Experimental Optics lives up to their name and puts 50mm f/0.75 M-mount lens on Kickstarter


posted Monday, January 25, 2016 at 6:41 PM EDT


Experimental Optics has put the “fastest photographic lens in the world” up on Kickstarter.

Their project is to convert 50mm f/0.75 lenses that are manufactured by Dutch company De Oude Delft to M-mount lenses. Once affixed with an M-mount bayonet, the lens can be mounted to Leica M cameras (of course), but also to Sony, Fuji, Canon EF-M, Leica T, Leica SL, Samsung NX, or Micro Four Thirds mirrorless cameras via an adapter. According to the Kickstarter page, the lens covers beyond full-frame without vignetting.


According to Experimental Optics, the lens produces images that have less contrast than more modern lens designs, but it produces sharp images that have a characteristic appearance. With a large image area, out of focus highlights appear very round, even near the edge of the frame. This coverage and extremely fast aperture comes with some size, but not as much as you might expect. The 50mm f/0.75 is just under two and a half inches (61mm) long and a little over three inches (85mm) in diameter. 


If you don’t need full frame coverage, there is also a 42mm f/0.75 alternative that is only for micro four thirds. This lens is two inches (53mm) long with a diameter just shy of three inches (72mm).

Sample image showing the roundness of out of focus highlights.

Since you’d be buying this lens for optimal speed, it doesn’t have an aperture diaphragm. However, you can purchase optional f/1.2, f/1.4, f/1.8, and f/2.4 aperture blades and a filter holder for those times when you feel the need to stop the lens down. Also, there is no focusing mechanism in this lens. Focus can be achieved by using a mount adapter with a built-in helicoid. On most camera systems, you can focus between one and two meters, although a close-up lens kit is available as well that allows focusing to as close as a foot (30 centimeters).

100% crop of a sample image

There is a limited quantity of these lenses available because Experimental Optics has been able to secure only a small batch of these lenses to adapt to M-mount. For now, they’re actually sold out of the full-frame lenses, but the company is working on securing more raw lenses and there’ll be information on the Kickstarter page soon. The remaining Micro Four Thirds lens is available for a backing of about $1,895 USD. The full frame lenses were backed for $2,495 and $2,636 for “early bird” and regular backers respectively.

Sample image

For additional product and sample images, see Experimental Optics' Flickr page. 

(Seen via Sony Alpha Rumors