7artisans 50mm f/0.95 - good value $240 lens for portrait and low light

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Jeeter001 Contributing Member • Posts: 643
7artisans 50mm f/0.95 - good value $240 lens for portrait and low light

I just received a new 7artisans 50mm f/0.95 for a whopping sum of $240, which seems phenomenally low.

My interest in it is mainly what it can do artistically at f/0.95 and just having my fun checking out cheap native and adapted lenses (a form of GAS). If it is good enough to go into the low light kit, then that's a bonus (spoiler: it appears good enough for my kind of portraiture).

At that FL, I would use the PL 42.5 f/1.2 for lower light. The 7artisans is theoretically 2/3rd's stop faster, not much, maybe the difference between 6400 ISO and 4000 ISO. The PL has the advantage of IS and AF of course, which means in some situations you can use slower shutter speeds than the 7artisans would allow. But if you need raw light gathering capability, it's an option. Compared to the 1.7/1.8 native lenses in that FL, it's almost two stops faster, so that can be significant depending on use case.

Like other 7artisans lenses (and Chinese upstart lenses in general), it's a solid metal build.

At 416g, it's only 9g less than the 425g PL 42.5 f/1.2 but significantly smaller in dimension.

On the G9 it is well balanced. This would be fine on a GX9/GX85 as well.  Frankly I'm impressed with how small it is.

It has a de-clicked aperture, good for video, which I don't do.  I do stills and don't care about exact f stop numbers so de-clicked is not a deal-breaker for me but I found it to be a bit of a nuisance. I'm not sure if it is sticky to the focus ring or I kept inadvertently bumping it, but it would creep up from 0.95 as I focused and took pictures. It's a pain when you find out all the pics you just took were not the f/0.95 that you wanted.  I gradually built a habit to turn-check it most times I focused, more work than optimal.

It is a pleasure to focus. It has a good throw and with peaking, I could focus fast enough to keep up with a slow moving cat.

Other notables is that it has 13 aperture blades, which gives some nice round bokeh.  While not macro or near macro, the ~18 inch min focus distance is close enough to deliver decent close ups.

I went around the house and took some quick informal photos to see what it can do wide open. These are all OOC jpgs using the G9 VIVID setting. All are shot at f/0.95 except the very last one.

The below pics were challenging to maintain focus as I was standing on a chair holding the camera out and over, pointing down at the leaves, so any lack of focus is impatient photographer technique. I like the OOF color rendition.

Finally I wanted to see how lights would bokeh. We still had our xmas lights wrapped on our stair railing so I used those. Nice and round thanks to the 13 aperture blades.

When I stopped down, the light bokeh got busier.

I'm not going to bother comparing to photos with my PL 42.5 which I know will outperform it.  Needless to say I am impressed for what you get for $240 (and will only get cheaper on the used market). I like the OOF rendering. It's a great value budget lens for portraits and low light.

 Jeeter001's gear list:Jeeter001's gear list
Panasonic LX10 Panasonic FZ80/FZ82 Panasonic Lumix DC-ZS80 Olympus PEN E-PM2 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM1 +50 more
Panasonic Lumix DC-G9 Panasonic Lumix G 42.5mm F1.7
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