Meike 28mm f2.8 Pancake lens
Gear Reviews

Meike 28mm f2.8 – Affordable pancake lens. Review with Image Samples

This lens was released a few years a go, there are plenty of them on the market, both new and used, so let’s look how does it perform in 2022.

Lens Specs

Focal Length: 28mm (42mm FF equivalent)
Build: Metal
Weight: 140g with caps / 119g without caps
Aperture ring: Clickless
Blade Number: 9
Lens Construction: 6 Elements in 5 Groups
Aperture Range: f2.8 – f22
Minimum Focus distance: 25cm
Filter tread: 49mm
Height: 29mm
Diameter: 60.4mm

Links

Meike 28mm f2.8 FujifilmAmazon US / Amazon UK
Meike 28mm f2.8 SonyAmazon US / Amazon UK
Meike 28mm f2.8 CanonAmazon US / Amazon UK
Meike 28mm f2.8 M43Amazon US / Amazon UK
Meike 28mm f2.8 Aliexpress

Quick look

The Meike 28mm f2.8 is a small pancake lens which can be an affordable alternative for Fujifilm XF28mm. The later one is a bit smaller and with autofocus, which is very useful for the lens of this size. Talking about third party lenses – this one is the smallest lens for Fujifilm and other APS-C cameras I’ve seen, not taking into account body cap lenses like 7Artisans 18mm f6.3 There are advantages to the size as well as downsides. Let’s get to it.

Build quality

The lens is small and lightweight – just a 29mm in length including the mount and 119g without lens caps. Filter size is 49mm but the front glass element is much smaller. Fully metal build in black with shiny metal accents. Aperture and Focus rings are smooth and easy to turn, way too easy in case of aperture. They are quite thin as you can imagine, if you have big fingers it might be difficult to change aperture. Which goes from f2.8 to f22 without any stops. And focus throw about 170 deg smooth with markings in meters.

The lens is 42mm Full Frame equivalent, which is great for street and very versatile on overall. More or less ideal focal length for me, as 35mm can be a bit tight sometimes and 23 is a bit wide for my everyday tasks.

Aperture-wise f2.8 is on the edge for me, I’m usually trying to get faster lenses as background separation is not strong enough and low light performance could be better. Keeping in mind APS-C sensor and very dull weather where I live. Of course this lens is not for portraiture work and for street photography I prefer to have a wider depth of field, I just think faster lenses are much more versatile.

Handling

Meike 28mm f2.8 Pancake lens

Focusing can be tricky due to thin focus ring, but then this lens will work great with zone focusing as all the markings are present on the lens.

Due to wide angle and slim profile, it is quite easy to poke your fingers in to the frame, at least I had a few occasions.

Sharpness

Meike 28mm f2.8 Pancake lens
Sharpness f2.8
Meike 28mm f2.8 Center Sharpness
Center Sharpness f2.8

The lens is sharp wide open especially in the center, corners are decently sharp, but keep in mind they will likely to lose some details after distortion correction.

Meike 28mm f2.8 Corner sharpness at f2.8
Corner Sharpness f2.8
Meike 28mm f2.8 Corner sharpness at f4
Corner Sharpness f4
Meike 28mm f2.8 Corner sharpness at f5.6
Corner Sharpness f5.6

I’ve shot one of my previous videos using this lens – about TTArtisans 40mm lens, and I’m happy with image quality for video as well

Bokeh

Meike 28mm f2.8 Bokeh
Small but noticeable background separation
Meike 28mm f2.8 Bokeh
Better background separation for smaller objects

The out of focus area is smooth, and bokeh balls have nice shape not only wide open, but close down a bit as well. This lens is relatively wide angle and f2.8, and it does provide adequate level of background separation on closer distance, but realistically this is not the strongest side of this lens.

Chromatic Abberations

Chromatic aberrations are well controlled, I haven’t noticed it on everyday images.

Distortion

Meike 28mm f2.8 Distortion
Noticeable distortion
Meike 28mm f2.8 Distortion
Corrected

There is a noticeable distortion. I use build in Canon EF28-300 Lens profile in the Lightroom to fix it. It does stretch corners a bit.

Vegnetting

Meike 28mm f2.8 Vignetting at f2.8
Meike 28mm f2.8 Vignetting at f4
Meike 28mm f2.8 Vignetting at f5.6

Quite noticeable vignetting at f2.8 it gets much better closed down but some of it stays at f4. Nothing really at f5.6, at least judging by every day images and more “scientific” tests, will show it better.

Conclusion

Meike 28mm f2.8 Pancake lens
Meike 28mm f2.8 Pancake lens

Overall a good lens with keeping in mind distortion and vegnetting which is fixable in post. Sharp enough for everyday use, but such a small size does not go well with manual lens. Operation is fiddly and while at it, fingers can get into the frame. That is understandable, as for the tiny lens engineers had to sacrifice usability.

I used to have 7Artisans 25mm f1.8 that it wasn’t much bigger as I remember, and it would be interesting to compare them side by side, but unfortunately I don’t have it any longer.

Image Samples

Video Review

* Disclosure: I only recommend products I would use myself, and all opinions expressed here are my own. This post may contain affiliate links. If you use these links to buy something, I may earn a commission at no additional cost to you.