Meike 85mm f/2.8 Macro Reviews
Having fun with macro
Rated 4 out of 5
I bought this lens for my Fuji X-T30 and as the lens has no electronic contacts, I just needed to change the camera’s “shoot without lens” setting to “on” to get the shutter button to work with the lens. From there I switched the focus mode selector to M, in order to take advantage of my camera’s MF Assist modes.
The lens comes well boxed and includes a decently constructed lens bag (but I found it to be 1 inch too short; it closes around the top of the lens cap; not over it), a lens cloth (which was missing), a tip sheet (which tries to explain that the lens has no electronic contacts), a warranty card, a plastic lens mount ring cover, a plastic lens cap, and a plastic lens hood.
The lens is solidly constructed, but I did get a rubbing sensation when turning the macro ring to the the infinity end (since using the lens that has gone away), but this has not affected the performance of using the lens.
As other reviews have noted, turning the lens hood backwards does cover the aperture ring and the focus ring, but I found the lens hood to be useless for my macro shooting, so it is now in a drawer someplace.
The aperture ring has no discrete click stops, but I don’t find this to be an issue, as I adjust aperture to obtain a decent depth of field while trying to maximize shutter speed and as there are no electronic contacts, aperture is not being recorded in the EXIF data.
Folks have stated it is difficult to get focus; welcome to macro. I don’t consider the focus rings (there are two) to be focus rings, as the rings are used to set a specific magnification; by that, when the lens is set to 1:1, the distance to the subject needs to be 0.25 meters for focus, but If the subject was at a distance of 0.5 meters, then you do need to turn the magnification ring (or move the camera or the subject) to get focus, but now the subject will be at 1:4 (you have lost magnification); see the RPG miniature comparison picture.
The lens is an 85mm focal length; making it a 127.5mm (35mm equivalent) focal length on the Fuji APS-C sensor. Meike states that it can be used as a portrait lens, but this is something I don’t do. I have tried to use the lens as an an 85mm telephoto, but have not had any success; I’ll continue to use the lens as a macro lens and stay in the 1:4 to 1.5:1 magnification range.
When I bought this 85mm macro lens it was priced at $270 and that gets you 1.5:1, which I considered a decent price for the magnification. There are other macro lens out there at various price points without spending $1K for Fuji lens; e.g., $350 would have gotten me 2:1 for the Venus Optics 65mm macro.
I like the lens as a macro lens and when I get bright light and sharp focus, the picture quality looks great; see pictures of the silver cuff link, poppy pod, daylily stamens, and forget-me-nots. But like all things macro, it takes a lot of practice.
Excellent Product - Excellent Value
Rated 5 out of 5
Purchased this MANUAL focus macro lens for the Fuji X-Mount. As expected it does NOT have any electronic connection to the camera. The lens is relatively heavy but well balanced. Its all METAL construction is excellent as its fit/finish is very good. The metal aperture ring has just the right amount of resistance and is without a click type mechanism. The focus ring is consistently smooth and well stepped throughout its range. The lens requires a tripod and/or steady hand and can zoom beyond 1:1 to 1:1.5. The zoom ring is consistent and predictable. Both the focus and zoom rings rubber is well textured and soft to the touch. The lens has a metal base and when attached to my X-T20 exhibits a minor amount of play. There are no issues mounting and/or removing the lens. It does NOT appear to be weather sealed. The lens comes with a lens cap which puts my other Fuji lenses to shame. Its well engineered, clicks into place and has a button to facilitate its removal. The optics of my sample are TACK sharp exhibiting an above average level of purple fringing. While its 85 mm focal length may suggest alternative uses non-macro focusing is only possible with a VERY precise turn of the focusing ring as the travel of the focus ring in non-macro applications is EXTREMELY limited. If you use Fuji's focus peaking and Focus Assist features alongside a delicate hand you should be OK. Given the well thought out features of this lens, its excellent construction, positive optical traits and VERY competitive pricing I have no qualms about recommending it HIGHLY. The lens is securely packaged and surrounded by white plastic foam in a manner to further reflect the manufacturers respect for their customers. It comes with a black cloth lens bag. I have purchased lenses costing several times more protected by card-board alone. Given its quality, performance and cost I can only reflect on its EXCELLENT value proposition which leaves me feeling embarrassed to have paid so much more for other lenses of similar and/or inferior quality.
Rated 5 out of 5
I wanted a good macro lens and I am very pleased with this! It is great for flowers and bugs, but it doubles as a close up portrait lens. I've been using it with my Sony A7 II.
Great Build and Image Quality!
Rated 5 out of 5
This lens comes with a lot of features some of the bigger manufacturers don't include anymore (soft case, lens hood) and it's built very well. All metal, and all adjustment dials stay in place. This lens is a LOT of fun for doing macro work and, while I haven't done any with it yet, good for portraiture, too!!! Really impressive!
great lens for the price
Rated 4 out of 5
I like to travel with as little photo equipments as possible, I'm not fond of carrying tripod or other equipments. I'm happy with my camera and the lens. Unfortunately, macro lenses are inherently heavy requiring the need for a tripod to get a good macro. For portrait the lens has a small focus range which render the lens macro only.
Better than Extension Tubes
Rated 5 out of 5
I had previously tried using extension tubes for macro images. This lens, on its own, gave me the size and clarity I was seeking; and it was at a good price. This is my idea of what a true macro lens for stationary subjects should be. I am experiencing a learning curve; and have not, yet, utilized the buttons than may be custom-set. I look forward to doing so.
A decent lens, but...
Rated 3 out of 5
All-metal and seemingly sharp all-manual macro lens, capable of 1.5:1 reproduction ratio for macros and focusing to infinity for portraits. Great deal for the price. I bought Canon EF mount version, to combine it with a full-frame Canon body. However, I've to notice two drawbacks. First, the hood, while reversed (not in use) completely prevents the photographer from use the focusing ring. This means that the hood, when not in use, must be detached and kept separately. Second, while the lens is zoomed in (i.e. extended) for switching from 1:1 to 1.5:1 ratio, there is a considerable lash between the rear and the extended parts of the barrel. I found that play very unpleasant, though so far it didn't degrade the quality of photos. That's why I gave only 3 stars to this lens. Maybe I was unlucky to get such a copy.