MC MIR-20M 3,5 / 20, a review of the lens from the reader Radozhiva

Rodion Eshmakov prepared a review of the MC MIR-20M 3,5 / 20 lens (KMZ, 2004) especially for Radozhiva.

MC MIR-20M 3,5 / 20

MC MIR-20M 3,5 / 20

Specifications MC MIR-20M 3,5 / 20:

Frame format: for full-frame cameras (35 mm film)
Focal length: 20 mm
Viewing angle: 96 degrees
Aperture: F / 3.5
Aperture limits: 1: 3.5-1: 16
Construction: nine lenses in eight groups, retrofocus asymmetrical anastigmat of the "Flektogon" type
Resolution: 50 lines / mm in the center of the frame, 30 lines / mm around the edge
MDF: 18 cm
Filtration thread (lens): 28 mm
The weight: 390, the
Years of issue: from the 90s to the present day

Mir-20 is a real wide-angle lens designed to work with a full-format matrix. The lens was produced at different times and had several modifications:

  • Mir-20M 3,5 / 20 - produced at KMZ, did not have multi-coating
  • MIR-20 3.5 / 20 AUTOMAT - produced at the Arsenal, Kiev. It does not fit without alteration to modern cameras, worse than others in quality.
  • MS Mir-20N 3.5 / 20 - the version produced at the Arsenal with the MC, for the Nikon F mount
  • MC Mir-20M is a version, the release of which began in the early 90s in the USSR and continues to this day at KMZ.

The copy presented in the review was released in 2004 and was clearly a "workhorse" of the previous owner. The optical condition is excellent.

MC MIR-20M 3,5 / 20

MC MIR-20M 3,5 / 20

Appearance, materials and ergonomics

When you take the lens in hand, you feel that this is not the same metal Mir-20M: the details of the new version are made of plastic that is not resistant to damage. Top Details of the new version are made of painted duralumin. The paintwork is not resistant to mechanical damage and has peeled off over time on my lens. Those. lens materials are not chosen very well, I would like better. At the same time, the lens is well assembled - nothing loose or wobbled.

The huge front lens of the lens attracts attention, making it look like a fish-fish. But let's not forget that this is an orthoscopic lens. The front lens protrudes beyond the frame and is very vulnerable. However, there is no way to put on it protective filter... Above and below the lens there are two visors - with the KMZ logo and a serial number, which serve as a mount for the cover. The focusing ring of the lens is brought forward, it has a large diameter and a decent width, equipped with ribs for grip. The ring has a tight and soft long stroke - almost 270 degrees! Focusing with such a lens is a pleasure! When focusing, the entire lens unit moves, but the lens and its frame itself don't spin... The minimum focusing distance is only 18 cm, which is a very good indicator.

A little closer to the camera mount is a no less wide aperture ring. It has ribbed protrusions, it would be completely simple to control the diaphragm if it were not for the rather glitchy course of this ring. It closes the diaphragm with clicks on the feet and half-stops, but they are somewhat indistinct and sometimes slip somehow. Sometimes, setting the specific aperture value on this lens caused me difficulty.

Unlike many modern lenses, this one is equipped with a full depth of field scale, which is very good. The scale contains all the values ​​of the aperture stops. The lens has an M / A aperture mode switch: on modern cameras, you can turn off the jump rope and live peacefully, which is very convenient.

The lens diaphragm itself consists of six shiny (no blackening) rounded petals... Of course, you will not expect bokeh from a wide-angle, especially at closed apertures. And rightly so - it should not have many petals: otherwise the stars from point sources at night will turn into blurry "buns".

On the back of the lens there is a small thread under the lens filters. Obviously, not the most successful way of fastening. In general, the lens, despite flaws in the choice of materials and the quality of the work of the aperture ring, is respected, although it is far from exemplary.

MC MIR-20M 3,5 / 20

MC MIR-20M 3,5 / 20

Image quality

The lens gives a double impression of the picture quality: on the one hand, it gives quite good colors and contrast. It has excellent center sharpness. On the other hand, it has very poor sharpness at the edges of the frame, even at crop. Its sharpness is limited by chromatism and coma, and the former is not cured by diaphragm treatment! The best sharpness is achieved at f / 5.6-f / 8. Obviously, these effects will be less noticeable on full-frame cameras with lower pixel densities. Still, it's worth noting that this is one of the most affordable 20mm full-frame widths. MC Mir-20M as a descendant CZJ Flektogon 20/4, has a good pattern, nice bokeh (yes, yes, bokeh). They are very pleased to shoot "macro" (although he is far from real macro). The wide angle lets you play with perspective.

