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Can a $340 Chinese Leica lens be any good? Now with film ...
  
 
Desmolicious
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Can a $340 Chinese Leica lens be any good? Now with film shots!


I've finally had time to test my 7Artisans 50 1.1 on my M240.
Impressions - it has the 6 bit coding (supposedly for a Noctilux 1.0) but my camera does not pick it up.
It also sometimes - not all the time, has purple edging on the right side of the frame. By not all the time, I mean even using the same aperture. I'm sure there are ways of removing this in post, but putting it out there.
All the Leica 50mm profile lens coding options in LR that I have tried have not been great. I've removed barrel distortion manually and saved that as a profile.
Wide open - Leica glow! Which if this was a Leica that cost 5 times as much fanbois would be tripping over themselves saying how great it is. And of course vignetting, just like a $11,000 Noctilux .95

Stopped down, sharp as any lens is sharp stopped down. I'm almost thinking this would be a better lens on film.
But, it's still pretty darn sweet given that this thing is in the $300 range, new!
No issues with fit on M240, M7, M5, M4-2, M3ss. On an M3ds really tight fit and the lens release button collar scratched the lens.
No this won't replace my Leica glass. Or my Zeiss. Or my Voigtlander etc etc. It's another lens for a certain look, and again, an amazing deal at the price point.

A selection of images from walking around with it today. Most at 1.1, a few stopped down :

AbbottKinney7ArtisansS-4 by desmolicious, on Flickr

AbbottKinney7ArtisansS-5 by desmolicious, on Flickr

AbbottKinney7ArtisansS-8 by desmolicious, on Flickr

AbbottKinney7ArtisansS-7 by desmolicious, on Flickr

AbbottKinney7ArtisansS-9 by desmolicious, on Flickr

AbbottKinney7ArtisansS-13 by desmolicious, on Flickr

AbbottKinney7ArtisansS-10 by desmolicious, on Flickr

AbbottKinney7ArtisansS-12 by desmolicious, on Flickr

AbbottKinney7ArtisansS-11 by desmolicious, on Flickr

AbbottKinney7ArtisansS-14 by desmolicious, on Flickr

AbbottKinney7ArtisansS-16 by desmolicious, on Flickr

AbbottKinney7ArtisansS-18 by desmolicious, on Flickr

AbbottKinney7ArtisansS-15 by desmolicious, on Flickr

AbbottKinney7ArtisansS-6 by desmolicious, on Flickr

AbbottKinney7ArtisansS-2 by desmolicious, on Flickr

Edited on Oct 04, 2017 at 07:50 AM · View previous versions



Sep 25, 2017 at 02:58 AM
Sam_W
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Can a $340 Chinese Leica lens be any good? Now with film shots!


Please see Betteridge's Law of Headlines, with respect to the topic title.

On a more serious note, it's not just the immediate image quality that you're paying for. It's really not that hard to design a good 50mm lens, even when it's fast.

Will the lens last a year of daily usage? Weekly usage? What's the warranty like?

Part of the cost of a Leica lens is in being able to get it fixed/serviced for many, many years, into the decades. I doubt you'd get that with this lens. Maybe given the price that doesn't matter; you can just get a new one for the price of a regular repair. But it leads to the same place like with computers: people throw it out and get a new one instead of fixing it, thereby creating a race to the bottom for quality.

That being said. If I look at this lens almost like buying a single-use camera; instead of a camera, it's almost a single-use lens.



Sep 25, 2017 at 03:40 AM
edwardkaraa
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Can a $340 Chinese Leica lens be any good? Now with film shots!


Fantastic photos, Huss! How is the focus shift?


Sep 25, 2017 at 04:04 AM
Desmolicious
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Can a $340 Chinese Leica lens be any good? Now with film shots!


Sam_W wrote

That being said. If I look at this lens almost like buying a single-use camera; instead of a camera, it's almost a single-use lens.


Please explain, I'm not sure what you mean. The lens shows that subject isolation and separation wide open, and shows even field exposure and sharpness stopped down, as can be seen in the photos above.




Sep 25, 2017 at 06:35 AM
Desmolicious
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Can a $340 Chinese Leica lens be any good? Now with film shots!


edwardkaraa wrote:
Fantastic photos, Huss! How is the focus shift?


Thanks Edward! I didn't notice any but did not go looking for it so I do not know if it is there. I shot only wide open, and then stopped down past 5.6 so I may have just missed it if it was there in the in between apertures.
One thing I missed is to see how it flares.



