7Artisans lenses 50mm f/1.1

Brief Review of Two 7artisans Lenses

7Artisans lenses 50mm f/1.1
7Artisans lenses 50mm f/1.1

Two weeks back I received two 7Artisans lenses an Leica M mount 50mm f/1.1 and a 35mm F/2.0 lens in Sony full frame E mount from Videolinks who are distributors of this lens in India. These two are very unusual manual lenses made by 7artisans who created this company making lenses for mirrorless. They have lenses for many mirrorless brands but, since I had Sony A7RIII I wanted to test these two lenses which work with full frame Sony E mount. Rest of their lenses work with APS-C or Micro 4/3 sensors.

7artisans 50mm f/1.1 at f/2.8
7artisans 50mm f/1.1 at f/2.8

Let me start with M mount 50mm f/1.1. This is natively created for Leica M mount and it is their Sonnar type lens design. The Zeiss Sonnar is a photographic lens originally designed by Dr Ludwig Bertele in 1929 and patented by Zeiss Ikon. It was notable for its relatively lightweight, simple design and fast aperture. Compared to Planar designs the Sonnars had more aberrations, but with fewer glass-to-air surfaces it had better contrast and less flare. Though compared to the earlier Tessar design, its faster aperture and lower chromatic aberration was a significant improvement. The Sonnar has proved to be incompatible in SLR cameras due to space is taken up by an SLR’s mirror. For this reason, it has been used most commonly with rangefinder cameras and mirrorless.

7artisans 50mm f/1.1 at f/2.0
7artisans 50mm f/1.1 at f/2.0

Using such a manual lens with manual aperture and manual focus on DSLR will be pretty tough. In fact, their lenses don’t work on any DSLR’s. With Mirrorless there is an advantage. You can zoom the viewfinder as well as use peaking setting to assist in focusing it is pretty easy. I had custom mapped C1 & C2 keys of my Sony A7RIII to focus magnification as well as peaking, it was very easy to focus.

7artisans 50mm f/1.1 at f/8
7artisans 50mm f/1.1 at f/8

7artisans 50mm F/1.1 lens is really created for Bokeh enthusiasts. I shot this lens with my Sony A7RIII, which meant I had to use an adapter that allowed the M mount to fit my Sony FE mount. This 3rd party mount might be a chink in its armour. I suspect the problem of a very blurry image I had at f/1.1 & f/1.4 apertures might be due to this adapter. For me, there was no way to ascertain that it was true or false.

7artisans 50mm f/1.1 at f/1.4
7artisans 50mm f/1.1 at f/1.4

Here are the Pros of this lens in my short stint with the lens.

  • Extremely wide F/1.1 aperture gives a great bokeh
  • Aperture Range: f/1.1 to f/16
  • Multi-Layer Lens Coating reducing Chromatic aberration
  • Great build quality
  • Aperture ring is solid
  • Manual focusing feels great
  • Lightweight

Here is the cons.

  • Manual focus and manual aperture lens
  • Not the sharpest lens at F 1.1 or 1.4 but you will love the creamy bokeh and softness
  • Hard to nail focus at its maximum aperture
  • No weather sealing
7artisans 50mm f/1.1 at f/1.1
7artisans 50mm f/1.1 at f/1.1

Besides having an aperture of F/1.1, the build quality of this lens is very impressive. The aluminium body and copper bayonet design help this lens feel and look very solid. The 50mm F/1.1 weighs in at only 400g with a height of 49mm and width of 60mm. It is a compact lens that isn’t heavy and doesn’t take up much room in your camera bag.

7artisans 50mm f/1.1 at f/2.8
7artisans 50mm f/1.1 at f/2.8

To my dismay, this lens has no weather sealing. With a filter size of 50mm, this lens is well suited to be an all-around manual focusing lens that can create beautiful imagery. No hood was included in the box and with further research, I found that a hood wasn’t manufactured for the 50mm F/1.1 by 7artisans.

7artisans 50mm f/1.1 at f/1.1
7artisans 50mm f/1.1 at f/1.1

7artisans 50mm F/1.1 is made primarily for Leica M mount but can also be used on Sony E-mount by using an adapter (Leica M mount to Sony E- mount). The maximum aperture of this lens is F/1.1, with twelve diaphragm blades. It has low chromatic aberration and extremely fast aperture at F/1.1. This lens is not stabilized but having in body stabilization (IBIS) in your camera will help.

7artisans 50mm f/1.1 at f/8
7artisans 50mm f/1.1 at f/8

When it comes to the image quality of this lens, one must put in perspective the price you pay. At F/1.1 the lens does create some great bokeh but is not the sharpest in the centre. This lens is a full frame manual lens as well, and it has a manual aperture ring that can be found in the front of the lens. The bokeh it produced allowed me to completely separate my subject from the environment by blurring its surroundings completely. This lens produces low chromatic aberration and some vignette which is easily fixed in Lightroom.

