7Artisans lenses - no such thing as a free lunch
Old 09-11-2019   #1
Huss
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7Artisans lenses - no such thing as a free lunch

I have a bunch of 7Artisan lenses - 50 1.1 x2, 35mmf2, 28mm 1.4 and love the results that they give especially at their price point. But I like to give a fair critique of what I own and use. No fan boi here! And what I noticed with all these lenses is that they needed their focus corrected (easy enough using my digi Leica M), but then when that was done they all focused past infinity, so I could not use the infinity hard stop. This also makes it much harder to zone focus with these lenses, as the scale does not match up correctly.
I found a mention on line that once you set your focus correctly, you can then loosen the screws that hold on the focus ring, rotate the ring so that infinity is at the hard stop (making sure not to rotate the actual focus underneath the ring), then tighten everything back down.
Personally I'm not going to go through that as I am happy focusing accurately using my RF patch and so don't want to mess around with anything. But it does suggest that one reason the price on these lenses is so good is because in essence final assembly/tuning is left to the end user!
Right now I'm using the 35mm f2 lens on my 'beater' M4-2, taking it places where I'm too scared to take my pricey Leica glass.. kinda enjoying getting excellent results w/o worry! But the 28 1.4 is my current stand out. Awesome glass and gets me shots my way more expensive Leica 28 2.8 Asph cannot.

I found it interesting that no reviews online mention this.... but talking to reviewers 'privately' have confirmed that they also notice this behaviour.
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Old 09-11-2019   #2
dourbalistar
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Absent a digital Leica M, is there an easy way to calibrate the focus on the 7A lenses? Or are all the solutions a bit kludgy, like using an appropriately sized piece of ground glass and a loupe with the back door open?
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Old 09-11-2019   #3
Deardorff38
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I have limited experience, having seen just one. I was selling my MP (film) & the fellow who was buying it showed up with an Artisans 50 1.1. He put it on the body and then told me the rangefinder was out. I put on a couple of Leica and Skopar lenses....all bang on. It was exactly as you describe Huss, the lens focused past infinity.
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Old 09-11-2019   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deardorff38 View Post
I have limited experience, having seen just one. I was selling my MP (film) & the fellow who was buying it showed up with an Artisans 50 1.1. He put it on the body and then told me the rangefinder was out. I put on a couple of Leica and Skopar lenses....all bang on. It was exactly as you describe Huss, the lens focused past infinity.
The 7A will focus correctly if you focus it using the RF. If you crank it to the hard stop, then it will focus past infinity. Your prosepective buyer was unaware..

Don't you find it intere$ting that not a $ingle web$ite that wa$ given thi$ len$ to te$t mentioned thi$?
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Old 09-12-2019   #5
yorda
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Huss View Post
The 7A will focus correctly if you focus it using the RF. If you crank it to the hard stop, then it will focus past infinity. Your prosepective buyer was unaware..

Don't you find it intere$ting that not a $ingle web$ite that wa$ given thi$ len$ to te$t mentioned thi$?
that's weird indeed
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Old 09-12-2019   #6
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I've used the 50mm f/1.1 extensively over the last week on an M-E (220) and found that with any part including bright sky in the viewfinder the exposure meter will be severely thrown off and underexpose ground-based subjects when using Aperture Priority.

Love it as a portrait lens, but for groups and landscapes it's best to stick with full manual control.
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Old 09-12-2019   #7
Larry H-L
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I see 7A has announced a full-frame 35mm f1.4 manual focus lens for Sony E, $199 pre-order price, wonder if an M-mount version will show up later.
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Old 09-12-2019   #8
capitalK
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I found the 28mm f/1.4 to be too big to be practical on a digital or film M body.

I kept it because it actually matches well on my Sony A7II body, with an adapter. Also avoids any focus problems because all the focus is TTL.
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Old 09-12-2019   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by capitalK View Post
I found the 28mm f/1.4 to be too big to be practical on a digital or film M body.

I kept it because it actually matches well on my Sony A7II body, with an adapter. Also avoids any focus problems because all the focus is TTL.

The same can be said for Leica's 28 1.4, or the Zeiss ZM 35 1.4

RF cameras really are better to handle with 'small' lenses. But the times when you need larger apertures necessitates sacrifices.
I have both the 7A 28 1.4 and ZM 35 1.4, and both are fantastic lenses. The ZM however focussed perfectly out of the box. But it was $1500 vs $400.
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Old 09-12-2019   #10
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Yah. They can't all be the Nokton.
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Old 09-12-2019   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dourbalistar View Post
Absent a digital Leica M, is there an easy way to calibrate the focus on the 7A lenses? Or are all the solutions a bit kludgy, like using an appropriately sized piece of ground glass and a loupe with the back door open?
It's too difficult to try and focus off an improvised ground glass. I ended up adjusting my focus (35mm f2) on film... With the chart it was fairly easy.

