“Recreate what your eyes see. Kamlan 28mm F/1.4 Prime Lens delivers superior optical quality along with super low chromatic aberration…
… Normal lenses are valued because they provide a natural angle of view that is similar to what the human eye sees. The images they produce are very relatable and engaging because they feel like scenes people have seen. The focal length is extremely versatile for a wide range of applications – from landscapes to portraits to street photography. In recent years, many people have thought of the 50mm focal length (on full frame) as“normal”, but in times past a normal lens was actually closer to 40mm. The Kamlan 28mm f/1.4 offers a great “normal” focal length and a large maximum aperture at a bargain price…. “
A new Chinese maker of affordable premium-quality manual-focus lenses has entered the scene with Shenzhen-based Machang Optical Co.’s KamLan brand launching a Kickstarter campaign for its Kamlan 28mm F/1.4 Standard Prime for mirrorless cameras in the APS-C and Micro Four Thirds sensor formats in Canon’s EOS-M mount, Fujifilm’s X-mount, M43-mount and Sony’s E-mount.
Until independent makers of affordable optics such as 7 Artisans, Cosina’s Voigtlaender brand, DZ Optics’ Kerlee brand, HandeVision’s Ibelux brand, Irix, Kowa’s Prominar range, Lomography, Meyer Optik Görlitz, Rokinon, Sigma, SLR Magic, Venus Optics’s Laowa brand, Veydra, Yongnuo, Zhong Yi Optic’s Mitakon brand and Zonlai started becoming better known outside their home countries, with some releasing dedicated premium APS-C manual-focussing lenses, the APS-C format had received little to no lens maker love compared to the 35mm sensor format aka “full frame” or “full format”.
I am interested in Kamlan’s 28mm f/1.4 APS-C offering due to its equivalence to 40mm in the 35mm sensor format, often described as the “perfect normal” or “perfect standard” focal length.
The desire for non-35mm-sensor-format “perfect normal” lenses has most often been met with slower pancake-style lenses such as Fujifilm’s Fujinon XF 27mm f/2.8 in APS-C and Panasonic’s Lumix G 20mm f/1.7 II Aspheric in M43.
Fujifilm Fujinon XF 27mm f/2.8 and Panasonic Lumix G 20mm f/1.7 II pancake lenses, equivalent to 40mm
Both lenses appear to be intended for compact camera users relying on autofocus as they lack manual focus rings and their size makes them unsuited for attaching the step-up rings and 77mm or 82mm fixed or variable neutral density filters required for professional video production.
Until the KamLan 28mm f/1.4 APS-C Standard prime, small size seems to have been a common theme with 40mm equivalent lenses starting off with the legendary though short-lived Leica Summicron-C 40mm f/2.0 released for the Leica CL compact 35mm analog camera.
Minolta later released its own version, the Minolta M-Rokkor 40mm f/2.0, to go with the Minolta CLE camera which carried on and evolved well beyond the Leica CL’s achievements.
Machang Optics’ KamLan APS-C lens range appears to be taking a very different approach, one more suited for precise manual focussing and thus video production, with a range of current and coming wide aperture manual-focus prime lenses including the 15mm f/1.8, 21mm f/1.8, 28mm f/1.4, 32mm f/1.3 and 50mm f/1.1 Mark 2.
If they prove to be well-matched in terms of colour and optical correction the KamLan lenses may well make for a good set of video lenses for Fujifilm camera users.
In their 35mm sensor equivalents, these lenses will be 22.5mm, 31.5mm, 42mm, 48mm and 75mm, a fine set of focal lengths suitable for feature and high-end documentary cinematography.
When Fujifilm made it clear they were about to take video seriously, I wondered if they would be upgrading their current offerings for video capability and adding new focal lengths to fill in the focal length gaps.
If that does not happen, then Machang Optics’ KamLan APS-C lens range may provide a great alternative.
Will the folks at Machang Optical Co. be issuing a boxed set, as it were, of these five lenses in future?
Will Machang Optical Co. be offering a ciné version of all these lenses, with clickless aperture ring, geared for use with follow-focus devices and with 77mm or preferably 82mm step-up rings attached for use with fixed or variable neutral density filters?
Will they come out with a 10.5mm lens so that Micro Four Thirds users can have a six-lens set that includes a 21mm equivalent, an essential super-wide establishing-shot focal length, and so APS-C users can have a 15.75mm equivalent lens?
- Facebook – KamLan Lens
- Kickstarter – Kamlan 28mm F/1.4 Standard Prime Lens for Mirrorless Cameras – Machang Optical Co., Ltd aka Machang Optics
- The Beat – Favorite Focal Lengths of Famous Directors – 40mm lens users include Quentin Tarantino, Roman Polanski, Wes Anderson and Francis Ford Coppola.
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- Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM Lens – B&H
- Fujifilm XF 27mm f/2.8 Lens – B&H
- Handevision Iberit – B&H
- Kowa Prominar MFT lenses – B&H
- Lomography lenses – B&H
- Meyer-Optik Gorlitz – B&H
- Mitakon Zhongyi lenses – B&H
- Panasonic Lumix G 20mm f/1.7 II ASPH. Lens – B&H
- Rokinon lenses – B&H
- SLR Magic lenses – B&H
- Veydra 19mm T2.2 Mini Prime Lens – B&H – APS-C cinema prime with 38mm equivalence, currently available in feet or meters scales for Sony E-Mount, apparently also produced in Fujifilm X-Mount according to a hint at the Veydra website.
- Veydra Mini Prime 6 Lens Master Lens Kit with 6 Lens Case (MFT Mount, Feet) – B&H – includes 16mm and 32mm focal lengths, either side of the 20mm ideal of 40mm equivalence.
- Veydra Mini Prime 6 Lens Master Lens Kit with 6 Lens Case (MFT Mount, Meters) – B&H – see above.
- Voigtlander Nokton 40mm f/1.2 Aspherical Lens for Leica M-Mount – B&H
- Voigtlander Nokton 40mm f/1.2 Aspherical Lens for Sony E-Mount – B&H
- Voigtlander Nokton Classic 40mm f/1.4 MC Lens for Leica M-Mount – B&H
- Voigtlander Nokton Classic 40mm f/1.4 SC Lens for Leica M-Mount – B&H
- Voigtlander Ultron 40mm f/2 SL IIS Aspherical Lens for Nikon F-Mount – B&H
- Yongnuo YN 40mm f/2.8N Lens for Nikon F – B&H