Review - 7Artisans 35mm F2 lens - Sony E mount

 I’ve purchased 7Artisans 35mm F2.0 lens in Sony E mount directly from 7Artisans factory. It arrived quite fast (in 2 weeks) and today I had a chance to extensively use it outdoor. Seattle Volunteer Park has nice selection of flowers for relaxing shooting and experimenting with a new lens.

Image Samples

I’ll cover lens unboxing, mechanics, build later. This time I’ll simply show you number of pictures first, all taken from 7Artisans 35mm F2.0 with Sony A7S at F2.0 and F2.8 aperture.

Volunteer Park Conservatory, Seattle, shot @ F2.0

Obviously such a small F2.0 35mm lens for a very modest price is expected to have some optical flaws, and it’s not disappointing me. Image borders and corners showing heavy vignetting and absence of details at F2.0. 7Artisans optical design doesn’t compensate common problem of compact rangefinder wide angle lens.

Seattle, shot @ F2.8

There is strong influence of relatively thick camera sensor filter on the light pass approaching from closely positioned rear lens glass. It’s important to know this flaw and utilize the lens properly, mostly focusing attention at the objects in the frame center.

7Artisans 35mm F2.0 lens delivers decent sharpness and contrast in the central area. The out of focus zone sometimes look little distracting, but in many cases it’s quite organic part of the shot and adds some character to the scene.

I also like the minimal 0.35m focusing distance, it’s quite comfortable range.

F2.0 allows to easy emphasize certain frame area.

OOF area circles remain round at F2.8. They also keep the nice shape up to the image corners.

shot @ F2.0

shot @ F2.8

More shots.

Lens Mechanics

7Artisans 35mm F2.0 build impressed me right out of the box when I removed lens front cap – it’s metal! Everything is constructed from thick aluminum, and this tiny lens even has built in small lens hood that also looks very durable.

Another big surprise (comparing to other 7Artisans lens I’ve used) is that this 35mm F2.0 has click stops at main aperture ring marks. It’s so convenient to be able to change aperture to desired value while keep looking into viewfinder (by just counting clicks).

My 7Artisans 35mm F2.0 lens sample aperture ring shows little radial and longitudial play that make stop clicks less emphasized. I’ll later check how to tighten the ring position and make clicks stronger.

I’ve also added red dot paint in the DOF scale center, which helps to read initial aperture value quicker.

My lens sample has precise alignment for infinity focus on Sony A7S, though I’ll definitely find time to explore possible focus calibration method for this lens. Lens focusing is very smooth, ring has comfortable texture and convenient position. Though sometimes I’m tending to grap lens hood or focusing – it’s typical location of the adapted Leica M lens focus ring due to it’s relatively small size. Focus ring diameter and about 120 degrees rotation allows precise and fast manual focusing.

Brief Conclusions

7Artisans 35mm F2.0 is an interesting compact and solidly built lens with great ergonomics. Lens delivers great results in the image center and F2.0 is totally usable there. Surely its IQ in frame borders is suffering from optical distortions caused by light angle approach of closely positioned rear glass and thick sensor filter. It behaves just like many other rangefinder wide angle lens adapted on Sony A7 series cameras. You can learn more details about this phenomenon from great article: Rangefinder wide angle lenses on A7 cameras: problems and solutions

I’m surprised to see click stops aperture in the lower priced range lens, 7Artisans did great job adding this useful feature. If by any case you decide to use 7Artisans 35mm F2.0 lens for video recording on A7 – it’s quite simple to remove the click-stop spring and make aperture ring clickless.

I didn’t notice any practical use of the built-in lens hood though. It doesn’t actually block any light to see significant flare cut off. But I like how the lens looks with extended hood – it reminds collapsible lens design like Voigtlander 50mm F2.0. Technically extended hood should also help to absorb front hit impact.

I’ll keep shooting with this 7Artisans 35mm F2.0 lens and also plan to run few more optical tests and partial disassembly soon.