5 frames with...

5 Frames with the 7Artisans Prototype 35mm f/2 m-mount lens

April 8, 2018

As the official release of the 7Artisans 35mm f/2 looms, I’ve been getting excited about it and have taken to using the prototype I’ve had kicking around for a while. Mechanically it’s not perfect, and I suspect even in terms of image quality isn’t exactly what they’re intending in the final lens, but it certainly gives some tantalising hints as to what the final lens will be like.

As mentioned in my pre-production lens preview, this lens is based on the Sonnar formula. One of the things I most like about sonnar formula lenses is how they somehow manage to capture something of the atmosphere of the environment they’re shot in. I’ve no real idea the technical whys and wherefores, but I suspect it simply comes down to the way that they commonly react to light.

In my experience it’s quite hard to get ghosting from Sonnar lenses – modern well coated Sonnar lenses such as the 50mm ZM hardly flare at all, yet certain types and directions of light can cause an almost ethereal glow. This is probably best described as veiling flare, as it tends manifest as a reduction in contrast, though it only happens in localised areas within the frame. It’s this response to light, especially when shot wide open, that seems to capture something special in the subject. The glow given off by sources of light is just something I’ve grown to favour in Sonnar formula lenses, and is definitely something I’m happy to find here.

I should say, certainly in the case of my prototype, contrast wide open is a lot lower than that of the ZM sonnar. 7Artisans have told me they were working on improvements to the coatings for this lens, so I expect production lenses will be slightly higher contrast, though perhaps not to Zeiss standards, I’d guess. Either way this lens is definitely shaping up to be something of an interesting lens to shoot with. I can’t wait to get my hands on the final production version!


Connie at Easter

Night out with G and Tom

Night out with G and Tom

Norah & Connie



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  • Reply
    April 9, 2018 at 4:27 am

    The rendering in those pictures looks a lot like those taken with my Contax T2 (a camera a deeply regret selling). In my opinion, the Sonnar design works wonders on 35mm lenses. I’d love to have another lens like this again.

  • Reply
    Martin south of France
    April 9, 2018 at 6:01 am

    For the prototype some great looking results!!

  • Reply
    April 10, 2018 at 6:44 pm

    I think we’re all wondering what the cost will be, it’s not super fast so it’ll have to compete somehow with CV lenses.

    • Reply
      Hamish Gill
      April 14, 2018 at 7:13 pm

      It’s going to be a lot cheaper than the voigtlanders

  • Reply
    February 23, 2019 at 1:20 pm

    Those are great images. I agree with you that there is a certain magic to Sonnar lenses. I have a 7 Artisans 35mm f/1.2 Sonnar that produces that same magical output – it is a joy to use.

  • Reply
    5 Frames with a 7Artisans 35mm f/2 Lens - By Ong Sein Hong - 35mmc
    May 14, 2019 at 10:10 am

    […] come out with a budget 35mm for M-Mount. I remembered reading Hamish’s initial review on the prototype 7Artisans 35mm f/2 and I was so excited, sharing the post to many of my friends but few shared my enthusiasm, critical […]

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