I first learned about KIPON through their adapters. At the time I was beginning to shoot a lot of mirrorless systems and particularly the FUJFILM GFX50 Medium Format system. Quickly after buying the native 63mm Fuji Glass the other thing I was dying to try out was adapt lenses. Luckly KIPON had that area well covered as they pretty much support every combination you can think of. Their adapters are impeccably made and machined to the strictest tolerances.
After researching KIPON's Baveyes Focal Reducer for adapting my Pentax 67 Lenses to my GFX I was able to strike up a conversation with KIPON owner Xiaoming. He was extremely helpful and kind and even took a look at my work. After talking a bit more he asked me if I would like to take his IBERIT lens line up for a spin. Knowing what kind of quality and attention to detail he puts into his adapters I knew I was in for a treat. I had two months to shoot the FUJI X Mount IBERIT lenses from HandeVision.
Now I'm not going to tell you that I am a numbers or charts kind of guy. I've never taking a picture of a Resolution chart and WOWed my potential clients. I create images to invoke a feeling within the viewers eye. I don't care if I use a $5600 Nikon 200mm f/2 or a $45 Minolta 45mm f/2 I scored on eBay. They are all tools and I use what I can to get the job done. Now that you understand where I'm coming from I think you'll have a better idea of how I subjectively look at gear.
Now for the numbers crowed I took the liberty of copying some specs from the HandeVision Website which can be seen here. As you can see there, the whole story is explained on how these lenses came to be as well as the various systems they can be mounted to.
I returned home one day and the package from KIPON USA is sitting on the table. I slice that sucker open and I see all the black boxes with the red KIPON lettering. Delivered to me was the 24mm, 35mm, 50mm, 75mm and 90mm. Every lens they have in this IBERIT line up has an aperture of f/2.4 to f/16. They are MANUAL FOCUS lenses only. They come in matte black and matte silver.
Upon first glance a few things really stood out. First of all the lenses are of an all metal construction. Focusing is nicely dampened with a solid stop at each extreme. The lettering and focus scale is beautifully engraved with a nicely finished paint fill. The design is very similar to that found on a Leica lens. The aperture ring has a solid feel with a subtle audible click at each F-stop. Thats right, solid aperture clicks. Each lens has a solid metal lens cap which is screwed and unscrewed on. While I do like this design and can see its limitations with the way some people like to shoot. Each lens has a solid metal lens hood in a petal style. Again beautifully machined with the lens MM designation on the ring.
Now to address the elephant in the room.....the widest aperture of f/2.4. I would of loved to see at least an f/2 but at least its not a 2.8. While f/2.4 is not extremely fast I feel with the direction that where on in regards of sensor technology f/2.4 can certainly be fast enough in allowing the camera to keep some lower ISO readings. If you have to push it a bit most systems on todays market can handle up to ISO 6400 fairly nicely. However again we are talking about prime lenses not zooms. An f/2 would of been a nice compromise.
A benefit to the f/2.4 though would be an easier time manual focusing such a shallow depth of field and it will also enable the lenses to be smaller over all. Speaking of small, the 35mm seen above is the smallest out of the line up and it also happened to be my favorite during the time I spent with these lenses. In my opinion it not only performed beautifully on the Fuji XPro 2 but looked stunning as well. Dare I say ........Leica???? Any competent photographer will know how to work the lens and its aperture to get the most out of it.
Now if your looking for a faster lens from HandeVision then its gonna cost ya a bit more. The offer their IBELUX 40mm f/.85. Now I haven't been able to shoot this lens just yet but I'm getting word I may have that opportunity sooner then later. This would be a direct competitor to the Mitakon 35mm f.95 which has gained an almost cult following and for good reason.
Now the reason you have most likely shown up at my blog post was not to hear me ramble on about lenses but to see examples. So.....I won't keep you from them. I'll go lens by lens and post examples. All the images you see where made with either the Fuji XT2 or Fuji XPro2.
The IBERIT 24mm. Very Sharp and with a really nice close focus ability which can be seen on some of the watch photographs. One of my favorites.
The IBERIT 35mm. Easily my favorite out of the group. Small and compact and looks amazing on your XPro series bodies.
The IBERIT 50mm. This is where I would of liked to see an F/2. We are starting to get into portrait territory and for portrait work I love an f/2 or shallower. I'm looking for fall off from the eyes back towards the ears and I'm just not getting it here. Also because I'm shooting a crop sensor I'm effectively a 75mm f/3.4. I found the focal length odd for me.
The IBERIT 75mm. I had fun with this lens and I found the bokeh pleasing.
The IBERIT 90mm. A fun focal length on a crop sensor and isolates the subject rather well. I found the bokeh to be a bit busy for my taste. Another rather unfortunate trait of the 90mm which I did not see in the other lenses was the appearance of chromatic aberration. Rather strong too. Now I understand this can be corrected in post however it adds another step and if the CA is too strong, trying to fix it in post will leave you with a grey outline in place of the purple fringe.. Your trading one problem for another.
The dreaded CA as shown in these 2:1 crops of unedited images. As you can see the purple fringe in the high contrast areas of the helmet, lettering and metal handle bars. The bokeh in the back ground also seems to be exhibiting what looks to be lateral chromatic aberration.
Overall I was pleased with the line up from HandeVision especially at the wider end of the spectrum. I thought they were pleasantly sharp throughout the range and offered some close focus ability. I was pleased with the size and build quality especially the 35mm. Again as I said before and even f/2 would of been nice especially at the telephoto lengths. The f/2.4 is not so concerning with the wide angle lengths mostly because when shooting wider lenses a narrower DOF is the norm. Especially when your subject matter is landscapes or street photography. The same goes for manual focus lenses. Right off the bat that will turn some potential buyers away but for most that truly know what their looking for manual focus will not be an issue. The telephoto range ( 50mm, 75mm, 90mm ) offer relatively decent subject isolation for having a maximum f/2.4 aperture however I was disappointed with the 90mm for the reasons discussed above.
A quick search for the lenses at your major retailers like B&H Photo or Amazon will offer you all the focal lengths and appropriate mounts for your camera.