Hands on with the Kamlan 50mm f/1.1 Mark 2
On this video, photographer, Christopher Frost takes a look at the new 50mm f/1.1 Mark 2 from Kamlan for APS-C cameras.
A few years back Kamlan launched the first generation of its 50mm f/1.1 APS-C lens for mirrorless cameras. Now they are pushing a second generation of this lens on Kickstarter and like the first generation Frost decided to take this lens and do some testing (he used the older Sony A5100 so please keep this in mind).
The build quality of this manual focus lens has been improved from the first generation, it has a fairly long 180 degree focus ring throw and the aperture ring is clickless and pretty tight. The lens itself has some weight to it (600g or 21 oz), which might have to do with the robust metal build (and the 11 aperture blades might add a little extra too).
As for optical performance, this lens was tested by Frost against the first generation 50mm f/1.1 as well as against the Sigma 56mm f/1.4 (a truly fantastic lens that we have tested ourselves and we use for most of our videos here on LensVid).
The results are very clear – the new 50mm f/1.1 has significantly better contrast and less CA than the original version but it is no match for the Sigma. Of course, at about half the cost this isn’t bad at all and a big step forward for Kamlan (it is so nice to see new optical manufacturers making steps to improve their quality and having more options to choose from).
One area where almost all smaller manufacturer seems to struggle with at the moment is flaring and this lens is not an exception. You should use the (metal) hood and avoid direct light unless you want some serious flaring.
Finally pricing, currently on Kickstarter, the Kamlan 50mm f/1.1 Mark 2 is offered for $200.