This 35mm f/0.95 Lens Costs Just $249

Wide-aperture lenses are quite popular for a variety of creative uses and technical requirements, but they can also be highly expensive. The 7artisans Photoelectric 35mm f/0.95 is just $249, and this excellent video review takes a look at how it performs in practice. 

Coming to you from Dustin Abbott, this great video review takes a look at the 7artisans Photoelectric 35mm f/0.95 lens. 7artisans has made a name for themselves with their extremely affordable lenses, and the 35mm f/0.95 continues that trend, coming in at just $249. Of course, the one drawback of the lens' ultra-affordable price is that it is manual focus only, but given the variety of manual focus aids on modern mirrorless cameras, it is a lot easier to work with such a lens than it used to be. It comes with a variety of other useful features, however, including:

  • Two ultra-low dispersion elements for reduced chromatic aberrations
  • Depth of field and distance scales for pre-focusing and zone focusing
  • De-clicked aperture for video work
  • 12-blade diaphragm for extra-smooth bokeh

No doubt, for anyone who enjoys ultra-narrow depth of field or who needs all the light-gathering power they can get their hands on, the 35mm f/0.95 looks like quite the interesting and affordable option. Check out the video above for Abbott's full thoughts on the lens. 

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Greg Wilson's picture

No surprise, you get precisely what you pay for.

Spy Black's picture

I bought this lens for my M4/3 cameras and, even with the greater crop factor, this lens is optically a complete piece of shit, as standard optics go. Although I wasn't expecting it to be of any use wide open, I was hoping it would be sharp across the board at around f/2-2.8, because I got this lens for hopeful wide-field astrophotography. This lens never sharpens up at the edges. Ever. Even stopped all the way down to f/16, the edges are still shit. I've never seen a lens do that before, especially since I'm using this on M4/3 bodies. The center is good at about f/2 onward. I have to conclude that it has MASSIVE field curvature. This made me think of something I'll discuss a little further down, but first, a few other points.

The F-stop and focus rings are simply too lightly dampened. The dampening is essentially useless. It takes nothing to knock them out of position. This is more critical for the aperture ring, as of course you're always more conscious of what you're focusing on. Your aperture is always being shifted at the slightest touch. The focus will shift if you remove your hand the wrong way after focusing. You really have to be extremely careful to ensure you're properly focused, even stopped down. To use it it in any fashion you need to tape the aperture and focus rings. I have strips of gaffer's tape on the lens to do exactly this. The aperture ring and front edge of the focus ring are so close together that you will almost always throw your aperture off as you try to focus because you will grab the aperture ring instead. Incredibly annoying. The lens caps easily falls off, I replaced it with one of of my Nikon 52mm clip-ons, the included lens cap is useless.

I contacted 7Artisans to return the lens, and discovered a bizarre ritual. The return instructions seemed like a Soviet-era cloak & dagger ritual that felt as tho once I shipped this thing back, I could stand a chance of never hearing of it or anything related to it ever again, and possibly lose my money AND the lens. I decided lick my wounds and to accept this purchase as a complete loss, at least for my intentions, and just kept the damned thing. Eventually I'll throw it up on eBay.

So after all that I wondered how a lens that seemed so well made could be such a piece of shit. Mechanically and (physically) optically it appears to me that 7Artisans have capable production facilities to make a decent lens. I can only conclude that this lens was deliberately made to be the shit that it is. Why? I believe that the lens was made this way for it's "rendering". It's a deliberate shtick. It's a novelty lens, in the same light as LensBaby lenses, shitty lenses that create somewhat unique and "artsy" images. I can see this lens used as a creative tool (and, other than selling it, essentially I have no choice). Used this way you can make some use of this lens. As pointed out in the video, it's not a lens to use at infinity or for landscape photography, it's utterly useless there. This is strictly a lens to use ~10 feet or closer. It could be handy in product photography, and of course portrait work, which is probably the main shtick of the design.

So if you're the kind of person who likes crap like LensBaby junk, this lens is for you. I suspect you'll probably really like it. I have to say tho it should not cost more than, say, $100-$150. DEFINITELY not worth $250, but it can be a fun lens if you simply don't take it seriously, or intend to use it as a shtick, LensBabay-type lens.

Alex Zenzaburro's picture

Jep the massive field curvature is the problem with all those cheap prime lenses like meike 7artisans etc.

They are "ok" if you shoot portraits and focus on the eyes but for everything else it would be better to just use an f2 or 2.8 made by the camera maker not by a chinese cheapo company

Spy Black's picture

I suspect it's deliberate. There's nothing stopping 7Artisans from making a "proper" lens, but instead they make niche lenses like this because, well, everyone else is making "proper" lenses, save for LensBabay. This is definitely a lens for the LensBaby crowd, they would love this.

Morris Getman's picture

Alex, thanks for the teaser, but you totally omitted the image circle size and mounts. I understand that I could watch the video for that, but still.

Alex Zenzaburro's picture

Funny how they advertise "de-clicked aperture ring" like it would be a feature but it only saves them money :)

For me thats one of the downsides of those cheap lenses.

You are never sure what aperture is set as they dont communicate with the bodies, you cant see the effect because the newer bodies compensate for it during composition in the EVF.