7Artisans has announced their new 18mm pancake lens, the 7artisans 18mm F6.3 II UFO. As the name suggests, it has a wide 18mm focal length with a fixed f/6.3 aperture. It’s designed specifically for APS-C mirrorless cameras and is available in Sony E, Nikon Z and Fuji X mount options. This tiny lens has a diameter of 56mm and a depth of a mere 15mm, including the mount.
It’s designed to be a bit of a walkabout lens for street photography, with a fixed f/6.3 aperture that should still give you some nice fast shutter speeds during the day. That 18mm focal length on APS-C offers a field of view equivalent to that of about 27mm on a full-frame body, ideal for street photography shots that show some environmental context. And the new version II of this lens also has variable focus from 0.3m to infinity.
The tiny lens comprises 6 elements in 5 groups, has zero aperture blades and no filter thread. And while 7Artisans says it can be used for a wide range of subjects, It’s not a lens designed to offer a versatile range of options for multiple shooting conditions. Sure, you can shoot any subject with it, but you’re obviously not going to get the same level of control as larger, more complicated and more expensive lenses.
Its compact design, 7Artisans says, offers outstanding dust resistance and image quality. At 58g (for the Sony E mount version), it weights virtually nothing, making for a very lightweight and nimble setup when you have a need for one. The fixed f/6.3 aperture isn’t going to provide a whole lot of control, and it’s not going to be great in dark environments, but for circumstances where the field of view and small size make it a potentially ideal option when you want to be unobtrusive.
The 7Artisans 18mm f/6.3 II UFO contains a chip for communication between the lens and camera for storing lens data in the EXIF data of your photos – which probably explains why it’s not available in Canon RF mount. And despite weighing only 58g, it boasts a full metal construction for maximum durability. The lens is also recessed a little into the front, so you could potentially even use this as a standard body cap replacement, meaning your camera’s always ready to go, even when you’re not planning to use it!