Lens review for street photography 7artisans 1:5.6/35 wen (Leica M)

Material on the lens 7artisans 1: 5.6 / 35 wen especially for Radozhiva prepared Rodion Eshmakov.

7artisans 1:5.6/35 wen with closed front lens.

7artisans 1:5.6/35 wen with closed front lens. increase.

The lens 7artisans 1: 5.6 / 35 wen (hereinafter - simply 7artisans 35 / 5.6) was announced at the end of 2020. In essence, this is a very compact and very dark medium wide-angle prime lens for full-frame mirrorless cameras with a claim to premium performance. 7artisans 35 / 5.6 resembles lenses in parameters film soap dishes the end of the XNUMXth century, which today are often used by amateurs film photography and lomography. Orientation towards artistic photography 7artisans in this lens was indicated by a stylized hieroglyph 文, meaning "art" and read as "wen".

Do not confuse the lens presented in the review with a similar one in terms of parameters. lens 7artisans 35/5.6, designed for shooting from drones - it has a completely different optical design and mechanical design.


Optical design - 5 lenses in 4 groups, development of the "Triplet" scheme;

Principal optical scheme of the lens 7artisans 35 / 5.6.

Principal optical scheme of the lens 7artisans 35 / 5.6.

Focal length - 35 mm;
Relative aperture - 1: 5.6;
Aperture - constant;
Focusing - manual;
The minimum focusing distance is 0.3 m;
Thread for filters - no;
Weight - 128 g;
Camera mount - Leica M;
Features - focusing with a leash, built-in shutter cover for the front lens.

Design and execution of the lens

7artisans 35 / 5.6 is made in a compact but rather heavy metal case - apparently, using brass. The mass of the lens is almost the same as that of some Helios-44-2, despite its much smaller dimensions. Does a pancake lens need to be so heavy?

The design of the body is quite original, in the “expensive-rich” style beloved by the Chinese - the side of the lens is all made of golden metal, and ribs are applied to its part to facilitate the installation of the lens on the camera, and some funny ornament occupies part of the space. Thanks that the dial with Roman numerals is not shoved, gods of design.

Ornament on the golden side of 7artisans 35/5.6.

Ornament on the golden side of 7artisans 35/5.6.

The silver anodized aluminum tapered front of the lens features the lens name, serial number, and focus distance scale. In addition, it is easy to notice the main distinguishing feature of 7artisans 35 / 5.6 - the presence of a front lens shutter. Its control is combined with focusing, next to the distance scale there is a red mark corresponding to the fully closed position of the front lens shutter.

View of the front part and small aperture 7artisans 35/5.6.

View of the front part and small aperture 7artisans 35/5.6.

Focusing is carried out not like with lenses of a classical design - with the help of a separate ring, but in a very old lenses for small-format rangefinder cameras - by moving a special leash, which is located on the side of the lens. Moving the leash between the red mark and the infinity mark opens and closes the shutter of the front lens of the lens. At the same time, the leash has a fixation point in the infinity position, but not very tight, and therefore it is easy to get off and often you can accidentally take pictures with a partially closed curtain. I did not like this lens shutter control.

7artisans 35/5.6 when focusing on infinity.

7artisans 35/5.6 when focusing on infinity.

During focusing, the entire lens block of the lens moves, but the dimensions of the lens as a whole remain unchanged. The minimum focusing distance (MFD) is 0.3 meters, which is not bad for a 35 mm focal length, but still far, far from the macro range. The focusing lever stroke from infinity to 0.3 m is very small - about 30 ° - and therefore it is uncomfortable to focus at medium distances due to the scale being knocked together. A good option is to use a macro helicoid like the Leica M - NEX when used with mirrorless cameras - this can use the traditional focusing method and achieve a much smaller MDF. It is also important to note that the focusing mechanism of the lens is not paired with the rangefinder of Leica M-mount cameras - apparently, it is intended to be used when mounted on hyperfocal distance.

7artisans 35/5.6 when focusing on MDF.

