In this article, I will be reviewing the Meike 12mm T2.3 MFT Cine Lens. It is a very exciting gadget that I have placed in my black pocket camera that can capture footage from 1080p to 4k.
The Meike 12mm T2.2 MFT cine lens is suitable for high-resolution cine cameras. The cine lens has focus and aperture markings on both sides of the body in feet and inches. Its cine prime effect makes it a must-keep handy gear for all filmmakers.
The Meike 12mm is a fully compact lens which is truly a blessing if you’re using it on a gimbal.
- The 12mm cine lens has a wide view angle of 92 degrees, great for landscape videography
- With a wide aperture of T2.2, the lens allows you to create shallow depth of view videos
- The lens structure is 10 groups 14 elements, makes the lens capable of producing sharp image and videos with low distortion
Last update on 2023-03-28 | *Contains Affiliate links | *Images sourced from from Amazon
|Filter Thread Size||77mm|
|Angle of view||92°|
|Minimum Focus||25 cm|
|Optical design||15 elements in 10 groups|
|Outer Diameter||80 mm|
Build Quality and Design
With the cinema lens at this price point, we usually expect something plasticky or cheap but the first thing we notice about the Meike 12mm lens is how well-made they are. It comes with the standard caps with a rear micro four-thirds cap and on the front is a step on the cap.
Its weight is 606 grams and its body is designed fully of metal.
If I were to use just one word to describe its beautiful body, I would say “Solid”.
Its focus ring and aperture are both geared for cinema use and are silky smooth. The focus marks are in meters and feet and they are perfect if you are a single operator, or if you are using an assistant camera.
It has a very long throw, which might be off-putting for some people who come from using DSLRs, but this is what makes the Meike 12mm T2 perfect for videos and cinema use.
Another very nice feature of the design is the built-in lens hood which is very useful when you change the lenses quickly and avoids contamination of the lens by hand fingerprints. This cannot even happen accidentally because the hood is there for protection.
The filter thread on the lens is 77m which means if you aren’t using a matte box, there are plenty of filter options available for you.
Since the Meike is a modern lens with modern coatings, this gives a very clean and clear image. If you’re someone who comes from using vintage glasses, then this lens will give you way cleaner looks than you’re used to seeing.
The cool thing is, that you can always add a little bit of character to the lens with a little bit of grading. If you want to see it for yourself, like me, do side-by-side testing and the results will be there right in front of you.
The Meike gives a very clean and crisp modern-day image.
Another compelling reason for switching to the Meike 12mm is the price point. Even if you decide to buy two sets (12mm and 25mm) of the series, they will cost you $800 which is the same price as the Sigma 18 to 35, which I believe is pretty cheap when it comes to cinematic lenses.
The Meike 12mm alone is for $399.99 only.
Price plays a huge role in opting for a lens because if you don’t get what you desire at a high price, then there’s no point wasting money on it.
Shallow Depth of Field
The Meike cine lens has an amazing shallow depth of field which is usually hard to achieve with cinematic lenses that have micro four-thirds systems.
Moreover, the Meike lens gives brilliant separations too. This works well in cinematic filming because honestly, you don’t need to blur out everything in the background.
The Native MFT Mount
One of the many things that I adore about the Meike 12mm T2 is its Micro four-thirds mount. You have to force the speakers to work with an adapter in the lenses that do not have the native MFT mounts.
Once you’re not forcing things in the native mounts, it feels a lot sturdier and more secure on the camera than when you’re using an adapter. This thing helps a lot when you mainly use a manual focus. When you shift the focus on a lens that shakes, umm the result gets unimpressive.
You don’t feel confident using the lens and it feels like the lens mount is hitting the camera mount every time you shift the focus, so native MFT all the way!
Close Focusing, Focus Breathing, And Sharpness
In terms of close focusing, you can place the lens about 25 cm back from the subject for a non-blurred close-up view which means we can take wide-angle shots a lot quicker and more efficiently with a sharp focus.
Also, the images will not look funky, UNLESS you put something right in front of the camera.
Moreover, there’s rarely going to be a time when you will have to take off the lens on a busy shoot day. It is just like, you place the lens in its place and you’re good to go.
Focus breathing is very well controlled and the transitions between the focus are the most attractive that I have seen but smooth and clean as well.
The sharpness in the 12 mm is not typical of any other 12 mm lens. In a test run If we get far away from an object that the field of depth is not a factor then the sharpness is not the error of shot but that inherited by the lens and a very minor loss of detail is observed.
Exposure, Aperture, And Bokeh
Meike’s 12 mm and 16 mm lenses expose the same amount of light at a certain aperture setting but the 25 mm lens is slightly brighter, approx 4% brighter.
The aperture is weighted towards the top end of the scale from the point T2 to T 5.6 where it is used most of the time because here the resolution is great with the lens being sharp. While at T8 and T22 the resolution slightly decreases.
Even when you drop down the aperture, it gets a tiny bit softer and there’s a little bit of drop-off in resolution, but it does not look terrible. However, this would want to make you stick to this scale wherever possible. If you go lower than that, the lens will lose the charm.
