As a general rule, the more exotic the lens the pricier it gets, and so the greater the scope for third parties to undercut the big players with affordable alternatives.
The Kipon 14mm f/2.8 appears to be the latest addition to this category. The company states on its website that it’s designed for APS-C-format bodies, although the only confirmed fitting so far is for Fujifilm’s X mount.
The lens offers an effective focal length of 18mm when used with compatible Fujifilm bodies like the Fujifilm X-T30 and X-T3, and its wide maximum aperture of f/2.8 should give it enough appeal for handheld applications, such as street and documentary photography.
The lens has been designed with 12 elements spread across nine groups, and has seven blades on the inside to form the diaphragm. It can have its aperture stopped down to f/22 for those who need maximum depth of field, although the minimum focusing distance is unclear, as the product page states that it can focus down to both 10cm and 15cm away from the subject.
Few other details have been made available as yet, but it appears the lens won’t arrive with its own focusing motor, meaning focus will be limited to manual-only operation. The barrel looks to be crafted from metal, and has both a manual aperture ring and a thread around its front for conventional screw-in filters.
It’s not clear whether the lens will arrive in fittings for other APS-C cameras, such as Sony’s E-mount models like the A6400 or Canon’s EOS M series offerings like the EOS M50, although it looks set to be available from September. Pricing hasn’t been disclosed yet either, although it will no doubt be more affordable than autofocus-enabled offerings.