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Handevision creates the world's fastest production lens for mirrorless cameras


July 7, 2014

The IBELUX 40mm f/0.85 claims the title as the fastest volume production lens in the world

The IBELUX 40mm f/0.85 claims the title as the fastest volume production lens in the world

Image Gallery (21 images)

Mirrorless camera owners in search of fast glass and razor-thin depth of field have a new king of wide-aperture lenses to drool over in the form of the Handevision IBELUX 40mm f/0.85. It's the fastest volume production lens in the world, and the manufacturer claims it'll give you an image similar to an f/1.2 lens on a full frame camera.

Designed in Germany and manufactured in China, the Handevision IBELUX 40mm f/0.85 lens joins gear like the Voigtlander 42.5mm f/0.95 in the rarified territory of lenses with apertures larger than f/1.

What does that mean? Aperture is expressed as a ratio; it's the ratio of the lens's focal length to the diameter of the iris opening. A lens with an aperture lower than f/1 has an aperture that's physically wider than the focal length. It can suck in a lot of light in low-light situations, but it will have a very shallow focal plane, so objects that aren't directly in focus will be very blurry.

The widest aperture lenses ever made were a series of 10 Planar 50mm f/0.7 lenses that Carl Zeiss built for NASA in the 1960s. They were famously used by Stanley Kubrick to film the signature candlelight scenes in Barry Lyndon.

Super wide aperture also means "super expensive." In this case, a fair bit more expensive than, for example, the US$999 Voigtlander above. The IBELUX 40mm has a MSRP of $2,080 – so if you're sticking it on a Canon M, it's nearly six times as expensive as the camera. It's also a heavy and bulky lens at 1.15 kg (2.5 lb) and 128 mm (5 in) long.

Still, soft background bokeh is hard to achieve on smaller sensor cameras, and the test images in the gallery look quite nice. The manufacturer rates the sweet spot at f/5.6 for maximum sharpness.

The IBELUX 40mm f/0.85 is available in Sony NEX, Fuji X, Canon M and Micro 4/3rds mounts.

Source: Kipon

About the Author
Loz Blain Loz has been one of Gizmag's most versatile contributors since 2007. Joining the team as a motorcycle specialist, he has since covered everything from medical and military technology to aeronautics, music gear and historical artefacts. Since 2010 he's branched out into photography, video and audio production, and he remains the only Gizmag contributor willing to put his name to a sex toy review. A singer by night, he's often on the road with his a cappella band Suade. All articles by Loz Blain

Define "volume production." I'm willing to bet they won't sell even 1,000 of these suckers.


LOL. At This price, you got to be joking.


Prosumers pay that price. Maybe even specialist photographers.

Otherwise the likes of the Sony RX1 which is a point and shoot for 2k would not be selling but it sells very well.

If you're doing it for a living this is just another thing to claim, like a decent tripod or decent high capacity memory card.

Or to consider another angle, if you are retired, kids off your back, home paid off. And you want to buy some kit that you can keep for the next ten years to satisfy an overdue desire to take up photography as a hobby. Why would splurging on 10k worth of camera kit be out of the question? People in thri older years pay upwards of 100k building boats and hot rods. And most of these people are middle income.


Today it seems a little strange, to put it mildly. Maybe it's only the initial focus with an eye on the full format.

Rafael Kireyev
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