudatran/sets/72157658609671873

Ans some more samples on Sony NEX-F3 (16Mp): https://www.flickr.com/photos/poojee/sets/72157661312832912

jtr27
jtr27 Veteran Member • Posts: 3,324
Looks beautiful

That is a cool looking little lens, looking forward to reading some reviews.  I'll have mine in silver, please!  

kelstertx Veteran Member • Posts: 5,271
Re: Manual, but still interesting lens - 25mm f1.8

Donny out of Element here wrote:

For many of us who wondered why E24mm F1.8 Zeiss should cost so much and why Sony didn't made a "bread and butter" non-Zeiss lens in such a versatile Focal Length.

It's manual, so it still no AF and thus no alternative to E24 in that regard. However, it's small, light, comes in black too, and it's same F1.8 and basically same 25mm - yey! The best part is that similar to Sigma primes, there is a MFT version already available on ebay and it costs $133 with free shipping! Cheap! I hope they will release it in E-mount any minute now and price will be basically same (well maybe couple of dollars difference). No adapter needed!

Zonlai 25mm F1.8 on Sony a6000 (silver).

This is for the first time I see a cheap lens without adapter, small and with F1.8 and same FL as E24 available for Sony NEX line cameras.

http://www.mirrorlessrumors.com/zonlai-discover-25mm-f1-8-lens-comes-in-sony-e-mft-and-fuji-x-mount/

Considering it comes in E-mount, MFT and Fuji X mount - I think its optical IQ is on par and decent. there are some samples shot on Sony A3000 already available: https://www.flickr.com/photos/hudatran/sets/72157658609671873

Ans some more samples on Sony NEX-F3 (16Mp): https://www.flickr.com/photos/poojee/sets/72157661312832912

Similar looking font to the Leica Summacron or whatever it's called.  Looks neat.

 kelstertx's gear list:kelstertx's gear list
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Lucmv Forum Member • Posts: 58
Meh

Ans some more samples on Sony NEX-F3 (16Mp): https://www.flickr.com/photos/poojee/sets/72157661312832912

All reduced, so we can't inspect the quality. Thanks for nothing, Mr. Chunn.

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Canon PowerShot SX110 IS Sony Alpha NEX-F3 Sony E 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 OSS Gimp +4 more
joe6pack Senior Member • Posts: 1,599
E-mount available on eBay
1

Same price as M43. Just under a different name (Kenro):

http://www.ebay.com/itm/252172920047

Always good to have newer native e-mount lenses.

I looked at the flickr photos. The "chairs in a forest" shows pretty bad corners. Which I don't think it is caused by DoF. I would imagine this is more of a M43 lens than APS-C.

I would stick to my Minolta 28mm F2.8 + Lens Turbo. Which is effectively an F2.1 lens. Although the Kenro does have size advantage. Would wait for more reviews.

 joe6pack's gear list:joe6pack's gear list
Olympus XZ-1 Sony Alpha NEX-3N Sony a6000 Corel Aftershot Pro IrfanView +1 more
rich07 Regular Member • Posts: 132
Re: Manual, but still interesting lens - 25mm f1.8 and hopefully not expensive.

These are exactly the type of lenses I would like to see on e-mount (but maybe with slightly better corners).

 rich07's gear list:rich07's gear list
Nikon D600 Sony a6000 Fujifilm X-T10 Sony E 16mm F2.8 Pancake Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-120mm F4G ED VR +6 more
davect01
davect01 Veteran Member • Posts: 9,264
Re: Manual, but still interesting lens - 25mm f1.8

Neat option, nice price.

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Novice photobug. Former NEX-3, F3, and 6 owner. Now a proud A6000 owner.
http://davesnex-3photos.blogspot.com/

 davect01's gear list:davect01's gear list
Sony a6400 Sony E 50mm F1.8 OSS Sony E 20mm F2.8 Sony E 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 OSS
davect01
davect01 Veteran Member • Posts: 9,264
Re: E-mount available on eBay

joe6pack wrote:

Same price as M43. Just under a different name (Kenro):

http://www.ebay.com/itm/252172920047

Always good to have newer native e-mount lenses.

