Brightin Star 50mm F0.95 Image Gallery
November 21st, 2021
Over the past few years, it has become increasingly common for what I call “Boutique Third Party” brands (small lens startups) to deliver some really interesting budget lenses. Many of the early lenses were designed for the smaller APS-C sensor, but recently I’ve seen more of them tackle the more challenging full frame image circle. That’s the case here, where lens company Brightin Star has released the Brightin Star 50mm F0.95 lens for Canon RF (reviewed here), Fuji X-mount, Nikon Z mount, Sony FE mount, and Sigma L mount. The Brightin Star 50mm F0.95 has a massive maximum aperture (a lot of glass in there!) and costs under $400. It is (like similar lenses) a manual everything lens, with a manual focus and aperture ring and no electronic contacts. This makes it easy for the company to sell for a variety of lens mounts, and the features of modern cameras help make up for the limitations and deficiencies of lenses like these. The lens metered well on my Canon EOS R5 which I used for this test, I was able to program the IBIS (In Body Image Stabilization) for the proper focal length so that I received stabilization for my shots, and the ability to use focus overlays and magnify the image in the viewfinder allowed me to get accurate focus results even the extremely shallow depth of field that a lens with a maximum aperture of F0.95 produces.
There are always huge challenges when engineering extreme lenses (and any lens with a maximum aperture of F0.95 qualifies as extreme). The lens is often fairly large and heavy due to the large and heavy glass elements inside. Contrast near that maximum aperture is typically somewhat poor, and such a lens is often flare prone due to so much glass. The Brightin Star 50mm F0.95 suffers from some of those shortcomings, to be sure, though there are also some huge redeeming qualities. There is something very special about the rendering from large aperture glass which makes images more than the sum of their technical parts. Being able to produce incredibly shallow depth of field shots like this is that draws people in!
Anytime you use a “manual everything” lens, you do for one of two primary reasons. One is if you can’t afford the equivalent autofocus lens, which typically will cost a LOT more. But the second reason that some of us will use manual focus lenses is for the love of the organic process of shooting slowly, more deliberately, and with a lot of thought into the art of making images.
The last lens with a massive maximum aperture like this that I tested was the Laowa 35mm F0.95 Argus lens; another extreme instrument. There are definitely some similarities, though the Laowa is the more expensive lens and has a few more premium features. That lens was clearly not for everyone, and neither is this 50mm F0.95, though the price point of about $390 USD makes this a far more accessible choice. But is the right choice for you? You can watch my definitive review or read the text review to get my conclusions…or just enjoy the photos below.
Thanks to Brightin Star for sending me this lens for review. As always, this is a completely independent review. *The tests and the photos shown in this review have been taken on my 45 MP Canon EOS R5.
Images of the Brightin Star 50mm F0.95
Image from the Brightin Star 50mm F0.95
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