Mirrorless Prime Lenses for the Full-frame User

Mirrorless Prime Lenses for the Full-frame User.

You may already know that we’ve recently launched the latest set of manual focus lenses from the Chinese company, Kipon. We are testing the IBERIT series of full-frame lenses in 24mm f/2.4, 35mm f/2.4, 50mm f/2.4, 75mm f/2.4, and 90mm f/2.4. Also available is their ‘Elegant’ range of lenses which you’ll find across our selection.

To kick things off, what’s the difference between the IBERIT and Elegant lenses? In all honesty, we’re not overly sure, they appear to be the same build quality but perhaps carry a different name based on the mount for which they are designed. If you happen to know more on this then please feel free to get in touch with us!

The IBERIT 75mm with the Panasonic LUMIX S1R

Kipon Iberit 75mm Lens on Panasonic Lumix S1R

They’re the latest prime lenses to hit the market from Kipon and are available for the mirrorless camera only, including the Leica-M and SL mount, Fuji X-mount, Sony E-mount, Canon RF and Nikon Z-mounts. 

We had access to a sample range of this classic series whilst under lockdown so couldn’t complete the usual level of real-world testing as we’d like. However, we made the most of our time and will take you through our initial thoughts on the design and performance of this series of lenses. 

Design and Build

Designed by IB/E Optics in Germany these lenses do have that solid and sturdy feel that we come to expect from German engineering. The camera lenses have a some-what old school and retro aesthetic, which if you haven’t used a manual focusing lens before, will be a welcome novelty. They’re of metal construction with a brushed finish that gives them a really premium vintage feel.

The focus ring moves very smoothly across all focal lengths, allowing for those finer adjustments to be made with efficiency and accuracy. The distance indicators located on the side of the lens barrel are clear and easy to follow. If your mirrorless system is equipped with focus peaking then you won’t need to rely on the focus distance measurements as much.

The aperture ring is looser than the focus ring, it has much more play in it but is still dampened enough to allow you to dial in the correct aperture for your subject. The aperture ring is partially flat (where the numbers are engraved) and has two raised and ribbed sections either side of the lens barrel at just the right width to allow ease of use with a thumb and one finger. 

The only criticisms of the design would be the lens cap and mount cap. These are made of the same metal as the lens barrel and cause you to not feel so free in chucking them in your camera bag or anywhere for that matter! You need to screw the lens cap on and off which isn’t the most efficient way of operating. That said, you’re not necessarily going to be using a manual focusing lens for speed.

These lenses aren’t weather-sealed either, which isn’t really surprising considering the price point and the nature of their intended use. 


The image quality produced by these Kipon lenses is really quite incredible. Considering the price point of around £329 - £499 (depending on the focal length you’re looking to purchase) you really do get great bang for your buck. 

The f2.4 aperture provides a lovely soft and smooth bokeh quality and coupled with the portability of these lenses, you have yourself a tool that can perform in many photography scenarios.

The series lends itself naturally to the portrait photography world, where the smooth and precise focus ring can really aide you with dialling in your settings. 

Portrait photography from home, using natural light

Sample Image from the Kipon 75mm IBERIT Lens

The six-blade aperture (across all focal lengths) creates a decent bokeh, but not it’s not quite on the same level as some of the more premium brands available that have a larger aperture. That said, at this price point it’s really not a quality you should be worried about or disappointed with.

The clarity around the edges of the frame at the wider focal lengths (24mm) stay acceptably sharp when focusing to infinity. When moving in a little closer and at wide apertures, you will lose a touch of the sharpness and clarity, which in all honesty is to be expected in a series of lenses at this price.

  • Kipon 24mm Mirrorless Lens Sample Image
    Taken on the Panasonic S1R with Kipon 24mm IBERIT Lens
  • Kipon 24mm IBERIT Mirrorless Lens Image Sample 2
    Taken on the Panasonic S1R with Kipon 24mm IBERIT Lens with Crop
  • Kipon 24mm Mirrorless Lens Sample Image 3
    Taken on the Panasonic S1R with Kipon 24mm IBERIT Lens with Crop

As expected in a lens of this quality, the sharpness is at its best around the mid apertures, as we’ve already mentioned, the corners can be a tad soft especially in the wider focal lengths but if you bump the aperture up to around f5.6 to f8 then you’ll find a much more acceptable picture.

Chromatic aberration genuinely wasn’t noticeable in any of the photographs we were taking. Fair to say again though that these weren’t the ‘normal’ real-world testing scenarios we’re used to. Distortion was apparent in the 24mm lens but only if the frame included multiple horizontal or vertical lines. For everyday use (landscapes and street style photography) you really wouldn’t notice anything unusual.


Having used these lenses mainly for a spot of landscape photography and street photography, the Kipon lenses really proved themselves to be a great companion on long walks due to their compact and lightweight nature. 

They’re small enough to leave on your camera if it’s around your neck and they easily slip into a small camera bag if you’re out on a short evening sunset hunt.

If you’re new to manual focus lenses then the use of your mirrorless cameras focus peaking will be a great tool to help transition you into this realm. 

When it came to portrait photography, we weren’t able to test under a standard studio set up, however, using the natural light from a window was more than enough to allow to the lens to display a high quality and professional image.

Don’t forget to check out our other Kipon products, including a multitude of lens adapters.

  • By Fiona Chandler
  • 1 Jun 2020

Category Menu