Here are some good news for fans of wide-angle lens, 7Artisans just launched their new full-frame 7Artisans 9mm f/5.6 lens. The lens costs 479$ and is available for the Nikon-z, Canon-RF, Sony-E, and Leica-L mounts. Oh, and here are some even better news, the lens is rectilinear. Meaning? it’s not a fish-eye lens.
The 7Artisans 9mm f/5.6 is a non-fish-eye full-frame lens. Yes, full-frame. Ultra wide-angle lenses that actually cover a full-frame sensor are few and far between. The last one in recent memory is the Laowa 9mm F5.6, which costs 799$. It is nearly twice as much as the budget-friendly 7Artisans one.
General feel of the 7Artisans 9mm f/5.6
The metal build of the 7Artisans 9mm f/5.6 feels good in the hand. I am a sucker for lenses with metal bodies, but there is a good reason why: they can make any lens, even budget lens like this, feel expensive and sturdy. The lens weighs 463g and is relatively compact. It’s 86 mm long and has a 70 mm front diameter.
No filter support
You might’ve guessed already, but the 7Artisans 9mm f/5.6 doesn’t support front filters. Wide-angle lenses with curved front elements are a problem for standard filters, as the glass element will end up in the way of the filter. But I am disappointed that there isn’t any rear filter support as an alternative.
If you hoped to use an ND filter, polarizer filter, mist filter, or any other kind of filter, then you would need to use a matt box to do so.
7Artisans 9mm full-frame image quality
At f/5.6, the 7Artisans 9mm is rather sharp at the center of the image, but the corners are soft. Vignetting is present, but you still have good contrast and decent color rendering.
Stopping down to f/8, the lens still has vignetting, but the corners become a bit sharper. Only when stepping further to f/11 do the corners reach good sharpness, and at f/16, the lens already reaches great sharpness all across the image. At f/22, the sharpness starts declining due to diffraction.
The 7Artisans 9mm f/5.6 barely has any chromatic aberration, and for the most part, the lens handles flare rather well. Shooting at a strong light source won’t cause the image to lose a lot of contrast, but I have seen a weird issue sometimes when shooting at closed apertures. The flare itself gets this weird look, which can sometimes ruin otherwise good photos.
When a lens gets this wide, you usually see some level of distortion. The 7Artisans f/5.6 is no exception, especially at close distances. Up close, you’d see some pretty heavy distortion, but I won’t complain much at 7Artisans. After all, comparing it to what you often find in wide-angle lenses, the distortion levels here suddenly don’t seem so bad. Still, It’s better to remove the distortion in post if you want to maximize the quality of your work.
7Artisans 9mm full-frame bokeh (soap, cat’s eye, coma)
With the lens being so wide, and the aperture being so small, you shouldn’t expect much bokeh out of the 7Artisans 9mm f5.6. But guess what? The lens has a good minimum focus distance of 20cm. This means you can technically get quite close to the subject and squeeze a bit more background separation. Personally, I wouldn’t recommend it. It will still be rather lacking in bokeh, and you will also introduce your subject to even more distortion. (That said, there are cases in which extra distortion is appreciated).
You can still use it for portrait shoots, although its use case is limited.
As far as stuff like soap, cat’s eye, or coma go, I didn’t see much distortion in background lights, besides the general widening distorting at the borders of the lens.
I’m happy to report that the 7Artisans did incredibly well on the focus breathing test. Moving the focus from the minimum focus distance to infinity will barely give you any focus breathing. The focus ring is also butter smooth, although it requires a bit of force to turn. It’s good for precision focusing, but focusing on a 9mm lens is easy as is.
Macro with a 9mm lens
20 cm sounds like you can get quite close with a lens, and normally it’s true. But, at 9mm small subjects will still look far away at 20 cm. Using the 7Artisans 9mm f/5.6 for macro photography is not recommended.
The 7Artisans 9mm f/5.6 is a tempting choice for those who want an ultra-wide lens, whether it’s for stills or video. (Especially for someone like me ever since I saw the film “Fallen Angels”. Go check it out if you want to see what an entire movie shot with an ultra-wide angle lens).
- No focus breathing
- Good image quality
- Not a lot of distortion in an image (for a 9mm full frame lens)
- Good build quality
- No filter support
- Slow aperture
The 7Artisans 9mm f/5.6 is available now for 479$. If you are a crop user, or if you just rather have a cheaper option, the 7Artisans 7.5mm f/2.8 mark II gives a similar equivalent focal length, at 139$. (However, it is a fish-eye lens).
The 7artisans 9mm f/5.6