Hours of Idleness-A Photographer's Journey in St. Louis

7artisans 7.5mm f/2.8 Fisheye Lens

Posted in art, Fuji, manual focus, photography, prime lens, prime lenses, Review by Jason Gray on March 28, 2020

Photography is not all about MTF charts- in fact, it’s not even all about gear. The point of photography is expression, and that is conducted in all manner of ways: with film or digital capture, from large to small format, with equipment that is perfect to purposely using equipment with flaws. That said, sometimes you just can’t get around the equipment, like when it actually impedes your ability to create…

The lenses I review are measured in terms of their performance in three categories: Specialist, Utility or Passion. As always, I am not a technical reviewer, so this won’t be charts and tests driven, just real world experiences.        


  1. Specialty Rating (pro quality/top IQ/special purpose): 1

The top specialty lenses are impeccable. They deliver maximum image quality (loads of sharpness, great contrast, minimum distortion and excellent color reproduction), are lightning fast, and are specialists’ tools- i.e. wedding photographers, architectural or other commercial photographers, etc.

As a specialist tool, the 7artisans 7.5mm f/2.8 Fisheye lens falls considerably short. I consider anything lower than a “5” in this category to begin to be not worth the money, and in this case, I’d say that this lens would be an absolute waste of your money.

One of the things that I enjoy about extreme wide angle lenses, is the expanded depth of field, and while this lens does exhibit that trait, focus is another issue. Focus is never that sharp, despite the aperture, but more often than not, it is not even acquired. Further, focusing is plain weird. At first, I figured that I wasn’t stopping down enough (a strange phenomenon for such a wide lens, but not impossible), but stopping down did little to improve my focus issues, or to put it more precisely, sometimes worked, though in a way that is impossible to predict. It is infuriating, and risky to use in a paid scenario (see image below).

I guess it is possible that I received a bad copy of this lens, which I didn’t notice within the return period because I don’t tend to use fisheyes that often. If that’s the case, then buying one of these is even riskier- poor QC on the part of the manufacturer is a good indicator for a lens failing at a critical moment.

2. Utility Rating (versatility for multiple applications): 2

Utility lenses are the optical equivalent of a Swiss Army Knife, they cut, they saw, they open cans, but they’re often clunky and inefficient when compared to tools dedicated to those tasks. These (usually) zoom lenses are generalists’ tools; their purpose is utility and convenience for the enthusiast.

As a utility lens, fisheyes typically are not that great, and this is because they are so specialized. In other words, scoring low in this category is no surprise, but scoring low in the specialty category is.

3. Passion Rating (does the lens inspire your photography?): 5

Passion lenses are ones that you form an emotional attachment to.  These lenses can be zooms or primes, slow or fast, cheap or expensive.  These lenses make photography fun. They get out of your way (or in some cases, get in your way), and let you think about composition and subject.

This lens definitely gets in your way, but not in the way that I wish. Fisheyes are fun lenses, and typically lead to pretty dynamic shots when you use them well. I like how this lens distorts, and really, really wish it would focus better, as I can imagine plenty of scenarios to use it. As it stands though, taking a chance using this lens on a shoot is not worth the wasted effort.

In terms of the construction of the lens, there is a lot of metal in the build that gives it a nice feel and weight, and the metal lens cap fits smoothly over the front of the lens. Operating it, it feels like a vintage lens, which would be a definite plus under other circumstances.

Full Name: 7artisans Photoelectric 7.5mm f/2.8 Fisheye
Max/Min. Aperture: 2.8/22
Diaphragm Blades: 11
Lens Configuration: 11 Elements in 10 Groups
Filter Size: N/A
Focuses Beyond: 4.75″ (approx.)

Durability: The lens is metal and solid feeling.


This is a very inexpensive lens, so it’s one of those situations wherein impressing me should be pretty easy. However, it is so hard to get a decent image out of this lens, that I can’t think of it as much more than a waste of money. A shame really, as I’d hoped to buy some more 7artisans lenses (I love their aesthetic and operating feel).

So just how does the 7artisans 7.5mm Fisheye lens perform? Check out the images below to see for yourself.

The above image is a good example of the type of images I envisioned being able to make with this lens. However, nothing is actually in focus (despite looking like it with focus peaking). In addition, see my finger in the lower right? Another weakness of this lens is where the focusing ring is located (the aperture dial and focusing ring should be flipped).








Gear used for product shots:

Fuji X-E3

Fuji 50mm f/2 WR lens


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