Although multi-coating of the lens will save it from loss of contrast, a veil still appears in the contrasting hard sunlight, and the large lens of the lens strives to catch the glare from the sun. However, on the crop, I could afford to just cover it with my hand - it helped a lot.

Despite the wide angle, the lens has a rather weak, very easily distorted distortion. In this regard, this is one of the best lenses. Despite the very poor sharpness around the edge, I liked the lens. Especially warms the soul the fact that it comes to full-frame cameras.

Download source files in format JPEG can at this link (49 files in '.JPG' format, 572 MB). All photos were taken on Canon 600D.


MC Mir-20M leaves two impressions. On the one hand, this is an affordable manual shirik with an angle of 96 degrees for a full frame, with good sharpness in the center, good contrast and distortion correction, and good ergonomics. On the other hand, the quality of the materials and some unfortunate moments in the mechanics of the lens are a little depressing, the sharpness at the edge of the frame is frustrating - very low even at crop. Nevertheless, the lens can be a good buy “for growth” with a cropped camera, it can take interesting, beautiful and cheap pictures thanks to a design that is very good for a wide-angle lens.

A list of all reviews from readers of Radozhiva will find here.

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Comments: 45, on the topic: MC MIR-20M 3,5 / 20, a review of the lens from the reader Radozhiva

  • atypical Kiev

    Do I understand correctly that Rodion is from Volgograd?
    So, looking at the author’s reviews, you can also find out the geography of readers of Radozhiva))
    Rodion - thanks for the review!
    Radozhiva - another thanks for the site and the great idea of ​​reviews by site readers!

    • Timur

      There, the Kazan Theater of G. Kamal lit up in the pictures;) the third shot.

    • Rodion

      Rodion from Izhevsk, but in Volgograd was in the summer.

  • valery

    On what basis did the author conclude that the quality of the lens of the Arsenal factory is worse. The article does not mention the comparison of these two lenses, and according to many reviews of the quality of other lenses of the factory, the opposite conclusion can be drawn.

    • Rodion

      The World-20 Automatic among all is the worst in quality:
      -the convenience of use
      -build quality.
      This is not my conclusion.

      • Dmitriy

        The contrast and build quality are quite decent, usability is a separate story, of course, you have to get rid of it, alter it, attach the diaphragm ring somehow. Naturally, there is no question of convenience. But you can use it. And in general, it is strange to make a claim to the lens that it is inconvenient to work on it on a camera for which it was not made.

      • Dmitriy

        We need to review the Automaton or something ...

      • Dmitriy

        And the bokeh is interesting, yes. Here is an example from the same Machine

        • Rodion

          Do it, do it. I always wanted to.
          I just came across a lot of reviews about its very poor contrast, uneven sharpness across the frame (one half is normal, the other is blockage) ... That's the opinion.

          • Dmitriy

            Regarding uneven sharpness ... The edges sag strongly, but this is on any Mir-20, regardless of the manufacturer and series. The scheme is as follows. But if one edge is sharp, the other is not, the lens was simply disassembled with crooked hands and assembled with a bias. It is being treated ...

            • Rodion

              The fact that the edges are weak - I noted. This is yes, a disadvantage. I would say - fly. Chromatism walks there and coma. Even the bokeh is visible.

              • Dmitriy

                Chromatism is treated in a rabbi elementary with two engines. I even made a special preset for Mir-20 so as not to select correction values. That's worse with edges. Although I, just like you, shoot on a canon crop. Distortion is noticeable to the naked eye, if there are straight vertical lines in the frame. You can fix it, but I even like the way it is

              • Dmitriy

                And he catches "hares". Well, here it is like any super-wide. Moreover, such a lens is a huge front. But I don't see any crime in this. And, yes, “Automat” has not six petals, but five, the “hares” are witnesses

  • brighty

    Photos very, very much. Rodion respect and thanks for the review. Special thanks to Arkady for the idea and implementation.
    All beaver and with the upcoming.

