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7Artisans 50mm f/1.1 in Leica M Mount
  
 
JohnDizzo15
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · 7Artisans 50mm f/1.1 in Leica M Mount


Last week, I came across a photo someone posted on FB with a lens I didn't realize existed. The shot was rather interesting so I decided to investigate further. Once advancing in the rabbit hole, I found out that it was a M mount lens which coincidentally, would work with the TAP. Boom, the fire was lit and I needed to try it.

Currently, there is not a whole lot of info about it on the web with the exception of a few bloggers that managed to get test copies of the lens to play with and write about. My copy arrived late Saturday afternoon so I figured I could share my initial thoughts and some samples.

It came packaged nicely (very similarly to how the Mitakon 50/0.95 was packaged without the case insert). Inside the box is a tool to adjust focus, rear cap, and front metal cap. To my disappointment, no hood (but I knew this going in after reading some blog reviews before it arrived). The lens looks a whole lot like the Noctilux but smaller aka beautiful. The focus throw is very....very short with the aperture ring being at the front of the lens as opposed to the rear like I am used to. The aperture ring is also declicked. All in all, initial impressions were great as the lens itself felt very solid along with a nice fit and finish.

A9 + 7Artisans 50/1.1 + Techart Pro by John Dizzo, on Flickr

Onto the optics. It is definitely what I would've expected with regard to softness. If you've ever shot adapted vintage/legacy lenses, then you know about the "glow" that many of those lenses have at the wider apertures. This lens, at 1.1 definitely has it. Stop down to 1.4 and it is plenty sharp with the glow being gone.

Personally, I am a sucker for character lenses and the 7Artisans is definitely one of those. As you would expect, flaring is very prominent if you have a strong light source anywhere in the frame. I find that the rendering out of this lens with such a light source happens to be absolutely beautiful. This all subjective of course.

Wide open, bokeh is very different. It has somewhat of a bubbly look but also looks as though it is being pulled into a warp hole. I personally find it interesting and like it. But I am certain it will not be everyone's cup of tea.

As far as the whole shallow DoF look, it does okay and medium distances but definitely does not do as well as something like the Mitakon. Also, modern lenses like the Sigma Art, FE 50/1.4, and even 55/1.8 are all much sharper and seem to have better microcontrast (as expected). At 50mm though, I have about 15-20 other lenses. Some of those are of the modern variety and are clinically sharp for when I want that look. Other times, I like reaching for the obscure or interesting and generally not so sharp 50s just for fun. This 50/1.1 has been an amazing surprise (especially for the price point at $370).

Here's some samples from the couple of hours I've had to play around with it. These are all wide open unless I accidentally bumped it down to 1.2.

A9 + 7Artisans 50/1.1 + Techart Pro by John Dizzo, on Flickr
A9 + 7Artisans 50/1.1 + Techart Pro by John Dizzo, on Flickr
A9 + 7Artisans 50/1.1 + Techart Pro by John Dizzo, on Flickr
A9 + 7Artisans 50/1.1 + Techart Pro by John Dizzo, on Flickr
A9 + 7Artisans 50/1.1 + Techart Pro by John Dizzo, on Flickr
A9 + 7Artisans 50/1.1 + Techart Pro by John Dizzo, on Flickr
A9 + 7Artisans 50/1.1 + Techart Pro by John Dizzo, on Flickr
A9 + 7Artisans 50/1.1 + Techart Pro by John Dizzo, on Flickr
A9 + 7Artisans 50/1.1 + Techart Pro by John Dizzo, on Flickr
A9 + 7Artisans 50/1.1 + Techart Pro by John Dizzo, on Flickr



Nov 13, 2017 at 06:34 PM
Desmolicious
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · 7Artisans 50mm f/1.1 in Leica M Mount


Lovely pictures. Some threads here:

https://rangefinderforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=162790

https://rangefinderforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=162862

https://www.35mmc.com/29/07/2017/dj-optical-7artisans-50mm-f1-1-review/

https://rangefinderforum.com/forums/showthread.php?threadid=161647

https://rangefinderforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=162981

https://rangefinderforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=163225




Nov 13, 2017 at 06:56 PM
AGeoJO
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · 7Artisans 50mm f/1.1 in Leica M Mount


Yes, wonderful images! That lens looks just like my Leica-M 50mm Summilux that happens to be in the same silver/chrome version.


Nov 13, 2017 at 07:05 PM
JohnDizzo15
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · 7Artisans 50mm f/1.1 in Leica M Mount


@Desmolicious - Thank you! Didn't manage to previously come across those threads on the RF forums but did see that one from 35mmc. Those images with the lens mounted on the Leica bodies look great!

