Yesterday I received a copy of 7 Artisans 35mm 0.95 Photoelectric lens for my X-Pro1. My first impression upon removing it from the box was WHOA! This small lens had some heft, felt well constructed and was prettier in person.
I attached it to the X-Pro1 and instantly fell in love with the combination. It was a match made in photography heaven.
Disclaimer: I am not a technical reviewer, so all my enthusiasm for this lens will be expressed with photographer geekery emotions.
I love using a manual focus lens! It started with Nikkor scalloped ring beauties from the 50’s and has not waned since. So, when I was thinking about a lens for the X-Pro1 that would be primarily attached, I had several choices to make.
Fuji has several 35mm lens options that include the 35mm F/2, 35mm F/1.4 and the newly released XF33mm F/1.4. I watched hours of reviews on YouTube, read all the blogs I could find and settled on the new release.
Then one morning during my workout a random 7 Artisans review popped up in my feed. The reviewer mentioned it had an old-school vintage feel to it. This peaked my interest. I believe other words such as filmic were used but I’m not convinced that’s a thing yet.
After watching the review I decided to venture over to the 7 Artisans store and take a look. I also read some blog posts, did a Flickr search but nothing really made me scream, oh my, gotta have it!
That is until I read Jonas Rask’s review…
His images were lovely. From the out of focus background bokeh smooth portraits, to street photography. The images were contrasted, saturated and full of character. Everything I love from a lens!
This lens is built so well. Like I mentioned at the start of this post, I was pleasantly surprised by the weight and feel. It seems as though it will last as long as my 50 year old Nikkor-S 50mm.
The lens has a smooth, yet matte like finish that doesn’t give a gloss or shine. The toned down black paint and gun metal lens mount are divine. The click less aperture dial doesn’t bother me in the least, in fact I quite enjoy the quite, smooth feel in my hands.
The focus is also buttery and has enough play to slow you down in a methodical way like shooting film. In fact, using it on the X-Pro1 is a great alternative to shooting with a film camera. The analog feel in this combo has added miles to my hike the past few days. Holding the X-Pro1 and the 35mm just inspires me to want to make photographs.
If you’re going to pixel peep on this lens, or want to photograph a brick wall, don’t buy it. Besides, this lens wasn’t meant to be tack sharp. It will never be what you think it should be. This is because it simply is an artistic expression waiting to get your creative mind from the gear to the photograph.
Focusing on this lens is smooth. The focus ring moves so nice and dampened, some say it has a long focus throw but I don’t seem to mind it because on hikes I’m not in a hurry. So this just adds to the experience of slowing down to compose my shots.
The photographs in this post were all shot wide open at 0.95. I know I don’t have to shoot wide open, but I don’t have to drink Scotch either but I do because I love it!
And like a really good dram, this lens wide open behaves. It seems to be daring you to shoot wide open as a challenge for sharp in focus photos. Are they tack shark, NO! But I think some lenses are just too clinically sharp and loose character. What I love in a fast lens is that storybook feel where my photos look dreamy and ethereal. This lens so far is delivering that feel in spades.
Me, this lens is for me and any other bokeh freak lover out there! It is a fun and wonderful tool that makes pretty blurry backgrounds and character filled photographs. It’s for photographers that want to create artistic portraits, street or documentary stylized photos.
I get not everyone wants to take pictures wide open. But if you love creating painterly effects using a wide aperture lens and the right light, this lens is for you too! Its also for those photographers that have the time to compose and focus their subjects in a methodical slowed down manner.
My plan is to update this post often. This little lens has me curious about what else it can do. In just two days, I can tell it’s a lens I’ll be carrying around every day. I like how balanced it is on my X-Pro1, it’s sturdy, compact, and it operates perfectly for me.
I think 7 Artisans did a great job creating an affordable alternative for the “broke photographer.” Because let’s be honest, if you’re an enthusiast photographer like me, you need all the help you can get.
I purchased my 7 Artisans 35mm F0.95 lens which is currently on sale for $229. The photos above were shot with an URTH ND 8 filter at 0.95.
Please be patient while I get the shop and blog back in order! Dismiss