Funleader x Brightline Star XSLIM-M Lens Review

Over the previous few years, there was a exceptional rise in M and LTM lens producers, throwing in with Leica and Voigtlander in an try and carve out some area of their very own. Many of those lenses lean in direction of the extra reasonably priced aspect of {the marketplace}, with TTArtisan and 7Artisan joined by revived “classics” like Meyer-Optik Görlitz or handmade, artisanal lenses like MS-Optics.

Just lately, an organization often known as Funleader joined the fray with a novel set of adaptable lens barrels that allowed for the non-destructive conversion of Contax G-mount lenses to M-mount. These had been adopted by 18mm f/8 CAPLENS fashions, and eventually, the 28mm f/2.8 Funleader x Brightline Star XSLIM-M.

Externally, this lens is barely reminiscent of the MS-Optics 28mm f/2.0 Apoquealia. Nonetheless, I’ve discovered these similarities to be largely superficial. Whereas each are very slim pancake lenses and have equivalent focal lengths, the XSLIM is created from totally different supplies and has distinctive traits in comparison with the also-excellent MS-Optics glass.


Let’s start with the development of the lens. It is heavy — noticeably so, at 125 grams. Constituted of brass and completed with what seems like enameled shiny black paint, all the physique is barely 9.9 mm thick. The lens options markings in each toes and meters, with the latter marked for zone focusing. The minimal focusing distance is 2.3 toes (nearer than the rangefinder in my M3 permits) and is rangefinder coupled. The glass itself is small and is constructed from six parts in 5 teams with 10 aperture blades that go from f/2.8 to f/16.

Whereas this lens is rangefinder coupled, with an adapter it may be mounted on nearly any mirrorless physique. For the needs of this evaluation, I used it on my M3 and my Nikon Z6.

Dealing with

Specializing in this lens may be very simple, with a small focusing tab on the backside of the barrel. There’s sufficient resistance that you would be able to set your focus and never want to fret about it, however not a lot that it requires any effort to maneuver it. Adjusting the aperture is a little bit trickier, because the structure of the lens retains it on the entrance and as one other outer-barrel ring. This implies you have to truly have a look at the lens whereas adjusting. Whereas this is not a major concern, it’s one you have to be conscious of.

The lens comes with a stable, screw-on metallic cap. I have a tendency to depart it off. Nonetheless, as a result of the lens is so skinny and the entrance aspect is uncovered, I discovered myself touching it greater than I would be comfy with when eradicating it from my bag. Greater than the rest, you have to be conscious of this. A 25.5mm UV filter is a should, however actually, you must at all times have some type of protecting filter in your glass.

On my M3, I discovered the XSLIM to be very simple to make use of and fantastic for road pictures. You possibly can set it to infinity and cease down the aperture to f/8, and 9 instances out of ten, you are going to get the shot you need.

Picture High quality

I discovered the picture high quality fairly spectacular. The pictures had been sharp when shot large open, with none noticeable chromatic aberration or lack of element. There’s some vignetting at f/2.8, however this drops off considerably by the point you hit f/5.6. Taking pictures at f/2.8, there was some softness on the corners, which, sadly, doesn’t appear to sharpen considerably stopped down. The softening on the corners is my strongest criticism of this lens, however it’s removed from a dealbreaker.

It was typically pretty overcast through the week I used to be testing, however I observed no vital lens flare or ghosting. At f/2.8, I discovered the bokeh to be nice, however not overpowering. It was actually sufficient to separate the topic from the background, however not sufficient to be distracting. Whereas this can be an imperfect comparability, the bokeh jogged my memory barely of the Leica 40mm f/2; it is delicate, however with a novel taste all its personal.

Comparable Lenses

Solely two lenses actually come to thoughts: the beforehand talked about MS-Optics Apoquila 28mm f/2 and the TTArtisan 28mm f/5.6. In truth, these are three distinct lenses, all with distinctive traits and dealing with. The TTArtisan is way nearer to a “classic” model lens, and at f/5.6, it handles very otherwise. The MS-Optics is functionally nearer, however the picture high quality and artisanal method makes them each rarer and dearer. All three are glorious lenses, however their variations imply they are going to enchantment to totally different audiences.


The XSLIM-M is actually distinctive. It’s each reasonably priced, produces high-quality pictures relative to its worth level and may be very effectively made. The development is sturdy sufficient to take a beating, and it is simple sufficient to function intuitively when you get the grasp of it. For a compact, street-shooting little bit of glass at an reasonably priced worth, this can be a excellent place to start out.