Last week, the first of the 7Artisans 75mm f/1.25 lenses landed with me in the UK. The first thing I did was mount one onto my M10-P and take some shots wide open. Since then, I must admit, I have been a little bit suckered in by the novelty of shooting such a fast short-tele. I’m not sure how long this novelty will last, but for now, I am really enjoying the look of the results!
Since posting a little bit about the 7Artisans 75mm f/1.25 on social media, I’ve had a good deal of interest from people wanting to know how it shoots wider-open. I suppose if you’re going to buy a 75mm f/1.25 lens, one of the main things you might be interested in is how it performs at it’s extreme – this certainly seems to be the primary interest people are expressing in my direction – so I thought I’d share a few brief early thoughts.
For me, as I say, there is a novelty value here – but I must also say, compared to ultra-fast normal lenses I have shot, I do like the slightly longer-lens look. The fall-off to out of focus is very fast indeed. It also has a nice glowy/gooey (for want of some slightly less subjective words) transition zone. Compared to the 50mm f/1.1 lens from 7Artisans the bokeh seems to be a lot more stable – though it does look like foliage can trip it up a little. It suffers a from “cats-eyes” too – but that’s to be expected, I think.
In terms of contrast and resolution, it does seem to also be a little higher contrast than the 50mm f/1.1 wide open which tends to wash out with spherical aberrations and veiling flare. I’d be sugar coating things if I said it was “sharp” – wide open, the resolution just isn’t all there. But, given normal viewing distances (ie. not pixel peeping) the contrast seems to give enough “pop” to allow this slightly nuts lens to be shot wide open and give aesthetically pleasing images.
Here’s a few early tests for you to judge for yourself – if you click through to flickr on each image you can view the images larger too.
The 7Artisans 75mm f/1.25 is big, and quite heavy, but I guess that’s the price you must pay for such a chunk of glass with this sort of on-paper spec. A sacrifice those who want this sort of look, or those who want to shoot in lower light, will no doubt be happy to make – especially at this price point!
It’s also worth noting that I had to calibrate my 7Artisans 75mm f/1.25 out of the box – wide open it was back focusing a fair bit out of the box. These lenses come with the tool needed to adjust the focus calibration, but it’s worth noting that the process is a lot easier with a digital rangefinder to hand than with a film rangefinder.
Finally, I should point out that I sell these lenses through the 35mmc shop here. Regardless, I try to be 100% transparent about my opinions on the 7Artisans kit, and will be following up with more thoughts in due course. If you have any questions in the meanwhile, please ask in the comments below so others can see my answers.