7artisans 35/5.6 when focusing on MDF.

An unpleasant disadvantage is the inability to use filters with 7artisans 35 / 5.6 - the lens simply does not have any mount for them. At the same time, for such a lens, a polarizing filter, for example, could be useful.

I can’t call 7artisans 35 / 5.6 wen a convenient lens. Yes, you can’t lose the front cover with it, but you have to pay for this with darkened frames, which are obtained after the ridiculous focusing leash catches on something and covers the front lens with a shutter. By itself, the implementation of focusing on this lens is rather unsuccessful. Moreover, the lens, in my opinion, looks very pretentious, although this can be noted the existence of more modest versions: for example, in classic black.

Lens Optical Design Analysis

While prime lenses for film soapboxes usually had three or four lens designs using common grades of glass and even plastic, 7artisans claimed that their 35/5.6 lens uses two "low dispersion high refractive glass" elements. What exactly is meant by this wording is unclear: although glass with a refractive index above 1.8 is usually considered to be highly refractive, known materials certainly cannot be called low-dispersion (what parameters optical materials are characterized by and what this generally means - see in my video). To clarify the type of glass used, I carried out a qualitative elemental analysis of the front and rear lenses of the objective by X-ray fluorescence (XRF, Bruker M1 Mistral).

XRF spectrum of the front lens 7artisans 35/5.6.

XRF spectrum of the front lens 7artisans 35/5.6.

The device used does not allow distinguishing between borosilicate and phosphate glasses, since it is insensitive to elements lighter than argon, but it makes it possible to determine the main heavy components, among which yttrium (Y), lanthanum (La), gadolinium (Gd), scandium (Sc) are reliably detected - rare earth elements included in the composition of glasses such as superheavy crowns. Detection of zirconium (Zr) and tin (Sn) can be a hardware error as some instrument components contain these elements themselves. Elements such as titanium, lead, niobium, and tantalum, which are typical for glasses of the heavy (lanthanum) flint type, were not found. Thus, it is most likely that low-dispersion high-refractive glass means something like a super-heavy crown of the H-LaK53A type (n=1.755, v=52.32 for the sodium d-line), which, with a refractive index greater than that of LZOS/GOST STK19 ( n=1.744, v=50.2 for the sodium d-line) has a noticeably lower dispersion.

For contrast, consider the spectrum of the rear lens of the lens, which is apparently made of ordinary glass, which, logically, should be something like a flint.

XRF spectrum of rear lens 7artisans 35/5.6.

XRF spectrum of rear lens 7artisans 35/5.6.

In this case, we also will not pay attention to tin (Sn) and zirconium (Zr), which climb on every spectrum recorded on the instrument available to me. Note the presence of a significant amount of barium (Ba) compared to lanthanum (La), the presence of niobium (Nb), antimony (Sb) and titanium (Ti). It does not detect lead. Since titanium, antimony and niobium contribute to the increase in glass dispersion, it can be assumed that the rear lens is made of a lead-free (RoHS-compliant) flint type material, for example, H-F4 (n=1.62, v=36.4 for sodium d-line) .

Thus, 7artisans 35/5.6 with its parameters is quite an advanced lens in terms of optical design: the applied five-lens optical scheme in combination with the selected materials should provide high image quality.

However, a reduction in image quality at the edge of the frame may occur when using the lens with relatively old high-density sensor mirrorless cameras such as the Sony A7R (36x24mm, 36MP). The fact is that 7artisans 35/5.6 has a rather small rear segment (~20 mm), which is why the rays fall on the matrix at a rather shallow angle. As a result, image quality may be reduced due to refraction in the matrix filter, and color shift may also appear with high-resolution matrices. Details about the causes and manifestations these effects here.

Optical properties

The 7artisans 35/5.6 has excellent sharpness at its only F/5.6 aperture available. I didn't notice any degradation in image quality around the edge of the frame from the center when using the lens on a full frame mirrorless camera. Sony A7s (36×24, 12 MP). It is likely that only cameras with the highest sensor resolution will show any field distortion.

