I held the curiosity of having a fisheye lens in my camera bag since I first used the Nikon 10.5mm APS-C Fisheye. Though fisheye lenses serve a very niche market, it’s a fun lens to have and most of those lenses are not that big or heavy to bother your shoulders.
There are reasonable alternatives available in CaNikon world, but since I shifted to Fujifilm, the only highly reviewed option I could find was Samyang 8mm f2.8 Fisheye, which I did go to purchase but (un)fortunately only the demo piece was available in stock and the seller did not agree on any discount for that lens.
And then the world wide web of photography popped-up some articles of an unknown Chinese brand 7artisans and their range of manual focus lenses. I did not expect there would be any love for Fujifilm X mount, but they had it and the price was perfect.
7artisans 7.5mm f2.8 Fisheye Lens was the only one that caught my attention. At just half the price of Samyang 8mm f2.8 Fisheye I just wanted to press the ‘Order Now’ button but didn’t. Luckily I was able to find one locally, the so called ‘one man’s trash is another man’s treasure’ item. Even if it’s half as good as the Samyang, I could live with it.
- Focus Mode: Manual only
- Focal Length 7.5 mm
- 11 Elements in 8 Groups
- 12 Diaphragm Aperture Blades
- Multi Layer Coating
- Aluminum Body and Copper Core
- Compact and Lightweight 0.6oz / 275g
- Aperture Range: F2.8 – 22
- Closest Focus Distance: 0.12m
- 180 Degrees Wide FoV
- Available in M4/3 Mount, Sony E-Mount & Fuji X Mount
- Price $139
So there I have it now, unpacked and mounted on my X-Pro2, just waiting for a field trip to see how it fares with landscapes and maybe some cityscapes/architecture as well. Till then I have done some random tests just to check how it fares with Focus, Sharpness, Image Quality, Color Fringing, Vignetting, Diffraction, etc.
F 8 – F 11 seems to be the sweet spot for this lens in regards to sharpness, vignette, fringing, etc. The above image does well at F 11 with slight CA around the corners which doesn’t bother me. It shows some degree of softness around the edges (if you really want to look for it). There is no marking for F 16 and very little space between F 11 – F 22 to get in the approximate range. Aperture ring has a smooth movement, same as the focus ring. There are no click stops.
In the images below I just tried to see how close it will realistically focus, it’s damn impressive. But in real world situations I doubt most people will ever want to focus on something that close due to the obvious overly curved foreground. Still, there can always be some creative options if you tame the fisheye vision.
I would just leave this lens at F 11 focused at 1m and snap on for most of the shots. If you would like to pixel-peep on high res images posted here, grab ’em from this link.
Will be updating this post with the packaging images of the lens and soon follow-up with how it fares in the real world use. Thanks for visiting my website. Cheers!
About the Author
Anjum Vahanvati is a travel and documentary photographer based in United Arab Emirates. You can find out more about Anjum on his website, and follow his work on Flickr and 500px. This article was also published here and shared with permission.