    • Rodion

      Of course, M42.

  • Alexander Malyaev

    Good review, good photos.

  • anonym

    Great! All the lens features are visible under different shooting conditions! Thanks.))

  • Jacob

    I liked the review. For the sake of truth, I note that 35mm film refers to a small format.

    • Rodion

      Arkady apparently wanted to sign the "full-frame" ones. In my original text, it was simply indicated APS.

      • Sergei

        Only the one who does not work is not mistaken.

  • Michael

    Misprint “very easily corrected distortion”. Thanks for the interesting review. And where does such a miracle tram-metro ride?

    • Rodion

      "High-speed tram", "metrotram" - Volgograd celebrity. The only one in Russia, widespread in Europe.

      • Sergey

        There is also a high-speed tram in Kryvyi Rih. Also with tunnels, underground stations and a payment system like in the subway - with tokens and turnstiles at the stations.

        • Rodion

          I did not know, thanks for the info)

  • Sergei

    Thanks for the review. Very interesting.

  • Alexey

    I have my own Flektogon 4/20, my grandfather brought from Germany. Adjusted, but still loses a lot as Tokina 116 DX II

  • anonym

    You say that the colors are good, but it seems to me that the saturation is twisted in the processing, forgive me if I’m new to the photo.

    • Rodion

      You are right, here and there, I am a lover of bright colors - I specially adjusted the saturation. But there are pictures on the contrary, discolored, there are pictures with “normal” colors.

  • Simon

    I was surprised by such a picture in terms of distortion ... Unexpectedly good - I looked ...

    • Rodion

      Among 20 mm, Mir-20M has very good distortion. Nikkor 20 / 2.8, for example, has a complex shape, some kind of cunning. There is also the Soligor 20 mm - there are also worse edges.

  • Igor_K

    Nice review, beautiful colors, great idea to let readers express themselves! I read it, looked at the photo, I really wanted to buy a used "first-timer" from Canon - no Chinese lenses in adapters and "infinity shortfalls". Rodion - Respect for the review, Arkady - for the idea, all comrades with the coming New Year!

  • Ivan

    Now, if you look at the photo on a 23 ″ Full HD monitor, then it's not very good (open the page in a separate window). Yes, colorful, but the resolution of the lens even in the center is low. You can still endure if the photo does not exceed the screen size. In my opinion, even a whale 17-55 at a wide angle will be better.

    • Rodion

      MS Mir-20M does not claim to be the best shirik. This is a very controversial lens: on the one hand, it is not good enough optically, but on the other hand, it is cheap enough for a full frame.

    • anonym

      the whale is generally 18-55. and he won’t stand up to the full frame. and world 20 for the full frame. He draws just super, for a lens for 3 thousand rubles. I have one, and I am very pleased with it

  • Eugene

    In the last photo of the starry sky, there is clearly a crop from the frame. Approximately corresponds to the scale at 50mm on the crop;)

  • Nikita

    Sorry if the question is stupid, but what will happen if you put this lens on the crop?

    • ñ

      I have a world of 20n with (!) M42
      so photos from crop, look carefully what camera yuzali

      • Alexey

        Vopos: and how to fasten the Nikon world 20n with m42, while maintaining infinity?

  • anonym

    What for a full-frame lens to test on a cropped SLR?

    • Rodion

      Send us a full-frame camera - we will test it on it. You can even donate it.

  • Veronica

    Good day. I plan to purchase the most budget wide-angle lens. I shoot mainly portraits, I decided to try landscape photography. For now I want to check whether I like it or not. I read for different lenses (either the price is too high, or I don’t like the result), while I am interested in this one. Maybe there is some other inexpensive alternative? Camera: Sony Nex 7. Thanks in advance.

    • B. R. P.

      Under Sony E from inexpensive manuals-shirik Chinese: 7Artisans, Meike, Mitakon.

    • Novel

      You have a staffer - 18 mm. Even wider. With the same aperture. I strongly doubt that it will be worse than this World, rather even better.

      It’s scary that for the price of a native 10-18 you can take a Canon 10-18 with a camera :)

  • Alexander

    Show me who produces it? I can’t find it.

    • Rodion

      KMZ produced it. Nobody anymore.

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