Lens Review: 7artisans 25mm f1.8 for Fujifilm Cameras

It’s a funny thing about reviews. Some people love writing bad reviews; I hate it. I generally don’t write negative reviews, but in some cases, I feel it’s important to share my opinion of something I bought that isn’t any good.

I have a Fujifilm X-Pro2 camera, and I bought the 7artisans 25mm f1.8 lens. I wanted to try one of these cheap manual-focus lenses, made in China, because I’d heard good things about them. At around $79 or £79, it could be a good way to get a compact prime lens. (Amazon.com, Amazon UK)

The lens is solid, seems well built, and heavier than it looks. It’s also quite compact; smaller than the Fujifilm 35mm f2 lens that I also have (and smaller than Fuji’s 23mm f2 that I don’t have). The focus ring is taut and fairly smooth – though there’s a bit more drag than I would like – but the aperture ring is also smooth; it doesn’t click at all. This means it’s hard to know exactly which aperture it’s set to without looking at the lens.

Focusing with this lens is all visual, since the camera can’t get any data from it. I used focus peaking, at it was fast and accurate; I’ve used manual lenses in the past, and I often use manual focusing with the lenses I have.

However, at open apertures, this lens truly sucks. Here’s a shot of my garden at f1.8. The vignetting is horrible, and there’s a bluish tinge to everything.

XPRO3782

If I stop it down to f16, the vignetting goes away, the bluish tinge fades, but the lens isn’t very sharp (I’ve reduced the size of the photo here a lot, but the sharpness was poor in the original unscaled photo).

XPRO3783

You might want to have a cheap lens that duplicates the toy camera look of a Holga or other cheap camera, and in that case, this lens will suit you fine. But this lens is essentially unusable at open apertures, meaning that to get good colors and even lighting you need to be at f11 or 16; it’s not worth having a lens that limited.

Yes, you save money compared to, say, the Fujifilm 23mm f2 lens, but the quality of Fuji’s lenses is as good as it gets for this type of glass. (Amazon.com, Amazon UK) Plus you get autofocus, weather resistance, and better overall build quality.

0 thoughts on “Lens Review: 7artisans 25mm f1.8 for Fujifilm Cameras

  1. Thanks for this. I’ve seen this lens rated by posters on some of the photo forums. (Fake news per your latest article?). Your frank assessment lays the matter to rest.

    • I think it’s more likely that, at this price, it’s hit or miss. Some people say it’s really good and sharp, and I think it’s just bad luck getting one that’s not very good. I just didn’t want to spend time exchanging it, potentially more than once.

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