7artisans 25mm F1.8 Review | For Sony E-Mount

I’ve reviewed a lot of cheap Chinese lenses on this site. Some of this dirt cheap glass is worth your money, and others are not.

The 7artisans 25mm F1.8 falls squarely into the middle of those two categories.

Designed for APS-C, this is a fully manual focus lens that costs a freakishly low amount of money, and today we’ll be looking at it on a Sony a6000.

Let’s jump into the review!

Looking for just a quick summary before jumping in?

7artisans 25mm F1.8 (Summary)
250 Reviews
7artisans 25mm F1.8 (Summary)
- Incredibly cheap
- Tiny and lightweight
- Focus throw is short
- Image quality is lackluster
A photo of a town by the coastline.

Build Quality

Size & Weight

If you’ve checked out any of my other lens reviews on this site, you’ll know I ADORE small setups. The 7artisans 25mm F1.8 certainly hits the mark in that regard.

Weighing only 5oz (143g) and measuring ONLY (1.25in (3.2cm) in length, this lens is reminiscent of the film camera primes of the past.

Any negative aspects aside, this lens is just so fun to use because it’s so damn tiny.

Is the lens well built?

So is the lens well built? Kind of.

Visually, it’s beautiful. The lettering and numbers pop and contrast well against the barrel. It comes in either black or silver, and the latter option adds a nice golden ring around the front, making for a very premium look despite the low pricetag.

Speaking of premium, I must admit that the lens is built fairly well. While nowhere near the level of a high-end OEM lens, the 7artisans 25mm F1.8 feels decently solid and sturdy in the hand.

With that being said, many of the cheap Chinese lenses are rather infamous for having inconsistent quality control. I’ve had issues with the focus ring (more on that later), and there’s plenty of other people who have had problems with 7artisans lenses.

A long exposure of a train in a tunnel.

Image Quality: decent.

Next up, let’s talk about image quality. I’m not going to sugarcoat it, because the 7artisans 25mm F1.8 struggles a bit.

While wide open, centers stay extremely sharp, but quality degrades heavily around the corners. While this may be alright for portraits and center-framed subjects, it’s definitely very noticeable in landscape type shots.

Luckily, stopping down does fix the softness for the most part. At F8, which seems to be peak sharpness, both the center and the corners look way better with much less quality loss. This lens has a very nice, contrast heavy look and renders color in a very moderate, neutral manner.

Again, this lens is dirt cheap. It’s incomparable to a Sony or Sigma, but for the price, it’s pretty decent.

A bokeh shot of a city.

My fellow bokeh fans out there will be happy to know that, despite this being a wider lens, bokeh is still gorgeous.

Focusing distance is about 6 inches (15cm) which allows you to capture some seriously creamy backgrounds.

There are some other optical anomalies though. The 7artisans 25mm F1.8 suffers from some heavy vignetting that reduces in intensity as you stop down. This is mostly fixable but can cause noise issues if the edges need to be fixed (brightened) in post.

As with most cheap lenses, flaring tends to be a crazy issue near bright light sources. Chromatic aberration, on the other hand, is controlled very well.

Portrait of a man in a coastal town.

Manual Focus & Other Features

Next up, we have to talk about focusing. The 7artisans 25mm F1.8 is a completely manual lens. If you’re new to manual focusing, I’d highly recommend you read our in-depth guide on manual focusing with Sony cameras.

It’s a complete guide that runs through camera setup, the correct settings, and even includes a list of my top manual focus lenses.

That being said, while I usually love using manual focus lenses, this one was a bit iffy. The focus throw (how much the focusing ring can spin) is extremely short, meaning it’s tougher to lock down precise focus.

In addition, I noticed the focus ring would shift very, very slightly by itself. This wouldn’t be a problem if you’re shooting at a high aperture, but it becomes quite annoying when you’re shooting wide open with such a shallow depth of field. I’m unsure if there’s a fix for this.

Finally, there is also a physical aperture ring on the camera. It is clickless, meaning it doesn’t have tactile clicks for each F-stop. I personally prefer a clicky aperture ring, but many photographers prefer the smooth spinning kind. It’s all personal preference.

Photo of a woman overlooking a lake.

My Final Thoughts

Is it worth it?

So, as someone who has used a lot of manual focus lenses, what are my opinions on the 7artisans 25mm F1.8? Mixed, to put it simply. First, I’d like to start with the negatives. Personally, I think the focusing ring on this lens feels bad and is poorly designed.

The throw is extremely short, and it shifts slightly by itself sometimes, risking putting a perfectly composed shot slightly out of focus. This is a real problem when shooting quick action like street photography.

With all that being said, it’s hard to disagree that when stopped down, the images that this lens produces are pretty decent. The bokeh is creamy, the sharpness, again, while stopped down, is good, especially in the center.

The build quality feels premium, and it has a nice old film lens aesthetic to it which I really, really like. And, to top it all off, the lens is absolutely tiny and will take up almost no space in your bag. As a fan of small setups, I really do love the diminutive size of it.

A panorama photo of a mountain and a lake.

Alternatives

The 7artisans 25mm F1.8 is certainly a good lens for just experimenting, but I’m not sure I could recommend it for real, serious photography.

If you’re looking for a budget lens, I would highly recommend the Neewer 35mm F1.7 over this.

Honestly, even the incredible Sigma 30mm F1.4 is pretty affordable these days and will blow any of these cheap lenses out of the water.

When it all comes down to it, the simple truth is that these cheap Chinese lenses will likely never match the more expensive name brand gear in quality or sharpness.

Still, it’s such a small and beautiful lens, especially if you choose the silver & gold option. So, overall, if you’re not looking for anything serious, and you just want a TINY lens to play around with, the 7artisans 25mm F1.8 is a decent pick. I’ll drop an Amazon link below, thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed! 🙂

7artisans 25mm F1.8
250 Reviews
7artisans 25mm F1.8
The 7artisans 25mm F1.8, despite delivering rather lackluster images, is a fun and cheap little lens.
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