7artisans 50mm f/1.1 at f/8
7artisans 50mm f/1.1 at f/8

At ₹34,000, the price is fairly cheap for the speed and build of this lens. I must say that this lens does have some character. I don’t think it’s for everyone, but those who purchase the lens will definitely have fun and create some unique images with some crazy bokeh. If you are looking for a lens that has a fast aperture and don’t mind the manual focus aspect of it, I recommend you giving it a try. It’s not the sharpest wide open, but that’s not why you’re buying this lens.

7artisans 50mm f/1.1 at f/2.0
7artisans 50mm f/1.1 at f/2.0
7Artisans lenses 35mm F2.0
7Artisans lenses 35mm F2.0

Now Let us see the 7artisans 35mm F/2.0. A small 35mm F/2.0 lens for a very modest price of ₹17,000 is expected to have some compromises. Surprisingly it did not disappoint me.

Here are the Pros of this lens in my short stint with the lens.

  • Great colour,
  • Fabulous contrast, nice depth
  • Beautiful rich bokeh with some soap bubbles look
  • Fairly sharp in the centre even at f/2.0
  • Nice closeup at 35cm

Here is the cons.

  • Build lacks precision,
  • full-stop aperture clicks
  • soft corners and edges
  • heavy lens
7artisans 35mm f/2.0 at f/2.8
7artisans 35mm f/2.0 at f/2.8

7Artisans 35mm F2.0 build impressed me right out of the box when I removed lens front cap – it’s metal! Few people might complain about metal grinding against the front of the lens, but the front element is recessed and gives a nice look. Everything is constructed from thick aluminium, and this tiny lens even has a built-in small lens hood that also looks very durable.

7Artisans 35mm F/2.0 lens delivers decent sharpness and contrast in the central area. The out of focus zone sometimes look little distracting, but in many cases, it’s quite an organic part of the shot and adds some character to the scene. It shines at f/2.8 onwards. It is very sharp at f/4 and smaller aperture.

7artisans 50mm f/1.1 at f/2.0
7artisans 50mm f/1.1 at f/2.0

I also like the minimal 35cm focusing distance, it’s quite comfortable range and allows to easy emphasize certain frame area. Bokeh remains round at F2.8. They also keep the nice shape up to the image corners.

Image corners showed heavy vignette and absence of details at F2.0. 7Artisans optical design doesn’t compensate the common problem of compact rangefinder wide angle lens. It’s important to know this flaw and utilize the lens properly. When you are wide open focus attention at the objects only in the frame centre. Vignette helps to reinforce that view.

7artisans 35mm f/2.0 at f/2.8
7artisans 35mm f/2.0 at f/2.8

Another big surprise (comparing to 7Artisans 50mm f/1.1 lens I’ve used) is that this 35mm F/2.0 lens has click stops at main aperture ring marks. It’s so convenient to be able to change the aperture to the desired value while keep looking into viewfinder by just counting clicks.

Lens focusing is very smooth, the ring has comfortable texture and convenient position. Though sometimes I’m tending to grasp lens hood or focusing – due to its relatively small size. Focus ring diameter and about 120 degrees rotation allow precise and fast manual focusing.

7artisans 35mm f/2.0 at f/2.0
7artisans 35mm f/2.0 at f/2.0

7Artisans 35mm F/2.0 lens is an interesting compact and solidly built lens with great ergonomics. The lens delivers great results in the image centre and F2.8 onwards it is perfectly usable.

I didn’t notice any practical use of the built-in lens hood though. It doesn’t actually block any light to see significant flare cut off. But I like how the lens looks with an extended hood.

Disclosure: I was not financially compensated for this review. I received a sample lenses for review purposes. The opinions are completely my own based on my experience. I was not required to write a positive review. The photos of the lenses are used from 7artisans website.