Once you drop down to T2.8, there is a noticeable increase in the sharpness.
The dampening of the aperture ring is fantastic, so if you want to make a shift in the IRIS while you’re shooting, the transition will be smooth and clean.
Also, the Bokeh effect which is circular is also an outstanding feature of the Meike lens. It is smooth and clean. Since it is 12mm you cannot expect it to be a Bokeh monster. However, if you place a person or an object close to the lens, you can pull some great Bokeh shots.
Once you open the lens full wide, you will notice some smearing towards the edge of the frame in unfocused areas, BUT this becomes noticeably less as you stop the lens down.
Even when the smearing is present, this doesn’t look unattractive at all and gives the lens some much-needed character.
Distortion, Chromatic Aberration, And Vignetting
This rectilinear lens has minimal distortion due to its multilayer coating but whatever distortion appears is 3 barrel percent and is exceptionally well controlled. When tests are carried out in real-world scenarios the distortion is very less which normally no one would bother to correct.
But in the case of an architectural shot, it can be corrected without losing anything except for minor edges of the frame
This lens has amazingly impressive performance with respect to chromatic aberration even in the high contrast areas. If we go pixel peeping with the test results, then only we may find some chromatic aberration.
Haha, but you have to go looking for it. I’m telling you, there are a million reasons why I love this lens. It stands true to its worth.
Even in harsh backlight scenarios, the lens performs brilliantly well. There is no chromatic aberration in most of the situations even in high contrast areas. Again, if you go looking for it, you may find some.
At this price point, the barely noticeable chromatic aberration is just amazing and makes me want to film with it every time I go out.
Vignetting is very manageable in this lens with only a 7% difference from the center to the corner.
Flaring, High Refractive Index, And Brightness
The flaring in this modern-day lens is very well controlled as we would expect from any other modern-day, multi-coated lens. Blooming and light sources are minimal, but if a light source is aimed directly at the lens it creates a circular flare at the edge of the frame.
Some flares made on the vintage glasses are complex but they are more than attractive enough to be used creatively on the cameras for a cinematic effect.
In older glasses, the flare is often an unwanted by-product, but using the Meike, you will have to force the flares by directly pointing a light towards it.
The flare is more subtle and looks a lot nicer with a wide angle. There is an amount of aid in flare as we move down the frame, there is a different color cast in the flare which is not as exciting as that in the wide-angle shot.
This lens has a very high refractive index due to its multilayering; very little dispersion of light through the glass makes the results even more immaculate.
This lens is very fast and gives a remarkably bright and clean result in the nighttime when there is very low light.
Use and accessibility
One of the most compelling reasons to get this lens is that it is designed to work alongside Meike 16 and 25mm. It is not a one-off, rather it is part of the series of cinema lenses. It is often used for wide-angle shots. Its addition to the Meike collection makes it an even more significant gear.
This is a compact lens that is easier to maneuver when placed on the tripod, in comparison to bigger lenses.
- Its value for money makes for a pro lens that is available for under $400. The price makes it a formidable gear for indie filmmakers.
- Its manufacturing design deserves the praise it needs. The all-metal body construction brings solidity to the lens. The metallic design may not only provide protection and strength to the lens but it also is compact and easily transportable which supports the ease of use. This 12 mm is a very solid entry into Meike’s T2.2 lens.
- It has a nicely dampened focus and aperture with standard pitch gears. The filter diameter is 77 mm and has 270° horizontal and vertical focus ring rotation.
- Color rendering is very accurate in this lens along with its siblings possessing the same quality.
- A wide-angle view with very minimal geometric distortion or vignetting.
- The Center is tack sharp, even wide-angle, and has some very minor loss of details along the edges.
- The Meike is a 2.2 lens, but it gets better at 2.8. Even when you go out shooting in low-light situations, the image results are exceptionally fine.
- This lens is part of a series, so that eliminates it from being a one-off. Meike even has 16 and 25mm lenses so this can be used to shoot wide-angle shots.
- The image results are amazingly consistent.
- Soft corners but less than what is expected from most lenses this wide.
- There’s one limitation in the Meike 12mm T2 lens that it is designed for the Micro 4/3, so I’d advise you to not buy this one if you intend to update to a large format sensor or an EF mount camera soon.
- Finding focus with this lens is a bit difficult.
Meike’s 12 mm T2.2 MFT lens is a keeper. It captures some exquisite shots with sharpness and great light exposure. Dim light results are also key features of this lens due to its wide aperture focus distance the image results are all very attractive. It is a powerful lens and drains a battery of small black pocket cameras.
Meike’s 12 mm T2.2 lens is an accessory that is designed to gain cinematic experiences. This makes it the perfect choice to shoot upscale footage from 1080p to 4k resolution.
If you’re someone who is used to the micro four-thirds systems, and you want an amazing piece of glass at an EXTREMELY reasonable price point, then the Meike 12mm and the succeeding lenses are a beautiful choice.
They gave amazingly consistent image results and the functionality is fantastic. If you want to make your life easier, then a focus puller will make you enjoy this lens even more.