Meeting the Need for a Telephoto Macro Lens: The ZY Optics 200mm f/4

The previously rumored Zhong Yi Optics (ZY Optics) APO 200mm f/4 Macro 1X Lens is now official and can be purchased for various lens mounts, including Sony E, Nikon Z, Canon RF, Leica L, and Fujifilm X. The ZY Optics Mitakon APO 200mm f/4 Macro 1X lens is available on eBay through the retailer Shoten Kobo for $499, as reported by Nikon Rumors. However, the new macro lens is not listed on Zhong Yi’s English-language website.

The full-frame manual focus macro lens has a minimum focusing distance of 0.48 meters (1.57 feet), allowing for a maximum reproduction ratio of 1:1, making it a true macro lens. It consists of 11 elements arranged in seven groups, including three ED lenses, three ultra-high index elements, and a single extra-high transmission lens. The lens provides manual aperture control and features a nine-bladed aperture diaphragm. With its apochromatic (APO) design, the lens combines multiple special lenses to minimize chromatic aberration. Zhong Yi claims that the lens is not only suitable for close-up photography but also for use as a telephoto lens. It is expected to produce smooth bokeh, making it suitable for portraiture. Zhong Yi’s Japanese website includes a sample gallery specifically for the APO 200mm f/4 Macro 1X lens, showcasing various portraits that look impressive.

The 200mm f/4 Macro lens comes with a removable tripod mount and weighs 1,230 grams (2.7 pounds) with the mount attached. Its length measures 216 millimeters (8.5 inches), and it has a 67mm filter thread. The lens is internally focused, meaning its length does not change with adjustments to the focus distance.

The Mitakon APO 200mm f/4 Macro lens is expected to excel in portraiture due to its telephoto focal length and smooth bokeh. ZY Optics aims to dominate the long macro mirrorless market, as long macro lenses are popular among photographers because of their generous working distance. Subjects like insects can be challenging to capture up close, making a large working distance advantageous. However, while DSLRs offered a range of telephoto macro lenses, their transition to the mirrorless era has been slow. Nikon’s longest Z macro lens is the Z MC 105mm f/2.8 VR S, which is excellent for macro photography but falls short in terms of length. Similarly, Canon’s RF macro lens, the RF 100mm f/2.8 L Macro IS USM, is a superb lens but lacks the length of its outdated FD 200mm f/4 macro prime lens.

Despite not having autofocus or fancy features found in first-party macro lenses, Zhong Yi’s new Mitakon 200mm f/4 Macro 1X lens addresses the demand from the market that camera manufacturers have yet to meet. Moreover, priced at $499, it offers a budget-friendly alternative. The Zhong Yi APO 200mm f/4 Macro 1X lens is currently available on eBay in Sony E, Nikon Z, Canon RF, Leica L, and Fujifilm X mount options.


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