First Impressions – 7Artisans 25mm f1.8

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I love a bargain. My X-M1 was only £89 and it performs as you’d expect a Fujifilm to – admirably, great for JPEGs and intuitively. So when I saw the 7Artisans 25mm on eBay for only £47, I decided it was worth the minimal outlay. I wasn’t actually looking at lenses, but a Canon lens adapter for X-Mount and having purchased a Viltrox one, the 7Artisans lens was a recommended purchase. With targeted advertising like that, no wonder I’m always spending! Giving a 37.5mm equivalent field of view, this little lens fits in nicely, as my widest native prime so far is a 35mm Nikon DX. I have a 30mm Pentacon in M42 mount, too, although I haven’t used it on my Fuji yet. Until I can justify investing into X-Mount – for the expected X-Pro 3 – cheap lenses and adapters fill a niche that I quite enjoy using.

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The soft corners and vignetting common to this lens are easily evident in this basic test shot, but my copy appears to limit them to the extremities so that is good. I think the colour rendition with the X-M1’s Velvia is pleasant, too. It was light outside and this was 4,000s at f2.8 (or there abouts – this lens doesn’t have preset aperture steps) so it did well to not completely blow the highlights beyond the very bottom of the teepee. Against M42 lenses with their character, I’m expecting this lens to perform similarly, just at a wider focal length. If the rendering holds contrast better against those lenses with further shooting, then I will be really quite pleased. After all, this is a £140 combo, which seems like very good value for money if you’re after a toy or to test the waters with a Fuji X camera.

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The build quality is fantastic for a budget, third party lens. Constructed from metal and quality plastic, I chose silver for the shine and how it accentuates the brass coloured ring around the front element. Having seen how striking it looks against the black Fuji body, I feel inclined to purchase Fuji’s own lenses in silver. Of course, it is manual focus only, but the smooth focal ring does a good job and they include an adhesive thumb rest for easier twisting if required. If there is one area where it betrays its modest price it is the lens cap. A generic affair with a simple, printed logo just lets the side down a little bit. Of course, this is a minor quibble and I can simply look for a more pleasant 46mm cap, but if this is the only real negative during a first impression, I’m onto a bit of a winner. Time will tell if this lens wins me over or is relegated to my gear cupboard, so stay tuned to here and my Instagram which is displayed on the front page.

Cheers, Matt.

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