As a newcomer to photography, I didn't have much choice on a budget lens, but I looked around and decided to try the Meike lens. Was it a good buy?
Why Something Cheap:
With the camera I have, which is the Sony a6000, you can probably get some decent looking shots compared to the latest releases such as the Sony a6500. There isn't much of a difference with image quality than some additional features with battery life, physical appearance, maybe some menu features, but mostly the sensor and quality of the photo is pretty much the same.
I started off with the stock lens of 18-55mm, which is pretty okay for some portrait shots and landscape shots. However, I wasn't too happy with the aperture stop values it had. The maximum aperture only went up to f/3.5. Which is nice, but I really like bokeh. So when I was taking photos of people, I usually shoot in manual mode on all settings and adjust my camera to the current environment to take a nice photo. This is why I went with the Meike MK-E-35-1.7 35mm F1.7, which for the price is cheap considering the average price of camera lenses on the market, which is around $500.
Anyways, let's get this review started!
Meike MK-E-35-1.7 35mm F1.7:
Firstly, what is the main function of this lens?
Well, they are for people looking for crisp photos and a high maximum aperture rating. For the price, you can't really complain about what you are getting so do not be surprised when your camera cannot detect the lens for the autofocusing mode, or manual focus helper. With use on my Sony a6000, when I put the lens on, the manual focus helper didn't work anymore, so you had to use your eyes and see if your subject was in focus or not. The lens is also not compatible with full frame camera sensors, ONLY crop camera sensors. So if you have something like a Sony Alpha A7, you can use the lenses, but there will be noticeable black edges or circles in the final photo.
One thing I like about the camera lens is that although the manual focus help feature on the Sony a6000 doesn't work with the lens, you will be able to see the edges of focus in the display. As a quick note, using the Meike does not work with the viewfinder, so it's kind of hard, but it's not impossible.
When using it for video, you will have to deal with the Field of Depth every second. Changing the ring and adjusting the aperture is very easy as well. If you're trying to shoot a video and like to defocus your subject from far-away to close-up, these lenses may be for you.
Below is an example GIF. The GIF is of low quality, but you can see that the edges of the subject have a white outline, which means the subject or object is in focus.
How Does It Look and Feel?
The adjustment of the lenses feels okay. I haven't held onto many camera bodies or tried lots of lenses and their grip, but the experience is smooth. I like the looks of the lenses and it's small enough to fit in your pocket! You can also put filters on it as well if you want. Compared to my stock lens, I would prefer to carry out the Meike for something like street photography or something.
The Captures and Video:
Below you will see a comparison of my stock Sony lens vs. the Meike lens. There is a photo and a video, saved as a GIF, so that you can see the differences. I also tried to use the same settings. However, with the Meike video GIF, I adjusted the aperture and focus so that you can see just how much light can be entered through the lens. Below, it will be a sentence description related to the image right below it. Additionally, all the photos shot with the Meike are on manual mode.
Photo with my Sony 18-55mm stock lens (auto):
Meike High Aperature:
Meike Small Aperature:
Meike Focus on Subject:
Meike No Focus on Subject:
Video GIF (lossy) to Show Focus During Recording (notice how the Sony lense cap is in focus to the figurine):
If you want more examples, the latest convention I went to was Anime Los Angeles and you can find that album on my photography site (it's a hobby that I take seriously).
Most of the photos were shot using the Meike, and you can tell which was the stock Sony lens by the bokeh, crisp and sharpness of the photo, and the soft vignetting in the edges of the photo.
Here is a direct link to the album below:
So What Do I Think:
It's less than $120 USD and adds that awesome vintage style to your photos with nice bokeh, and a pretty wide focal length. It's not the best, but for the price, it's pretty decent.
Easy to Use?
Photography, to me when it comes to equipment, isn't about the ease of use (because if it's difficult to use, that means it may yield better results), but how you use the equipment. I would say that you may spend about 1 hour trying to learn the settings and how to adjust your own camera to work with the lenses. For me, it was a plug and play, and then adjust some settings, since it's better to use manual mode with the Meike lens.
The lens itself has a decent build quality. It's pretty heavy for all small it is. I would almost consider it a pancake lens (it probably is). The cover for the lens is a magnetic one, so you have to pop it off to remove the cover. As for the rings, for adjusting aperture and focus, they are alright.
Do You Suggest It?
The purpose of me buying the lens in the first place was because I wanted to have some new equipment to take photos with. The lens provided a sort of new playing ground, and I was able to take better photos with nice looking bokeh. I would suggest it if you are on a budget less than $200, but if you are not on a budget, you can go for the Sony SEL series lenses.
Where To Buy It:
You can buy it from eBay or Amazon or any online retailer. I'll make it easier for you if you do want to by one. Below I have provided a link, that is an affiliate link, that lets me know if you decide to buy one. Either way, I would also love constructive feedback and learn more about photography in general (so comment below).
Trying Out This Good Buy Series:
I'll be starting this small series for when I buy a product and will share my experiences using it whether it was good or bad. I believe it's a helpful way to let people know what they are buying and giving a second opinion on a product wouldn't hurt because then I can offer questions they can think about before investing their money or spending it on a product.
Most of the products that I will review will be related to technology, so if you also like technology as much as I do, then please feel free to stick around.
Thank you for reading and have a fantastic day!