I looked at the flickr photos. The "chairs in a forest" shows pretty bad corners. Which I don't think it is caused by DoF. I would imagine this is more of a M43 lens than APS-C.

I would stick to my Minolta 28mm F2.8 + Lens Turbo. Which is effectively an F2.1 lens. Although the Kenro does have size advantage. Would wait for more reviews.

Ya, the samples are a mixed bag.  Some are really nice, while others are lacking.

-- hide signature --

Novice photobug. Former NEX-3, F3, and 6 owner. Now a proud A6000 owner.
http://davesnex-3photos.blogspot.com/

 davect01's gear list:davect01's gear list
Sony a6400 Sony E 50mm F1.8 OSS Sony E 20mm F2.8 Sony E 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 OSS
Tuxdude
Tuxdude Regular Member • Posts: 286
Seems like a Good Value Option

$130 for a fully manual native E-Mount lens is a nice option to always have. If I already didn't have the Zeiss 24mm, I would have ordered one of these right away.

I wouldn't mind a little loss of sharpness for the price I'm getting it at.

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 Tuxdude's gear list:Tuxdude's gear list
Sony a6000 Sony Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* E 24mm F1.8 ZA Sony E 50mm F1.8 OSS Sony E 55-210mm F4.5-6.3 OSS Sony E 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 PZ OSS +6 more
MujinKun New Member • Posts: 2
Re: Seems like a Good Value Option
1

Anyone bought and received the lens?

Below s the lens details from the reseller:

Lens Specifications 25mmF1.8 DISCOVER Manual Lens:
FOCAL LENGTH (25MM) (APS-C)

ANGLE OF VIEW
62° (APS-C)
ELEMENTS AND COATING
9 elements / 7 groups
APERTURE RANGE
F1.8–16
APERTURE BLADES
11 blades
MAXIMUM MAGNIFICATION RATIO
0.25x
MINIMUM FOCUS DISTANCE
0.18 m
FILTER DIAMETER
46 mm

Is it good?

Please advise.

Cheers

JurijTurnsek Contributing Member • Posts: 509
Re: Manual, but still interesting lens - 25mm f1.8 and hopefully not expensive.

Sony's APS-C line needs a pancake f2.0 lens like the Canon M 22m 2.0. f2.8 is good and all, but that extra stop can mean a lot.

 JurijTurnsek's gear list:JurijTurnsek's gear list
Sony Alpha NEX-5N Samyang 8mm F2.8 UMC Fisheye Sony E 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 PZ OSS +1 more
joe6pack Senior Member • Posts: 1,599
Re: Manual, but still interesting lens - 25mm f1.8 and hopefully not expensive.

JurijTurnsek wrote:

Sony's APS-C line needs a pancake f2.0 lens like the Canon M 22m 2.0. f2.8 is good and all, but that extra stop can mean a lot.

Funny that I was looking at this very lens just last night. a 35mm eq lens at F2.0 for just $100? I should have bought the EOS-M 22mm combo for $250 2 years ago. It is far, far cheaper than a 24mm F1.8.

 joe6pack's gear list:joe6pack's gear list
Olympus XZ-1 Sony Alpha NEX-3N Sony a6000 Corel Aftershot Pro IrfanView +1 more
geminihc Regular Member • Posts: 274
Re: Manual, but still interesting lens - 25mm f1.8 and hopefully not expensive.

remember you can also get rokinon 21mm f1.4 manual for e-mount, which is a very sharp lens. not as cheap though ~$350

Tuxdude
Tuxdude Regular Member • Posts: 286
Re: Manual, but still interesting lens - 25mm f1.8 and hopefully not expensive.

geminihc wrote:

remember you can also get rokinon 21mm f1.4 manual for e-mount, which is a very sharp lens. not as cheap though ~$350

Rokinon 21mm f/1.4 is a cheap lens but has never gone below $470 afaik. You might have been referring to the Rokinon 12mm f/2.0 instead I guess which is selling for $320 the last I checked.

