Very interesting lens and taking into account the price I’m pretty much satisfied with it. It does have its limitations, but you learn to live with them. The lens is fully manual, doesn’t have any electrical contacts, so no EXIF information being passed to the camera either.
I’ve got my second hand for 77 GBP (~100 USD) which is quite a nice price to try a new focal length. Samyang alternative would be about twice more expensive for a used one.
Focal Length: 12mm (FF Equivalent: 18mm)
Aperture: f2.8 – f16
Lens Mount: Fuji X (Canon EF-M, Sony E, M4/3 are also available)
Angle of View: ~102°
Minimum Focus Distance: 7.87″ / 20 cm
Optical Design: 10 Elements in 8 Groups
Diaphragm Blades: 7
Dimensions (ø x L): 2.48 x 2.44″ / 63 x 62 mm
Weight: 10.41 oz / 295 g
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7Artisans 12mm f2.8 Fujifilm – Amazon US / Amazon UK
7Artisans 12mm f2.8 Sony – Amazon US / Amazon UK
7Artisans 12mm f2.8 Canon – Amazon US / Amazon UK
7Artisans 12mm f2.8 M43 – Amazon US / Amazon UK
7Artisans 12mm f2.8 – Aliexpress
7Artisans 12mm f2.8 Filter Adaptor – Amazon US / Amazon UK
7Artisans 12mm f2.8 Filter Adaptor – Aliexpress
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Timelapse taken by me using mostly this lens:
Lens feels solid. Made entirely out of metal including the mount and build in lens hood.
Yes, there is a build in lens hood, but it is not a big one, so the lens is still compact. Also, it means that you can’t put circular filters. There is an adaptor made for this lens which lets you to put 77mm filters and use another lens cap.
Original lens cap is being fitted directly to a lens hood which makes it unusual and not everyone like it. Works for me. Cap is made out of plastic, seems to be strong enough and doesn’t wear out a lot. Still works on my lens, but I imagine it will be difficult to find a replacement.
Focus ring feels just right – not too tight, not too loose. Wide enough to be comfortable.
Aperture ring is click-less and I would prefer it be a bit tighter as I often find myself knocking off my settings.
Mount seems to built well, but for some reason there is a small movement when mounted to a camera. None of my other lenses move, including 3 other 7artisans.
Need to mention that this lens has noticeable focus breathing, so you can say this lens approximately 12-14mm depending on there you focus.
Focusing itself it is easy on this lens. Due to such wide angle, depth of field is deep and if you shoot anything beyond 2 meters you can set the lens to infinity and forget about focusing at all. Also, all the focusing happens within the lens’ body, so no moving parts outside.
Minimal focus distance is about 20cm which lets you compose in a really interesting way.
Aperture is click-less as I’ve mentioned earlier, which is good for video, but it doesn’t bother me for stills at all. Matter of preference I would say.
I don’t usually pixel peep, but I would say this lens is quite sharp in the center even wide open and soft at the edges stepping down helps but not entirely.
Main thing you should be aware is flaring. While most ultra-wide angle lenses would suffer from flaring, this one does behave odd then shooting directly towards the light source.
As this is an ultra-wide lens distortion is expected, but can be easily corrected in the Lightroom.
7Artisans 12mm f2.8 is an awesome lens and if you are tight on the budget then you can’t go wrong. Just be aware of the flaring issue.
Samyang 12mm f2
A bit better image quality, but more important it offers extra stop of light f2 instead of f2.8. Also, Samyang can take filters without need of additional adaptor. Price-wise Samyang almost twice more expensive, but it is still a great offer.
So far I haven’t had a chance to test it.
Pergear 12mm f2
Similar priced lens, with removable lens hood, 62mm filter thread. Seems to be a good rival to the 7Artisans lens. Review is here.
* Disclosure: I only recommend products I would use myself and all opinions expressed here are my own. This post may contain affiliate links. If you use these links to buy something, I may earn a commission at no additional cost to you.