7Artisans 25mm f1.8

I bought this lens on a whim. I’d recently bought my first mirrorless camera – the micro four thirds Olympus OM-D M10 Mark II – and I was keen to try out a manual lens. Only thing was, old lenses are heavy., and I’d bought the Olympus for its small size and portability. And with MFT’s focal length multiplier, a 50mm standard prime becomes a 100mm portrait lens, and that’s a focal length I very rarely shoot. A quick trawl through eBay and I discovered the 7Artisans 25mm f1.8. On MFT, 25mm becomes a nifty fifty, which is a much better focal length for general photography.

Featured image: The doors from the changing rooms are all that remain of the old open air bathing pool, North Berwick.

It’s a small lens, designed for digital, and the price was right. I decided to give it a try.

Truth to tell, it took me a while to get the hang of it. It’s a long time since I’ve used manual focus, and it really slowed me down. The first couple of times I used the lens, I almost gave up on it. Only … Each time I used it, frustrating as it was, I came home with photos I loved.

I’m starting to get the hang of it now. Once I assigned the front function button on the OM-D to focus peaking, it all started to feel more organic.

Looking at these photos taken with the 7Artisans, I’m curious to notice that I’ve converted several of them to black and white. Curious, because the colours from the 7Artisans lens are its strength, with a soft, analogue feel that works particularly well in harsh sunlight.

I don’t think I’ll ever go back to manual focus, and in fact I’ve just bought a Sigma 30mm f2.8 so that I can have an autofocus standard prime. But when I’m in the mood, I can see the point of manual focus. Sometimes, slowing down is the right thing to do.

Portmore
Garden scuplture, Portmore, Eddleston, Peebles

Roslin
Tree roots, Roslin Glen, Midlothian. I initially rejected this shot, but as I played around in Silver Efex Pro, I realised that it had something.

Rope
Coiled rope, the harbour, North Berwick

Barns Ness
The lighthouse, Barns Ness

One thought on “7Artisans 25mm f1.8

  1. Alex, I’ve had this same lens (plus one or two differently named variations that appear to be the same lens) on my eBay watch list for some time. Like you I also use old primes (M42 Mount) on my micro four thirds, a Lumix GF1. Stunning performance, great fun, but yes it makes the camera far more bulky and unwieldy than with the only native lens I have, a very small and light Lumix 12-32mm zoom.

    I’m looking at some point at getting a 50mm ish prime, and the options are essentially the 7Artisans 25/1.8 or an AF like the Panasonic 20/1.7, which are about three times the price.

    Still undecided, but I do like your b/w shots, especially the background of the garden sculpture one. Great character and reminiscent of the old Helios 44 lenses.

    Like

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