Macro lenses can be complicated beasts, which often also translates into a high price tag, but Chinese company Zhongyi Optics just announced its Zhongyi Mitakon 20mm f/2 4.5X Super Macro Lens and it comes with a price tag of just $199.
The lens looks a bit odd, but its capable of magnification ratios up to 4.5:1. That means you can get closer than with typical macro lenses, which often max out at 1:1 and require extension tubes for going bigger. Basically, this lens will focus in such a way that the object in real life will look 4.5x bigger when its on the camera’s sensor. That’s what allows you to see so much detail.
If you need to get even closer than that, you can also use extension tubes to get up to a 13:1 magnification ratio, which is microscope territory.
Inside the lens you’ll find six elements in four groups, which helps it maintain a weight of just .5 lbs and a length of just 6 cm.
The lens comes in a whole pile of different mounts. Here’s the list from the press release: Canon EF, Nikon F, Sony FE, Sony Alpha, Pentax K, Sony E, Micro Four Thirds, Fuji X.
The 20mm focal length is rather wide for a macro lens with this kind of magnification, so I think I’d actually prefer to use this on something with a slightly smaller sensor to effectively give myself a little more room to work.
For $199, even if the image quality isn’t stunning, this thing seems like it could be a real blast to use. You can order it directly by clicking here.