Like London buses, you wait years for a standard f/.0.95 prime lens, and then, two come along at once. Russian lens manufacturer Zenit has just unveiled the Zenitar 0.95/50, a super fast, manual focus 50mm prime lens for Sony full-frame cameras with an aperture wide enough to swallow planets.
A lucky gaggle of keen snappers managed to grab a few minutes playing with Nikon’s much-anticipated wonderlens at CP+ earlier this month, and it’s still not entirely clear what the NIKKOR Z 58mm f/0.95 S Noct is for. As a showpiece, it’s impressive, but at a tasty $6,000, it’s nice to know that Zenit is planning to release a lump of glass that doesn't require you to start picking out which of your kidneys you'd prefer to hang on to. The lens hits Russian shelves at a price of just 49,000 Russian Rubles, which converts to just over $760.
While the price is significantly lower, the weight is still slightly insane. The dimensions of the Zenit seems to be somewhat smaller than the Nikon, and while we don’t have details of the Noct, it’s worth noting that the Zenitar weighs a shoulder-crushing 2.6 lb (1.2 kg). Sigma, take note: if a lens weighs more than a kilogram, we now expect f/1 or wider. Thanks! You can find all of the specifications here.
Early images suggest that this is a lens full of character. Photographer Alexandra Bochkareva has been doing some tests for Zenit, and I suspect that these images are among her results:
You can see a few more images here:
Will you be buying one?