So I just got myself the popular Fujifilm XF35mm f2. Y'all know it, you've YouTube'd the hell out of it, and read everything you can provided it’s not a shady site (unlike this of course). But before having the privilege of that lens, I was using the Meike 35mm f1.7. Manual focus, cheap (I wanted to say inexpensive but let's be real), and not as sharp. Well, I'm sure those old vintage lenses aren't perfect as well, so this can't be that bad right?
A lot of people don't really like this lens, but a handful of people also do. I hated it at first as well. I didn't know how sharp or how bad it should be and early on I never got sharp images, so I thought that was it in terms of usability. Then again, I started with it always shooting at f1.7, which is probably its worst f-stop.
The Meike 35mm f1.7 just got its own vibe though, so I stuck with it. It will give you something different, not worse, than the official X lenses. A plus on this lens too is the not-very-accurate depth of field scale. Not perfect, but usable and way better than zone-focusing digitally. I finally got why people are disappointed with focus-by-wire lenses. It's also more compact than the xf35mm f2. The lens flare I could live with as well. If you find your sweet spot, it’s basically point and shoot. I shoot mine mostly at f8 with the focus just between 10ft and 8m. Once you find that sweet spot, you're good, and you will learn to love it.
If you have the Fujifilm X Series camera too, using Acros on this is just heaven. I almost want it to have scratches like I used to have using those old Colplan black and white film (Yes, Colplan is the goal!).
I hope each Meike35mm is unique. Like there's a different characteristic or sweet spot for each lens; kinda like how 2 guitars could have a different magic to it even though they're the same model. For me though, I think I got a keeper.
Overall, now that I have the Fujifilm XF35mm f2, I don't think I'll miss the Meike 35mm. That's because this lens still has a place in the bag and will see its use. It’s still the best lens for those days you just feel like shooting JPG. Highly recommended, 5 stars, must-buy and all that jazz. Bye!