Sep 25, 2017 at 06:39 AM
adamdewilde
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Can a $340 Chinese Leica lens be any good? Now with film shots!


Desmolicious wrote:
I've finally had time to test my 7Artisans 50 1.1 on my M240.
Impressions - it has the 6 bit coding (supposedly for a Noctilux 1.0) but my camera does not pick it up.
It also sometimes - not all the time, has purple edging on the right side of the frame. By not all the time, I mean even using the same aperture. I'm sure there are ways of removing this in post, but putting it out there.
All the Leica 50mm profile lens coding options in LR that I have tried have not been great. I've removed barrel distortion manually and
...Show more

Was this from the festival today (sunday)?
I met/chatted with a few Leica/GFX users.



Sep 25, 2017 at 08:07 AM
adamdewilde
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Can a $340 Chinese Leica lens be any good? Now with film shots!


Sam_W wrote:
Please see Betteridge's Law of Headlines, with respect to the topic title.

On a more serious note, it's not just the immediate image quality that you're paying for. It's really not that hard to design a good 50mm lens, even when it's fast.

Will the lens last a year of daily usage? Weekly usage? What's the warranty like?

Part of the cost of a Leica lens is in being able to get it fixed/serviced for many, many years, into the decades. I doubt you'd get that with this lens. Maybe given the price that doesn't matter; you can just get a new one
...Show more

You obviously don't own enough Leica products if you're ribbing a China lens about lasting a year of daily usage.. hahah!!



Sep 25, 2017 at 08:10 AM
edwardkaraa
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Can a $340 Chinese Leica lens be any good? Now with film shots!


Desmolicious wrote:
Thanks Edward! I didn't notice any but did not go looking for it so I do not know if it is there. I shot only wide open, and then stopped down past 5.6 so I may have just missed it if it was there in the in between apertures.
One thing I missed is to see how it flares.


Thank you Huss! If you haven't noticed the shift in actual use, that is a good sign.



Sep 25, 2017 at 08:23 AM
edwardkaraa
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Can a $340 Chinese Leica lens be any good? Now with film shots!


adamdewilde wrote:
You obviously don't own enough Leica products if you're ribbing a China lens about lasting a year of daily usage.. hahah!!


Good point Adam



Sep 25, 2017 at 08:23 AM
Arka
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Can a $340 Chinese Leica lens be any good? Now with film shots!


Sam_W wrote:
Please see Betteridge's Law of Headlines, with respect to the topic title.

On a more serious note, it's not just the immediate image quality that you're paying for. It's really not that hard to design a good 50mm lens, even when it's fast.

Will the lens last a year of daily usage? Weekly usage? What's the warranty like?

Part of the cost of a Leica lens is in being able to get it fixed/serviced for many, many years, into the decades. I doubt you'd get that with this lens. Maybe given the price that doesn't matter; you can just get a new one
...Show more

You can buy a lot of $340 lenses for the cost of one Noctilux. I love my Leica lenses as much as anyone and would love add a Noct to my collection, but at $10,000, they're pretty inaccessible to most people. I'd certainly be interested in test-driving a 7Artisans lens up and down Abbott-Kinney for an afternoon to see if the shallow DoF look of an extremely fast 50 is something that would intrigue me. And in fact, it would cost less for me to buy the 7Artisans lens outright than rent a Noctilux ($500 through LensRentals!).



Sep 25, 2017 at 09:28 AM
 

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Desmolicious
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Can a $340 Chinese Leica lens be any good? Now with film shots!


adamdewilde wrote:
Was this from the festival today (sunday)?
I met/chatted with a few Leica/GFX users.


Yup, I live about a block away. Fun time strolling through the crowd.



Sep 25, 2017 at 03:05 PM
retrofocus
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Can a $340 Chinese Leica lens be any good? Now with film shots!


Thanks for posting this, Huss! I am curious about this lens even I am normally not a portrait shooter and rarely have use of such fast lens speed. But I watched a few videos published online about this lens, and your observation confirms the main message of the video reviewers regarding image quality. I am not any kind of brand fanboy (I am currently using gear from 5 brands), I really like if there are options for a consumer to select from. Sometimes it is all about the created effect of a lens no matter if it is a cheap one. So if you can achieve this result with the Artisan lens, there is nothing wrong about it! I think you got a great addition to an already existing setup of lenses - all good


Sep 25, 2017 at 03:28 PM
Sam_W
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Can a $340 Chinese Leica lens be any good? Now with film shots!