Take a couple initial shots, clip off film in the dark bag, dev 5 mins, fix one and then slap the wet negative on a window and look at it with a loupe. It took two attempts and was then spot on.

Mine was back focusing so an eye focused close up would be focused on the cheekbone. I ended up moving the focus helicoid/ramp about 1mm or the width of a fine tip sharpie marker.
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Old 09-12-2019   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dourbalistar View Post
Absent a digital Leica M, is there an easy way to calibrate the focus on the 7A lenses? Or are all the solutions a bit kludgy, like using an appropriately sized piece of ground glass and a loupe with the back door open?
You can mail me your lens and I will do it for you. Or borrow/rent an M. You could even do it in the LeicaStore in SF!
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Old 09-13-2019   #13
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Most likely nobody has mentioned it because if you described it correctly... it is very simple operation.
But if it is not mentioned in the manual; then it is just sloppy.
How big is overrun pass infinity? Five mm or two?
Photo will show if we could determine it as something serious or just cosmetic.
Couple of mm means nothing at scale focus on infinity or elsewhere.

I can’t take any huge 28 lens seriously. 7a 28 1.4 size is evf, external VF size.
So, i’m waiting for their 21 1.5
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Old 09-24-2019   #14
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With the copy of the 7Art 28mm f1.4 that I have, I'm finding two errors: 1) a slight back focus of approx 1cm when focussed at 0.7m and 2) an inability to focus at infinity, according to the rangefinder patch, since the focus ring hits the physical end stop prematurely. The infinity problem is confirmed by the resulting images being out of focus; the target being at least 500m distant (incidentally, I'm using a calibrated M240).
Do you think tweaking the back focus at minimum focus will fix the infinity problem?
Yes, it does appear that 7A expect the users to perform the final set up.
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Old 09-24-2019   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Huss View Post
The same can be said for Leica's 28 1.4, or the Zeiss ZM 35 1.4

RF cameras really are better to handle with 'small' lenses. But the times when you need larger apertures necessitates sacrifices.
Banged into a guy on the weekend who had a 28mm f/1.4 7A mounted on an M5 and it was heavy, but really nicely balanced.
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Old 09-25-2019   #16
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I don't get how you can adjust the focus ramp of the helicoid for BOTH near focus and infinity. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=WQXVWQ8htH4 It sounds to me you can optimise one or the other, but not both.

I'm much more likely to use the lens for things (or people) that are near, than far away. But the inability to focus at infinity, eg 500m away, is somewhat irksome.
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Old 09-27-2019   #17
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I think it is great that can adjust the focus so easily with 7Artisans lenses - uf necessary, that is.

My 1.1/50: precise focus out of the box
My 2.0/35: precise focus out of the box
My 1.4/28: see below...
I will see how the 1.25/75 behaves soon.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ricoh View Post
With the copy of the 7Art 28mm f1.4 that I have, I'm finding two errors: 1) a slight back focus of approx 1cm when focussed at 0.7m and 2) an inability to focus at infinity, according to the rangefinder patch, since the focus ring hits the physical end stop prematurely. The infinity problem is confirmed by the resulting images being out of focus; the target being at least 500m distant (incidentally, I'm using a calibrated M240).
Do you think tweaking the back focus at minimum focus will fix the infinity problem?
Yes, it does appear that 7A expect the users to perform the final set up.
My 1.4/28 showed the same issues. But after adjusting the focus correctly, a very straightforward and quick process, it works like a charm!

(On my M240, M8 and on the Sony A7II of course.)
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Old 09-27-2019   #18
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Generally, all the 7Artisans lenses have really surprised me!
Excellent built and once adjusted correctly a good performance, comparable to my Voigtländer lenses (28, 35 and 75mm).
Yes, a Leica lens is better, but at what? Ten times the price?

If you want perfect performance, you have to pay for it.
If you can live with an 8/10 or 9/10 performance, the 7Artisans are for you.
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Old 09-27-2019   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kent View Post
I think it is great that can adjust the focus so easily with 7Artisans lenses - uf necessary, that is.

My 1.1/50: precise focus out of the box
My 2.0/35: precise focus out of the box
My 1.4/28: see below...
I will see how the 1.25/75 behaves soon.

My 1.4/28 showed the same issues. But after adjusting the focus correctly, a very straightforward and quick process, it works like a charm!

(On my M240, M8 and on the Sony A7II of course.)
Thanks Kent.
If I understand what you said, you adjusted the near focus only and this had the effect of correcting both the near and infinity issues together. Is that so?

I have been a bit lazy thinking the lens is good enough, but I'm encouraged to give it a go. After all it should be spot on of course.
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