Review: TTArtisan 50mm 1.4

Introduction

TTArtisan 50mm 1.4 on Sony A7rII

To my surprise – shortly after the 50mm 0.95 – TTArtisan also released a more reasonable 50mm 1.4 lens. The optical design looks very interesting on paper: a longer focal length double gauss with a “speedbooster-like” rear group. This is similar to Cosina’s latest designs for the fast Voigtlander lenses, is this a good sign? Let us find out in this review!
This lens will be reviewed on the 42mp Sony A7rII and the 24mp Leica M10.

Sample Images

ttartisan 50mm 1.4 m m-mount leica m10 sony a7riii a7riv sharpness bokeh resolution contrast review
Leica M10 | TTArtisan 50mm 1.4 | f/1.4
ttartisan 50mm 1.4 m m-mount leica m10 sony a7riii a7riv sharpness bokeh resolution contrast review
Sony A7rII | TTArtisan 50mm 1.4 | f/1.4
ttartisan 50mm 1.4 m m-mount leica m10 sony a7riii a7riv sharpness bokeh resolution contrast review
Sony A7rII | TTArtisan 50mm 1.4 | f/1.4
ttartisan 50mm 1.4 m m-mount leica m10 sony a7riii a7riv sharpness bokeh resolution contrast review
Leica M10 | TTArtisan 50mm 1.4 | f/1.4
ttartisan 50mm 1.4 m m-mount leica m10 sony a7riii a7riv sharpness bokeh resolution contrast review
Leica M10 | TTArtisan 50mm 1.4 | f/1.4

Most of the sample images in this review can be found in full resolution here.

Specifications

So far this lens only comes in M-mount and has the following specifications:

    • Diameter: 60 mm (without focus tab)
    • Field of view: 47° (diagonally)
    • Length: 58 mm (+adapter)
    • Weight: 402g (+adapter, without hood and caps)
    • Filter Diameter: 49 mm
    • Number of Aperture Blades: 12 (straight)
    • Elements/Groups: 10/8
    • Close Focusing Distance: 0.7 m
    • Maximum Magnification: 1:11.7 (measured)
    • Mount: Leica-M

You may also have a look at the official page.

You can usually find this lens on amazon.com/amazon.de, B&H or ebay.com/ebay.de for about $369 (affiliate links)

Disclosure

The TTArtisan 50mm 1.4 was kindly provided free of charge by TTArtisan for reviewing purpose for a duration of 4 weeks.

Handling / Build Quality

TTArtisan 50mm 1.4

From the outer apperance this looks very much like a Leica M lens including the famous red dot. Markings are yellow/white (engraved and filled with paint), focus ring has perfect resistance and turns about 120° from the minimum focus distance of 0.7 m to infinity. The focus ring is also equipped with a focus tab.
The aperture ring has equidistant and very distinct half-stop click stops and feels very tightly assembled.

TTArtisan 50mm 1.4 rangefinder coupling

The lens features a rangefinder coupling which can be adjusted yourself using a small (supplied) screwdriver. Being an owner of an M-mount camera now I cannot stretch enough what a wonderful design decision this is: the lens can easily be adjusted to be perfectly calibrated to your rangefinder camera and give best possible results without sending it in. I wish every M-mount lens would offer this.
Out of box the lens was well calibrated on my Leica M10, but it looks to me that true infinity would be a tad behind the hard stop (see sharpness infinity section).

As was already the case for the TTArtisan 50mm 0.95 there is no hood included in the package.

Vignetting

light falloff

ttartisan 50mm 1.4 m m-mount leica m10 sony a7riii a7riv sharpness bokeh resolution contrast review

Wide open there is strong light falloff of roughly 2.7 EV in the extreme corners, stopped down to f/2.0 this improves to 1.9 EV, stopped down to f/2.8 it is 1.4 EV and further improves to 1.3 EV at f/8.0.
Stopped down these values are comparable to other small yet fast 50mm lenses like the Voigtlander 50mm 1.2 Nokton, at wider apertures the TTArtisan lens is slightly better (by about ~0.3 EV).

optical vignetting

Very fast yet compact lenses usually show a significant amount of optical vignetting. Without going too much into technical details optical vignetting leads to the truncation of light circles towards the borders of the frame.
In the center of the frame almost every lens will render a perfect circle, but only lenses with very low optical vignetting will keep this shape in the corners.
So in the following comparison we move from the center (left) to the extreme corner (right) and see how the shape of the light circle changes.

