Unboxing and first impressions:
Finally I received my Primoplan 58mm/f1.9 from Meyer Optik Görlitz ! In a moment of temporary insanity, I chose to be a backer last year on Kickstarter for the Primoplan lens from a German lens company. The price was insane, and with TAX and import fees, I could have bought plenty of old manual lenses for the same amount. In fact I would have been able to buy almost 1000 copies of my first manual lens, I tested in this post…
The lens is definitely something something special, and the build quality is very good. Can it justify the prize? Dunno, the money is spent and no chance for refund! But I sure look forward to spend some time learning how to use it and learn how to generate the nice bokeh consistently.
I documented the unboxing with my X-T2. In addition a pin and a key chain was in the post package. These goodies are for kids, not photographers.
I ordered the lens with Fujifilms XF mount, and to my surprise, the lens had a prolonged lens body compared to the Canon/Nikon version featured on their website. I think it is way better, than providing a lens with Canon or Nikon mount and an adapter to Fuji XF. Only drawback: It makes it harder to sell again, since it narrows the potential customer base…
The tube is heavy and made of solid metal, and the XF-mount is made of metal and secured by four screws. When the lens is mounted on my X-T2 body, it sits tight. As a Fujinon lens user, I am used to locate the alignment mark on the lens as a red dot. On the Primoplan, it is a white dot.
The aperture ring is put in front of the lens just behind the filter ring. It goes smooth from f1.9 to f22 with no ‘ticks’ or ‘clicks’ like Fujinon lenses. The aperture is made of 12 diaphrams with anti-reflex coating.
The focus ring is placed on the front end of the lens tube. The grip is “rugged” metal and the focus ring has distinct and easy-to-read engraved numbers indicating the focus distance. A rough ‘DOF’ marking is engraved on the lens. My the focus ring is a bit heavy to rotate. You have to grab it with both thumb and index finger before you can mobilize enough force to overcome the internal resistance. My only concern is a bit of slack when I go from turning the focus ring clockwise to counterclockwise and vice versa. Since it is a manual lens, it is no big deal, but is a bit annoying.
When I looked through the lens, I almost got a chock; there were visible dust in the lens! Fortunately, my rocket blower could blow the dust away from the rear element, and afterwards, there were no signs of dist inside the lens. PHEEEEWWW!
Overall the lens is made ‘the German way’ and the paint, engravings and material is overall good quality!
From my last attempt with manual lenses, my X-T2 was already set up to accept non-XF lenses and with focus peaking in manual mode. The light was however disappearing outside, so I just went for an initial test shot.
Testing the lens for sharpness, transition from focus to out-of-focus and color had to postponed to the next day. I tried to shoot a few branches into the light, an drew some good friends out in the street in order to shoot backlit with a treetop as background. The pictures won’t win any prizes, but it shows some potential. I think in order to gain the fully potential for this lens in backlit situations, you need either a reflector or a flash.
With low light and no subjects to photograph, I found a bush in order to test the background bokeh. The image is not sharp, but added for reference.
The lens has plenty of bubble bokeh af f1.9, but even at f4 there are still some bubbles in the images. Impressive!