Thread: Meike FF Cine vs DZOFilm Vespids

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  1. #1 Meike FF Cine vs DZOFilm Vespids 
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    Disclaimer #1: I own sets of DZOFilm Vespid and Zeiss Supremes. I paid full retail value from local distributors and B&H. The Meike full frame primes were lent to me by a friend, I had them for two weeks. CP3 and Otus were lent to me by Zeiss for the purpose of this testing, I had them for one week. Charts for testing were given to me by Zeiss.

    Disclaimer #2: I am not a professional or expert. I am not Duclos.

    TL:DR
    They're more like opposite than similar, it really comes to down preferences. They have different strengths and weaknesses with very little overlap.

    Lenses tested:
    Meike FF Primes: 35/50/85
    DZOfilm Vespid: 35/50/75/100
    Also compared:
    Zeiss Supreme: 35/50/85
    Zeiss CP3: 28/50/100
    Zeiss Otus: 28/55/85
    Canon RF 50L

    Size/Weight:
    This is a big difference. Using the 50mm as an example, the Meike is 50% heavier and 27% longer than the Vespid. The Meike is closer in weight to my Supreme than it is my Vespid. The Vespids are smaller/lighter than Meike's s35 lenses too.

    Wide Open Sharpness:
    Meike has good sharpness in the center, and good sharpness in the edges. Vespids have good sharpness in the center, but get softer in the edges. Supremes are very visibly sharper than both even at T1.5 across the frame. Otus is very impressive.

    Wide Open CA:
    Vespids are NOT apo. I've seen people earlier on claim this but it's just simply not true. I only tested this both outside (leaves in sun) and inside (test charts), only wide open. Vespids exhibit good control of CA in the middle, but I can start seeing it more easily towards the edges, esp the far edges of frame. Meike exhibits much less CA, and isn't too visible until pixel peeping. Once zooming in, a very strange pattern shows where the CA is visible across the frame, and each lens has a different color abberation. One is green aberration, one is red aberration, and one is clean (between the 35/50/85, I forget which was which now). Not consistent. CP3's are by far the worst, and make Vespids look like they're APO in comparison.

    Contrast:
    Vespids are (to my surprise) more saturated and exhibit more contrast than Meike. I was expecting the opposite going into this.

    Color Accuracy:
    Vespids lean slightly warm. Meike is all over the place, and tend to shift green/teal in the shadows/blacks. I conducted blind test on footage and grabs with 6 people (4 DP's, one Producer/Editor, one videographer). In the big comparison, they could point out the vespid and canon because they render slightly warmer. Overall, they struggled identifying the zeiss (though some guessed Supremes correctly more often than not).Tended to confuse Canon/Vespid. And they all got the Meike right every time. It sticks out like a sore thumb. Also, there's a very strange texture to the color in Meike. I'm not sure how to describe it - it almost looks like pastelly watercolor to a small degree. I can see it every time (can't unsee it), and see it in others' footage.

    Rendering:
    Not much point talking about this. It's all subjective and down to preference.

    Breathing:
    The Vespids have extremely little breathing. I hate to say it but i think they breath less than my supremes. Meike was well controlled in the 35 and 85, but really horrible on the 50mm.

    Mechanics:
    Both are well built for the money. Would say Vespids have slightly better dampening and smoothness to the iris and focus gears, but its really a wash. I'm not sure why Meike went with a weird OD. I guess you can just find a donut that works but would have been nice if they went with a more popular 80 or 95. I hate using them, but its nice that both have the option for screw in filters. Vespids are 77mm thread, 80 OD. Meike is 82mm thread, 85mm OD. Also, maybe just a problem w/ the one I had, but the 50mm EF mount on the Meike is weird. It can fully rotate in around the mount. It doesn't lock if the release is depressed. (Hard to describe). Also, Meike does not have EF/PL swappable. I originally bought the Vespids in EF mount, and have since swapped to PL and back. a few times.

    Light Transmission:
    Despite being listed as a larger image circle than Meike, i feel like coverage is a better on Meike. Also when both are wide open, i feel like Vespids let in maybe like a tiny smidge of less light. Does make sense to me given the size/weight difference.

    Final Thoughts on Vespids:
    If the CA was better controlled, this set would be near perfect for me. I'd love to see some kinda of special edition or something where they use less coatings for a more vintage type look, and yet somehow magically control the CA better. The whole set is very small and light, and well, the set exists.

    Final Thoughts on Meike:
    I don't really understand where these lenses fit in. The pastel look and colors are just too obvious. While I'm sure it would be beautiful on some projects, and its correctible in post, its just a no go for me because of the lack of consistency between the lenses. They're also just too much bigger/heavier than Vespids. I wanted a cheap set that's small and light, so in this case, Vespids suited my needs better. With the extra size and weight the Meike have, I would have wanted a more obvious optical benefit to the Vespids, but you gain very little for carrying 50% extra weight. I don't need the utmost corner sharpness in a budget cine set, and if I did, i'd use something else. I'd rather get some Sigma ART stills glass, or save a bit for a used set of Sigma cine primes. I also really dislike the trickle releasing, and given the inconsistencies I already see in the 35/50/85 it doesn't inspire confidence that this was particularly well planned out.

    It's nice to have options. But in the end, these are budget lenses and you get what you pay for. But in either choice, I do believe you get a lot for your money.
    Last edited by Peter Choi; 06-13-2021 at 07:38 PM.
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  2. #2  
    Senior Member Luka Sanader's Avatar
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    Thanks for the review! With a several lenses manufacturers playing basically same cards we will have to see ether competitive prices or increes in performance. So far we have DZO, Meike and Nitecore (Nissi and Kinefinty) , Irix and Dulens making the same T2, 45mm+ coverage, ultra affordable lenses, only question is who will survive and who will be there in 3 years to offer spare parts and support. In my opinion we are really getting close to really good affordable primes. i would put my money in to DZO and Dulens, just a gut feeling
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  3. #3  
    Senior Member Nick Morrison's Avatar
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    Do the Vespids color match?
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    Senior Member Patrick Tresch's Avatar
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    Thanks for your report

    Could you speak a bit more about the Otus (even if it’s not a full set), if the sharpness is really as great as their price? ;-)
    Or is it on par with Sigma art Cine? How do they breathe?
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  5. #5  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Luka Sanader View Post
    Thanks for the review! With a several lenses manufacturers playing basically same cards we will have to see ether competitive prices or increes in performance. So far we have DZO, Meike and Nitecore (Nissi and Kinefinty) , Irix and Dulens making the same T2, 45mm+ coverage, ultra affordable lenses, only question is who will survive and who will be there in 3 years to offer spare parts and support. In my opinion we are really getting close to really good affordable primes. i would put my money in to DZO and Dulens, just a gut feeling
    I'm with you on that!
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  6. #6  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Morrison View Post
    Do the Vespids color match?
    I haven't done proper side-by-side testing within the set so can't really say, but would say so from my casual observation- haven't noticed much shift or differences between lenses but aside from this test i conducted i haven't used them very much yet.
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  7. #7  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick Tresch View Post
    Thanks for your report

    Could you speak a bit more about the Otus (even if it’s not a full set), if the sharpness is really as great as their price? ;-)
    Or is it on par with Sigma art Cine? How do they breathe?
    I haven't used the sigma art cine's (used only their EF art stills glass but for stills, not video) os i can't really say. I no longer own any sigmas either so can't test (and also gave hte otus back). But can say the otus is really right up there w/ the supremes in sharpness. its truly imrpessive for the price. The otus do indeed breathe, but its not as bad as I expected. It's there though and noticeable.
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