7artisans 35 / 5.6 has a slight pincushion distortion, you can also notice non-irritating vignetting in the corners of the frame.

The contrast of the generated image is good, but it seems to me that a better result could have been achieved using such a simple scheme - in backlight, the lens is sometimes prone to fogging.

The lens has practically no bokeh as such - 7artisans 35 / 5.6 blurs the background very weakly. When you try to take something like a portrait with them, you get pictures that resemble photos on your phone. The shape of the focus disks is determined by 3rd order aberrations and is generally similar to something like old f/2.8 triplet at F / 3.5.

7artisans 35/5.6 has a very large depth of field, which is its main feature. For this reason, it is well suited for shooting without pre-focusing, when the lens is set to infinity or so - that is, for shooting any landscapes or urban scenes. Flowers, portraits are boring to photograph with this lens. On the other hand, there are also more convenient solutions for shooting architecture - after all, 35 mm is already not enough here. For example, use the same dark and lower quality optical New Russar+ 20/5.6 I liked it a lot more because of the interesting ultra-wide angle of view.

Below are sample photos taken with a 7artisans 35/5.6 wen and a full frame mirrorless camera Sony A7s.


The very niche 7artisans 35 / 5.6, although capable of producing a high-quality picture, is in practice a rather inconvenient lens with rather limited capabilities and a controversial design. When shooting with this lens, you often get the feeling that you are taking pictures with a smartphone. However, even if on a smartphone you can make masterpieces, then even more so on 7artisans 35 / 5.6.

All 7Artisans lenses:

For mirrorless cameras with APS-C or Micro 4/3 sensor:

  1. 7Artisans 4 mm F/2.8 (announcement) [EF-M, E, X, M4 / 3]
  2. 7Artisans 7.5 mm F/2.8 Fish-Eye (overview) [EF-M, E, X, M4 / 3, versions 2017 и 2019]
  3. 7Artisans 7.5 mm F / 2.8 Fish-Eye II (announcement) [EF-M, E, X, Z, M4 / 3]
  4. 7Artisans 12 mm F/2.8 (overview) [EF-M, E, X, M4 / 3]
  5. 7Artisans 12 mm F / 2.8 II (announcement) [EF-M, RF, E, X, Z, M4/3]
  6. 7Artisans 18 mm F/6.3 (announcement) [EF-M, E, X, M4 / 3]
  7. 7Artisans 18 mm F/6.3 NEW (announcement) [E, X, Z]
  8. 7Artisans 24 mm 1:1.4 (announcement) [EF-M, RF, E, X, Z, M4/3]
  9. 7Artisans 25 mm F/1.8 (overview) [EF-M, E, X, M4 / 3, black / silver]
  10. 7Artisans 25 mm F/0.95 (overview) [EF-M, Z, E, X, M4 / 3, RF, L]
  11. 7Artisans 35 mm F/0.95 (overview) [EF-M, Z, E, X, RF, M4 / 3]
  12. 7Artisans 35 mm F/1.2 (overview) [EF-M, E, X, M4 / 3, black / silver]
  13. 7Artisans 35 mm F/1.2 II (overview) [Z, EF-M, E, X, M4 / 3, other optical design]
  14. 7Artisans 35 mm F/1.4 (overview) [Z, EF-M, E, X, RF, M4/3, black/silver]
  15. 7Artisans 50 mm F/1.8 (overview) [EF-M, E, X, M4 / 3, versions with 10 and 12 petals]
  16. 7Artisans 50 mm F/0.95 (overview) [EF-M, Z, E, X, RF, M4 / 3]
  17. 7Artisans 50 mm F / 1.4 Tilt-Shift (announcement) [E, X, M4/3]
  18. 7Artisans 55 mm F/1.4 (overview) [EF-M, E, X, M4 / 3, Leica L, black/silver]
  19. 7Artisans 55 mm F / 1.4 II (announcement) [EF-M, E, X, Z, M4 / 3]
  20. 7Artisans 60 mm F/2.8 Macro (overview) [EF-M, Z, E, X, RF, M4 / 3]
  21. 7Artisans 60 mm F / 2.8 Macro II (overview) [EF-M, Z, E, X, RF, L, M4/3]

