Meike 50mm F2.0 Review

Continuing with our recent trend of cheap Chinese lenses, I’d like to review another one: the Meike 50mm F2.0. For anyone that doesn’t know, Meike makes a lot of camera accessories but they also dabble in low budget lenses.

Some are absolutely terrible, and then some are pretty good, like this one. For less than $75, I decided to pick it up to pair with my Sony a6000. Read on below for the details.

Looking for just a quick summary before jumping in?

Meike 50mm F2.0 (Summary)
49 Reviews
Meike 50mm F2.0 (Summary)
- Respectable and consistent sharpness
- Small and compact
- Pleasant manual focus experience
- Excellent build quality
- Decent value for a portrait lens
Moody portrait of a woman.

Size & Weight: super duper tiny!

I love small kits, and the Meike 50mm F2.0 certainly fits that bill. Coming in at only 1.6 inches (4cm) in length, it can easily slide into a pocket or small bag. The weight, while still pretty light at 7.4oz (210g), is a bit heavier than I expected, and I credit that to the nice build quality.

Build Quality: solid!

Speaking of build quality, the lens is made pretty much entirely of sleek metal, and the text/numbers pop really nicely against it. Like most lenses from Meike, it’s really nice to see they didn’t cheap out on the aesthetics. With that being said, these cheaper lenses generally have questionable quality control, but my copy didn’t have any weird issues.

Image Quality & Sharpness: really good for the price.

Image quality can be really hit or miss with these cheap lenses, but the Meike 50mm F2.0 really stepped up and delivered some good results. Center sharpness is fairly good even wide open, but really shines at about F5.6. Corner sharpness, on the other hand, was absolutely atrocious wide open, but evened out and looked great when stopped down to F8.

Bokeh rendering is beautiful, with nice smooth bubbles and great subject isolation. Combining the pleasant bokeh with the excellent center sharpness, this lens really starts to shine when used for portraiture-type work.

Optical Quirks & Flaws

With any lens, however, there’s bound to be a few hiccups. I found some minor pincushion distortion which is mostly fixable in post. It’s noticeable but it never bothered me, as I tend to shoot with weird, cheap lenses most of the time anyway so I’m used to optical flaws. Vignetting is heavy wide open, but goes away as you approach F5.6. Both chromatic aberrations and flaring are handled extremely well, especially given the price point.

Portrait of a man in the street.

Focusing & Ergonomics: smooth, beginner friendly focus.

Next up is the focusing ring. The Meike 50mm F2.0 has nice ribbed grips and a perfect amount of resistance for smooth, precise manual focusing. In fact, I think this would be an excellent lens to learn on.

On that subject, for those new to manual focus, don’t be scared! It’s quite easy when you get the hang of it, and I’d encourage everyone (both new & experienced) to read our complete guide on manual focus for Sony cameras as it covers anything and everything related to both setting up and using manual focus.

As for the aperture ring, it’s clickless, but I found it has enough resistance to where you won’t accidentally bump it out of place too often. Oh, and as an additional note, to use this lens, you’ll need to enable the “release w/o lens” option in your camera. This is also detailed in our previously mentioned manual focus guide.

A lonely tree in a field.

My Final Thoughts

All in all, I was genuinely quite impressed with the Meike 50mm F2.0. Of course, it’s not going to compete with something five times more expensive, like the Sigma 56mm F1.4, but for the price I think it’s hard to find something else quite on this level. 

I think it’s a perfect cheap lens to pick up if you just want something for portraits. Excellent center sharpness, solid build quality, and a nice focusing ring all wrapped up in a tiny and cheap package. If you’re interested in checking it out yourself, I’ve included purchase links below. Thank you for reading! 🙂

Meike 50mm F2.0
49 Reviews
Meike 50mm F2.0
The Meike 50mm F2.0, although manual focus only, offers respectable sharpness along with a compact build.
b&h purchase button

This lens earned a spot on one of my best lens lists.

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