Sunday 21 June 2020

Neewer/7Artisans 25mm f1.8 MC - Shooting Fuji on the Cheap Lens #2

Chive Angel
X-T1, Neewer (7artisans) 25mm f1.8

The second lens I'd recommend buying is your mild wide, in the 17mm to 25mm range for APS-C (28-38mm equivalents). Like the fast(ish) normal this is generally a lens you can leave on the camera and shoot all day long, in fact the image above was taken on a photowalk where I only shot with this lens. 

The mild wide is also the alternate option for your first lens. If you prefer a wider angle, or are a street shooter, you may want to get a lens in this range even before a normal. Others may prefer to only have a lens in this range and not buy the normal (or vice versa). 

The 7Artisans 25mm f1.8 was my choice here. It's equivalent to a 38mm lens on Full Frame, which sounds like an odd focal length but was actually a very common one for fixed-lens film P&S's back in their day. It's just a touch longer than the classic 35mm focal length. 

I picked this lens semi-arbitrarily. I liked the cosmetic design better than the other common 25mm (from Meike and various rebrands) as I like SLR-style lenses more than RF style lenses in terms of looks. I bought the Neewer-branded version for price reasons, but they are just rebranding the 7Artisans lens. There's also an available 22mm f1.8 from Zonlai for those looking for something just a touch wider. Sadly I've yet to see a 17-18mm (28mm equivalent) yet from the various chinese makers. 

Out of the box my copy had a rough focus ring, which broke in fairly quickly and focuses well past infinity (infinity is at the 15' mark). These do not come with the focus calibrated. Thus I recommend buying from Amazon, and sending it back if it doesn't reach infinity focus (past infinity is fine for most uses, although it does limit close focus). As this lens is made in 4-5 different mounts, be sure to get the Fuji X mount version. 

I've found the optical performance to be surprisingly good for the very low cost. At well under $100USD, this may end up being the cheapest lens in the series, depending on which path I go down for a mild telephoto. Is it world class? Not at all. But it can get very sharp in the centre, acceptable at the edges and actually outperforms Fuji's other-wise excellent 23mmf 2 at minimum focus distance. 

Compared to adapting a rangefinder lens in this focal length, the 25/1.8 is cheaper and faster than anything even vaguely affordable (like the Cosina Voigtlander 25/4 Snapshot-Skopar)

Next up will be the mild telephoto options in the 55-60mm range. That will cover a few posts as there are a number of viable options there as that's where adapting really comes into its own. 

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