Since my DSLR era, I have had a soft spot for macro lenses. Not because I love to shoot insects or flowers, but because I love to use them for product shoots. Till today, I am still using a macro lens for most of the product shoots in this blog.
The Meike 60mm f2.8 was announced in early March 2023. In case one wonders, this is Hong Kong-based manufacturer’s first-ever attempt to build a manual macro lens. So how well it works? Let’s find out.
Before I proceed, I would like to thank Meike for sending me this lens for review. Like other posts, the review of this lens is based on my true opinion.
Design and Build Quality
This 300 grams lens is nicely built with quality. But the first thing I notice with the lens is the lens design. It is greatly inspired by the design of Canon RF-S lenses (maybe there are other manufacturers with similar designs too, please let me know as I would like to know it too, thanks in advance). The focus ring has a similar texture design to the one found in the RF-S aperture ring and I quite love the texture when I touch it with my fingertips. The rotating of the focus ring is smooth with little dampness/friction.
The next thing I would like to talk about is the aperture ring. This 90mm (in full frame equitant) has a smooth, clickless ring, and I believe videographers will love it. I am okay with it but I do miss the clicky experience. It gives me some sense of which aperture I am at now (after all, the lens does not have any electronic contact to provide the metadata to the camera body).
Oh yes, this 49mm filter-size lens feels great on hand.
When comes to macro lenses, I set my expectation a little higher than prime lenses. Typically, the results from the glass tend to produce much sharper, more contrasty, and more detailed images.
This lens does not disappoint me. Although the image quality level is slightly below the XF80mm and XF30mm, it still has very good sharpness and contrast at wide open. But I also notice that the sharpness isn’t that great at the extreme corners. In short, the image is totally usable.
Another surprise to me is that it has good chromatic aberration control but I do observe mild vignetting. At least there is one less thing to take care of in post-processing.
The background blur surprisingly renders quite well too. At least the fall-off between the subject and the foreground/background is comfortable to my eyes.
If there are some readers who wonder, the sunny star result is also a sharp one too.
Similar to Meike 35mm f0.95, it also has the problem of having off-focus results when I shoot at the infinity mark. So the right infinity shot is somewhere the infinity symbol is.
But there is something I observed for my test unit. If I shoot on a subject that is somewhere between 3 meters marking and infinity marking, I have a little hard time nailing the shot right. The focus on the subject is like either undershoot or overshoot. I have to rotate the focus ring really slowly to get it right. It could be my focus peaking issue or my technic is wrong.
Minimum Focus Distance (MOD)
At MOD of 17.5 cm, this lens delivers true 1:1 magnification. Having said that, it has various magnifications throughout its focusing distance.
Because there are various magnifications throughout its focusing distance, you might get the illusion that there is lens breathing or “zooming” going on.
At 190 USD, I think it is a very good price point for photographers who want to attempt to get an experience of what a macro lens can do but do not mind having to do with manual focusing. And of course, it is a lot cheaper than the autofocus macro lenses.
Something worth noting (but probably not for some readers): the lens is internal focusing, which means that the lens does not protrude or any movement when we rotate the focus ring back and forth.
Secondly, there is an obvious white balance change with the change in aperture value. This is similar to what I observed with the Meike 35mm f0.95. So again, it might be my camera setting. If you are shooting raw, then you have nothing much to worry about. You can always post-process it. If you are a Straight-Out-Of-Camera photographer, then you probably have to take note of it.
Who is this for?
As I mentioned earlier, I think the price of this lens is very well priced and it gives photographers a good chance to experience the macro lens and its macro capabilities.
But that does not mean that a macro lens is limited to only macro photography. I find the focal length is very suitable for street (depending on the kind of street photography you are in), portrait, product shoots, and possibly journalist photography.
Despite being the first macro lens from Meike, they have done a good job with this lens. To summarize my thoughts, the lens design is very modernized and beautiful. Besides that, the lens build quality and image quality is nothing to shout about.
One last thing that I like about it is its size and weight. It is practically able to carry around more easily than the XF80mm. After all, the Meike 60mm is much shorter and weighs much lighter than the XF80mm (750 grams).
All in all, I feel that this lens is a great attempt for Meike.
Thank you for reading.
1. All the shots taken here are shot by me.
2. Most of the shots are straight out of the camera with some shots edited via In-Camera Raw Processing and Capture One 2023.
3. The opinions are based on my experience. If there is any mistake, please kindly drop me a message and I will gladly make the amendment.
4. I reserve ownership of these images, if you wish to use my images, please notify me.
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