After a long three (!) months of waiting from order to delivery, it arrived. It was said to be held up at shipping facility.
So far I only have “build” impressions (very good ones) but will be reporting soon on the quality of this budget prime lens.
UPDATE – early returns are in – I’m very pleased with the performance of this lens. See images here.
I also recently purchased the new 7artisans 60mm f/2.8 macro lens for Fuji. Unlike the Viltrox, it is a manual lens that can’t communicate with the camera in any way. It, too, is a good bang-for-the-buck lens and I will report on it in a future post.
UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE See new recommendation below!
Hengyijia, Zonlai, Discover, 7artisans – different brandings of what is reportedly the same basic lens made at the same China factory. There are plenty of articles on these lenses – and they’re amazingly good for the price (~$80 eBay).
With the Fuji’s 1.5 crop factor, the lens is a close mimic of a classic 35mm lens.
All these lenses are made with mountings for Fuji X, Sony E and Micro Four Thirds. Of course they are manual.
One problem: there is currently no lens profile for these lenses for Adobe products, and they have moderate barrel distortion. Indeed, a review posted on the 7-Artisans site itself suggests using Voigtlander VM 25mm f/4 Color Skopar profile as a substitute. Unfortunately that profile necessitates a rather large correction involving either vignetting, or placement of a radial filter. I did manage to come close, and created presets for both portrait and landscape but got tired of futzing and looked for a better solution.
I found this http://www.like-a-look.com/lens-correction/zonlai-discover-lens-correction/ which appears to be a well-implemented profile, compensating for vignetting and chromatic aberration. The developer knows what he’s doing and the $10 he’s asking is quite fair. In a better world the Chinese manufacturers of the lens would cut a deal with him; marketing a lens without an Adobe profile is like getting 95% of the way to the finish line.
I did test other Adobe 25mm profiles. The Voigtlander MFT 25mm f/0.95 Nokton profile works pretty well! Tonality is almost identical to the OOC image, which is even to the edges and corners. There seems a very slight undercorrection to lens’ distortion, but it seems good enough for all but architectural photos. I’ve not yet tested much with vignetting.
Instead of the Voigtlander MFT 25mm f/0.95 Nokton profile, simply try this in Lightroom: : +12 distortion with constrain crop (entered in the manual tab of the Lens Correction panel). My preliminary eyeballing says this setting yields a truer geometry than the Voigtlander. This sets up no chromatic aberration adjustment, so you’ll have to do it manually if it’s a problem.
(AND YOU WON’T BELIEVE THE PRICE)
You’re heading on a random shoot and you want to travel light. So you take just your camera and kit zoom. But it’s close to dusk – will you want a tripod? What a pain. It’s heavy. You might not even need it. What if you could carry a strong, lightweight tripod? What if it were cheap?
How strong? Carbon-fiber strong.
How light? Carbon-fiber light.
How cheap? Aluminum cheap! $70. Shipped!
I own this tripod [adinserter name="Block 1"]