@AGeoJo - Thank you! Something about the silver lenses that I just love. lol.
My favorite pairing with my X-Pro2 happens to be a silver 35/2.0 also. Pure sexiness.



Nov 13, 2017 at 07:09 PM
joelRichards
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · 7Artisans 50mm f/1.1 in Leica M Mount


I was under the impression this was actually an APS-C Lens. Am I mistaken?


Nov 13, 2017 at 07:21 PM
nekrosoft13
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · 7Artisans 50mm f/1.1 in Leica M Mount


joelRichards wrote:
I was under the impression this was actually an APS-C Lens. Am I mistaken?


this is fullframe lens, it sells for $350ish, there is a similar APS-C version that sells for $180



Nov 13, 2017 at 07:23 PM
Desmolicious
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · 7Artisans 50mm f/1.1 in Leica M Mount


JohnDizzo15 wrote:
@Desmolicious@ - Thank you! Didn't manage to previously come across those threads on the RF forums but did see that one from 35mmc. Those images with the lens mounted on the Leica bodies look great!


Did you have to make any corner corrections? On my digital Leica wide open there is some magenta . You can clearly see it here on the right side:


AbbottKinney7ArtisansS-5 by desmolicious, on Flickr



Nov 13, 2017 at 07:50 PM
JohnDizzo15
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · 7Artisans 50mm f/1.1 in Leica M Mount


Desmolicious wrote:
Did you have to make any corner corrections? On my digital Leica wide open there is some magenta . You can clearly see it here on the right side:


No corrections applied. All were processed in Capture One with the film styles and generic A9 profile. Didnít notice enough aberration or distortion to bother with it on my end.



Nov 13, 2017 at 08:26 PM
JohnDizzo15
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · 7Artisans 50mm f/1.1 in Leica M Mount


Since the lens didn't come with a hood, I just scooped up one of these square silver ones from Amazon.

https://www.amazon.com/Haoge-Voigtlander-Panasonic-Fujifilm-Olympus/dp/B076CZG69M/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1510612189&sr=8-1&keywords=haoge+55mm+silver+square+hood

@Desmolicious - what, if anything are you using for a hood on yours?

On another note, I realized I didn't make any mention of the AF performance earlier.

This lens, unlike some of my other legacy 50s does not focus out to the edges of the frame with the Techart Pro. Not sure if there is a resolution or light falloff problem preventing an issue with focus at the edges but it definitely will not achieve focus. Inside of the usable focus area though, AF speed is pretty darn good in both wide and single point AFC/AFS. Eye-AF also works pretty well in that usable zone when in decent to good light.

In the meantime, with regard to compositions where the subjects are outside of the usable AF area, I have set a custom button to toggle AF/MF to be able to quickly adjust as needed. Not ideal, but it is the best solution I can come up with right now.



Nov 13, 2017 at 10:34 PM
Activatedfx
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · 7Artisans 50mm f/1.1 in Leica M Mount


Hey John - We both share a love for shallow DOF photography, and I've had this lens on my wish-list for awhile, but I'm just not loving the swirly, bubbly highlight bokeh! The rangefinder forum posts by Huss (linked a few posts above) have a different look from yours. Smoother and less of the bubble/swirls. He has some with similar backgrounds, but they render differently. Weird.

Anyway, I'm currently considering a Leica body (M6 or M7 film) and I've been investigating fast M-mount 50's. I think after all is said and done, while an f/1.1 lens is VERY appealing, I think the VM Nokton 50/1.5 will be my choice for the Leica. Quite a bit more expensive, but quite a bit better overall IQ as well.

That said, I'm loving your photos with the 7artisans! Your kids are the cutest!



Nov 13, 2017 at 11:08 PM
 

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Robert E
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · 7Artisans 50mm f/1.1 in Leica M Mount


Hi John,
I obtained one of these 7Artisans 50mm f1.1 a few months ago. Use it on my Sony A7R2 with the TAP and also on my Leica MP240. It's an awesome "character" lens for the price and a real alternative to its high cost Leica counterpart. We can only hope 7Artisans will keep them coming.
Cheers,
Robert E

Edited on Nov 14, 2017 at 12:29 AM · View previous versions



Nov 13, 2017 at 11:51 PM
JohnDizzo15
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · 7Artisans 50mm f/1.1 in Leica M Mount


Activatedfx wrote:
Hey John - We both share a love for shallow DOF photography, and I've had this lens on my wish-list for awhile, but I'm just not loving the swirly, bubbly highlight bokeh! The rangefinder forum posts by Huss (linked a few posts above) have a different look from yours. Smoother and less of the bubble/swirls. He has some with similar backgrounds, but they render differently. Weird.

