The Handevision IBERIT 50mm f2.4 is a full frame mirrorless lens designed to function as a light weight and compact prime. The IBERIT is constructed with an aluminum barrel, a copper core and stainless steel components. Although the lens isn’t that fast, the 6 elements in 6 groups produces a very beautiful image with a ton of pop and a very classic style of rendering with a lot of great character.
Focal Length: 50mm equivalent to 75mm on APS-C cameras
Aperture Blade: 6-Blades
Aperture: f2.4 – f16 Half Stop Clicks
Elements: 6 Elements in 6 Groups
Minimum Focus Distance: – 2′ (ILC) – 2.3′ (Leica M)
Focus: Manual | 90 Degree Throw
CPU Contacts: No
Construction: All Metal
Filter Threads: 49mm
Pros – Light weight, overall good image quality, nice contrast and color, metal construction, nice character, good contrast, nice sun stars
Cons – CA wide open, noticeable vignetting in the corners on full frame cameras, some distortion
Pro or Con – quite a bit of flare
Handevision IBERIT 50mm f2.4 Review | First Impressions
Those who regularly read my blog probably already know that I’m a pretty big fan of the Handevision lenses. There is this cool quality you get from them that just does exist with so many most modern primes. If you lean into the flaws just a little bit you can produce some really interesting looks that add a lot of character to your photos. It’s another reason why I also like those 7Artisan lenses or retro M42 mount lenses. However, I’ve found these Kipon / Handevision lenses are usually are a bit more tame with overall better image quality than a lot of the cheaper third-party lenses out there.
Optical quality with the IBERIT 50mm is nice. I thought the IBERIT 75mm had some cool classic rendering, but the IBERIT 50mm is just as magical. There is something really special about it I can’t put my finger on, I think it’s coming from the great micro-contrast and foreground to background separation as you transition into the out of focus areas. There is an overall nice pop to the details that you don’t see very often from over-corrected lenses especially zooms.
However, since lens design is a battle of compromises and this nice classic rendering in a small package does come at a cost, which I’ll get into.
On full frame bodies like the Sony A7rIII, there is some corner vignetting when I mount my Leica M variant. I would be curious to see if the Sony E mount version has any issues or if the Leica Mount has issues with Leica cameras. The Leica mount versions of this lens does produce a greater minimum focus distance so there is likely a difference with the flange distance that could be resulting in that corner vignetting. My advice to anyone ordering Handevision lenses, order them in your cameras designated mount unless you want to adapt them to different APS-C cameras like I do.
Ordering the Leica Mount does future proof your lens from brand switching bodies, but they also cost a little bit more money.
One cool thing for Fujifilm shooters, if you buy the Fujifilm Leica M mount adapter, it includes a button that instantly takes you to your lens focal length settings, so you can quickly program your focal length for your meta data, or you can even program the camera to do some minor lens corrections.
There is some minor barrel distortion and some chromatic aberrations in high contrast situations when wide open.
Overall, it’s a pretty nice 50mm lens with a cool retro quality to the render, but there are a million 50mm lens out there to choose from, especially if you delve into m42 mount lenses or Leica M lenses by Voigtlander, Zeiss, and Leica.
The IBERIT 50mm is fairly compact for a 50mm and is pretty light weight, which is the primary reason why I always carry it with me.
For the price, you do get a pretty cool lens with an over all nice feel to the build, you’ll just have to look past some of the flaws when shooting wide open or learn to work around them.
Handevision 50mm f2.4 | Technical Overview
On the technical side, the Handevision 50mm f2.4 is all around just good, it is possible to find better, but you may lose out on some the artistic characteristics if that’s what you’re going for.
Pixel peepers will be happy to see decent performance in the corners and overall really nice sharpness. There are sharper lenses out there, even by Handevision, like the IBELUX 40mm f0.85 is sharper, but this IBERIT really is sharp enough for almost anything including landscape work.
The main technical flaws of this lens would be corner vignetting on full frame bodies, and chromatic aberrations when wide open with high contrast details.
IBERIT 50mm f2.4 | Build Quality
With my first copy of this lens there was some oil on the aperture blades. It would seem the IBERIT 50mm has a tendency to do this. My second copy, has been great for the last year, but after running around and abusing it in the hot summer heat of southern Japan, I again have oil on the aperture blades.
It would seem if you take this particular 50mm out into the heat or leave it baking in a backpack, you will cause thinning of some of the grease within the lens. Sometimes this can cause oil on the apertures or haze on the elements. Pretty standard for a lot manual prime lenses if you’re not careful with them.
Keep in mind I do try to abuse my lenses as much as possible so I can document how they fail so readers can know how to care for their lenses.
If you buy this lens, just make sure to exercise some common sense climate control. This means, don’t leave it baking in a backpack while you bike across southern Japan when it’s 95 degrees outside like I do. Also, don’t leave it baking in a hot car.
The good news is, oil on the aperture blades won’t affect anything with a manual lens. The only thing you’d have to worry about is if it were to leak out and get onto the glass, which I imagine is very unlikely to happen.
Of the three Handevision lenses I own, the 50mm f2.4 has the best build quality in terms of feel. The aperture ring is smooth and the focus is even smoother. Precision between the two barrels is very nice and the lens all around feels solid while still being light weight.
Aperture blade feels good, not to dry and it comes in half-stop clicks.