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 Tuxdude's gear list:Tuxdude's gear list
Sony a6000 Sony Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* E 24mm F1.8 ZA Sony E 50mm F1.8 OSS Sony E 55-210mm F4.5-6.3 OSS Sony E 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 PZ OSS +6 more
david raistrick Regular Member • Posts: 129
Re: Manual, but still interesting lens - 25mm f1.8 and hopefully not expensive.
2

geminihc wrote:

remember you can also get rokinon 21mm f1.4 manual for e-mount, which is a very sharp lens. not as cheap though ~$350

the samyang 21mm definitely doesn't qualify as pancake in any of it's formats, either...67.7mm long in emount vs 33mm for the Zonlai from what I can find.

triton76 New Member • Posts: 1
Re: Manual, but still interesting lens - 25mm f1.8 and hopefully not expensive.

Sony's APS-C line needs a pancake f2.0

check that:

http://www.modulaoptical.com/cm33-summary

hope they'll do the job

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Hin Man Senior Member • Posts: 2,552
Re: Zonlai 25mm f/1.8 with Sugru Focus Tab
2

Here is my Zonalai 25mm f/1.8 with addition of a Sugru focus tab

Zonlai 25mm f/1.8 with Sugru focus tab

Zonlai 25mm f/1.8 with Sugru focus tab

More photos in my blog post:

http://www.techtheman.com/2016/06/zonlai-25mm-f18-ergonomics-focus-tab.html

Ergonomics:

  • The aperture ring and focusing ring are very close together. It is very easy to change the aperture unintentionally when one adjust focus.
  • A focus tab is highly recommended add-on to this lens. I use Sugru from Amazon to mold a tab that becomes solid after a day.
  • With a focus tab, I find focusing much more precise and the tab helps to avoid inadvertent change on aperture
  • Other focus tab idea can be checked with lenstab in TAAB MINI | TAAB | Universal Lens Tab though I like the Sugru idea better as the lenstab will have the extra bend on top of your lens with potential in destroying the original beauty of the Zonlai.

Regards,

Hin

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Hin Man Senior Member • Posts: 2,552
Re: Zonlai 25mm f/1.8 with Sugru Focus Tab
1

I have been fascinated with this manual focus lens because I lack a 24mm that is small and compact. This one is inexpensive, I paid $120 new from a US seller with only one copy. It only works in aps-c. I am surprised that this Chinese lens comes with a nice hard box and a matching lens hood. Here are few initial shots in the arrival

More in

The lens opening is well rounded and with step-less and click-less aperture ring. Focusing is smooth but it is a bit difficult to focus with precision.  Hence the solution with Sugru focus tab.

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Sympa Senior Member • Posts: 2,576
Re: Zonlai 25mm f/1.8 with Sugru Focus Tab

In the Flick samples, the vignetting seems rather bad - in the chairs in the forest, but in most pictures in the extreme corners.

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Sony RX100 Sony E 30mm F3.5 Macro Sony E 50mm F1.8 OSS Sony E 55-210mm F4.5-6.3 OSS Sony Vario-Tessar T* E 16-70mm F4 ZA OSS +4 more
Hin Man Senior Member • Posts: 2,552
Re: Zonlai 25mm f/1.8 with Sugru Focus Tab

Sympa wrote:

In the Flick samples, the vignetting seems rather bad - in the chairs in the forest, but in most pictures in the extreme corners.

It is true that vignette is heavier and sometime difficult to correct. I have used this lens for over a week and there are many positives and negatives. One of the biggest issue is on the heavier vignette than usual. But if one is into moody type of pictures and casual shooting, this one can be considered a bargain. It is subjective and depend on what one is looking.  Wrong expectations will set you on the wrong path.

Few initial impressions:

Positives

  • really compact in size, smaller than 16-50 kit zoom
  • well built for its price all in metal
  • a rare find in 25mm and fast speed in f/1.8 and low cost below $130
  • E-mount and without the need of adapter
  • click-less and stop-less on aperture ring in front, good candidate for quiet operation
  • sharpness is good in center
  • decent and handy for close up shots
  • low saturation with a unique film look, moody type of pictures

Negatives

  • heavy vignette on corners
  • aperture ring is close to focusing ring that can change aperture inadvertently. This issue is greatly corrected with a Sugru do it yourself focusing tab
  • color is muted and low contrast in some shooting
  • poor corners and not likely suited for landscape and architecture type of shooting that demand sharpness across the frame

More thoughts and photos in

Regards,

Hin

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