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Leica Showcase 7Artisans 50mm F1.1 M-Mount lens

Raid

Regular
Dec 15, 2011
1,380
I did some focusing tests with the 50/1.1 on the M240 this evening. I seem to be able to focus well. The soft results a few days ago may have been caused by dim indoor lights with ISO 160 and Dana not standing still [I hope so!]
 

Jonathan F/2

Regular
Aug 21, 2011
121
Los Angeles, USA
Finally got to put the lens to the test in a portrait session. In real world use, this lens is great! It has unique character but not over-the-top like the LensBaby, Petzval and/or Helios 40-2 lenses. The dreamy wide open performance works very well in portrait shots. I wasn't even considering this lens when it first was announce, but I'm glad I picked it up!

Shot with the Sony A7 II + 7Artisans 50mm 1.1 lens:

Photo Shoot with model Kelly. August 5, 2017
by Jonathan Friolo, on Flickr
 

BrianS

Super Moderator
Apr 3, 2013
3,849
"Sonnar Magic" is an appropriate term for this lens.

Symmetric lenses are easy to figure out how they work. Put two similar lenses back-to-back and they cancel out aberrations, like two prisms first splitting white light into a rainbow and then back to white light again.

After taking apart many Sonnar lenses, given the optical properties of making a Tele-Photo front end work with an achromat-
"Sonnar Magic" is appropriate. Light going through a Sonnar is in for a wild-ride.
 

carlb

Regular
Feb 6, 2013
1,248
Looks to be a keeper! Sharp, good bokeh, reasonable close focus distance. I'd say a bargain.
 

Jonathan F/2

Regular
Aug 21, 2011
121
Los Angeles, USA
"Sonnar Magic" is an appropriate term for this lens.

Symmetric lenses are easy to figure out how they work. Put two similar lenses back-to-back and they cancel out aberrations, like two prisms first splitting white light into a rainbow and then back to white light again.

After taking apart many Sonnar lenses, given the optical properties of making a Tele-Photo front end work with an achromat-
"Sonnar Magic" is appropriate. Light going through a Sonnar is in for a wild-ride.
The best way I can describe this lens is that it renders artistic versus a lens that renders realistic. It's a very specific tool, but works great when you want to give your shots a little something extra. I also shot the set above with a 70-200mm and those shots turned out nice too, but paired with the 50mm 1.1, I was able to capture the best of both worlds!
 

BrianS

Super Moderator
Apr 3, 2013
3,849
DJ-Optical / 7Artisans 50mm f/1.1 (ongoing) Review - 35mmc

Hamish knows more about this lens than anyone outside of China- has been in communications with the company and the designer of the lens. He has been providing feedback to the company as to problems with the lens fitting older Leica cameras, and has been offering suggestions to them. Any lens coming through him, consider it inspected by an expert before being shipped.

He is a fellow Sonnar fan, and this lens is a Sonnar!

The 35/2 sounds interesting- look forward to seeing your thoughts on it.
 

rflove

Regular
Jul 13, 2014
240
I recently ordered the 7 Artisans 50mm f1.1 lens. I had mixed results with it and although it was fun to use, specially in low light, I sent it back. My biggest concern was that I found it very soft in many shots. Particularly wide open (why would one stop down the lens?). Anyway, shooting landscapes/cityscapes it really suffers compared with other lenses even stopped down to the same aperture.
I might try it again just to make sure that perhaps I received a defective copy.

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carlb

Regular
Feb 6, 2013
1,248
Agree, that's not sharp. If you were shooting RF was there a chance that the coupling was off compared to your camera?
 

rflove

Regular
Jul 13, 2014
240
Agree, that's not sharp. If you were shooting RF was there a chance that the coupling was off compared to your camera?
I shot with RF as well as the LV.... At any rate, those landscapes and cityscape shots were all done at infinity... Set with the focus aid magnification and with so many details at various distances, something should be focused well enough to be as sharp as the lens allows... The close up portrait shots were more pleasing, but again, a soft lens is always more flattering to the face shots.

I ordered and received a Voigtlander 40mm f1.2 with which I'm shooting now. I haven't decided yet whether to keep it or not. I'm afraid that if I really want a fast, sharp and accurate lens, I'll have to spend 10X the amount...

As an example of what a sharp lens can do, here is an image I captured with the Elmarit 28mm f2.8

NOT SHOT WITH THE 7 Artisans 50 f1.1
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carlb

Regular
Feb 6, 2013
1,248
Hmmm. Any chance the lens just allowed for a bit "post-infinity?" Apparently that's done on certain types of lenses to allot for temperature extremes and other factors ...
 

rflove

Regular
Jul 13, 2014
240
Hmmm. Any chance the lens just allowed for a bit "post-infinity?" Apparently that's done on certain types of lenses to allot for temperature extremes and other factors ...
It's possible that it focuses past infinity. However with the LV (I have the OVF too) the focus should be dead on... Anyway, look at the sample I got with the Elmarit.....
 

Hamish Gill

New Member
Jul 18, 2017
17
Those results look pretty standard to me - for the most part, they aren't out of focus, they are just unsharp. My best guess is that "glow" is caused by spherical aberrations - You would be better off with the voigtlander 50mm 1.1, if that's the sort of photography you wish to shoot. At 1.1, the 7artisans lens is much better at atmospheric shots at closer quarters such as portraiture - or just stop down to 1.4 (at least) where that glow is much reduced
 

Hamish Gill

New Member
Jul 18, 2017
17
He has a gold one - I have 2 of the 10. One for me, the other I’m going to auction and give the profits to charity.
It’s very bling, but actually really nice!
 

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