Recently, I have written a short review on the TTArtisan 7.5mm F2 lens and I have had this TTArtisan 50mm F1.2 with me for about 6 months now. So I think it should be nice to share my opinion with this lens as well.
I am no stranger to a 50mm (75mm in 35mm equivalent) focal length. My second prime lens from Fujifilm is an XF50mm F2 lens and I have been using it for quite a long time. And I have also had some hands-on experience with the XF50mm F1 lens before. The reason why I bought this lens is because I am very interested in the usability of the fast aperture it offers with just USD 98.
1. All the shots taken here are shot by me.
2. Some of the shots are slightly edited in Lightroom Classic to my preferences. Otherwise, the shots are straight out of the camera.
3. The opinions are based on my experience. If there is any mistake, please kindly drop me a message and I will gladly make the amendment.
4. I reserve ownership of these images, if you wish to use my images, please notify me.
About The Lens
The build quality is fantastic. Again it is TTArtisan quality standard for such a sturdy build. It is heavy (at 336 grams) for a manual lens like this and it seems to be common thing among the manual lens manufacturers. To give you some sensing about its weight. It is 68% heavier than Fuji 50mm F2 (200 grams), it is about 20.5% lighter than Fuji 56mm F1.2 (405 grams) and it is about 250% lighter than Fuji 50mm F1 (845 grams). Do you think the weight is acceptable for you?
The aperture ring rotates the opposite of the Fujifilm lenses. So take note of it when you are changing the aperture without looking at it. Apart from this, the aperture ring gives you a very satisfying clicky experience when you rotate it. Besides that, the manual focus ring also gives you nice rotating friction when you turning it. The full rotation from 0.5 meters to infinity focus is 180°.
Like most of the other TTartisan lenses, this lens does not come with any lens hood but it comes with screw-in lens caps. In my opinion, for a lens to be this cheap, they have to lower down the cost somewhere and this is where it is. By the way, this lens is not weather-resistant and I do not think it is necessary.
Fortunately, this lens comes with a common filter size of 52mm, and if you need a lens hood for this lens, I think it is easy to source for a third-party one.
At aperture F1.2, it does give you a good shallow depth of field, soft-focus feel but it is also easily prone to a small amount of chromatic aberration. It has 10 diaphragm blades which allow a creamy and nice fall-off between the subject and the background. But I prefer how the results look at F2 because it gives a good balance of the overall sharpness and blur background.
Minimum Focus Distance
The Minimum Focus Distance (MFD) is 0.5 m, which in my opinion is not the closest I have experienced with for this focal length. In comparison, it is better than XF50mm F1 (MFD at 0.7 m) but not as good as XF50mm F2 (MFD at 0.39m). But does it really matter? It depends on individual usage, but nevertheless, it can separate the main subject with decent blur background.
Like all other 50mm lenses, this lens is also suitable for portrait shoots. I have tried both outdoors and studio shoots and I have no complaints about using this lens on both shoots. The sharpness and the details are well-preserved.
I cannot say I have 100% perfectly sharp focus on the models for all photos I have taken. I do have some missed focus shots which is probably a slight movement from the model or myself. Luckily, there is a focus peaking function in modern mirrorless systems which helps me reducing the focusing errors a lot.
If you are the type of street photographer who wishes to stay at a certain distance away from the subject (i.e. not to distract the person or you are not comfortable shooting close to the person), this focal length is really suitable for you.
Furthermore, when you get used to manual focusing, using this lens for the street shoot is actually a fun experience.
Who is the for?
Before I give my suggestion, let me emphasize that this is not a lightweight manual lens. The weight of this lens is on par with most of the Fujifilm ultra-fast prime lenses (exclude XF35mm F1.4). But it is way cheaper than any of the Fujifilm ultra-fast prime lenses available on the market.
If you are a photographer who is curious about the full manual lenses and wish to have the experience of using them, you can choose to buy this or the TTArtisan 35mm F1.4 (although the latter is much lighter and more portable).
If you are a photographer who needs an ultra-fast prime lens like this focal length for the casual shoot (not limited to any genres) but on a tight budget, you may consider getting this lens to be part of your arsenals.
If you are a photographer who needs it for a paid assignment, I probably will not recommend this. Unless you know what you are doing, and if it is a statics work like studio photography, then I think you can give it a try and having your autofocus lens(es) standby with you. If the paid assignment is covering an event such as a wedding, then you cannot have my recommendation and I believe you know why.
This is TTArtisan’s second released APS-C lens and it does wow me with everything it can offers. The image quality is decent but it does have some lens flare if you are facing the sunlight.
Yes. it has its flaws but the image coming out from this piece of glass is fantastic and hence this is already exceeded my expectation for a USD 98 lens. For this price range, I cannot find any other manufacturers which are as good as this modern manual lens is.
Thank you for reading.