I received lately the TTArtisan 23mm f1.4 and TTArtisan 50mm f1.2. Two lenses that are for very different purpose in the field of photography. The first one, 23mm (34.5mm FF) which I have already tested, has proven to me a lot of character even a kind of magic in rendering pictures that they get a 3 dimensional depth. You can find the review here.
Today I want to write about my first experiences with the TTArtisan 50mm f1.2 lens. I have tested a lot of 50mm lenses for Fujifilm like the original Fujinon XF 50mm f2, Fujinon XF 56mm f1.2, 7Artisans 50mm f1.8, 7Artisans Firefly 50mm f0.95 and the 7Artisans Vison 50mm T1.05. All these lenses have strong points and some weaker points. The same I experience while using the TTArtisan 50mm f1.2 lens. The color rendering of this lens is wonderful. Even wide open at f1.2 the sharpness in the center is to the point and as I had experienced with the TTArtisan 23mm f1.4 lens the picture gets very sculptural in a way that you want to try to touch the object of focus.
The limitation of this lens, to me, is the long minimal focus distance of 50cm. This does not allow to get sometimes close enough to the photography subject. You can see this for example on the images of the fruits. Yes the pictures are great and they represent all the great experience I just described above but if we are honest, a bit closer would have improved a lot the harmony and expression of these pictures. Well I am sure a lot of people will say “hey malte this is complaining on a very high level and you are just too much demanding!” well this might be right but if I would have this 5 to 10 less cm to get closer I would name this lens one of the best I ever used. All this of course also under the fact of extreme budget friendly pricing.
As you can see i took SOOC pictures with the TTArtisan 50mm f1.2 with the legendary Fujifilm X-PRO1 as well with the state of the art 3rd generation Fujifilm X-PRO3. The two pictures made with the X-PRO1 and as well the X-PRO3 images are SOOC and both cameras are using the Velvia SIM of Fujifilm. The X-PRO1 images are smooth and so close to a real classical analog film image. One of the reason why the X-PRO1 got so many fans and got legendary. Shooting digital with an analog result. Bravo!
The images rendered by the Fujifilm X-PRO3 are so much more clear, sharp even I would name it defined or analytical. To me it is very difficult to decide which pictures are touching me more. The smooth analog touch of the X-PRO1 or the detailed analytical result of the X-PRO3. I guess every photographically challenge will fit more or less to one of the two picture results and it will be great to be able to choose what which camera I will use to tell a story with my images.
On the pure technical side, the electronics and technical features of the X-PRO3 are so advanced compared to the X-PRO1. E.g. the focus peaking technique represented in the EVF of the X-PRO3 which is only available on the LCD of the X-PRO1 makes it so much more easy to focus with the X-PRO3 and that offers so much to use manual non AF lenses instead of the Fujinon AF lenses. On the X-PRO1 its more difficult to nail the focus mostly in lower light situations.
Nevertheless, the TTArtisan 50mm f1.2 lens is performing on both APS-C image sensors (16MP X-PRO1 and 26MP X-PRO3) very well. Mechanically the lens is on the same high level of build quality as the TTArtisan 23mm f1.4. The lens is fitting tight and with no play on the mount of the cameras as well the clicked aperture ring is moving tight with a clearly defined click keeping the positions. The focusing is moving smooth but firm enough to no loose position while keeping lens and camera up side down, the focus haptics is well damped. All in all, the IQ, color rendering and mechanics are showing a top class lens at a budget price. This lens should not be missing in any Fujifilm photographers camera bag.
But please have close look your self to the here made images and you are very welcome to leave your findings in the comments.