It would seem almost every year some new Chinese company joins the ranks of lens manufacturers. While there are already a lot of options out there from various lens manufacturers, these Chinese companies are doing something that the main lens designers are not – making little niche designs at some great prices that don’t exist anywhere else. For example, this 7Artisans 25mm f1.8 aluminum lens for only $70.
A decade ago you use to have to buy retro Russian or Japanese lenses to get somewhat inexpensive lenses that are good, now a lot of Chinese companies are rebuilding some old designs or coming up with new designs to give us fresh lenses that aren’t hazed out and filled with dust and fungus. It’s great.
We usually have stigma for things made in China, but one thing we have to understand is that the Chinese are not idiots, quite the opposite. When the Chinese set out to do something great, they make it great. For example, DJI still makes the best drones and Mitakon makes one of the coolest lenses out there, the 35mm f0.95. The Chinese also make the iPhone. Now I’m not thrilled that they basically use slave labor to do it, but it’s not like that everywhere and I’m trying to filter out what’s good from what’s crap.
I now own most available Chinese lens for Fujifilm and almost all the Fujifilm primes, so I can go through and compare them all to each other.
7Artisans 25mm f1.8 | Fujifilm X-Pro2
I ordered a bunch of SLR Magic, some Handevision, the 7artisans and the KamLan and can hopefully find out which ones are good and which ones suck. Some of these lenses are totally worth it, like the KamLan 50mm f1.1, especially for non professionals that are just looking for some fun lenses to play around with.
This week I went out shooting the 25mm f1.8 7Artisans 25mm. Check out the full Artisans 25mm f1.8 review here.
The lens is actually fun to use, built with an aluminum body with kind of decent optics. Micro Four Thirds shooters would love this lens since the majority of the problems are around the edges and corners and M43 cameras would crop all that out for the most part. However, assembly and quality control of this lens, as expected . . . suck.
Here are a few more sample photos. I’ll have more for the review.