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DZOptics Kerlee 35mm f/1.2

Reviews Views Date of last review
1 2,257 Mon October 15, 2018
Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
100% of reviewers $200.00 9.00


A fast (F1.2) wide angle lens on 24x36mm full-frame (field of view 54 degrees horizontally) and a normal lens on APS-C (field of view 38 degrees horizontally).

The click stops of the aperture ring can be disabled with a switch thus making the lens suitable for shooting video.

DZOptics Kerlee 35mm F1.2
©, sharable with attribution
Image Format
Full-frame / 35mm film
Lens Mount
Pentax K
Aperture Ring
Yes (no A setting)
Manual, 14 blades (rounded)
11 elements, 10 groups
Mount Variant
Check camera compatibility
Max. Aperture
Min. Aperture
Min. Focus
30 cm
Max. Magnification
Filter Size
72 mm
Internal Focus
Field of View (Diag. / Horiz.)

APS-C: 44.5 ° / 37.7 °
Full frame: 63.2 ° / 54.2 °
Lens Cap
Nano Coated
Weather Sealing
Other Features
Diam x Length
660 g (23.3 oz.)
Production Years
2016 to present (in production)
$699 USD current price
User reviews
The click stops on the aperture ring can be turned off

Buy Lens: Buy This Item
Mount Type: Pentax K

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Registered: September, 2009
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
Posts: 1,943
Lens Review Date: October 15, 2018 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $200.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Build quality, image quality
Cons: Manual focus, size and weight
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 7    Value: 9    Camera Used: Sony A7, Pentax K3 II   

Kerlee 35/1.2 is an very impressive lens.

Build quality is among the best in modern lenses I have experienced, although it is large and heavy (which something I am not very fond of). Even the lens hood in made of metal. Focus ring is very smooth and has enough throw for precise focusing. The aperture ring has nice feel to it and has a switch for clicks or clickless operation. With 14 rounded aperture blades the aperture stays circular on all apertures.
This lens do not have any aperture lever, so the aperture is not held wide open, so it operates more like an adapted m42 lens.

The first copy I got had a defect aperture mechanism, so it could not be stopped down, but the replacement I got worked perfectly.

I have not used this lens very much yet, so this is more of a preview. I will update this review when having more experience with it, and add images when I have some that can show what this lens is capable of.

Image quality is very good, but not perfect. Wide open it is soft but still usable, and stopped down to f/1.4 - f/2.0 it is starting to become very sharp. Stopped down to f/4-5.6 it is probably the sharpest lens I have (center sharpness).
Edge sharpness is not the best and it never get really good. Stopped down to f/11 it seems to be useable for landscapes. But this lens seems to be designed more like a portrait lens, than a lens optimised for best possible sharpness over the whole frame.
DZOptics also claim that this lens is optimized for best performance at 1-5 m focus, so it is clear that lens is more of a wide angle portrait lens, or for for use in street photography.

The best IQ property of this lens is perhaps background blur or "Bokeh" which is very soft and pleasing. So I believe I will use this lens mostly with large apertures, and it is an f/1.2 lens after all.

I got this lens mostly for use with FF mirrorless, but also to be able to use it on my K3 II. Although I doubt it will be easy to focus manually wide open on an APS-C DSLR. On my K-mount cameras the lens was very "stiff" to mount and required more force than I like. On the Adapter used on Sony A7 it was no such problem.
Manual focus wide open is difficult, but with focus peaking and zooming in the EVF it was fairly easy. But it is easy to miss focus if not holding the camera steady enough as a very small shift is enough to miss focus.

I was able to find this lens new at a bargain price at a Swedish online retailer, so I could not resist buying it. At approx $200 it is hard to find a better 35 mm lens.
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