The 7Artisans 60mm f2.8 macro lens is pretty darn impressive. I was lucky enough to get my hands on one before its release. Here are my findings, along with loads of test images. The 7Artisans macro lens is for micro four thirds and APS-C cameras. It’s a 1:1 ratio macro lens, and full manual focus.
Video review at the end of the article.
First of all, this lens is a bit hefty. It’s basically all metal, and built like a tank. It certainly isn’t a lens you could pop into your bag “just in case”, and it does extend quite far out at its closest focus point, which is said to be 65mm according to the manufacturer.
The focus ring is superbly satisfying, and I personally find proper manual focus lenses a lot more intuitive than fly-by-wire lenses when it comes to macro photography. We’re going to be in manual mode most of the time anyway, right? So we may as well have full, tactile control over everything.
The aperture ring is smooth and has enough resistance in it that it won’t move without your say so. Overall I would put the build quality of this lens somewhere between an anvil and a machine gun.
This is what we’re all here for! I have to say, to my eyes, there’s very little between this lens and the much more expensive Olympus 60mm f2.8 macro lens. That seems to be the one to beat — especially on micro four thirds — and I have the privilege of owning them both. So I set up a head-to-head battle. The first image is 7Artisans, then Olympus, 7Artisans, then Olympus. Pretty darn close, right?!
I found the 7Artisans macro lens to be incredibly sharp, even at the tricky f2.8, where you have about an eyelash’s worth of depth of field to play with. The bokeh is — quite frankly — phenomenal. It just blooms and blooms and blooms.
I found getting focus to be quick and easy, and overall I found this lens an absolute joy to use. The details, colour, and contrast in the images is wonderful to my eyes. The images in this article have only been edited VERY slightly, to correct exposure, mostly. There is no added clarity or sharpness.
I did find a bit of haloing when back-lighting the subject with lights to create the bokeh. If you look closely on some of the dice photos there is a little bit of a halo around the edges. However, it isn’t coloured, so it isn’t half as annoying as purple or pink fringing, and I tested the exact same setup with the Olympus 60mm macro and it did exactly the same thing. It was a good “stress test” for this lens, and I think it passed with flying colours.
I don’t have any further specifications unfortunately — my copy of the lens didn’t yet have a box or a lens cap, even, how exciting! — But going off my humble eyes alone, I have to say it stands up superbly against what is considered the best macro lens in the mirrorless market. What’s not to love? The rumoured pricing is going to be around $200, but of course that may be subject to change. Either way, definitely keep your eye on this lens. I think it’ll impress us all in the years to come.