7Artisans 35mm f/2 lens review (comparison with the Leica Summicron-M 35mm f/2 ASPH)


In this post, I will compare the new 7Artisans 35mm f/2 lens ($289) with the Leica Summicron-M 35mm f/2 ASPH lens model 11879 ($3,295):

General observations


  • In my tests I removed the lens hood of the Leica Summicron lens since the 7Artisans lens doesn't come with a lens hood.
  • The EXIF in all of my photos show Leica Summicron-M 35mm f/2 ASPH lens because the 7Artisans 35mm f/2 lens is 6-bit coded as the Leica Summicron-M 35mm f/2 ASPH.
  • I also noticed that the 7artisans lens has a narrower field of view and is probably more like a 40mm focal length.
  • The Leica Summicron lens has half aperture stops and a smoother aperture ring.
  • The 7artisans lens has wider distance marks on the focusing scale (easier to see your zone focusing).
  • In my tests the minimum focusing distance of the Leica Summcron was 65 cm, while the 7artisans needed around 75 cm.
  • The 7Artisans 35mm f/2 lens comes with two lens caps and a small screwdriver for focus adjustment (I have not tried it, my focusing seems to be spot on):


Technical specifications

Here are the technical details of the 7Artisans 35mm f/2 lens:

  • Lens design: 7 elements in 5 groups
  • Angle of view: 63°
  • Number of aperture blades: 10
  • Minimum focusing distance: 0.7m
  • Filter size: 43mm
  • Maximum aperture: f/2
  • Minumum aperture: f/16
  • Weight: 205 g
  • Available only for Leica M-mount
  • Price: $289

Size comparison

Leica Summicron-M 35mm f/2 ASPH on the left, 7Artisans 35mm f/2 on the right:

Weight

Weight comparison (with lens caps):

  • 7Artisans 35mm f/2 lens: 7.65 oz / 216 g
  • Leica Summicron-M 35mm f/2 ASPH lens: 9.05 oz / 256 g (without lens hood)

     

Wide open (f/2) comparison

Comparing manual focusing lenses for sharpness wide open is always a challenge because of the margin of error that can be introduced. I took the f/2 comparisons shots multiple times to make sure I did not misfocus and there is still a chance that my focusing was not 100% accurate - please take this in consideration when looking at the test photos (click for larger view).

7Artisans 35mm f/2 lens at f/2 (full resolution link):


Leica Summicron-M 35mm f/2 ASPH lens at f/2 (full resolution link):


7Artisans 35mm f/2 lens at f/2 100% crop (full resolution link):


Leica Summicron-M 35mm f/2 ASPH lens at f/2 100% crop (full resolution link):

Colors comparison

7Artisans 35mm f/2 lens at f/8 (full resolution link):


Leica Summicron-M 35mm f/2 ASPH lens at f/8 (full resolution link):


7Artisans 35mm f/2 lens at f/5.6 (full resolution link):


Leica Summicron-M 35mm f/2 ASPH lens at f/5.6 (full resolution link):

V

Vignetting

The vingetting of both lenses when wide open is almost identical.

7Artisans 35mm f/2 lens vignetting wide open:


Leica Summicron-M 35mm f/2 ASPH lens vignetting wide open:

Barrel distortion

The barrel distortion is noticeable with the 7artisans lens and almost non-existed with the Leica 35mm Summicron - this is one area the Leica has a clear advantage - the first picture is from the 7artisans lens:

The next sample is from the Leica Summicron - here the lines remain straight:

Sharpness

I did several different tests and it was hard for me to find any significant difference in the center performance of the 7Artisans 35mm f/2 lens when compared to the Leica Summicron-M 35mm f/2 ASPH (100% crops, click for larger view):

Conclusion

I am planning to do some more testing in the future, but I really had a hard time finding any flow in the 7artisans lens or any significant difference in the image quality when comparing it to the Leica Summicron-M 35mm f/2 ASPH lens.

While the previous 7artisans 50mm f/1.1 lens was soft wide open, I cannot really say the same for the new 7artisans 35mm f/2 - the lens is sharp across all apertures.

Keep in mind that we are comparing a $289 lens with a $3,295 lens...

Pros (what I like):

  • 6 bit coded
  • Smooth focusing ring
  • Focusing tab
  • Small and light
  • Solid build, nice fit and finish
  • Cheap, excellent price/performance ratio (a bargain at $289)

Cons (what I don't like):

  • No lens hood
  • Minimum focusing distance is actually 0.75m

In the next few weeks I will continue to upload sample photos to flickr taken with the 7Artisans 35mm f/2 lens and the Leica M10 camera:

7Artisans 35mm f/2 lens for Leica M-mount sample photos

7Artisans lenses can be purchased at: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon DE | eBay US | eBay UK | AliExpress.

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