7Artisans 55mm f1.4 mkII
Gear Reviews

7Artisans 55mm f1.4 mark II. Second generation of the great portrait lens. Review with Image Samples

The first iteration of 55mm f1.4 from 7artisans is a great lens. I used to have one and was really pleased with it, but I haven’t used it as much, so when I needed money to get some other equipment I decided to sell it. But there was a lot of times when I thought that I shouldn’t have!

This time I’ve got a second generation of the 55mm f1.4!

This lens is an 82.5 mm full frame equivalent, and it is great for close up shots, portraits and street photography when you want to compress your frame. I especially like it for night shooting!

Disclaimer: I received this lens from 7artisans for a review, but I was not paid nor asked to say anything about it. So this is my personal thoughts regarding this lens.

Lens Specs

Focal Length: 55mm (82.5mm FF equivalent)
Build: Metal
Weight: ~356g
Aperture ring: Clickless
Blade Number: 9
Lens Construction: 5 groups 6 elements 
Aperture Range: f1.4 – f16
Minimum Focus distance: 0.42m
Filter tread: 52mm
Height: 57.2mm
Diameter: 60mm

Links

7Artisans 55mm f1.4 mark II FujifilmAmazon US / Amazon UK
7Artisans 55mm f1.4 mark II SonyAmazon US / Amazon UK
7Artisans 55mm f1.4 mark II CanonAmazon US / Amazon UK
7Artisans 55mm f1.4 mark II NikonAmazon US / Amazon UK
7Artisans 55mm f1.4 mark II M43Amazon US / Amazon UK
7Artisans 55mm f1.4 mark II Aliexpress

Box

Package was updated. Now lens comes in a nice white and red box with good graphics on it.

7Artisans 55mm f1.4 mark II new box

There is not much in the box, just the lens and manual.

Build quality

2nd generation of the 55mm f1.4

I really like a new design of the lens and especially this gun metal finish on the lens mount.

There are two points I would address which can be improved, that is this lens cap which I don’t like and that the distance marker and the aperture marker don’t aligned.

Handling

This lens has de-clicked aperture, and it is located at the front of the lens, which is takes time to get use to. Adjusting aperture and focusing is easy. Both rings are smooth, focus ring a bit softer and aperture has a bit of dampening to it, so it is less likely to accidentally change settings.

As always de-clicked vs clicked aperture is a personal preference, and I personally prefer de-clicked aperture for both photo and video work.

The lens can focus past infinity, but that is not a flaw – it was design this way.

Minimal Focus Distance

Minimum focusing distance is about 42cm, which is close enough for 55mm lens (82.5 in FF terms), but the performance of this lens not the best and such close distance.

At the minimal focusing distance you can notice that edges get blurry, that won’t be an issue for the portrait, but can be noticeable on the product photography. This is most likely due to a field curvature and the closer the object more noticeable it will be, so this lens is not so good with macro rings. That was the same for the first generation of this lens.

Field curvature issue @ f1.4
Much better @ f5.6

Sharpness

As I understood they reduced the number of aperture blades from 14 to 9 to improve sharpness. Also, the filter thread is increased from 49mm to 52mm which means the physical side of the glass elements got bigger. All of it lead to the noticeable changes. The lens indeed became sharper wide open! The first generation was not really usable wide open, but this one is good! I’d still close it down a bit, but if the light is an issue than you have a perfectly usable f1.4!

9 aperture blades
52mm filter thread

Here is the sharpness test with close-ups of the center and the corners

Example scene
Center crop
Corner crop

Bokeh

Out of focus area is pleasant and creamy, no surprise with f1.4 aperture and 9 aperture blades of the mkii still produce smooth bokeh balls.

7Artisans 55mm f1.4 mkii
@ f2.8 ISO200 1/4000
7Artisans 55mm f1.4 mkii @ f1.4 ISO200 1/180

Chromatic Abberations

As I can see chromatic abberations are well controlled. Noticeable a bit wide open, but not much. And even less if aperture stepped down a bit.

7Artisans 55mm f1.4 mkii
@ f1.4 ISO200 1/180

Distortion

Distortion noticeable at the minimum distance, not really noticeable at medium to long distance. I don’t do any corrections at all.

Conclusion

As a conclusion, this second generation introduced a few changes which made a noticeable difference in sharpness as well as they slightly updated the look of it.

7Artisans keeps me surprised how affordable good lenses can be! Granted, if you are ready to sacrifice an autofocus. This time I’ll definitely will keep this lens and will be using it for both photo and video.

For the price, to get a lens that can produce decent images wide open, that is impressive I would say. For me personally this lens is a very good performer, and it will be used a lot!

Image Samples

Video Review

Check the video samples at the end of the review

List of X-mount lenses

* 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.