Since I took photos with Geekster 35mm f1.6 lens for long time, I always visited to Geekster shop at MBK center often. I thought 35mm lens have some flaws about taking photos closer to model or less blurring. So I researched other lens that show blur effect more than 35mm. Actually, my camera was APS-C camera. Finally, I found lens that was suitable for portrait photography. That lens must have focal length with 85mm on full frame camera, so I did a math 85/1.5 = 56.66666~7.
That meant I must use 55mm or 56mm lens with f1.4 or lower to get effect similar as portrait lens for full frame camera.
Sadly, 55mm lens was so rare to find. I walked to Mega Plaza that was the kingdom of legacy lens still had 50mm f1.4 or f1.6. Many photographers who use APS-C preferred lens for portrait was 50mm, not 55mm because it was easy to manufacture.
But, 7Artisans, Chinese lens manufacturer who ever created 50mm f1.1 for Leica M-Mount and it was popular with affordable price, they created new lens for APS-C named “7Artisans 55mm f1.4”
It was created for portrait photography!! So let’s take photos with this lens.
WARNING : THIS LENS ISN’T AVAILABLE FOR MICRO FOUR THIRDS CAMERAS (SUCH AS OLYMPUS, PANASONIC LUMIX OR XIAOMI YI)
It is born to be portrait lens for APS-C camera
For APS-C camera, you need 55mm or 56 lens to get 85mm with full frame equivalent. And 55mm lens is very rare to find. Finally, I found it. It’s 7Artisans 55mm f1.4
I photographed Benji with this lens. Result is below.
Actually, equivalent to Full Frame is 85mm f2.1. So this lens can give APS-C camera to take portrait photography like a boss. APS-C camera is so affordable, but lens support is too bad due to camera manufacturers focus pro lens to Full Frame system. Sony, Canon, Nikon have owned APS-C camera, but for professional lens, they focus to Full Frame camera that is heavier and more expensive.
But this lens is like a savior who raise APS-C value to be great similar as Full Frame camera. With APS-C, you can get beautiful portrait photos. Actually, Fujifilm who make mirrorless camera with only APS-C and medium format (no Full Frame sensor) focus to make the best lens for APS-C, such as 18mm (Wide), 23mm (moderate wide), 35mm (Normal), 56mm (Mid tele), so APS-C isn’t suck. It resolve weight issues and pick to anywhere easily.
It isn’t too swirly bokeh as same as other fast lens. This lens can take easily at low light condition. I can take photos at nighttime without opening flash that may disturb another one. And this time is glitter festival that many famous places are decorated with light and glitter to celebrate new year.
Portrait with full body, you need to step back further than normal lens
Do you know? This lens focal length is mid-telephoto. Taking portrait photos with full body is harder due to you need to go away from model too much. I ever took photos with 35mm lens and that make me step back away, but this lens let me step back away more than 35mm until I against the wall.
With mid-telephoto angle, it can make blurred background. Problem of 35mm lens is when you take full body portraits, at background isn’t blurred too much. But this lens can blur background impressively.
When you need to take photos at some exhibition, this lens can do it easily.
Can it take candid photos?
Yes! You can! It’s telephoto lens. You can take candid photos anywhere. I use it for taking candid photos and it is awesome. And this lens can make perfect on low light environment. I can take photos in nightclub without opening flash. That is so superb.
I used 7Artisans 55mm f1.4 to photograph graduates in Chulalongkorn university with rehearsal of commencement day. Actually, I needed candid photography style so I photograph them without giving permissions. I loved to photograph with candid style. 7Artisans 55mm f1.4 could do it well.
But big flaw of 7Artisans 55mm 1.4 was low sharpness. I photographed with f1.4 and many photos had blurred edges. I photographed graduates with long length and looked like they were blurred moderately. It could fix with including sharpness in Adobe Lightroom. It could work.
In Chulalongkorn University, there was many trees in here. So 7Artisans 55mm f1.4 created bokeh very well until I felt impressive. Use trees as background and photograph to graduates never let me disappointed. I photographed between 07:00 AM to 09:00 AM. This time could make every photos to the most beautiful. That was golden time of photography. After 09:00 AM to 05:00 PM, sunlight would be stronger that make models (graduates) got strong shadow. But luckily, that day was cloudy. Cloud was natural soft box!! I could continue photographing until I satisfied.
But when I use with graduates in Kasetsart university, this lens can get impressive pictures, but still lack of sharpness.
Purple fringing issue
I think that is usual issue on lens with wide aperture. It can be fixed on Lightroom easily. But purple fringing may annoy to any photographer who want to take photos with glitter.
Not only purple fringing issue. If you take photos with this lens against sunlight, purple flare occurs immediately. See this picture.
Can you agree sharpness of this lens?
If you need taking photos without any model, you need to increase f stop more than f4 for letting pictures to more sharp. That is suitable for someone who need taking landscape photos.
This picture is taken with software zoom 2x. See the sharpness.
- Affordable price.
- APS-C camera can take beautiful portrait photos!
- Strong lens body.
- Cheaper than Kamlan 50mm f1.1 and have greater photo quality.
- Sharpness is near film camera lens. (not too much sharp).
- Nice package.
- Purple fringing.
- When you use f1.4, it isn’t sharp as you think, but for earlier film camera user, sharpness from this lens is enough.
- Position of focus and f-stop adjustment are swapped.
- It’s so heavy for APS-C lens.
- Not good for small studio.
- Beginner who need to practice taking portrait photos.
- Photographer who is fallen in love manual focus lens.
- Photographer who doesn’t care sharpness too much.
Verdict : Buy it or you will miss your chance to get affordable portrait lens.
- Peatty, model who always let me take photos.
- DJ Layla, DJ at countdown party at 72 Courtyard.
- May, promotion model at DEMO.
- Mookmuay, new main model who perform well, but hard to take photos.