For mirrorless full frame cameras (Full Frame):

  1. 7Artisans 9 mm F5.6 (overview) [RF, Z, E, L]
  2. 7Artisans 10 mm F / 2.8 Fisheye ED [RF, Z, E, L]
  3. 7Artisans 15 mm F/4 ASPH [RF, Z, E, L]
  4. 7Artisans 28 mm F/1.4 (overview) [Leica M only, two versions]
  5. 7Artisans 28 mm F / 5.6 wen [Leica M only]
  6. 7Artisans 35 mm F / 1.4 [IS]
  7. 7Artisans 35 mm F / 1.4 wen [Leica M only, different optical design]
  8. 7Artisans 35 mm F/2 (overview) [E, X, black / silver]
  9. 7Artisans 35 mm F/2 (overview) [Leica M only, different body design]
  10. 7Artisans 35 mm F/2 MARK II (announcement) [Leica M only, different body design]
  11. 7Artisans 35 mm F/5.6wen (overview) [Leica M + E, Z, L, RF, black, black & gold, silver & black, silver & gold]
  12. 7Artisans 50 mm F/1.05 APO (overview) [RF, Z, E, L]
  13. 7Artisans 50 mm F/1.1 (overview) [Leica M only, black / silver + 'Limited Gold'+'RED DRAGON SPECIAL EDITION']
  14. 7Artisans 50 mm F / 1.8 AF STM FE (announcement) [E/FE, Z]
  15. 7Artisans 75 mm F/1.25 [Leica M only]

For SLR cameras with APS-C sensor:

  1. 7Artisans 7.5mm 1:3.5 FISH-EYE (announcement) [only for EF/EFS]

Cinema lenses [E, L, Z, RF, X, M4/3]:

  1. APS-C: 12mm T2.9, 25mm T1.05, 35mm T1.05, 50mm T1.05
  2. S35: 24-96mm T2.9 (EF/PL)
  3. Full Frame: 14mm T2.9, 35mm T2, 50mm T2, 85mm T2

Drone Lenses:

These lenses are the easiest to find on Aliexpress from the official dealer 7Artisans.

You will find more reviews from readers of Radozhiva here.


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Comments: 8, on the topic: Lens review for street photography 7artisans 1:5.6/35 wen (Leica M)

  • Eugene

    As for me, for a street focal length is not familiar, well, maybe it was worth translating something into b / w, for example, a photo from a motorcycle? The rest of the stories do not look like a street. This is just my opinion, in any case, thanks to the author!

    • Arkady Shapoval

      35 - the most street

  • B. R. P.

    An excellent lens was on the Yashik T5 (film soap dish) - Tessar 35 \ 3,5. I also remember the fixed-focus one from Olik, the gorgeous eye on him was 35mm.

    • Dmitriy

      Olympus Mu-2 with its 2.8/35. Now, they say, it costs money, but I have a dead weight lying around, somehow it’s not up to the film.

      • Dmitry Kostin

        Olympus Mju 2 was loved by hipsters.
        The cost of a boxed kit in good condition can be as high as the Canon EOS 3 or the Canon EOS 1N.

  • i is glorious

    > On the other hand, for shooting architecture also
    > there are more convenient solutions.

    For example, any zoom. I literally can’t remember a single autofocus zoom under FE that would be bad with sharpness at covered apertures - even the old 28-70 kit is not bad, not to mention something more modern.

    But, of course, a good pancake gives a buzz while photographing. Yes, and the limitation on focal and aperture is not only bad, but also good, because it makes you turn on the brain.

  • Vitaly

    The most that neither is the focal length for the street. I remember how I once shot a Compact-Avtomat on LOMO, and there is 32mm (very similar), you can’t imagine better.

    • Rodion

      There is also an article about the lens from this lomo, by the way.

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