Lens review – 7Artisans 50mm F1.8 (part II)

It’s third time I’m purchasing 7Artisans 50mm F1.8 lens. My third sample is also for Fuji X mount, and I’m wondering if anything changed after my first review of this 50mm lens made year ago.

Last time I was primarily shooting with Fuji X-Pro2, Fuji X-E2s and Fuji X-T2. In this review I’m using Fuji X-T30 only, and it’s interesting to see how 7Artisans 50mm F1.8 lens performs on newest Fuji Trans X sensor with higher resolution.

Lens mechanics

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This time I received 7Artisans 50mm F1.8 lens in differently sealed box. Also I realized that 7Artisans are making much better rear lens caps now – they sit very securely on the lens and have better quality texture and finish. That is positive improvement to see.

Lens body looks exactly same as my first and second sample (which I already sold with older cameras, so can’t directly compare). However biggest difference I see is the mechanical performance. Newest sample (my lens has SN 133190) has very good focusing movement without any side wobbling at closer focusing distance (which I didn’t like on first sample). Great job 7Artisans! Looks like they are correcting mistakes of early production series and making better lens samples without increasing their price. I’m happy to see that.

Of course I was very much curious if this time I received optically good sample. You may remember my old article on lens optical calibration, which I had to do to my first 7Artisans 50mm F1.8 sample. I tested current sample using Siemens Star Chart and was also positively surprised to see that sharpness is good and optical elements are properly centered to deliver good picture wide open (however not 100% perfectly centered, later I adjusted it to slightly better level).

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Saying about focusing to infinity – this sample is slightly overpassing infinity focus at infinity mark, so it can be used in all cases. However personally I like when infinity mark is perfectly tuned. In case of 7Artisans 50mm F1.8 there are no calibrating bolts on the focus ring, so I’ll have to create some metal shims to put under the lens mount. But I’ll postpone it for later and keep shooting as is for now.

Just to summarize all above – I like to see quality improvements and think if you receive same quality sample of 7Artisans 50mm F1.8 – it will be much better experience than I had when received first lens.

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Picture samples on Fuji X-T30

Shooting with relatively small and lightweight 7Artisans 50mm F1.8 lens is quite comfortable on Fuji X-T30 body. I’m also often using tilting screen for low angle shots of plants. Focusing at far objects requires increased attention to precision so I’m always using focus zoom assist.

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For close focus there is enough of rotation movement and now lens keeps focus position more stable and precision is better.

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More shots on Flickr group – 7Artisans 50mm F1.8 lens.

Regarding lens sharpness I’ve also made some comparison with Voigtlander 50mm F1.5 and Jupiter-8 50mm F2.

Disassembly attempt

Another reason of 7Artisans 50mm F1.8 purchase is curiosity how to disassemble this lens. It’s a bit disappointing but I didn’t manage yet to find proper way of safely disassembly process. Lens is very solidly constructed and I don’t have complete understanding of construction.

All I can do with this mysteriously assemble lens is to remove rear mount ring, then unscrew rear lens ring and extract three optical elements and two black metal rings which may be only useful for optical cleaning and accessing aperture.

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I also discovered that focus ring is actually consists of two rings – textured part, and part with focus distance scale. They are connected together with very fine thread.

The ring with DOF is also screwed together with focusing ring – basically focusing is slightly moving focus ring away from DOF ring. I tried to unscrew CCW all these three rings but there is only about 1mm distance they can be unscrewed and then stuck.

I’m assuming that front lens case can be unsecured somehow, and front naming ring looks as a separate part as well. However traditional ways of trying to separate them didn’t work, so I’ll keep investigating that.

Conclusion

I think 7Artisans improved quality of 50mm F1.8 lens samples. I purchased second sample for Sony E mount and it was also good optically and didn’t require maintenance. And now third sample is even better due to improved mechanics. This lens will have much more use now, and I like the set size with Fuji X-T30 – it is easy to carry in smaller bags. Optically lens performs good on higher resolution samples. I’ll keep actively using it and add more details later to this article based on new experience.

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