Light and bright: 7artisans Photoelectric 50mm f/1.1 Lens for Leica M

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I stood no chance with this lens. Fought it as I did this purchase was inevitable. Why?

  • It is silver.
    • Yep. You read that right. I am a sucker for a silver lens. Especially when it matches the cameras switchgear. A real looker. We can pretend otherwise, but aesthetics are important.

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  • It is bright:
    • F/1.1 makes low light and bokeh readily available. So bright you can see the shutter through the lens. Do not ever remember that with any other lens I have owned.
  • Very reasonably priced.
    • Recently very seriously considered buying my own old Mitakon 50mm f/0.95 for $567 used. These go for $799 new. The 7artisans is $369 brand spanking new with caps, adjustment tools, focus dealie, and bag.
  • Very reasonably sized.
    • As Karen stated about the Mitakon “That thing is heavy”. Enjoyed the lens, but it’s size and weight meant I rarely used it or carried it with me. The 7artisans is quite a bit smaller and lighter and earned a spot in my regular bag.
  • Well built.
    • Though much smaller and lighter than the Mitakon I would place the 7artisans build quality above it. Etched and painted text. Not a loose part. Great feel and damping to the dials.
  • Has multiple aperture personalities:

Wide open at f/1.1 this lens is a hoot. Crazy bokeh, sharp enough in a pleasing low fi way, and flares aplenty. Perhaps more useful on digital mirrorless where you can see the results real time and film when you are ok with gambling on the result. Not to everyone’s liking, but I like it a lot.

7artisans 50mm f/1.1 at f/1.1

Flares begone, bokeh calms down, and sharpens up a bit at f/1.4.

7artisans 50mm f/1.1 at f/1.4

Sharpens up quite nicely at f/2 and beyond (At f/2 below and gets sharper).

7artisans 50mm f/1.1 at f/2

  • Versatile.
    • Works as well on film as on digital which was a factor in my purchase. With close focus adapter also expands its utility on digital.
  • Precise.
    • Comes with tools to adjust the focus. Thankfully I do not believe it will be necessary as it focuses just fine wide open as is. Convenient since this would require a digital Leica and I would rather avoid the whole process.
  • Fun.
    • In many ways this lens is fun. Love throwing different situations at it to see what it can do. Here I shot through a fence at night.
  • Great colors.

I’ll stop here. Fairly obvious now that I really like this lens.

Whether you own an M mount, wish to adapt it to an E Mount, or both this is a great choice.

Below are sample shots on film and digital and here is an ongoing album.

Happy shooting.


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