Did I tell you that I am a fan of the simple 7Artisans 35mm f1.2 MKI lens? This even has been my first 7Artisans lens. This lens is very far off of being perfect. Mechanically ok and optically wide open un sharp at the outer corners and even stopping down does not improve the corner sharpness a lot. Never mind, this is a lens with character. The center is sharp and it is producing a wonderful bokeh. The combination of center sharpness and bokeh is emphasizing the subject to image in the center so it get an unreal extra dimension to your image. This started my deep love to the lenses of 7Artisans. Each lens, I have been tested till now from 7Artisans a small but very innovative Chinese company, has a kind of character that attracts me to use them every day.
In this test shooting I wanted to find out if the new 7Artisans 35mm f1.2 MKII provides the same magic as the legendary and fantastic first version.
During the first experience with this new lens it turns out to me that 7Artisans improved the build quality. It is not on the same high level as the new Firefly’s but the focus and aperture ring is more precise, damped and firm, giving a premium feeling and a long life much better than my loved first version. On the optical side, the new 7Artisans 35mm f1.2 MKII is more balanced and sharper at the corners wide open. To the analytic fraction of photographer that only have their photographical gear to count pixels it is definitely a better lens and a big improvement to the MK1 version. To all others, with the first target to take pictures with a strong atmosphere and the special extra of what I call character, the MKII version is a small step down from the first 7Artisans 35mm f1.2.
A big plus, the new lens is one stop slower then the MKI which ends at f16 the MKII is ending at f22 that helps in landscape shooting under bright sun and support the imaging of wonderful sun stars with its 10 diaphragm blades. Again there is a group of photographers that every time when there is a new 7Artisans lens on the market complains about the fact that they have been all click less on the aperture ring. I have been long time ago one of them. This is the first 7Artisans lens with a click and now during my tests I dislike it as I got so much used to the comfort of being not bound to fixed aperture positons to choose from. “It´s proven, even an old dog can learn new tricks…”
All in all and and even more if you did not shoot with the first Version of this lens, you will be very happy in most situations e.g. low light street, portrait as well travel and landscape shooting.
As usual, all this is depending to personal taste and priorities. Please have a look to my sample pictures below and leave me your point of view.