Review – TTArtisan 17mm F1.4 lens in Fuji X mount

There are many Fujinon XF lens that are covering wide angle, however there are almost no compact wide angle manual focus prime lens on the market. So it was a great news that TTArtisan created 17mm prime lens. In this article I’m going to review TTArtisan 17mm F1.4 lens sample provided by bestar.foto (thank you!) so also including non-affiliated Amazon links to support seller.

TTArtisan 17mm F1.4 lens unboxing

Looks like it is pure random factory sample of TTArtisan 17mm F1.4 lens, because box is sealed. I like idea of testing random samples, which may better reflect overall quality of lens model. Once sealing labels are peeled off you can see “void” word and tape can not be sealed again.

You can see that box borders and corners are slightly damaged from shipment. Fortunately that does not impact lens becaue TTArtisan package is very secure inside – lens sits safely in high-density foam layer. The quality of box materials and prints is pleasantly high – same level I saw in TTArtisan 50mm F1.2 lens packaging.

TTArtisan 17mm F1.4 is surprisingly small as for fast F1.4 aperture and such wide FOV angle. It is interesting to see screw-in metal cap with also added brand name and “APS-C” supported sensor size marking. The filter thread size is unusual 40.5mm, which is the size I never purchased before and perhaps you too. Fortunately such filters are not super-rare, and still exist and can be purchased for decent price online.

The paperwork is stating that lens has “two years” of warranty, which is good to have, especially in case you encounter any factory defects (and I’ll have something to say about it later).

This TTArtisan 17mm F1.4 lens has precisely machined mount ring secured with more expensive Torx bolts. Red mount dot is engraved and filled with thick abd bright paint layer. When mounted on Fujifilm X-E2s camera lens sits very firm without any radial play – great precision.

Focus ring rotates very smooth and lens core movement is very short, which is expected for 17mm lens. I love the mechanics of the aperture ring with nice click-stops – that I think is a big advantage of most TTArtisan lens over their alternatives with cheaper to manufacture click-less aperture rings.

Ten aperture blades are forming a “ninja star” when closed down. That will make star-looking OOF light, which some night scene landscape photographers like (I personally don’t care).

I used to shoot with Fujinon XF 18mm F2 lens for some time, and I’m still frequently shooting with Fujifilm X70 camera with built in Fujinon 18.5mm F2.8 lens. So here’s a brief look at size comparison to X70 camera.

And few more shots of lens on Fuji X-E2s

Optical test of TTArtisan lens

When taking few first shots with TTArtisan 17mm F1.4 lens I immediately noticed that there is something wrong with my lens sample. All images looked very soft and blurred, and I decided to test the lens optical centering using Siemens Star Chart. Results unveiled very significant diagonal shift of the optical core.

That is an unwanted performance to see on a sample randomly choosen for a review article. But from the other hands – it is a reality you may encounter when purchasing more affordable lens options. Manufacturers have to optimize costs for production and dedicating some of them for Quality COntrol. Perhaps it is not possible to test each produced sample, and perhaps it is the reason of providing the “two years warranty”. So my takeaway form this – if you decide to purchase TTArtisan 17mm F1.4 lens – do it from place where you can make a return, and receive a replacement.

In my case, I didn’t want to wait for another few weeks to receive replacement (anyway I’ve got this sample free of charge for review), and decided to experiment and improve the lens alignment, like I did before with another defective lens of other brand – 7Artisans 50mm F1.8. So I checked the front area and realized that front nameplate ring can be unscrewed CCW. That is allowing to extract whole front optical module encapsulated into metal frame.

Rotating of front optical core frame and checking lens on test target helped. At some point I realized that optical alignment is significantly improved.

At this point I decided that lens behaves much better, and it is fine to use it for review. However take into account that it may be still not the best performing TTArtisan 17mm F1.4 lens sample.

Image samples with TTArtisan 17mm F1.4 and Fuji X-E2s

Most of images are taken in a range of F2-F2.8, and some of tham at F1.4, just because my sample still shows some softness wide open, perhaps because not perfect optical centering.

TTArtisan 17mm F1.4 lens has quite decent level of sharpness and details in center and mid-frame areas, especially when stopped down to F2-F2.8. Borders look soft and require lens to be stopped furhter.

What I like a lot about this TTArtisan lens – is ability to have interesting blurring out of bacground when shooting close-ups.

That extra 1mm of TTArtisan 17mm F1.4 FOV is noticeable when comparing with Fuji 18mm lens, and it is nice to be able to include more into frame.

When shooting vertically it is also easy to focus – I’m locating focus ring quite quick, and it is convenient to grab the textured area or just rotate while holding smooth part of very wide focus ring.

Conclusions

The build quality and ease of use of TTArtisan 17mm F1.4 lens is very high. However the optical quality highly depends on the lens sample you receive, so it’s important to order it from trusted places that support the warranty conditions. I’d love to try another TTArtisan 17mm F1.4 sample when I have chance to understand what is the sample variation from IQ perspective. Though even the sample I have is a joy to shoot with, when aperture is stopped down. Of course the image corners and borders require aperture to be closed to F5.6 or further to show better details, but lens is able to take good quality pictures in central area when borders are decided to be blurred for subject isolation. I’ll explore more about lens internals in one of next articles, and try to research more on samples variations. To have wider impresisons about TTArtisan 17mm F1.4 I’d recommend to check more image samples taken by other reviewers and lens owners, since I think my current sample is not representative enough. For it’s price I think the lens performs good enough. it will take some time to keep shooting with it and understand better strong sides of this optics.

4 comments

  1. Hello, your review is very helpful. May I ask you a question? How could you test your lens with Siemens Star Chart? How could you get the images shown in the review? Anything to be taken care of for the test?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for the review.
    There are two other lenses: 35mm and 50mm. TTartisan is the only brand that has the same look and feel for it´s lenses: at the front a clicked aperture-wheel and at the camera the focus ring. Other brands change these positions and/or direction of focussing or aperture. The three TTartisan are consistent. In my opinion that´s a big plus.

    Like

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