It’s well known that better optics ultimately yields better images, as higher-quality glass and components affect how the light hits the image sensor inside your camera. But just how much does cheaper glass differ from expensive glass? We’d like to think it differs quite a bit, but a recent comparison from Leica Rumors shows just how close a cheap lens can be to an incredibly expensive lens — one nearly 14X the cost.

In the blind comparison, Leica Rumors put the Leica Summilux-M 35mm F1.4 ASPH lens ($5,895) up against the 7Artisans 35mm F1.4 lens ($430). All images were shot on a Fujifilm GFX 50R, using the exact same settings. We’ve embedded the images from Leica Rumor's Flickr account down below, presenting them in the same order Leica Rumors has on its website. You can carefully view and even download the full-resolution images from Flickr to look at more carefully. Following the images, we’ll share what photos were shot on what lens, so don’t scroll down too soon if you want to spoil the surprise.


Now that you’ve had some time to pore over the images, are you confident you know which shots are from which lens? Below are the answers:

  • Scenes 1–3 (Leica is A, 7Artisans is B)
  • Scene 4 (Leica is B, 7Artisans is A)

While this is a rather extreme comparison that is by no means scientific nor representative of the build quality or manufacturing conditions of either lens, it goes to show just how far optics, even budget optics, have come over the years. Ultimately, the best choice is the one that fits your need.