Anyway, I'm currently considering a Leica body (M6 or M7 film) and I've been investigating fast M-mount 50's. I think after all is said and done, while an f/1.1 lens is VERY appealing, I think
...Show more

@Activatedfx - Thank you for the kind words.

Yup! Can't get enough of the shallow. lol.

Re your picking up a Leica film body. I actually read in another blog post that the lens appeared to render differently than on digital which seems interesting.

Totally understand regarding the swirly/bubbly bokeh. It can be a bit distracting. Personally though, I'm also the guy that has a Conurus EF modded Contax 50/1.4 N (because it the look), the two-bladed Zenitar ME-1 for the square bokeh, the Helios 85/1.5 (40-2) and about 10 variances of the 58/2.0 (44-xxx) simply because they all do weird things with overall image rendering based on those OOF qualities.

Personally, if I want super shallow in the mid/normal range, my favorite is still the Mitakon 50/0.95. However, the 7Artisans lens is M mount and allows me to AF which opens up all kinds of doors for the way that I shoot. It also definitely has another "look" that isn't already in the bag so I'm already suckered. lol.

One of the things that I actually like better on the 7Artisans vs the Mitakon as far as overall image or "look" is the way it handles flare. The Mitakon makes this weird splash of lines in a circular pattern whereas the 7Artisans has that glow/smoothness about it that I just love.

The Mitakon is also noticeably larger and heavier being that it has a larger aperture. One of the things I love about the 7Artisans is form factor/handling and its appearance when mounted on the A9. It looks (to me) awesome as well as maintains a small footprint for a lens that has a such a wide maximum aperture.

Another note I wanted to make was that although the IQ at 1.1 isn't the sharpest, it is still usable but with the caveat of the peculiar bokeh. But at 1.4-2.0, the lens is much sharper and everything looks smooth like on most modern/traditional lenses. The way I see it, I can have that extra light gathering ability and quirky look when I want, but I can still stop it down just a touch and have a fast 50 with a more traditional look (all in a compact/sexy form factor).

Robert E wrote:
Hi John,
I obtained one of these 7Artisans 50mm f1.1 a few months ago. Use it on my Sony A7R2 with the TAP and also on my Leica MP240. It's an awesome "character" lens for the price and a real alternative to its high cost Leica counterpart. We can only hope 7Artisans will keep them coming.

Robert E


@Robert E - Totally agree. From what I have read, it appears that DJ Optical has already updated some of the parts of the production of this particular lens based on user feedback. My assumption is that the one I just received is part of the new batch since they were supposed to be shipping after September. I am definitely looking forward to seeing what else they bring to the market as this first lens I have from them has already proven to be a gem at its given price point.



Nov 13, 2017 at 11:52 PM
Desmolicious
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · 7Artisans 50mm f/1.1 in Leica M Mount


JohnDizzo15 wrote:
@Desmolicious@ - what, if anything are you using for a hood on yours?


I'm using the hood from my Nokton 50 1.1, with a 55-58 step up ring so it fits. Reason being this way I can also use my 58mm ND filter if need be.
That hood actually was purchased on ebay from (I think) Heavystar for under $20. I think it was under $10. I just made sure to search for a US seller as I didn't want to wait 4 weeks to get it.



Nov 14, 2017 at 01:03 AM
Desmolicious
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · 7Artisans 50mm f/1.1 in Leica M Mount


Activatedfx wrote:
Hey John - We both share a love for shallow DOF photography, and I've had this lens on my wish-list for awhile, but I'm just not loving the swirly, bubbly highlight bokeh! The rangefinder forum posts by Huss (linked a few posts above) have a different look from yours. Smoother and less of the bubble/swirls. He has some with similar backgrounds, but they render differently. Weird.

Anyway, I'm currently considering a Leica body (M6 or M7 film) and I've been investigating fast M-mount 50's. I think after all is said and done, while an f/1.1 lens is VERY appealing, I think
...Show more


Difference could due to using different cameras. Sony has thicker sensor cover glass than Leica.
Don't sell the 7Artisans short. I also have numerous Zeiss and Leica glass (amongst others) and this thing really sharpens up when u stop down f2 and beyond. The 1.1 setting is a bonus for low light or artsy images. I'd pick it over my Zeiss 50 1.5 or 50 f2. And it is between 1/3 to 1/4 of the price!
Worst case scenario is u buy it, don't like it, sell it and you'll be out maybe $40.
On film currently it is my favourite lens.



Nov 14, 2017 at 01:10 AM
nampramos
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · 7Artisans 50mm f/1.1 in Leica M Mount


Activatedfx wrote:
Hey John - We both share a love for shallow DOF photography, and I've had this lens on my wish-list for awhile, but I'm just not loving the swirly, bubbly highlight bokeh! The rangefinder forum posts by Huss (linked a few posts above) have a different look from yours. Smoother and less of the bubble/swirls. He has some with similar backgrounds, but they render differently. Weird.

