The Pergear 50mm f1.8 is an all manual all-metal, compact 50mm APS-C lens with a 75mm equivalent field of view. This lens produces a classic rendering with great micro-contrast and some very impressive sharpness, no distortion, and almost no vignetting. It’s a great street lens or portrait lens especially for photographers looking to take advantage of lens flares and blooms.
Pergear 50mm f1.8 Spec
|Focal Length: 50mm ( 75mm Equiv )|
Focus System: Manual
Aperture Blade: 10, Rounded
Aperture: f1.8 – f16
Elements: 6 Elements in 4 Groups
Coatings: Multi-Layer Coating
Minimum Focus Distance: 38cm
Filter Threads: 43mm
Pros – Very sharp, no distortion, little vignetting, lightweight, fun to use, cool bloom effects, inexpensive, comes with a lens hood.
Cons – Flaring can be overwhelming and reduce clarity in some situations, some chromatic aberrations, a strange haze that hits center frame when stopping down, loss of clarity and contrast in high contrast situations facing a light source.
Editor Notes: It has all the right things wrong with it to create some fun character, but it’s not ideal for reproductive work or styles of photography, like landscape or architecture due to the flaring and ghosting.
Pergear 50mm f1.8 – Amazon
First off, the color since you guys always ask :).
For these samples throughout this post I shot a lot of RAW, but the Volleyball stuff and some of the beach stuff was shot with a sort of Kodachrome JPG recipe with the Fujifilm X-T2. Yes, this whole review was shot with the old X-T2, great camera, especially with manual focus lenses like this.
To get this look, I had classic chrome with an AWB shifted to +3 Red -5 Blue with DR200. I messed around with shadows and highlights as needed.
Sometimes with these JPGs, I put my own presets on top, but the volleyball stuff is all straight out of the camera JPG.
If you want to learn more about my presets check out the store. The color presets are now live!
The Pergear 50mm f1.8 is pretty much the cheap APS-C 50mm I’ve been looking/waiting for. There are some other good ones like the Brightin Star 50mm f1.4 and the Kamlan 50mm f1.1 II, but, none are as small and as light as this one and I don’t think they’re as sharp either. Although I would probably need to do a side-by-side to check.
This lens is very sharp. I think it might be the sharpest lens for under $100, at least my copy.
Of course, there are quite a few flaws with this lens but no real deal-breakers, for me anyway. Mostly it flares, which looks awesome, some CA and there are some strange issues, likes haze that appears in high contrast situations sometimes. But it all adds to the character. Beautiful imperfections I call them.
I don’t ever really consider lenses like this to replace our trusted workhorse lenses but, rather, to help compliment them and add something different to our photography.
There is one strange thing this lens does that none of my other lenses do. You can see it in this photo of the car.
The center frame has almost this haze too it that’s a bit more orange but it only appears when you stop down the aperture. You’ll see in the sharpness charts too later in this review. I only see it when shooting into a high contrast scene where there are a lot of reflections or when facing a light source. It’s kinda cool, looks a little like an Instagram filter, but it can also be annoying at times when you don’t want it.
When trying to take advantage of the flaring, you can get a very cool film look that just drips with characters. Great micro-contrast, great looking flares, and blooms but not too crazy like some of those Helios lenses. Obviously, if you need perfect and clean image quality, this lens won’t be for you.
This shot is straight out of camera with just a crop.
The biggest issue I have with this lens is the build quality. Some of the Pergear lenses are very good, this one feels a bit sloppy. The focus is a bit loose and you can feel some mild grinding.
We’ll see how it lasts over time, but so far it’s holding up well. I think the manufacturing of these small Chinese lenses is getting better because it’s been a while since I have had a lens fall apart on me.