The Pergear 12mm f/2 lens is shipped inside very compact cardboard box, additionally wrapped in numerous layers of protective foam. The package included a Pergear mini air blower again, which is quite handy (I already have one and used it numerous time for lens external dust cleaning). The box also contains a nicely made neoprene protective pouch with lens additionally protected by a bubble wrap.
The Pergear 12mm f/2 petal type lens hood is mounted on by default. It can be easily detached by unscrewing it counter clockwise. You may need to put initial effort when doing it first time so beware, the hood petals are quite thin – don’t put too much force when gripping them to prevent bending.
Pergear 12mm lens mechanics and ergonomics
Just look how small this Pergear 12mm f/2 ultra wide-angle lens is on a Fujifilm X-E2s camera.
The Pergear 12mm f/2 focus ring has a very different texture compared to the aperture ring. I find this to help to quickly understand which ring you are rotating while not looking at them. Though if you are used to shooting with Voigtlander 50mm f/1.5 (M mount) or Voigtlander 35mm f/1.7 Ultron it will be not as convenient. The Voigtlander lens has a scalloped focus ring at the position of Pergear 12mm f/2 aperture ring and the aperture ring has similar texture and position as Pergear focus ring. As such, right after shooting with one of those lenses, switching to Pergear 12mm f/2 might seem confusing.
Focusing is very smooth with the Pergear 12mm f/2, and due to it being such a wide angle, it is also very quick to operate due to the very short movement of the optical core. The close focusing distance is just 0.18m which allows for ultra-wide close-up photos.
It’s also important to add, that the focus ring has three metal bolts which allow precise tuning of focus ring position. This means you can calibrate infinity focus very easy – something I find beneficial in many Chinese lenses.
Of course at this price point it’s hard to expect the aperture ring to be clicked, and it’s not. The good thing is that ring rotation requires noticeable effort and moves very smooth as well. The lens has 12 curved aperture blades for nice round out of focus highlights even at closed diaphragm positions.
Personally I prefer a lens to be very compact, and typically I’m not using lens hoods unless the front element is protruding out of the front of the lens. This is not the case with the Pergear 12mm f/2 lens. The front element sits deep enough to not touch the surface if if you placed it face down on the surface. The filter diameter is 62mm, so I’ll probably attach a protective filter later. It is much easier to wipe out flat filter surface compared to the more complex process of cleaning an almost spherical front optical element.
Here is the Pergear 12mm f/2 lens size comparison to two other alternative options for Fuji X mount: Rokinon/Samyang 12mm f/2 (to the left) and Fujinon XF 14mm f/2.8 lens (to the right).
I like the skinny and “vintage” look of Pergear 12mm f/2 lens – it is all metal and feels quite solid and durable.
You can read more about build quality and internal mechanics in my Pergear 12mm f/2 disassembly article.
My first impressions are that the Pergear 12mm f/2 lens is decently sharp in the center wide open, but borders and corners are noticeably soft. That is due to curved focus field area – something I will come to in a moment.
These Images are taken with the Fujifilm X-E2s camera, mostly @ f/2, and sometimes @ f/2.8
And some vertical shots.
Using hood is important, thought there are some shots where you’d like to add direct sun light -in doing so, it will cause noticeable flare. Some may not like them, but personally I don’t mind including flare sometimes on pictures to emphasize brightness of the light.
However for some angles there are too much flares.
Briefly comparing to Rokinon 12mm f/2
Next I have two shots taken with the Pergear 12mm f/2 lens (first shot), and Rokinon 12mm f/2 (second shot). They reveal noticeable differences. The real field of view of the Pergear 12mm f/2 lens is more narrow compared to the Rokinon. Also, the level of details are significantly higher in the image corners of the Rokinon.
This is due to more expensive and advanced optical correction involved in its design. That’s why the Rokinon/Samyang is so often picked by fans of astrophotography. Though Pergear is a much affordable lens, and has its optical limitations due to production cost. It is important to understand this difference when making decision regarding shooting scenes you plan to capture. To have higher level of details you’ll obviously need to stop down Pergear 12mm lens aperture more.
Pergear 12mm f/2 lens vs. Rokinon 12mm f/2
I’ve noticed that the focus plane of the Pergear 12mm f/2 lens is not flat like in the Samyang/Rokinon or Fujinon. Instead, it is has concave shape with center closer to camera and edges further away. If you focus on flat target center – middle borders and corners will be always out of focus. Here is test example with Pergear 12mm at f/2 aperture.
As you can see boxes on sides are completely blurred, even edges of central box are blurred, because focus field is curving behind the box. In this next comparison, images taken from same tripod position, but side boxes are tilted in the first image and set back about an inch in the second. They still don’t catch the in-focus field, but you can see there is more detail in the boxes at the sides.
Hopefully these images will give you some understanding of the extent of the field curvature
It’s important to keep the field curvature in mind when shooting with the Pergear 12mm f/2 lens.
Speaking of close-up shots, here you can see quite pleasant and smooth out of focus rendering. I’m using Pergear 12mm on Fujifilm X-E2s focused to minimal 0.18m distance.
Even far objects look nicely blurred without too nervous-looking out of focus shapes.
The Pergear 12mm f/2 is an affordable ultra-wide lens with great build quality and fast aperture. It has good center sharpness, but the plane of focus is not flat which often makes borders and corners look very soft. As such, you may often need to stop down aperture and compose image in the way to fit objects into spherical DOF area.
Close-up focus of 0.18m is great to have. I personally think that image quality fits the Pergear 12mm price. If you need flat field with great sharpness in border/corners wide open then try more expensive Samyang/Rokinon 12mm f/2 lens. It is possible to take good quality pictures with Pergear 12mm though, if you learn its optical limitations and properly utilize field curvature. I’ll keep shooting with it and follow up with more on my website soon.
You can buy the Pergear 12mm f/2 off their website here