I had a chance to review a pre-production copy of this awesome lens. I was a big fun of the 12mm f2.8 MKI from 7Artisans, and I was interested in changes they’ve made. The fact that they launched a new 12mm MKII and cine version of that is really nice.
This lens is the 4th lens in Vision series. Other 3 lenses: 25mm T1.05, 35mm T1.05 and 50mm T1.05.
Focal Length: 12mm (18mm FF equivalent)
Mounts: RF, FX, M43, L, E
Aperture ring: Clickless
Blade Number: 9pcs
Lens Construction: 12 elements in 10 groups
Aperture Range: T2.9 -T16
Minimum Focus distance: 14cm
Filter tread: 82mm
A small side note:
If you are confused between T stops and F stops. The F-stop is a representation of the size of the lens aperture in relation to the focal length, and 2 lenses with the same F stop can transmit different amount of light to the sensor. The T stops used for cinema lenses and that is much closer representation on how much light is actually getting to the sensor, as to determine T stop, lens have to be measured for light transmission. At least in theory.
As always, the build quality of 7Artisans lenses is superb, everything is crafted with a high precision. Solid metal lens, quite big to match other lenses from Vision series. Filter thread 82mm which also match other 3 lenses.
The focus and aperture rings are smooth. Gears on the rings are high quality and even, without any flaws. I imagine they would work very well with follow focus. I no longer have one, so I personally haven’t tried it.
As I’ve said, this lens is heavy, so it helps to shoot handheld as heavier set up reduce camera shake. It’s quite bigger than the previous 12mm version, the photography one. But imagine working with a set of cine lenses, this is understandable. As size and focus throw match, you can set up your follow focus once, and it will work for the whole set.
The focus ring has focus throw 270 degrees, which is a lot for photography and can be a lot for video as well as 12mm doesn’t provide such shallow depth of field as longer lenses, but in terms of working with a set of lenses it does make sense.
Previous lens used to have filter adapter which would allow fitting 77mm filter, and this one has 82mm filter thread, I guess that is more than optics required, so I can see 2 advantages for that:
- Reduced vignetting from filters
- Fewer chances for a cross patter to appear on variable ND filters
As pre-production copy, I’ve noticed one issue, but I’ve been told it will be fixed for the release. Then lens in focused to infinity, it doesn’t align with infinity markings, so I can’t judge how precise markings are on my copy.
The previous version was already sharp, and this one is still very sharp, especially in the centre.
Default Lightroom detail correction removed.
You can’t expect to have a strong background separation from an ultra-wide lens, so that is not the strongest point of this lens, but if you are close enough to the subject then the out of focus area is good without much distraction.
Minimum focus distance is just 14cm which is 6cm less than the first generation. That is my favourite application of a wide angle lens, to shoot close focus to show the dominant object as well as the environment behind it.
That was the biggest issue I had with an old 7Artisans 12mm f2.8. In some cases, it would flare and produce a circular shape that would ruin the image.
This 12mm T2.9 was cured of a such flaw and handles flare much better.
There is noticeable focus breathing, it seems there is less of it, compared to previous 12mm lens, but still present. I wouldn’t bother about it as, it is mostly noticeable on long pulls, and in most cases focus will be adjusted in small increments. Also, I know, it can be fixed in post if needed.
Not much I can say here Fujifilm is fantastic at handling Chromatic Abberations and I haven’t noticed any issues in this aspect, but I can’t say how it will work on other camera systems.
There is a bit of distortion, that is not really noticeable in real word examples. I usually wouldn’t bother to correct it.
Some vignetting is present, especially wide open, but gets much better at T4.0.
As a conclusion, I can only say that 7Artisans 12mm T2.9 is a very capable lens, and I’m pretty sure that photography version 12mm f2.8 MKII is also very nice. I would easily recommend these lenses, and I’m planing to use my copy in place of my old 12mm f2.8 MKI.
If you mostly shoot stills, I would recommend photography version, as it is smaller, lighted and has shorter focus throw, it might make sense to get it if you don’t plan to collect the whole set of cine lenses and use follow focus, as 270 degree focus throw may be a bit too much for ultra-wide lens. That is my opinion, but all depends on application, so think how are you going to use it and what is more important for you.
No edits, apart from white balance correction
* 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.