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Zhongyi releases the Speedmaster 20mm f/0.95mm ASP-C

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Mitakon Zhongyi optics (ZY optics) just revealed the Chuichi Kogaku Speedmaster 20mm f/0.95mm—the fastest 20mm lens for APS-C (¥63,460). It’s a manual focus lens for Canon, Nikon, Fujifilm, and Sony mirrorless cameras. But here’s the thing: the lens isn’t new. Well, it sort of isn’t.

The fastest 20mm APSC lens on the Market

The Chuichi’s aperture is f/0.95, which is ridiculously fast, especially for a lens of 20mm. Mitakon offers this lens for APS C. Voigtlander may offer wider f/0.95 lens for MFT but APS C is different. Crop sensors are larger and the larger the sensor the harder it is for a lens to be fast and wide. The closest lens Voigtlander has to APS-C may be the Voigtlander Nokton 23mm f/1.2.

The Speedmaster 20mm f/0.95 is the fastest, except…

The thing is, this new lens isn’t actually “new”. Last year, Mitakon released a set of three Zhongyi  Speedmaster Cine t/1.0 lenses for APS-C ($1,299). Notably, the Speedmaster Cine (20mm t/1.0) ($499It is a bit similar to the new Chuichi f/0.95 20mm lens.

The Chuichi Speedmaster Cine uses the same 13 element optical design, with 8 groups: Aspherical lensOne extra-low-dispersion lens (ED) and four ultra high-refractive index optics. Mitakon claims its design minimizes flares and aberrations as well as barrel distortion.

Both lenses have the exact same design and share the same focus distance minimum of 0.3 meters. The housing of the lenses is the only difference between the two lenses. The housing of the Speedmaster Cine reflects its design as a cinematic lens. The Chuichi lens, on the contrary, is designed more like a traditional Mitakon.

Why then is Mitakon rereleasing this same lens? The reason hides in the name -Chuichi Kogaku, or 中一光学 in Japanese. Kogaku (光学) translates to optics, so you can read Chuichi Kogaku as Chuichi optics. 中一 is more interesting. The meaning and pronunciation of 中一 are different between Japanese and Chinese, so while in Japanese you get Chuichi, In Chinese 中一 is pronounced Zhongyi. Chuichi Kogaku, on the other hand, is a Japanese translation for Zhongyi Optics.

Mitakon repurposes the lens design to a product with a Japanese-named name to better position them in the Japanese marketplace.

Chuichi Kogaku Speedmaster 20mm f/0.95 samples

Price and availability

Amazon Japan currently offers the Chuichi for only ¥63,460. If you want a super-fast lens like this, but prefer cine housing the Speedmaster Cine (20mm t/1.0) is still available. $499 at B&H.


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