I tried this interesting new lens from Meike using a Nikon Z fc and a Z50.
It is an ultra-wide angle, and not a fisheye, therefore distortion-free and specially developed for mirrorless.
The packaging is in the company standard. Outwardly it is white and on the side we find the technical specifications that we will see later. The lens is placed inside an envelope between shaped polyethylene parts that block the lens. Meike fills the package with polyethylene scraps that protect the optics but which are not aesthetically appealing as a solution. Inside there is a soft fabric case, the international guarantee, a sachet of Silca gel and a cloth for cleaning the lens.
The lens is completely manual and contactless. It consists of 15 elements in 12 groups. 2 lenses are aspherical.
The maximum aperture is very good and starts at f / 2 to reach the minimum of f / 22.
The minimum distance, one of the things I liked least about this lens is 30cm, a fairly high value that does not allow you to shoot subjects very close, thus limiting the blur and bokeh of the background.
The diagonal angle of view is 107 °. 96 ° the horizontal and 72 ° the vertical.
The diameter of the filters is 77mm and also supports circular ones without vignetting. The lens is sturdy and very well built, of metal and glass. Even the caps (plastic) this time are well made and remain firmly in the optics. The front one is pressure-fit and has an internal velvet ring that makes insertion and removal precise and pleasant.
It is quite heavy but compact, the weight without caps on my scale is 556g.
Aesthetically it has a red ring in front of the focus ring. This is knurled with small diamonds and rotates around 45 ° very smoothly. The aperture ring is knurled in lines and does not have the click between the various aperture values. On the barrel is the depth of field scheme from f/2.0 to f/8. However, I believe that there is a lot of attention to be paid when following these schemes (of this one but also of many other lenses), which I think should be updated for digital, especially with the recent cameras with many megapixels because it is then easy to find that the infinity or the foreground is not so sharp.
One of the features that I find very interesting and useful in this type of lens is the very high depth of field which helps us to get “everything in focus” without great technical effort.
For example, I tried to work a full day in hyperfocal at f/11 leaving the focus at 1m to get sharp images from about 50 cm to infinity and not think about focus anymore.
Clearly, the maximum sharpness on a subject is always obtained by precisely focusing on it.
The lens left me really amazed by the optical performance, the sharpness is very high even at full aperture and reaches its maximum already at f/2.8. Diffraction is only visible at f/22. The resistance to flare, halos and backlight is very good even if still present in some angles. Many ultra-wide angle lenses from other brands suffer greatly from this problem.
For astrophotography it is excellent since coma and astigmatism are absent already at full aperture. Chromatic aberrations are very well controlled. It has a slight vignetting up to about f/5.6. The diaphragm is 10 blades and produces a nice star on the bright points especially from f/11 onwards.
Focus breathing is also very good, almost completely absent. This allows you to vary the focus from the minimum distance to infinity without changing the angle of view. Extremely useful for focus stacking and video. Optical distortions are very low, unlike many modern electronic lenses where they are corrected, often heavily, on-camera.
The lens is excellent for night, astronomical and low-light photography thanks to its high brightness, but it is also perfect for architecture, street and reportage. The maximum aperture down to f/22 also makes it useful for long exposures and maximizing depth of field.
The Meike 10mm is welcome in the world of Nikon with Z mount because currently in the APS-C market there are not many other alternatives other than choosing full frame lenses (which work without problems even on smaller sensors) but which generally have a higher cost.
The price is around € 440 on www.meikeglobal.com