Lenses F0.95 for sensor APS-C there are very few on the market, Zhongyi Mitakon 35mm F0.95 mark II - the most compact and affordable with 2016 years. Another new lens recently came out called "Risespray" (and a few other brands).

I finally got my hands on a sample lens and am going to take it apart and see how it compares to Zhongyi Mitakon (because optically it is very similar to it).

Personally, I like that there are more interesting lens options from Chinese factories. It's also interesting to see how quickly they progress. I think that Zhongyi did a great job developing their series of lenses Mitakon Speedmaster F0.95 over the last 5 years, so it's not surprising that someone decided to reuse this experience and release an updated version.

Comparison of technical characteristics

Before I start disassembling, let's take a quick look at the comparison of the main specifications Mitakon и risespray .

Risespray 35mm F0,95 Mitakon 35mm F0.95 MkII
Weight 365 g 460 g
Aperture blades 12 (rounded) 9
Filter size 52 mm 55 mm
Optical formula 11 elements in 8 groups 11 elements in 8 groups

It is very interesting! This lens has a similar (or the same) optical design as the Mitacon, but weighs 95 g less. It is interesting to see what the Chinese engineers have done to achieve such a significant weight reduction.

Lens Disassembly - Rear

Traditionally, I will start by disassembling the rear region of the lens. Risespray 35mm F0.95 has three mounting bolts that must first be unscrewed.

Then you can lift the mounting ring - it is very thick, but made of a light metal alloy (compared to the stronger, but also heavier brass in the Mitakon mounting ring).

Good surprise! The rear glass element is not mounted inside the mount ring (like the Mitakon), but remains connected to the lens core. This is a significant difference in mechanical design.

There is a thin plastic focus adjustment shim.

We continue the disassembly and unscrew the four black bolts on the outer ring with the sign "35mm". WARNING: the bolts are quite tight, and in my copy of the lens, some of them have slightly damaged heads, they may have been assembled or reassembled with a not very precise screwdriver.

Having removed the black ring of the case, with a red marker I remember the position of the black frame holding the rear glass element. After that, I unscrew four more black bolts and disassemble further.

Now I have access to the next optical surface. Let's see how it moves when the lens is focused.

The lens block moves up/down while the removed metal frame is there to hold the rear glass element in place. This is exactly the same optical design as in Mitakon, but a completely different mechanical implementation. You can also see two holes in the sides of the metal frame - they serve to circulate air during the movement of the lens block, so the air remains inside.

Let's do a focus calibration.

Infinity Focus Calibration

I tested this Risespray 35mm F0.95 lens on a Fuji X-E2s camera, and the actual infinity focus appears right near the center of the infinity mark, then the focus can be rotated further, "flying over" infinity. I make shims out of aluminum plate. Unlike the Mitakon where you can calibrate the focus position with the outer focus ring bolts, with the Risespray adding focus shims under the mount ring is the only option.

It's easier to make three sections than a complex circle shape with holes. So I cut out a ring, then a circle, then three sections.

We put on shims over the factory spacer rings so that the screw seats remain open.

I assembled and checked the focus of the lens to infinity, now it is much closer to real infinity (and the lens can now focus closer), but later you will need to make another set of gaskets for more accurate focusing.

Lens Disassembly - Front

I add a rubberized focus ring to this lens to make the ring a bit wider and easier to grip (so I can easily tell it's not an aperture ring).

I then use blue Loctite to form a circle and attach it to the M42 extension rings.

It will serve as a special key to unscrew the front name plate. IMPORTANT: keep the front of the lens pointing up during this procedure because I think the front glass is not secured underneath.

Align the rings exactly in the center, then gently press down so that the Loctite adheres to the nameplate ring. Then carefully unscrew it counterclockwise. Yes, there doesn't seem to be anything keeping the front glass element from falling out, so keep the lens up all the time. I only tilt it to the side for better visibility in photos.

Unscrew the four black screws around the glass element and remove the front ring.

There is some grease and a thin plastic gasket, remove this ring.

Then remove the aperture ring. NOTE: There is a diaphragm drive brass bolt socket.

Then unscrew another set of four black screws holding the focus ring and remove it.

What is very interesting is that focusing is implemented in a completely different way in this lens. Mitakon uses a classic helicoid with guides. The Risespray 35mm F0.95 lens has a more difficult thread to manufacture, which is a very good solution. This explains why the Risespray has such precise manual focus without any backlash (I had focus backlash in all four Mitakon 35mm F0.95 MkII samples I've worked with before). Good job.

I don't plan on taking it apart. If it is necessary to lubricate the focusing mechanism, it is necessary to unscrew the two drive bolts.

Another look at the focusing mechanism at different distances.

I am assembling the back of the lens, which is a fairly simple process without any difficulty. Just make sure you set the correct orientation for each ring.

Conclusions

The engineers behind this lens have done a great job of completely redesigning the mechanics of the Mitakon 35mm F0.95 Speedmaster lens. I think they made a much better implementation of it. The lens is made of metal and has precision machined parts, they sit very tight without too much play, and the mechanisms work smoothly.

Personally, I like the mechanics of this lens more than the Mitacon, precisely because the focusing is smoother and without backlash. The aperture ring is also well machined and has no play. The 12 blade diaphragm is much better - its curved shape is another big change.

The weight of the 35mm F0,95 Risespray lens provides the best balance on smaller Fujis such as the X-T30 and X-E2s. With the Mitakon, I attached the thumb rest to the camera's hot shoe.

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