All of you that follow my blog for a while by now might have understood that I am addicted to manual prime lenses. My favorite manual third thirdparty lenses for the Fujifilm FX-mount are developed and produced by a small but highly innovative brand named 7Artisans.

The Story of 7Artisans

“A group of Chinese camera enthusiasts gathered together for a dinner in Summer 2015. They were discussing their passions over the dinner table. Some were interested in optical design, while others were more skilled at running factory production lines, and one was an avid Leica lens collector. Everyone participated came to same conclusion; “If we involve our skills and work together, we can create new original camera lenses.” That is how 7Artisans Project began.

At the early stages many different people joined the project gradually forming the initial team. It expected to be long journey to reach their dream. That story began with testing prototypes and identifying problems, improving design as well as streamlining assembly and identifying further issues. We used the opportunities to fix problems as a way of further improvement of our ideas. Try and error cycles never stopped.

Years passed since our initial prototype. By September 2016 we reached total of 100 mass production unit samples of the 50mm f/1.1 lens. We originally started with many members, but part of them left the project due to long product development cycle. By the time production completed only 7 members remained.

And now each production packaging of the 50mm f/1.1 lens says, “7Artisans (Chinese: Seven Craftsmen)”. This is in honor of the members who believed in the project from the beginning and embodied the spirit of “Craftsmen”.   For this confidence and determination we are named 7Artisans.”

My line up

The following lenses I am using from 7Artisans:

  • 7.5mm f2.8 Fish-eye
  • 7.5mm f2.8 MK II Fish-eye
  • 12mm f2.8 *
  • 18mm f6.3 UFO
  • 25mm f0.95 Firefly *
  • 25mm f1.8
  • 35mm f0.95 Firefly *
  • 35mm f1.2
  • 35mm f1.2 MK II
  • 35mm f1.4 APSC **
  • 50mm f0.95 Firefly *
  • 55mm f1.4 MK II
  • 60mm f2.8 Macro
  • 60mm f2.8 MK II Macro *

* prefered lenses (always in my photo bag) ** my always on lens

The future

Rumors are telling us that 7Artisans will provide us soon with autofocus lenses for Fujifilm FX-mount. I see a lot of excitement of many Fujifilm X Photographer as the optical and mechanical build qualities of these manual lenses are excelent and that will promise the same high skills and standards also for the autofocus lenses. My own feelings are some how mixed. On one side a fast AF can be of a strong support for fast moving objects (sport, racing and animal in the fly photograph) on the other hand I do not like focus by wire systems as provided e.g. by Fujifilm. Nothing can replace the wonderful haptic of a well damped mechanical focus- and aperture- ring. I will for sure try the new lenses and who will know, I might even change my mind if the AF implementation of 7Artisans can convince me.

This is a part of my 7Artisans line up grouped with my Fujifilm X-PRO3 Black.

The robust red wrist strap on the X-PRO3 and and the dark concrete flat-lay background is from Lens-Aid.

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