If you’re a mirrorless shooter, you have a variety of lenses to choose from. The official camera brand lenses (in my case all Fujfilm lenses) but also the huge collection of vintage lenses that you can easily adapt to your camera with a cheap 10-20€ adapter. Some vintage lenses currently go up in price, but compared to new, first party lenses, they are very affordable.
My first adapted and fully manual focus lens i bought was an old Canon FD zoom that i picked up at a flea market for 5 euros. It’s a shitty lens, with lots of fungus inside and poor image quality. But it was enough to wake my interest for manual focus lenses.
I originally bought the Fujfilm X-T2 for its fast autofocus, but somehow I found that I really like the slowed down style of shooting that manual focus lenses require from you. Manually focusing is really easy with modern mirrorless cameras. Focus Peaking in the X-T2 helps a lot and even the not so great focus peaking in my X-Pro1 is good enough with adapted glass.
With my old Canon camera, i never took photography very serious. I took pictures, but didn’t really think about it. Sure, i was looking for the right composition and so on, but never really thought about the craft. I choose the X-T2 because the dials on top gave me a feeling of “manual work”. It was nice that i didn’t just set some mode on one dial and that was it. I like that i have to setup different dials to achieve a certain style of image. The same goes for the aperture rings on Fujifilm lenses. I love that!
Manual lenses for me go even a step further. The fact that i have to manually focus gives me a lot of joy.
To finish this post up, i added a few images i shot with adapted lenses on my Fujifilm X-T2. Enjoy! (Don’t be confused by the exif data in the image data description – it sometimes says „50mm“ when there is an 28mm lens. I just forgot to set the right focal length in my settings on that day)
My last post was about my recent purchase of a used Fujifilm X-Pro1 and why i like it and why it‘s still a good deal to buy one in 2019. With the X-Pro3 right around the corner, the reasons to buy a used X-Pro1 might get diminished, since the prices of used X-Pro2s will drop. But since most Fujifilm cameras hold their value pretty good, i would not bet that this will immediately be the case.
So if you’re looking for a cool manual focus lens for your old X-Pro1 (or any other Fujifilm X-Mount camera), the chance is high that you will like the 7artisans 35mm f1.1.
It is a really cheap (~160€ here in Germany) but solidly build lens with smooth and declicked aperture and focus rings.
I think it looks pretty cool on my old X-Pro1. It fits perfectly with the retro aesthetic of the camera and has a nice and solid feel. The lens hood i bought from amazon and is not included with the lens.
Sadly it has a few issues, at least my copy:
The filter thread is not machined well enough to hold the 43mm lens hood. I can screw it on, but it wobbles. There might be 1mm of play, but it‘s enough to keep the lens hood from sticking to the lens.
The aperture blades, when fully stopped down to f16 have a little bit of space between them. This might not be an issue for you, and i have no way to find out if this occurs on every copy, or just mine. I rarely stop down that far, so this would really be an issue for me, but at least i noticed it.
Even though this lens has a few issues, i really like how it renders out of focus backgrounds. Here is a quick snapshot (wide open) that i did after receiving it:
Because of these issues i will send it back to amazon and order another one and hope that it does not have the same problems. I read a few reviews and no one else had those problems, so it might just be a faulty copy. In the end this is still a cheap lens and 7artisans has to save cost somewhere (i.e. in quality control), but besides the small issues, i really like this lens. It‘s also quite heavy for it‘s size.
And the most important aspect (for me): It makes a lot of fun to use!