7Artisans 50mm F1.1 M-Mount lens

This Chinese produced lens is based on the 1950s Sonnar formula Zunow 5cm F1.1. THAT lens in Leica mount would cost about $5,000 today. In the 1950s, it was priced at what the 7Artisans 50/1.1 costs now. If you want a super-speed lens, and "don't want to pay a LOT for it", get one. Most likely- no one else will ever make a lens like it again.

I recently took this lens on my newly rebuilt Leica M9, with brand-new CCD in it to the Marine Museum at Quantico. I also packed the Nikon Df with the 55/1.2 Ai Nikkor. The latter lens traces it's design back to the Nikkor 5cm F1.1. The Nikkor is a double-Gauss 7 elements in 5 groups (symmetric design), the 7Artisans is a 7 elements in 6 group Sonnar (Asymmetric -telecentric) design. The Sonnar formula is known for being a compact design, it is a much smaller lens than the 50/1.1 Nokton.

Wide-Open, on the Leica M9.

by fiftyonepointsix, on Flickr
High-ISO for the M9 is 2500. CCD's do not have on-board signal processing to over-sample and average the image, as CMOS has. This is raw data coming off the sensor, with default noise reduction in Lightroom. This is likely the last generation CCD available in a camera intended for general photography.

by fiftyonepointsix, on Flickr

The Chosin Reservoir display at the Marine Museum has a narrative and light display. It is also a refrigerated room. Well worth the visit if in the DC area. The color balance changes rapidly-

This is at ISO 640. The advantage of an F1.1 lens.

by fiftyonepointsix, on Flickr

Back to ISO2500.

by fiftyonepointsix, on Flickr

I donated the "graphical firing table" for the Mortar man to the museum. Someone stole the original one that the museum had, and the lack of it ruined the shot. I had to get one back into his hands.
7Artisans 50/1.1, wide-open.

by fiftyonepointsix, on Flickr

I also brought Nikkor 24~85 F3.5 ED-VR "Silent Wave" Autofocus lens that I picked up for $25, was "misassembled". After thoroughly checking it out at the Museum after "properly assembling" it- I came to the conclusion that it was a fine "do it all lens" and decided to give it to a young photographer setting up a portrait and wedding business. I'm just too set in my ways of using Manual Focus lenses, and I had fun fixing the AF lens and knowing someone will put it to good use rather than it seeing all my MF lenses being taken out on trips.


Hall of Famer
Thanks @BrianS . Have you found there to be any similarity to the C Sonnar 50mm F1.5 in terms of focusing? What I mean by that is the well known slight adjustment that has to be made when lining up the RF patch.


Hall of Famer
The focus shift on this lens is very similar to the C-Sonnar, and just about every other Fast-Fifty Sonnar that I own.

I made a stab at explaining Focus Shift in my C-Sonnar article, written the Theme.

Lesson in History: The Magic of the "Value for Money" Zeiss C-Sonnar 50mm F1.5 | THEME

And an article on the original Sonnars:

Unique Blend of Compactness, Super Speed and Perfect Imperfections: 1930s Sonnar Lenses on the Leica M9 and M Monochrom | THEME

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