A 50mm f/0.95 Full Frame Lens for Under $400?

As secondary lens manufacturers keep cropping up, they appear to be racing each other to who can make the most impressive lens with the lowest price tag. This is a race I can get on board with.

The swell of manufacturers of cheap, manual focus lenses has been staggering in the last decade. It feels as though every week I see a new, interesting lens from a company I have never heard of in Asia. If autofocus is non-negotiable for you, the news pieces about these various lenses will be disappointing every time you click one, but if manual focus isn't a barrier for you — like it isn't me — then the lenses are welcome.

I will freely admit, I had never heard of Brightin Star before this video by Arthur R. After a little research, it appears they make lenses that the word "budget" doesn't quite cover. For example, they have a 35mm f/1.7 for APS-C cameras for $56. I can't imagine how the profit margins are possibly workable on that!

Well, the 50mm f/0.95 is by far their quickest lens and also their most expensive, which I take some solace in. However, $400 for a brand new f/0/.95 prime is not a lot even if it is manual focus only. The example images in the video are pleasant, and with some retouching to play to the strengths of the lens, I have no doubt you could get some great shots. However, I know from experience that using lenses this fast means shooting wide-open is one strong breeze away from missing focus. There are also a lot of artefacts in the images which would be irritating to deal with, but it's still a lot of lens for the meagre price.

What do you make of this lens?

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8 Comments

J.d. Davis's picture

CHUCKLE - almost all of my lenses are manual focus - I write in cursive and drive a stick shift. What you have to love about these lenses is they have DOF scales!

Sam Sims's picture

I use zone focusing all the time so appreciate lenses with dof scales. It’s a shame modern autofocus lenses have moved away from this. Using eye af tracking just feels like the camera and lens is doing all the work for me and to me that takes away some of the joy of photography.

EDWIN GENAUX's picture

Back to the film days!! Meaning every shot you also need to write down settings and thanks to a nice program called LensTagger you can add to METADATA. Also helps you remember what lens you used for a capture as far the many fast glass available. I used a few of my old Canon FD lenses back in 2014/15 with my A7S using an adapter while few Sony lenses available and saving for when available. Focus Peaking is what really helps as well as Zebras. Back in film days f/1.4/2/2.8 lenses allowed hand holding shots, but back then a log of every shot was needed for to get your film developed could take a week or two.

Lawrence Huber's picture

Nikon 0.95 is manual focus. LOL.

Sam Sims's picture

What do you make of this lens?? Without trying one, that answer can only be pure speculation.

I’m totally bored with the obsession with wide open razor thin dof. Cheaper lenses with f1.2 or f0.95 aperture are bound to be soft wide open and probably only sharp in the center at f2.8. Premium lenses will be big, huge, heavy and very expensive, just to accommodate a dof that gets the models eyes in focus and nothing else.I own a manual 40mm f1.2 which isn’t optimally sharp until f2.8. As it’s the only 40mm in this particular lens lineup for my camera I had no choice but would have preferred a smaller f2 if one had been made.

Black Z Eddie .'s picture

Manual = pass.

Chad L's picture

As far as budget lenses go; I picked up a brand new Yongnuo 50mm f1.4 a few months ago for less than $200. I can't tell a difference between this and my brothers Canon 50mm f1.4. I believe you can get value from 3rd party lenses if you pick the right lens. As far as this brand goes, I hope it's a good lens - it's always nice to have competition in the market.

Antonio Diaz's picture

Since this is a photography blog it would be great to include in the blog post actual photographs made with the lens. Watching them in the video is not good enough when you are talking about artifacts.