Review: Meike 85mm f/1.8 STM full-frame mirrorless lens for Nikon Z-mount

Review: Meike 85mm f/1.8 STM full-frame mirrorless lens for Nikon Z-mount ($199) by John Hall:

I have several Meike lenses and I like them. They are inexpensive and are made with excellent quality. My first Meike lens was an 85mm f2.8 Macro 1.5:1 that is F mount and manual focus. I have really liked that lens and hoped this one would give me the same results but with Z mount. I still shoot some F mount but have mostly migrated to Z mount. This 85mm is appealing on several fronts. It is full frame. It is auto focus. It is affordable. I expected it to work well based on my experience with my other Meike lenses.

When the package was dropped off I noticed that the lens is well padded with foam inside the box. You get a lens hood and two caps. The front cap is one of the pinch mount ones, not the cookie cutter cylinder you get with some lenses, and the rear cap is twist on, not slip on. The build quality is great as with all the Meike lenses I have seen. F1.8 is nice and fat, and the lens is surprising light for its size. There is a nice large focus ring near the front and a switch for AF/MF. You can turn the focus ring when it is in AF if you need to fine tune. When I mounted it on the camera it was smooth, a good fit. FWIW it looks good on the camera.

My dog was lying in the shadow under a table so I took a shot, and that nice f1.8 gave me enough light for a good shutter speed. I took a few shots through a window, testing autofocus. You can hear the motor, it’s not silent, just quiet. It focuses fairly fast and seems to be reliable. You can also hear the diaphragm moving, a faint clicking sound. There was no issue with focus or aperture.

One of my favorite types of photography is macro and I couldn’t wait to see what this lens would do. First I mounted a 2.5X diopter on the filter threads and found that I could focus about 5″ from the front element. I went spider hunting and got some nice shots. Next, I mounted some extension tubes totaling 58mm and got good results. Finally, I mounted the tubes and the diopter, and the focus point dropped to about 2″ from the lens. I am delighted to see that yes, this lens will macro! Without extension tubes or diopters, the minimum focus distance is 850mm. I can focus on my toes 🙂

This lens is sharp in the middle with some blurring toward the edges. There is no apparent vignette. The bokeh is what you would expect from a nice fat f1.8, with a very controllable depth of field.

I did not do technical tests. I have used the lens for a few days and I like it. I use a Z 50 which is APS-C. The sample images were all shot on Z 50. The macro images used a 2.5X diopter or extension rings for closer focus. The other images were shot with the lens as it comes out of the box. You can see the sharpness and the bokeh. I like the extra reach from the crop factor. This lens is full frame and should work on any Z-mount camera. I didn’t have a model handy but from shots of my dog and various other things I can see that this lens would be a good portrait lens on full frame.

My conclusion is that this is a great lens for the price. I got mine from the Meike store at Amazon for less than $200.

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Previous coverage the Meike 85mm f/1.8 STM full-frame autofocus lens for Nikon Z-mount can be found here:

Meike 85mm f/1.8 full-frame autofocus STM lens for Nikon Z-mount review

Meike announces a new 85mm f/1.8 full-frame autofocus STM lens for Nikon Z-mount for $200

Meike also has an 85mm f/1.4 STM full-frame mirrorless lens for Nikon Z-mount:

Meike announced a new 85mm f/1.4 STM full-frame mirrorless lens for Nikon Z-mount

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