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. I don’t about any of that. You lens, just like the camera you carry should really 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 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.
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.