19th June 2021, Singapore – Following our recent interest in China-brand lenses, we did a run with Mitakon Zhongyi 20mm F2 4.5x Super Macro. This lens belongs to Uncle Koh (more fondly known as OldKingKoh), which I invited to co-review the lens. Why? I just can’t seem to shoot anything with this Super Macro from Mitakon.
This Mitakon Super Macro was originally designed for use with DSLR systems however, mirrorless versions were made available and for the review, it’s a Fujifilm X mount. So the 20mm focal range became 30mm (APS-C) on our test cam. So what were we expecting? 20mm is wide angle, but coupled with a 4.5X magnification, this is one confusing lens (at least for me. Specialized super macro lens is designed for working with close-up subjects and provides a maximum magnification of 4.5x and a minimum magnification of 4.0x.
Like most China-brand lenses, the Mitakon Super Macro came as a full metal constructed lens – but with a weird twist. The front of the lens are super tiny while the barrel are much larger giving it a weird proportion. It kinda feels like a microscopic lens attached to my camera.
The Super Macro is average-size, measuring at 62 x 60mm with the weird tiny dick-like head, and weighs a mere 230gm. As light as it is, it feels solid and weighty during use, but not heavy enough to tires you out.
Inside the lens, there are 6 elements in 4 groups which apparently does nothing except to magnify the magnification – although Mitakon claimed this optic arrangement is to provide edge to edge sharpness, I will say, this is utter nonsense. This manual Super Macro has a “fine-adjusting” of aperture from F2 to F16 and the focusing is also very fine and sensitive. Having said that, if you have shaky hands, you can forget about shooting anything decent with this lens unless you have a focusing rail and tripod. (I even added a LED light to help out with the exposure).
The Super Macro has a minimum focusing distance of 0.8 inch (about 2cm) – this means it will be challenging if you are attempting to use this lens to shoot anything that moves – yes, this lens is not friendly for your little insect friends unless they are dead. And the Super Macro does not have an infinity focus so basically this lens is only good for anything that is near and requires a super magnification. While this Super Macro offers a 4X to 4.5X magnification, trust me, more is less, it makes everything super near and the slightest wind or movement will guarantee you a blur image.
And so, before I fucked up the review, I invited Uncle Koh to join me for this review. Let’s check out the images. I had combined images of how close each of the review shots were done.
The lens/camera are mounted on a focusing rail and on a tripod. It is simply impossible to handheld this lens and shoot. Additional lights are useful giving the images an added constrast/ shadows – and since the depth of field is damn shallow, you need to to focus stack. However for this review, I simply fuck care and shot as it is. Because whatever I am getting right out of the camera will be the same if you buy this lens so I will rather show what you will be getting.
I never enjoyed this lens throughout the review. I find it terribly hard to use this lens and a lot of patience is required. If you do not have patience, I will suggest NOT getting this lens – as it will drive you crazy starting from your first shot. However, this Super Macro may be a great “in house” lens – where you shoot little stuffs around & inside your house, with little wind movement and probably with a large LED light panel.
Well, I won’t say this Super Macro is completely useless, but you have to learn & understand this lens before you bring this out to the field. The 20mm (30mm) wide angle with a 4.5X magnification may sounds interesting, but using it for anything practical is far from easy. Not forgetting that this is a manual-focus lens and it simple makes everything much harder. Buying this Mitakon Super Macro is cheap, but you may end up having to buy 2 x focusing rail, a solid tripod and additional LED lights etc which may adds up to a lot. Now think twice if you want to buy this lens.
Here’s a parting shot from us.
Buying this Lens
If you are feeling adventurous & curious about this Mitakon Zhongyi 20mm f/2 4.5x Super Macro and needed to burn some money, then you go ahead & buy this lens. But I am sure our accredited merchants will rather not sell this lens!
Renting this Camera/Lens – (Please check for availability first. CRC sometimes do not carry nonsense gear like this lens)
For those of you who wish to try out this lens before purchase, we are pleased to share that this camera & lens is probably NOT available for rental at our appointed rental merchant:
Camera Rental Centre is Conveniently Located at:
50 South Bridge Road, CMO Building, (very near to Clarke Quay MRT)
#02-18. Singapore 058682
Reviewer: Chief Editor AL Lee
Chief Editor & Founder of Ourshutterjourney.com Worldwide and Principal Trainer at Ourshutterjourney Photography Academy. AL is a commercial photographer as well as an educator who believes in the art of digital memories. An ambassador of several photography brands, AL is well versed in many camera systems. Someone once told us AL’s man cave looks more like a camera store than a bedroom.
Guest Reviewer: Koh Lye Huat aka OldKingKoh
Senior Group Member & Outing Trainer of Ourshutterjourney.com – Koh Lye Huat is known to many photographers as “Uncle Koh” or “OldKingKoh”. He loves shooting flowers, macro and street photography especially at heritage area of interests. If you are a photographer in Singapore do not know who is Uncle Koh, you need to know this legend. Follow Uncle Koh at https://oldkingkoh.blogspot.com/