Desmolicious wrote:
Please explain, I'm not sure what you mean. The lens shows that subject isolation and separation wide open, and shows even field exposure and sharpness stopped down, as can be seen in the photos above.


I mean that the lens is so cheap, that if you were to need to repair it, it would most likely be cheaper/easier to just buy a new one instead.

Think shipping costs back and forth to China, possible customs/duties - or the time to figure out how to do an RMA and get the vendor to handle it, etc. Or even going to a local 3rd party repair shop, the labour to disassemble and reassemble is probably costing almost as much as the lens itself.



Sep 25, 2017 at 07:15 PM
Desmolicious
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Can a $340 Chinese Leica lens be any good? Now with film shots!


Sam_W wrote:
I mean that the lens is so cheap, that if you were to need to repair it, it would most likely be cheaper/easier to just buy a new one instead.

Think shipping costs back and forth to China, possible customs/duties - or the time to figure out how to do an RMA and get the vendor to handle it, etc. Or even going to a local 3rd party repair shop, the labour to disassemble and reassemble is probably costing almost as much as the lens itself.


Your beef with a $300 lens is to do with something that may or may not happen in the future?
I judge a lens by the images it can produce and thus how to utilize it for those images. But that's just me.

FYI Walters Camera Repair in Los Angeles has fixed/CLA'd lenses for me for $80. They repair all sorts of gear.




Sep 25, 2017 at 07:56 PM
Desmolicious
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Can a $340 Chinese Leica lens be any good? Now with film shots!


I had a sneaking feeling that this lens would rock on film. And boy does it! This is now my favourite lens on film. And I have others such as the Lux Asph 50 1.4, Planar 50 2.0, Sonnar 50 1.5, Summicrons etc etc.
Crazy thing is this is also the cheapest new Leica mount lens that I have bought. I would buy this if it was 3 times the cost. Seriously.
3D pop, sharp, great bokeh and no issues w/ focus at all on my M7. Sweetness and light...

From my first film test roll, Leica M7 and Fuji C200.
7ArtisansM7s-2 by desmolicious, on Flickr

7ArtisansM7s-7 by desmolicious, on Flickr


7ArtisansM7s-4 by desmolicious, on Flickr


7ArtisansM7s-3 by desmolicious, on Flickr



Oct 04, 2017 at 07:50 AM
Desmolicious
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Can a $340 Chinese Leica lens be any good? Now with film shots!


7ArtisansM7s-8 by desmolicious, on Flickr


7ArtisansM7s-6 by desmolicious, on Flickr


7ArtisansM7s-5 by desmolicious, on Flickr


7ArtisansM7s-1 by desmolicious, on Flickr


7ArtisansM7s-9 by desmolicious, on Flickr



Oct 04, 2017 at 07:57 AM
Gary Clennan
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Can a $340 Chinese Leica lens be any good? Now with film shots!


I agree Huss - looks very good on film! Now you have me thinking.... PS - do you find the focus to be calibrated accurately? I would imagine at f/1.1 this might be a challenging task (for a cheaper lens).


Oct 04, 2017 at 02:37 PM
realVivek
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Can a $340 Chinese Leica lens be any good? Now with film shots!


Thanks for the pictures!

I am more inclined to getting one for use on my MM.



Oct 04, 2017 at 02:55 PM
Desmolicious
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Can a $340 Chinese Leica lens be any good? Now with film shots!


Gary Clennan wrote:
I agree Huss - looks very good on film! Now you have me thinking.... PS - do you find the focus to be calibrated accurately? I would imagine at f/1.1 this might be a challenging task (for a cheaper lens).


No focus issues at all, whether on my M240 or M7. Did not have to adjust the calibration. I actually was surprised. And no challenge, apart from having to be careful, of hitting focus at 1.1.
My M7 has a .72 finder, the M240 is .68? (I'm not sure but Leica only offers one version)



Oct 04, 2017 at 03:09 PM
Gary Clennan
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Can a $340 Chinese Leica lens be any good? Now with film shots!


I also read about the problem with the M4 where it won't mount due to the lens release button on the body. Apparently it was fixed but I don't know that for sure...


Oct 04, 2017 at 05:24 PM
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