These lenses come in black or silver. I much prefer the black to the silver. The black has a much nicer matte finish. The Silver is not a reflective chrome silver like the Voigtlander Ultrons have but they are shiny enough so that when you look down at your camera or lens in sunny conditions it can reflect into your eyes with a blinding effect.
Center sharpness is good. The sweet spot is at f4 and f5.6. Depending on the diffraction characteristics of your camera, f8 will also look good.
Corner sharpness on a full frame body is decent. Nothing terrible but nothing amazing either. Corners look best at f5.6 to f8.
On full frame Sony cameras there is quite a bit of corner vignetting that can be a little bit of a problem and stopping down never really gets rid of it. This could be because I am adapting a Leica version. On APS-C cameras, there is very little issue with vignetting.
There is some minor barrel distortion that’s very easy to correct in Lightroom.
Chromatic Aberrations and color fringing is the biggest flaw of this lens. It actually reminds me a bit of the Kamlan 50mm f1.1 in that they both give purple and green CA in high contrast situations, especially wide open, or in the corners when stopped down to f5.6.
In the above image you can see some on Kalina’s hair. Stopping down helps get rid of it, but it is something you will have to deal with in high contrast details and it will require some manual defringing in Lightroom, which could takes up to 4 seconds of your time.
You won’t see this in every image, it usually occurs when it’s very bright out or when there is significant edge contrast.
Art & Character
This lens has a lot of character. There is is quite a bit of ghosting and flaring that can sort of bloom out.
Bokeh is really pretty even for an f2.4 lens and I actually really like the classic rendering and pop and much prefer it overall to my Industar 50 or any of my Helios lenses. However, you can find those lenses for under $100 so it’s not exactly a great comparison.
Wide open bokeh is very smooth and rich, with a nice smooth transition between what’s in focus and what’s out of focus.
Color and contrast is good. I’ve been shooting mostly with Sony for this review and I’m finding I don’t have to add contrast to get the images looking nice and the colors always look good. I usually shift around the colors a little to give them more style using Mastin Labs or VSCO, but if you’re shooting Provia with Fujifilm or classic chrome as JPG, you really won’t have to do much.
There are no strange color ring patterns or any noticeable tonal or color shifts throughout the lens when shooting solid colors.
Straight Out Of Camera
Straight out of camera samples with Adobe Camera Raw. I imported them into Adobe to export and resize them for display here. No color or contrast was added. You can find full samples here.
I’m thinking this lens might be single coated, possibly intentionally. I’ve noticed there are a few Voigtlander lenses like the 35mm and 40mm Nokton Classics that can be purchased with either a single coating or multi coating as an option depending on how much flare you like.
That’s the funny thing about lens reviews right? They all act like flaring is a bad thing, but some people want the single coating look. Keep that in mind when going with Handevision lenses, they are classic by designs.
Pointed directly into the sun and this lens is pretty resistant to flaring and ghosting. You don’t really lose your contrast and saturation like with so many of my older 50mm lenses. However, you will get some pretty strange patterns when the sun is off to the side and you never really get those cool circular shapes that some classic 50s produce.
These IBERIT lenses have bayonets for mounting lens hoods, so you may want to pick one up if this type of flaring bothers you. I usually just block out the sun with my hand when I don’t want flaring, but it’s a shame Handevision doesn’t have any that are in the same style of these lenses since the design of these lenses is already pretty cool.
Contrast / Micro-Contrast
Contrast is very good as well as micro contrast. Two completely different things, I know, but they both are very important for black and white photography which is why I group them together here.
Most of the 5-6 element lenses I’ve tested have been outstanding at reproducing tonal fidelity and this lens is no different. Most of the flaws with this lens completely disappear when shooting black and white and entirely disappear if you’re shooting black and white with an APS-C Fujifilm camera.
The flaring and high apertures (above f8) can neuter a little bit of the tonal fidelity here so that is something you will have to watch out for if you want the crispiest tonal details possible.
Handevision 50mm f2.4 Review | Bottom Line
For full frame or even APS-C shooters looking for a compact manual focus lens with really nice output, all of these Handevisions are a lot of fun, just don’t go into them expect them to match the quality of something like a heavier and more expensive Voigtlander or Leica. I buy the Handevision lenses because I use them as light weight adventure lenses that I can toss around and beat up on. In other words, they are great for street photography.
Rendering with the 50mm IBERIT is awesome and it is cheap enough in terms of price (especially when on sale), where I wouldn’t get hurt feelings if I broke one. Overall the 50mm is a good bang for the buck for full frame shooters but I think my favorite IBERIT lenses are still the 35mm f2.4 and 75mm f2.4.
Compared to the cheap Chinese brand lenses, I do usually prefer the Handevision lens to any of my 7Artisans, SLR Magic or to the Kamlan 50mm f1.1 unless I need something faster for shooting at night. But really Handevision lenses are in a totally different class than those 7ARtisans and Meke lenses.
Although the Handevision 50mm can’t be considered a very fast lens compared to a lot of the cheaper alternatives, you will see improvements in overall corner to corner sharpness sharpness and contrast and it will give you much better rendering when shooting street or black and white photography.
There is something really cool about the rendering of this lens, but since it is a full frame lens, it is going to be a little bit expensive if you’re use to paying APS-C prices.
If you’re a Sony APS-C or FE shooter, you can sometimes snag one of these for $300-$400 when on sale.