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Ryan Avery On Meike And Veydra


BTM_Pix

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Well, it was hardly the biggest mystery in the world but confirmation at least that the Meike lenses are the genuine successors to the Veydras and good to see the co-founder being involved and discussing how they have actually been improved rather than being the low quality rip offs that many were widely opining they were.

The real mystery this video solves for me though is how you actually pronounce Meike.

 

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34 minutes ago, rawshooter said:

Didn't he originally accuse his former business partner and Meike of stealing the Veydra lens designs?!?

When Veydra finally closed their doors, part of the statement referenced that the closure was following the conclusion of litigation between the founders.

I don't know the ins and outs of what that was but if anyone is curious enough about it they can register and presumably pay to access the records of it here. 

https://unicourt.com/case/ca-ora-veydra-llc-vs-ryan-avery-871484

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1 hour ago, rawshooter said:

Didn't he originally accuse his former business partner and Meike of stealing the Veydra lens designs?!?

Regardless, he seems happy with the situation as it stands. If anyone had any ethical hang-up before, they can breath easy now.

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I am guessing the partner (Jim Zhang) stole the designs and sold it to one of the mass scale IP replicating manufacturers in China (possibly different from the original manufacturer, who was still fine tuning the lens quality). When he got sued, and lost he promised to share profits (with partner Ryan Avery). What started out as theft, ended with better lens design (solely because the Chinese manufacturer probably had copied others for a very long, and probably got the basics right, and costing too). At the end the price also came down substantially, and hopefully they're both sharing rh profits (Jim and Ryan). 

I hope they also commission the 8.5mm prototype into a cinema lens. That would be great. 

 

https://thecinelens.com/2020/04/18/rip-veydra-2014-2019/

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It's entirely possible that under the terms of the lawsuit settlement, Ryan Avery was required to help promote the Meike lens line. Or he could just be doing a favor for a friend (Matt Duclos, who also appears in that video; Duclos Lenses is selling Meikes now individually and in full sets).

EDITED to add that Sanveer's hypothesis makes the most sense to me.

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5 hours ago, BTM_Pix said:

Well, it was hardly the biggest mystery in the world but confirmation at least that the Meike lenses are the genuine successors to the Veydras and good to see the co-founder being involved and discussing how they have actually been improved rather than being the low quality rip offs that many were widely opining they were.

No surprise at all if you follow Matt Duclos, he's discussed it before on his blog, goes into a fair bit of detail:
https://thecinelens.com/2020/04/18/rip-veydra-2014-2019/

Unfortunately Meike didn't copy the swappable mount feature of the Veydras, one of the best things about them I thought. As a lot of them cover S35, so there is the potential to use them across a variety of mirrorless mounts. Someone connected to Meike mentioned Duclos is working on developing an adapter for them, like Duclos has for the Fujinon MK zooms (hopefully won't be as pricey though, $500 for each lens!).

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Really nice to hear that the Veydra guys seem to have worked things out and are endorsing the Meike lenses.

I picked up a 25mm T2.2 version of the Meike design when I first heard they were available and my curiosity got the best of me.  I absolutely love that lens, but had held off on getting more until I knew what the story was with Meike.

I may need to add a 12mm and a 50mm to complete a small set for my GH5 soon.  With the Extra Tele converter mode that punches in 1.4x, I'd have a very compact 3 lens set that covers 12mm, 17mm, 25mm, 35mm, 50mm, and 70mm for about the cost of one Veydra!  😃

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  • 1 month later...

That was a great lens comparison.

Now that we know the Meike lenses use the same formula as the Veydras, it's worth taking a second look at just how well the Veydra lenses performed in the LensRentals MTF optical bench tests.

https://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2018/03/veydra-cine-mini-prime-mtf-optical-bench-tests/

The comparisons to Zeiss CP.2 lenses is particularly interesting as seen in the attached sample.

 

50mm-comparison.png

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7 hours ago, Towd said:

That was a great lens comparison.

Now that we know the Meike lenses use the same formula as the Veydras, it's worth taking a second look at just how well the Veydra lenses performed in the LensRentals MTF optical bench tests.

https://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2018/03/veydra-cine-mini-prime-mtf-optical-bench-tests/

The comparisons to Zeiss CP.2 lenses is particularly interesting as seen in the attached sample.

 

50mm-comparison.png

Are they the same formula?  In the previous video (comparing the Meike with the Veydra) he notes that the Meike has scarified the close focus distance to eliminate focus breathing, which would lead me to believe that there is at least some difference in the design, possibly only element spacing, but maybe more.

Here's the part I'm talking about:

Nevertheless, I think it's reasonable to suggest that the Meike performance is excellent.

The comparison to the Zeiss CP2s is interesting, because it really depends on what you're looking for.

My experience is that there are five schools of thought when choosing lenses:

  1. Choosing lenses that offer resolution but have flattering (ie, lower) levels of micro-contrast as this is flattering on skin texture.  This is a significant force in high-end cinematography with the classic lenses being very popular in rental houses.
  2. Choosing lenses that are very sharp and very neutral in order to be combined with optical filters like diffusion filters or nets to get a flattering level of micro-contrast in-camera but also have it be adjustable, where with lenses it is much less-so.  This is also popular in larger budget productions.
  3. Choosing lenses that are very sharp and very neutral to get the cleanest image out of the camera in order to process it in post with diffusion and other image tuning effects in post.  I've heard of this in rare instances where someone knows the power of their preferred colourist and is willing to invest in more time and cost in post because of the fine-tuning possibilities.
  4. Choosing lenses that are very sharp and very neutral to get the cleanest image out of the camera because the aesthetic is suitable for the project.  This is sometimes the case in larger budget productions, but is more the norm in lower budget productions like documentaries where the emphasis is on the content and the capturing is meant to have a more neutral tone.
  5. Choosing lenses that are very sharp and very neutral to get the cleanest image out of the camera because that's what stills photographers obsess over and the rationale of the person hasn't progressed beyond the idea that film-making is just taking many photographs very quickly.  I find this to be the dominant mindset on internet forums.

