I have always been a bit of a glass snob, preferring Fujifilm’s lenses, or other prestigious brands like Voigtlander. However, with an almost endless stream of inexpensive third party lenses for Fujifilm cameras coming on the market, I thought I should swallow my pride and try one. So when I spotted the 7artisans 50mm f/1.8 lens on Amazon for less than £70 (about $95) I knew it wasn’t really the biggest gamble of my life!
The 7artisans 50mm f/1.8 is a manual prime lens, which on a Fujifilm X series camera is the equivalent to about 75mm full-frame. It’s very small, not quite a pancake lens. It does not need an adapter, which was something that appealed to me.
The build quality is actually very good, remember it was only £70. The focus ring is very smooth, but it does lack a ratchet-like aperture ring that clicks; something I dislike. But over time, I actually got used to it. The images had an amazing bokeh, created by the 12 circular blades I guess. I kept asking myself, if I didn’t know it was only £70, or had a different badge on it, would I have been so critical?
The lens is a little soft around the f/1.8 and f/2 mark, but it sharpens up a lot when I stopped down. Again, I think I’m looking for faults because of its price, but actually, it’s quite a sharp lens. There is some vignetting at all apertures, which I like, especially when I’m trying to create that ‘film like’ look to my images. I’ve yet to experience any flaring or chromatic aberrations but have not used it in harsh light. But….. I do struggle to focus quickly with this manual lens. I’m sure with practise I’d get faster. Also when photographing subjects more than say 8 meters away, I get home to find a lot of the shots are out of focus; but that could just be me. But, I keep telling myself, it only cost £70! So for me, the only two downsides are the lack of a clickable aperture ring, and focusing at a distance is a struggle.
This 7artisans 50mm f/1.8 is for £70 incredibly good value for money. If like me you’re used to shooting film on vintage lenses, you will be blown away by its quality and value for money. Is the Fujifilm lens better, yes, but this lens is around £330 cheaper than the Fujifilm F2, and I can guarantee most people looking at your images will never notice the difference.
Official 7artisans website : www.7Artisans.com
Amazon UK Fujifilm page : www.amazon.co.uk/fujifilm
This article was written by © Christopher G – Narrating Images