Six Months with the 7artisans 25mm

I figure six months is a good amount of time to get to know a lens. The 7artisans 25mm is not a great lens, it’s barely a good lens for that matter. However, I won’t even leave the house without it. As I’ve stated in a previous post, this lens has some shortcomings that I feel can be worked through, mostly because of US$70 price tag. This lens is almost always mounted to my Fujifilm X-E1. This isn’t my primary, or even secondary camera for my day-to-day work. This is my “I’m walking to the coffee shop” camera. I never hesitate grabbing this camera / lens combo.

The 7artisans 25mm f1.8

A compact lens for micro 4/3 and APS-C cameras. These are lenses for the budget conscience shooter and most likely not considered a pro-grade lens by most photographers. That’s the basic run down of this lens. My opinion hasn’t changed since my original post on lens. I really like this silly lens. It’s not a great performer, it doesn’t feel particularly well-built, and I seriously doubt the f-stop markings are accurate. Your lens, just like the camera you carry should be more about how you feel when you are shooting with them. That’s it. I am happy as I can be shooting with my Fujifilm X-E1 and this weird little lens.

When I go on my photowalks, I just want to keep my life as simple as possible, sort of. This lens is not simple. Detail focusing is a quite a pain in the ass. However, I know my camera, and now I know my lens. There is a certain freedom in that. I can go and shoot at a leisurely pace. I grab a cigar, a cup of coffee, and I hit the street.

Let me go over the optical shortcomings first.

I took this picture this afternoon, shot in raw with only the Provia STD preset done in Lightroom Classic CC 7.3 release, camera raw 10.3. I did convert to DNG on import. There are some that would argue this is a bad idea, but it’s MY workflow.

You can see that the corners are a real mess, the center is sharp and the color is fine. With a little work in LR the image color and contrast is pretty decent with minimal chromatic aberration.

Usabilty issues…

Focusing this thing can be troublesome. The focus throw is roughly 120°, which isn’t great. If you are focusing on something at about 3 feet (.91 meters) with the aperture opened wide, you will run into trouble. It took me a while to get the hang of it.

Why I like this lens

Sure it doesn’t have autofocus or auto exposure, I like the manual process of photography. When I go out and shoot, I want to work for it. I like the challenge. This lens has a lot of character and imperfections that makes taking pictures fun. I like that this lens has a click-less aperture. I don’t mind if it gets knocked around, I shoot at different apertures all day.

Who is this lens for? People like me, people who want to take it slow. I would not recommend this lens for the family photographer chasing their kids around the garden. It much too slow for that. I would recommend this lens to the art photographer looking to make fun images, interesting or otherwise. If 7artisans decides to make an updated version of this lens, I would only buy it if they fix the focusing ring. If they only fix the optics, I may not take the upgrade.

Here are some sample pictures I’ve shot with this lens over the last six months.


  • Cedric says:

    And this is where you understand that it’s all about the guy behind the camera than the glass in front of it ! Very nice picture I will try to see if I can find a copy of this weird little lens !

  • Great review. I’m a Nikon shooter, but use my XE1 as a “go for a Sunday walk” camera and I’ve been using older Nikon primes with a Metabones adapter on it to slow things down a bit. Although I enjoy taking my time with a manual kit, the 24mm AIS lens + the Metabones adapter doesn’t make the XE1 feel as compact as I would want it to be. I didn’t feel like investing in the fuji 23mm 2.0 lens, so I’ve been looking at reviews for this lens. Despite its shortcomings, it seems like it does the trick, especially when you’re looking for a simple kit to walk around with. If I’m spending 70 bucks, I’m not expecting perfection, but its good to know you’ve been able to produce great images with it. Thanks again!

    • Tom says:

      Thanks, I’m glad you found this useful. I don’t regret owning this lens at all. I just have my brother my X-E1, I still have a pair of X-T1 cameras and I hope to pick up an X-E3 here in a few weeks. The viewfinder in the X-T1 is much nicer than the X-E1 so focusing is much easier.
      I hope you get a better copy of the 25mm lens than I did.
      I too am a Nikon film shooter and I’m hoping to get that same 24mm ais lens. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Film and Sensor
Skip to content