5 frames with...

5 Frames with a 7Artisans 28mm f/1.4 – By John Scott

June 26, 2019

7Artisans. I love what they are creating with their lenses. Tiny but high quality lenses that are fast and high quality – compared to some modern day plastic fantastic lenses at least.

I first discovered 7Artisans lenses when I was searching for the Leica Noctilux 50mm f/0.95 lens. I soon realised that this lens was going to cost me an arm, leg, lung and possibly my house to buy, so I was on the hunt to find alternative glass. That’s when I chanced upon the 50mm f/1.1. After shooting with the 50mm for over a year, I have since become a convert to the 7Artisans clan of lenses.

Quality you can feel

Today I purchased the 28mm f/1.4. 

I couldn’t wait to make my way home to try the lens on my Leica M10. I got back to my studio and set the lens box on my work table ready to film an unboxing. Within the box were the usual suspects – lens, adjustment manual, a rubber focus attachment, etc. As soon as I picked up the lens the thing that struck me was the weight. The 28mm felt dense and a touch front heavy compared to my 50mm f/1.1. But nothing that dramatically alters the ergonomics of the lens in my opinion.

The aperture ring has clicks! Hurray! Filming on the A7iii with the 50mm is great with the ceclicked aperture ring, but I do prefer the clicks as I am used to adjusting by feel. So I was happy with the aperture ring on the 28mm f/1.4. The other pleasant surprise is the focus ring – super smooth and oh so well dampened. Focusing this lens is a joy.

But what about the images?

Shooting with this lens on the Sony A7iii is no problem with the EVF. Shooting on the Leica M10 is just as easy using the rangefinder patch but there is some viewfinder blockage. But, I have always shot and preferred 28mm over the conventional 35mm field of view, so a little blockage didn’t really affect my shooting experience.

Sharpness at F1.4

When I buy a fast lens I want to shoot wide open. Sharpness is one of the driving factors but overly sharp lenses don’t interest me. Almost any lens delivers sharpness (especially when stopped down) but what I am looking for is character. The 28mm is sharp at f/1.4 in the centre and a tad soft in the corners but this is perfectly fine. The fact that I can have clarity and sharpness with a distinct character at f/1.4 is awesome. Oh, did I mention there are 13 aperture blades, and that bokeh at f/1.4 is Cadbury creamy!

Overall I find that 7Artisans have created a lens with quality as the focus. Anyone looking for a 28mm lens can look no further than the 7Artisans 28mm f/1.4 in my opinion.

In flight entertainment

Dark tower

Look up

Window seats

If you would like to see more then please follow my instagram channels: hotshotstudio01 and johnnypixel

Thanks for reading!

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5 Comments

  • Reply
    J.
    June 26, 2019 at 9:19 pm

    Hi John,
    I’m really glad you like your new lens, but I hate to break it to you (I could just hold back when you did this for the second time in your last post in which I really liked the toddler shot and the morning light one, by the way), but the creamy bokeh wide open has less to do with the number of aperture blades than with the shape of your lens (circular). Try stopping these lenses down to see what the aperture blades can do for you. I feel like a prick right now, but through repetition stuff like this becomes internet wisdom at some point and might confuse a few people, especially the ones who are just starting out.
    I’d love to see these sentences edited as I got to know 35mmc as a reliable, consistent source about camera stuff, even though (or maybe just because) it features guest posts by talented enthusiasts in many cases and I’d hate to see this quality diluted.
    Much respect
    J.

    • Reply
      Hamish Gill
      June 28, 2019 at 3:40 pm

      I sorta let it slide here as it could have been read as a separate clause – do you think it reads better now?

    • Reply
      John_S
      June 29, 2019 at 12:00 am

      Hey J, thanks for taking the time to comment. Yeah I hear you on the stopping down, I do actually apply the f8 and leave it there for my commercial shoots, but generally I gravitate to the wider, softer shots for my personal work. Sorry if it came across as misleading but I very much am an enthusiastic photographer shooting passion projects on the side, technical reviews are not what I endeavour to share, more nice images that I can capture with the lens at hand. Cheers

      • Reply
        J.
        June 30, 2019 at 7:52 pm

        Hi Hamish and John,
        it reads a lot better now and my comment was really nitpicky to begin with. I honestly prefer the reviews that are not overly technical, let the images speak for themselves and let me be a part of this particular photographer’s experience. It’s nice to have the few technical aspects right or at least coherent to round this off. Thanks again to both of you and keep it up!

        • Reply
          Hamish Gill
          July 2, 2019 at 9:20 pm

          Cheers, will do!

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