7 days with 7Artisan 35mm F1.2 MK ll

OK. Let’s get this off my chest. I am a AF kind of photographer. Many FujiFanBoys have been asking my views on 3rd party manual lenses. Unfortunately, I was of no help because I have never used one until now. There is always a first time right? Of course I started with film and manual lens with my Dad’s hand me down, a Nikon FM. That was long time ago.
This is my first step and the lens is a 35mm F1.2 MKll lens from 7Artisan. It’s better late than never, right? When I first received this lens, I was rather surprise by the built quality of this lens. It’s feels very well made. And it is rather well made. Weighed and does and look more expensive than the price tag suggest.

7Artisan 35mm F1.2 MK ll
I think this lens fits X-Pro3 pretty nicely. Camera strap from https://www.instagram.com/hyperion_camera_straps/

As the aperture ring is de-clicked,( 7artisan has another version with click aperture ring) I do sometime accidentally moved it. Once I get the hang of things, this little issue become less of a problem. Not a deal breaker to me. This lens does look pretty handsome on the X-Pro3. The looks work well together which is a plus point to me. 
With a manual lens, the art of focusing is important and I am still searching for the best way to shoot wide open with this lens. Every lens has it sweet spot. At F1.2 I do have my fair share of misses. Once I nail it, its pretty decent on the sharpness department and the bokeh is bokehlicious!

Meet my cheeky monkey. @F1.2
What a beautiful set-up.
Left shot @F1.2 and right @F4

If you are looking for a sharp lens, this may not be for you. If one take a few step back and see this lens as a whole; then this lens does open up to many other opportunities. 
The absence of pin sharp glass doesn’t stop me for liking this lens. The bokeh of this lens is a pretty sight. It has a character of it own. This is where as a photographer we learn to harness the good of each lens. With the MOF of 28cm I am able to shoot some lovely shot up close. 
Here are some snaps that I have taken over the last few days. It was pretty refreshing for me to use manual focusing after such a long hiatus.

@F4 or F5.6
I have forgotten which F stop. LOL. Maybe F4.

I know the FujiFanBoys community will certainly ask how is it compare with the Fujifilm 35mm lenses? Below are a series of sample shots taken at various F stops with XF35mm F1.4 and F2 lenses. The X-Pro3 is mounted on a tripod and taken in my living room. There are no winners here as they are all prices quite differently. Rather take your time to see the differences in the characteristic of these 3 lenses. 

At this comparison, I realize how light weight are the Auto Focus lenses from Fujifilm.
Left, 7Artisan 35mm F1.4 MKll (@F1.2) / Fujifilm XF35mm F2 WR (@F2)
Left, 7Artisan 35mm F1.4 MKll (@F1.2) / Fujifilm XF35mm F1.4 (@F1.4)
Left, 7Artisan 35mm F1.4 MKll (@F1.4) / Fujifilm XF35mm F1.4 (@F1.4)

Below are 3 shots all taken at F2.

The below are 3 shots taken at F2.8

The below are 3 shots taken at F4

The below are 3 shots taken at F5.6

In conclusion, I feel the 7Artisan 35mm F1.2 is bargain. The official price is USD$139, street price is lower. It may not be sharpest lens, but shooting at F1.2 the bokeh is really beautiful. It’s considered a class of its own. This is the strongest character of this lens. For the record I now have three 35mm lenses. LOL.

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