EXIF info - Taken : 18 November, 2018 | Images and content Copyright © Krishna Mohan. Please contact me to purchase prints or for image publication license.
EXIF info - Camera : ILCE-7RM3 | Taken : 4 November, 2018 | Exposure bias : +3/10EV | Flash fired : no | ISO : 100 | Location : 12° 53.3842′ 0″ N 74° 49.2654′ 0″ E | Shutter speed : 1/1250s | Images and content Copyright © Krishna Mohan. Please contact me to purchase prints or for image publication license.
EXIF info - Camera : ILCE-7RM3 | Taken : 4 November, 2018 | Flash fired : no | ISO : 100 | Location : 12° 53.3842′ 0″ N 74° 49.2654′ 0″ E | Shutter speed : 1/500s | Images and content Copyright © Krishna Mohan. Please contact me to purchase prints or for image publication license.
EXIF info - Camera : ILCE-7RM3 | Taken : 4 November, 2018 | Exposure bias : -1.3EV | Flash fired : no | ISO : 100 | Location : 12° 53.3842′ 0″ N 74° 49.2654′ 0″ E | Shutter speed : 1/250s | Images and content Copyright © Krishna Mohan. Please contact me to purchase prints or for image publication license.
EXIF info - Camera : ILCE-7RM3 | Taken : 18 November, 2018 | Flash fired : no | ISO : 100 | Location : 13° 4.0311′ 0″ N 74° 59.7279′ 0″ E | Shutter speed : 1/640s | Images and content Copyright © Krishna Mohan. Please contact me to purchase prints or for image publication license.
EXIF info - Camera : ILCE-7RM3 | Taken : 16 November, 2018 | Exposure bias : -1EV | Flash fired : no | ISO : 100 | Location : 13° 4.0311′ 0″ N 74° 59.7279′ 0″ E | Shutter speed : 1/400s | Images and content Copyright © Krishna Mohan. Please contact me to purchase prints or for image publication license.
EXIF info - Camera : ILCE-7RM3 | Taken : 16 November, 2018 | Exposure bias : -1EV | Flash fired : no | ISO : 125 | Location : 13° 4.0311′ 0″ N 74° 59.7279′ 0″ E | Shutter speed : 1/125s | Images and content Copyright © Krishna Mohan. Please contact me to purchase prints or for image publication license.
EXIF info - Camera : ILCE-7RM3 | Taken : 4 November, 2018 | Exposure bias : -3/10EV | Flash fired : no | ISO : 100 | Location : 12° 53.3842′ 0″ N 74° 49.2654′ 0″ E | Shutter speed : 1/2000s | Images and content Copyright © Krishna Mohan. Please contact me to purchase prints or for image publication license.
EXIF info - Camera : ILCE-7RM3 | Taken : 4 November, 2018 | Exposure bias : +3/10EV | Flash fired : no | ISO : 320 | Location : 12° 53.3842′ 0″ N 74° 49.2654′ 0″ E | Shutter speed : 1/125s | Images and content Copyright © Krishna Mohan. Please contact me to purchase prints or for image publication license.
EXIF info - Camera : ILCE-7RM3 | Taken : 4 November, 2018 | Exposure bias : -1.3EV | Flash fired : no | ISO : 100 | Location : 12° 53.3842′ 0″ N 74° 49.2654′ 0″ E | Shutter speed : 1/60s | Images and content Copyright © Krishna Mohan. Please contact me to purchase prints or for image publication license.
EXIF info - Camera : ILCE-7RM3 | Taken : 18 November, 2018 | Flash fired : no | ISO : 125 | Location : 13° 4.0311′ 0″ N 74° 59.7279′ 0″ E | Shutter speed : 1/125s | Images and content Copyright © Krishna Mohan. Please contact me to purchase prints or for image publication license.
EXIF info - Taken : 19 November, 2018 | Images and content Copyright © Krishna Mohan. Please contact me to purchase prints or for image publication license.
EXIF info - Camera : ILCE-7RM3 | Taken : 4 November, 2018 | Exposure bias : -7/10EV | Flash fired : no | ISO : 100 | Location : 12° 53.3842′ 0″ N 74° 49.2654′ 0″ E | Shutter speed : 1/4000s | Images and content Copyright © Krishna Mohan. Please contact me to purchase prints or for image publication license.
EXIF info - Camera : ILCE-7RM3 | Taken : 18 November, 2018 | Flash fired : no | ISO : 200 | Location : 13° 4.0311′ 0″ N 74° 59.7279′ 0″ E | Shutter speed : 1/125s | Images and content Copyright © Krishna Mohan. Please contact me to purchase prints or for image publication license.
EXIF info - Camera : ILCE-7RM3 | Taken : 18 November, 2018 | Exposure bias : -1.3EV | Flash fired : no | ISO : 100 | Location : 13° 4.0311′ 0″ N 74° 59.7279′ 0″ E | Shutter speed : 1/250s | Images and content Copyright © Krishna Mohan. Please contact me to purchase prints or for image publication license.
EXIF info - Camera : ILCE-7RM3 | Taken : 18 November, 2018 | Exposure bias : -1.3EV | Flash fired : no | ISO : 160 | Location : 13° 4.0311′ 0″ N 74° 59.7279′ 0″ E | Shutter speed : 1/125s | Images and content Copyright © Krishna Mohan. Please contact me to purchase prints or for image publication license.

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