Of course, it's more complicated than just resolution and micro-contrast, but those seem to be the two dominant factors that drive most of the decision-making.

I also noted in the big comparison that I did that some of the more revered lenses had higher resolution than average when wide-open and lower resolution when stopped down than the average lens, making them more consistent over their aperture range than the average lens, which is much softer wide open and much sharper when stopped down.

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37 minutes ago, kye said:

Are they the same formula?  In the previous video (comparing the Meike with the Veydra) he notes that the Meike has scarified the close focus distance to eliminate focus breathing, which would lead me to believe that there is at least some difference in the design, possibly only element spacing, but maybe more.

Touche'.  It seems that Meike has tweaked the formulas a bit to reduce chromatic aberration, lens breathing, and  contrast at least on the 35mm, so there may be other small tweaks they have made.  I think however it is safe to assume based on the original post that the Meike lenses are derived from the original Veydras.  I could have been more exact in my language. 

That aside though, all the resolution tests I've seen between between the Meike and Veydras show their performance to be very similar, so the MTF tests of the Veydras should be on par with what one can expect from a Meike.

For myself I definitely lean toward a sharp lens with a neutral, clean image over a softer lens with character for many of the reasons you listed, and the Meike line seems to be an outstanding choice in that regard for m43.  Now I'm just waiting to see what Panasonic's plans are with a possible GH6.

 

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15 minutes ago, Towd said:

Touche'.  It seems that Meike has tweaked the formulas a bit to reduce chromatic aberration, lens breathing, and  contrast at least on the 35mm, so there may be other small tweaks they have made.  I think however it is safe to assume based on the original post that the Meike lenses are derived from the original Veydras.  I could have been more exact in my language. 

That aside though, all the resolution tests I've seen between between the Meike and Veydras show their performance to be very similar, so the MTF tests of the Veydras should be on par with what one can expect from a Meike.

For myself I definitely lean toward a sharp lens with a neutral, clean image over a softer lens with character for many of the reasons you listed, and the Meike line seems to be an outstanding choice in that regard for m43.  Now I'm just waiting to see what Panasonic's plans are with a possible GH6.

They do seem very similar.  It would be great to see MTF charts on the Meike lenses though, to confirm.

The Meike lenses certainly have excellent performance, but they're very slow.  T2.2 is probably around F2, which in DoF is equivalent to F4 in FF terms, which isn't that fast in terms of background separation.  If you're just interested in the exposure value, then T2.2 might be fine.

The way I see the Meike / Veydra lenses is as a set of cine lenses that has traded getting a little bit more sharpness for being one or two stops slower than the other contenders.  It's easy to see the Veydras as very sharp because of the myopic tradition of only talking about how sharp lenses are when wide open, but it's not that hard for other lenses to get almost that kind of result when stopped down from their widest apertures.  

Sometimes the improvement when stopping down is absolutely radical:

Pan-42.5-f1.2-stopdownsml.png

I suggest you compare the graphs from the Veydras (as a proxy for the Meike) with the graphs of the other MFT lenses that are around:

https://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2018/01/finally-some-m43-mtf-testing-25mm-prime-lens-comparison/

https://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2018/03/finally-some-more-m43-mtf-testing-are-the-40s-fabulous/

https://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2012/05/wide-angle-micro-43-imatest-results/

https://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2012/05/standard-range-micro-43-imatest-results/

Not suggesting that the Meike aren't a good option, but just make sure you're aware of how they compare to their competitors before you hit the Purchase button!

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7 hours ago, kye said:

The Meike lenses certainly have excellent performance, but they're very slow.  T2.2 is probably around F2, which in DoF is equivalent to F4 in FF terms, which isn't that fast in terms of background separation.  If you're just interested in the exposure value, then T2.2 might be fine.

I'm not sure the FF equivalence is a particularly relevant one in terms of cine lenses as the vast majority of them are still only Super35 coverage (as are the Meikes despite the MFT mount) so in terms of that norm I wouldn't consider T2.2 to be "very slow".

In terms of separation, I've just put my 18-50mm T3 PL zoom on a Super35 camera to illustrate similar sort of focal lengths that you might typically buy the Meikes in and even with this significantly slower lens there is still a good balance, for my tastes at least, between separation and obliterating the context of where it actually is in terms of its surroundings, even at the wide end.

LS300_COMP4.thumb.jpg.edb01be8f381fe0a8440fcbd639f4072.jpg

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2 minutes ago, kye said:

Nice looking model for your test shots @BTM_Pix..  almost as good as when it wears a c-mount lens 🙂 

Its the strangest thing.

I said I'd do a test for a fellow forum user of that Panasonic lens and a separate test of it on the micro.

I wasn't quite sure where either of them would be lurking in the draws of doom so set off on what I thought would be a long quest but I found them both straight away as they were already attached to each other !

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