Montag, 7. August 2017

7artisans / Zonlai / Discover HD.MC 25mm f/1.8

The "7artisans" 25mm f/1.8 is a APS-C wide-angel lens for MFT, Fuji-X and Sony E-Mount. Behind the sales name "7artisans" is hidden the Shenzhen Qigongjiang Photoelectric Technology Co. Ltd. based in Shenzhen and founded 2001. As of october 31, 2014 the Shenzhen Photoelectric Technology Co. Ltd. operates as a subsidiary of China Aviation Optical-Electrical Technology Co. Ltd.. Shenzhen is the fastest-growing Chinese city in the delta of the Pearl River, geographically opposite to Hong Kong. Here, the headquarters of many international companies such as Huawei or Hasee. Foxconn also has a great dependency here. The 25mm lens is offered identically under different brands, such as Zonlai, Discover, Kunro or Hengyijja. The 7artisans 25mm f/1.8 for example look exactly like the Zonlai 25mm f/1.8 with a tiny chrome bezel ring added. 
The lens feels very good and can be used excellently. The clickless aperture ring is unusual, especially for pure photographers. However, anyone who wants to make videos with his camera will consider the aperture ring as advantageous. However, the best feature of this bright lens is the unrivaled low price. of 69,99 Euro. At such a price, the buyer really does not expect miracles. We will see in the course of this review whether our fears are right or not.
Let's start with the static data as always:

Optical design: 7 elements in 5 groups
Aperture range: f/1.8 - f/16
Diaphragm blades: 12
Construction of the lens body: aluminium body and copper core
Minimum focus distance: 0,6 ft. / 0,18 m
Weight: 0,31 oz / 143 gr.
Filter size: 46 mm
Equivalent focal length full frame: 37,5 mm

Let's look at what the lens can do. When the aperture is completely open, we find a sweet spot in the center of the image with a sharpness that is surprisingly good. The contrast and the colors are very good, as you can not complain.

Sony a6000 with 7artisans 25mm f/1.8, wide open at f/1.8
Sony a6000 with 7artisans 25mm f/1.8 at f/2.8

Stopping down to aperture 2,0 to 2,8 improves the sharpness and optimal it is then from aperture 5.6 to 8.0. The lens shows at open aperture slight vignetting, but not disturbing. Stopping down to f/2.8 will cause the vignetting to disappear.
The distortions are very small for a wide-angle lens and only interfere slightly with pure architectural images. Here is an example of a Berlin backyard: Note the slight distortion of the vertical lines. In Lightroom I use the profile correction of the Voigtländer 25mm f/4 color skopar.

In the opposite light is this objective very sensitive. There are strong and disturbing flares, the colors fade and the contrast becomes flat. The manufacturer regrettably does not provide a lens hood. The objective itself also has no device to attach a lens hood. So you have only the possibility to screw a lens hood into the 46mm filter thread.

The bokeh is quiet and creamy thanks to the 12 diaphragm blades.
Due to the low minimum focus distance, this lens can also be used to make handsome pseudo-macrofotografies. See input image of this review.
We conclude a final conclusion: The price-performance ratio is excellent. For a price well under 100 $ or 100 Euro you get a lens with high construction quality. Light stopping down ensures good sharpness, contrast and rich colors. When the aperture is wide open, it is possible to release the subject easily. However, because of the purple fringing a post-processing in Photoshop or Lightroom is necessary. At edges with strong contrast, blue or violet lines form. Photoshop and Lightroom, however, offer simple procedures to eliminate purple finging in the new versions of this software. A click and you're gone.
Because of the focal length (equivalent to 37.5 mm full-frame cameras), this lens is a real walk-around lens for everyday use. However, the photographer must be prepared to refrain from an autofocus. Fortunately, the modern system cameras from Olympus, Panasonic, Fujifilm and Sony have various tools to control the manual focus, for example focus magnifying or focus peaking.
I can only recommend this cheap lens.
Note, however, that imports may be subject to additional costs, such as customs duties and import sales tax, which will ultimately increase by between 20 and 30%.
Here are some photos taken in the past weeks with this lens:

Sony a6000 with 7artisans 25mm f/1.8 at f/1.8