I picked up a used 7artisans 50mm f/1.8 lens for $60. The lens retail for $89, which is really cheap, but I wasn’t sure if this lens would be a good fit for what I want it for, so I went the used route instead. If it turned out to be a dud I wouldn’t be out all that much money. I’m happy that I paid less for it, because I don’t think I’m going to keep it for very long; however, that doesn’t mean it’s not a good lens.
The 7artisans 50mm f/1.8 is an all-manual prime lens that’s 75mm full-frame equivalent on Fujifilm X cameras, which makes it a short telephoto option. It’s the smallest 50mm lens for Fujifilm that doesn’t require an adapter, and that’s why I chose it. It seems to have good build quality—made mostly of metal—with a click-less aperture ring (good for video, but otherwise not my favorite design) and a smooth focus ring. It has 12 rounded blades, producing nice bokeh and sunstars.
The lens is a little soft at f/1.8 and f/2, but improves significantly when stopped down, and is overall pretty sharp. There’s some minor vignetting at all apertures, but nothing significant, and it’s barely noticeable by f/8. Lens flare is well controlled. I didn’t notice any chromatic aberrations. There’s not much distortion, so straight lines stay straight. The 7artisans 50mm f/1.8 is an inexpensive short-telephoto prime lens that’s pretty decent. So why am I planning to sell it?
There’s not much rotation in the focus ring from about 25 feet to infinity, meaning tiny turns of the ring move the focus point large distances. The lens will actually focus slightly beyond infinity, so focussing on further-away objects is tricky. I had more misses than hits when photographing distant subjects. This one flaw ruins the lens for me, or at least makes it less useful and enjoyable than I had hoped it would be. Otherwise, the lens is good. If you plan to photograph things that are closer than 25 feet away, the 7artisans 50mm f/1.8 is worth considering; however, for objects further away than 25 feet, the lens is still usable, but it can be a frustrating experience.
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Below are camera-made JPEGs that I captured using the 7artisans 50mm f/1.8 lens attached to my Fujifilm X-T30.
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