7artisans 35mm F2 WEN Review
More than four years ago, 7artisans unveiled a seven-element/five-group 35mm F2 based on Sonnar, which received very good reviews at the time. Now, four years later, 7artisans has launched a new 35mm F2, which belongs to the “Wen” series.
The design of the 7artisans “WEN ” series is mainly used for street and culture photography. Compared with the other lenses of the 7artisans, the Wen series lens has a red seal of the word “WEN ” in the lens body. The members in the WEN series use some kind of “internal focus” design: the length of the lens does not change when focusing. The following slider shows the state of the lens at infinity and 0.7 meter:
- Focal length and aperture: 35mm f/2.0
- Lens Mount: Leica M (with rangfinder coupling)
- Minimum focusing distance: 0.7 meter
- Optical Design: 8 elements in 7 groups
- Number of aperture blades: 10 blades
- Filter size: 55mm
- Weight: 232g
Adjustment of the rangfinder coupling
When I received the lens, I tired it on a Leica M10. I found the rangefinder patch was a little bit off when focused at infinity. There are four flat screws on the brass coupling cam which are used for adjusting the coupling. Loosen the four screws using the screwdriver comes with the package, adjust the postition of the coupling cam until the patch overlaps.
The center of the frame is quiet good at wide open(F2) while the corners is mediocre (I tried the lens on aLeica M10, the corners is already not bad at F2), The sharpness is quiet good across most of the frame at F4.0. At F5.6, the lens becomes very sharp except the extreme corners.
Chromatic aberrations of this lens was pretty minor. In extreme cases, there will be some visible CA. The photo below is a 100% crop close to the center of the frame under extreme case.
A short hood is built-in into the lens. There is no need for an addition hood under most situation. If there is a strong light source in front of the lens, you need to pay attention to whether there will be flare.
Distortion and Vignetting
This lens has a slight amount of barrel distortion which is common for a 35mm. Vignetting can be seen to in the following photo:
At wide open, there will be a relatively obvious comet aberration in the corners of the photo.
The bokeh of this lens is quiet good, you can refer to the photos at the end of post.
Ten aperture blades will give a 10-pointed sunstar. The photo below shows the Sunstars at F8.0.
What impressed me most during the use of this lens was the improvement of the color contrast of the lens. The colors of the old version are relatively calm which are good for black and white photography. The new Wen version has much better colors which make it a better performer for color photography, especially night photography.
All photos are taken with the camera’s default Standard mode with only brightness adjustment in post. For a larger photos, please visit our Flickr.