The wider-aperture lenses normally arrive with a massive price tag, especially when they’re designed for full-frame cameras. Zenit has just presented a 50mm f/0.95 optic. New lenses will arrive with a 3-figure asking price. The Zenitar 0.95|50 has planned to launch in Russia with a 50,000 price tag. It is expected in the market at about $780 /£590 /AU$1,100. But, there’s no word yet on when it’ll become available in other markets. If you’re thinking that price sounds too good to be true, of course, you’re right to get it.
The lens is manual focus only and doesn’t communicate with the body on which it is mounted at all. It is also only available for Sony’s E-series cameras, such as the A7 III pictured above. On top of that, it sports an all-metal barrel, which is great from the perspective of solidity, but it makes an already heavy lens even heavier at 1.1kg.
The lens is encircled by an aperture ring that runs from f/0.95 through to f/16 and built around 9 elements across eight groups. A manual focus ring lies behind this, while depth-of-field markings in both feet and meters are also engraved. Other features include an impressive 14-blade diaphragm, which bodes well for smooth and rounded bokeh. Markings that indicate a 72mm diameter are also visible, although it’s not clear whether the lens can accept the standard, screw-mounted filters.
It is noteworthy that the lens was first unveiled three years ago without confirmation of pricing or availability, arrives ahead of Nikon’s manual-focus Nikkor Z 58mm f/0.95 S lens, the development of which was announced at the same time as the company’s Z6 and Z7 cameras. Exact pricing and availability for Nikon’s lenses are still to be confirmed, although the company has stated that it will arrive at the end of this year.