Anyway, I'm currently considering a Leica body (M6 or M7 film) and I've been investigating fast M-mount 50's. I think after all is said and done, while an f/1.1 lens is VERY appealing, I think
...Show more

Those are probably shot at f/2 where the swirl goes away

I'm not a fan of it either so that's why I haven't yet got one. What's the point of having a f/1.1 if you don't like the look of it WO and are going to shoot f/2 instead?



Nov 14, 2017 at 02:20 AM
DavidBM
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · 7Artisans 50mm f/1.1 in Leica M Mount


nampramos wrote:
Those are probably shot at f/2 where the swirl goes away

I'm not a fan of it either so that's why I haven't yet got one. What's the point of having a f/1.1 if you don't like the look of it WO and are going to shoot f/2 instead?


Many of these Sonnar designs have a look stopped down a little that is very distinctive (though less funky than w/o). A lot of people by the Zeiss c-Sonnar for f2 use rather than f1.5 use. At f2 the Bokeh is smooth, but Sonnar-smooth in way many folk like. Maybe the 7 Artisans is similar? Has a distinctive look at f2 that slower better corrected lenses donít have, which some people might prefer to itís look at or near f1.1?



Nov 14, 2017 at 02:29 AM
Activatedfx
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · 7Artisans 50mm f/1.1 in Leica M Mount


As fas as I know, Huss's photos were all wide open or close to it.


Nov 14, 2017 at 03:50 AM
nampramos
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · 7Artisans 50mm f/1.1 in Leica M Mount


Can't remember where I saw some comparison photos for this lens but it was a big difference in rendering from f1.1 to f2.

Nevertheless, for the price, this is a great buy. I'll probably end up getting one in the near future.



Nov 14, 2017 at 04:12 AM
freaklikeme
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · 7Artisans 50mm f/1.1 in Leica M Mount


@DavidBM, the C-Sonnar comparison is fairly apt. That's the lens it most reminds me of, though I do think the bokeh at like apertures is a little better on the Artisans.

@Desmolicious, that lack of color cast is mostly thanks to the BSI sensor in the a9, but the mid-zone and edges suffer a little because of the thicker cover glass. The best of both worlds is a Kolari-modded a7rII, no color cast and mid-zone and edge performance comparable with a Leica digital RF.

@nampramos, it's not for everyone, and if the price were closer to CV's 50/1.1 or a ZM C-Sonnar, then I wouldn't have even purchased it. I can't say I'll find it useful wide open often, but I also can't think of another M-mount 50 that weighs 390g and can be had for around $350 that's as good between 1.4 and 2, so I don't feel terribly cheated when I use it there, which is often.



Nov 14, 2017 at 04:15 AM
JohnDizzo15
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · 7Artisans 50mm f/1.1 in Leica M Mount


freaklikeme wrote:
@DavidBM@, the C-Sonnar comparison is fairly apt. That's the lens it most reminds me of, though I do think the bokeh at like apertures is a little better on the Artisans.

@Desmolicious@, that lack of color cast is mostly thanks to the BSI sensor in the a9, but the mid-zone and edges suffer a little because of the thicker cover glass. The best of both worlds is a Kolari-modded a7rII, no color cast and mid-zone and edge performance comparable with a Leica digital RF.

@nampramos@, it's not for everyone, and if the price were closer to CV's 50/1.1 or a ZM C-Sonnar,
...Show more

One thing I wanted to point out also is that all the samples I posted above were at 1.1 or 1.2. In situations where there are not a ton of specular highlights in the bokeh, it still looks pretty awesome/smooth to me and has some character.

So my take on it is, at WO, it may not be great for everyone (in scenarios with busy backgrounds) but it still gives you access to that extra light gathering ability when needed. As has been stated previously, the lens does very nicely from 1.4-2.0 with regard to sharpness, contrast, and bokeh. It looks much more traditional looking when you get toward f/2.

As freaklikeme has pointed out also, it is a very compact lens for its specs. It is basically the size of a vintage 50-58mm f/1.4-1.8 which is amazing for something that opens up to 1.1.

Attaching a sample at 1.4.
A9 + 7Artisans 50/1.1 + Techart Pro by John Dizzo, on Flickr

Another wide open with a busy environment.
A9 + 7Artisans 50/1.1 + Techart Pro by John Dizzo, on Flickr

I think the lens rendering is very scenario dependent and you just have to be cognizant of that when using it.



Nov 14, 2017 at 06:16 PM
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