This Rare Lens Is the 'Finest f/1.2 Ever Made' and Produces Incredibly Sharp Results

Photographer Mathieu Stern has collaborated with popular YouTuber Irene Rudnyk to take some portraits using a rare f/1.2 lens. The pair took portraits with the Konica 57mm f/1.2, often referred to as the finest of its kind ever to be made.

“Really fast, I realized that at f/1.2, this lens is way sharper than the other f/1.2 lenses I tried,” says Stern. A manual focus lens, Stern notes the Konica 57mm f/1.2 is a heavy lens and is best suited to short time periods of shooting, but it’s one that produces a dreamy bokeh wide open. Stern also praises how the lens handles light and colors. “I was amazed with the results,” he says.

The glass is usually found for around €700 on eBay ($790), but he managed to find one selling for around half the price at €300.

In his video, Stern features close-up crops of the portraits he took, giving a better glimpse at the sharpness of this lens. The team also took images under the shade of a large tree, with Stern remarking the speed of the lens is beneficial when shooting in areas with low light.

You can see Irene’s video from the same day over at her YouTube channel here.

All images: Mathieu Stern and used with permission.

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Phil Wright's picture

Not a huge fan of this look at all. The background looks really busy for a 1.2 lens, not soft at all. The bokeh looks 'nervous' to me. It doesn't help that the model looks like she's just been told that she isn't getting paid for the shoot too :(

JetCity Ninja's picture

she's doing it for exposure. EXPOSURE, get it? womp womp.

Phil Wright's picture

Not sure if I should laugh or cry...

Christian Lainesse's picture

Didn't I read somewhere that the weird bar on the rear bayonet that cuts off a bit in front of the rear element creates strange bokeh chopped circles?

Is this photographer a "natural light only" photographer by any chance?

Ian Goss's picture

“A manual focus lens, Stern notes the Konica 57mm f/1.2 is a heavy lens and is best suited to short time periods of shooting, but it’s one that produces a dreamy bokeh wide open.”

Stern is a lens?

Skin tone is awful on all of the shots. I would prefer AF lens for portraits, so eyes will be in focus, not the lips or nowhere like on the last shot