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P O L Y T E C H . N U

7artisans 7.5mm f:3.5 fish eye lens

imageI started making (digital) photo's in the year 2004 using a 10D. As a student the budget was small and in the begin of the photography digital age the prices were high. So I bought cheap lenses in the beginning an in the years I sold and bough a serious amount of lenses to obtain eventually my 'ideal' lens set. My basic set consists at that moment of a 17-40 f:4, 28-70 f:2.8 and a 70-200 f:2.8. Since I used a 1,6x crop factor camera, the 17-40 is the 'default' lens and the 70-200 is for portraits to create a nice bokeh effect. The 28-70 is there to cover the gap, between 40 and 70. But it turned out that this range is seldom used...
Since the basic set was completed, I started looking for nice additions to the set. I bought a Canon 50mm f:1.8 since this lens makes 'razor sharp' images and the bokeh effect is spectacular. (Everyone should have this or a similar prime lens!)
And then I discovered the fish eye lens... It's a fun lens and every photographer should have owned one in a lifetime. It's not the first lens to buy, but it's a very nice addition to the basic set of lenses. Back in the year 2004 there were only three options. The Canon 8mm AF lens, the Sigma 8mm or the Peleng 8mm lens. All three are full frame lenses and can be used on a APS-C/crop camera. Since the Canon and Sigma lenses were rather expensive I've bought the Peleng 8mm fish eye lens. The Peleng lens is a lens from Belarus and the built quality is 'different' than the Canon and Sigma one's. This also explains the price difference. The interesting thing is that the Peleng comes originally with different mounting adapters and three (rear mount) filters; red, yellow and uv. I had this lens for years and sold it last year since my interest in photography faded in time. But I recently rediscovered photography and updated the photo set. The 17-40mm and 50mm are still there and the Sigma 70-200 f:2.8 EX HSM is replaced by a Canon 70-200 f:2.8 L IS USM. And I wanted to buy another fish eye. When looking for a fish eye I was surprised that the 'world had changed' over time. There are a lot of new brand names with (mainly manual focus) lenses and there are a lot of fish eye lenses to choose from. Since I use a Canon EOS 70D (crop) DSLR I need a EF or EF-S mount lens that narrowed the options down. The good ol' Canon an Sigma fish eye lenses are still there, bit a couple of other brands appeared. After some comparison my I fell on the 7Artisans 7,5mm f:3,5 fish eye lens. I purchased one and my experiences are described below.

general information
imageThe 7Artisans 7,5mm f:3,5 lens is a fish eye lens. This is a manual focus lens which is fine. It's a bit exaggerated, but the focus distance has two options; close by or infinity. Since the focus after 1 meter is 'infinity', for regular photo's there's almost never the need to change the focus distance. So only for the close by exceptions the focus is changed. So auto focus or manual focus does not matter for this type of short focal length lens. With a 205 degrees wide angle of view, this is a ultra wide lens. This could cover all the surroundings in just two photo's (in theory). So be careful not to show your feet on every photograph... The aperture range is f:3,5...22. There are also f:2,8 fish eye lenses available, but the lowest aperture value is not relevant I guess. The bokeh is negligible for this very short focal lengths. The lowest shutter speed for a stable photo is also less relevant. The rule of thumb for a stable photo is the focal length times two is the shutter speed. For example a 200mm lens results in a (theoretical) shutter speed of 1/400 seconds. For 7,5mm is therefore the lowest shutter speed 1/15 second. Since the needed shutter speed is so 'slow', the lowest aperture value is not relevant I think. Even if the needed shutter speed doubles for each increased aperture step, the shutter speed is almost always fast enough. (For a telephoto lens the lowest aperture is therefore much more relevant! For a 500mm lens, the needed shutter speed is 1/1000 second. So every aperture step, the needed sensitivity doubles, thus more noise...)

APC-S or also full frame?
The lens is advertised as an APS-C lens. Thus the lens results in a full image on a crop camera. It's known that the lens hood will create vignetting on a full frame camera. The good thing is that the (all metal) lens hood is detachable! By rotating the lens hood 90 degrees, the lens hood can be removed. Some force is needed to get the lens hood out of it's locking. This gives a hood sturdy feel of the lens hood. Al tough the lens is not marketed as a full frame lens, this works quite well. The lens hood has te be removed otherwise the contours of the lens hood are visible. Without the lens hood, the image is almost complete on a full frame camera. Only the corners are 'missing'. So if a little but cropping is not a problem, the lens works rather good on a full frame camera.


imageThe build of the lens is great! It's with 657 grams rather heavy and gives a good feel. The lens is also 'all metal'. Even the lens hood is made of metal. Also the mounting is made of metal. It seems that the lens is made of anodised aluminium and that the mounting ring is made of steel. Every part fits perfect and moves very smooth. This is clearly a quality precision product. Chinese products are regularly associated with low quality but this lens is a quality product for sure. The text on the lens is milled out and paint filled to prevent wearing off. This makes the lens more durable. Some people called the design a little bit boring, but I like the simplicity of the design. The rings for aperture and focus are grooved. This results in good grip. There's no plastic ring used, so this all metal ring is much more durable. Also the rather large grooves are more convenient than a knurled surface since the grip is better in my opinion.

final judgement
This is a great lens. The build quality is perfect and a big plus is that the lens hood is removable. (A lot of other fish eye lenses have a fixed lens hood.) The price is rather low and the design is well thought trough. Compared to the Peleng (circular) 8mm fish eye this 7Artisans lens is built much better and the lens coating is way better. If you have all the 'default' lenses yet, this is a nice lens to have to discover the 'odd possibilities' this lens offers.