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Want some cheap lenses for your EOS-M? Look no further
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Want some cheap lenses for your EOS-M? Look no further

I have been a fan of 7Artisans lenses for over a year now, generally speaking, you simply can't go wrong in terms of overall build quality and feel for the lenses.  Yes, they are all manual, but they are manual lenses that take you back to a time when camera companies cared about the tactile feel of a lens, more than the sharpness of the output.

In short, they are cheap, built well, and usually perform pretty good.  Do be prepared to stop down for sharpness.  Did I mention they are crazy cheap?

OpticalLimits took the 7Artisans 12mm F2.8 out to play, and while this review is for the Sony E-mount, generally speaking, the performance would be near identical for our more modern 24MP DPAF sensor-based EOS-M cameras.

At a glance the 7Artisans 12mm F2.8;

  • 18mm (35mm Equivalent)
  • Aperture Range: f/2.8 to f/16
  • Multi-Layer Coating
  • Manual Focus Design
  • Minimum Focus Distance: 7.9"
  • 7-Blade Diaphragm
  • Built-In Petal-Type Lens Hood

Their conclusion?

When reviewing a sub-200 dollar lens other than maybe a nifty fifty, you don't expect much really. However, the 7Artisans 12mm f/2.8 is actually a positive surprise. Yes, of course, it is not without flaws. However, the center is dead sharp and the outer image field is actually pretty good at optimal settings. The borders/corners are soft at large-apertures though. Lateral CAs are low and usually no issue. In extreme situations, there can be a bit of purple fringing at the borders. Image distortions are negligible, less so is the vignetting which is high for an APS-C format lens. The bokeh is a bit on the rough side but that applies to pretty much all ultra-wide lenses. Interestingly it is capable of handling backlit quite well which is something where many other ultra-wide lenses struggle quite a bit. We didn't notice any color shifts at the image borders on our test camera (A6300) but we noticed a reddish tint on very old NEX cameras.

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