For comparison’s sake I included the Voigtlander 50mm 1.2 here. I consider this performance average for a lens with these parameters. You can clearly see some onion ring structures caused by the use of aspherical elements though.

I did not shoot both lenses side by side, if I did the circles from the f/1.2 lens would be bigger in direct comparison. The focus distance was 0.7 m and you may get slightly different results at other distances.

Sharpness

infinity (42mp Sony A7rII)

ttartisan 50mm 1.4 m m-mount leica m10 sony a7riii a7riv sharpness bokeh resolution contrast review

At infinity the TTArtisan 50mm 1.4 is a bit soft at the maximum aperture even in the center, but this improves significantly on stopping down to f/2.0. Midframe and corners are nothing to write home about at wider apertures, but from f/4.0 onwards the across frame performance is very even. Therefore – stopped down to f/5.6 to f/8.0 – the lens is also a good choice for landscape or architecture infinity shooting, this is rare among small yet fast M-mount lenses.
The performance here reminds me a lot of the 7Artisans 28mm 1.4, which is good news.

infinity (24mp Leica M10)

ttartisan 50mm 1.4 m m-mount leica m10 sony a7riii a7riv sharpness bokeh resolution contrast review

Wider M-mount lenses sometimes show very different performance when used on cameras with different filter stacks in front of the sensor.
The TTArtisan 50mm 1.4 is not one of those. Performance on the Leica M10 and Sony A7rII is very similar, so again from f/4.0 onwards you get very even across frame performance.

It looks like true infinity would have been slightly behind the lens’ hard stop when used on my Leica M10. Due to mount tolerances on lens and camera this can always happen and is the reason most lenses can be focused past the infinity mark.

portrait distance 2.0m distance (24mp Sony A7III vs 24mp Leica M10)

For portraiture it isn’t so important how flat the field is, it is more interesting to see what the sharpness is like when focused at different parts of the frame to take field curvature out of the equation.

positions of crops in the frame

We will be looking at 100% crops from the 24mp Sony A7III and the Leica M10. Both cameras do not have an anti aliasing filter in front of the sensor.

Sony A7III <—> Leica M10

 

observations
At a focus distance of 2.0 m we see some noticeable differences when using the lens on a Leica camera or a Sony camera with its thicker filter stack. On the Leica camera we see pretty decent performance even in the outer midframe while the Sony pictures look slightly blurry here. This also matches my findings in the field.

close (0.70 m, 1:11.7, 42mp A7rII)


100% crops from center, A7rII, because of focus shift (see corresponding section) I refocused for every shot.

For a fast lens without floating elements the performance is surprisingly good at the maximum aperture. There is only a minor amout of spherical aberration, for many applications this will be easily good enough from wide open.

Flare resistance

ttartisan 50mm 1.4 m m-mount leica m10 sony a7riii a7riv sharpness bokeh resolution contrast review
Leica M10 | TTArtisan 50mm 1.4 | f/1.4

The TTArtisan 50mm 1.4 does not ship with a hood, but I think it would have been useful, as the lens has quite some issues with stray light. It is pretty easy to catch some distinct bars running through your picture, this might be caused by internal reflections.

ttartisan 50mm 1.4 m m-mount leica m10 sony a7riii a7riv sharpness bokeh resolution contrast review
Leica M10 | TTArtisan 50mm 1.4 | f/5.6
ttartisan 50mm 1.4 m m-mount leica m10 sony a7riii a7riv sharpness bokeh resolution contrast review
Leica M10 | TTArtisan 50mm 1.4 | f/11

At maximum aperture you can also encounter a significant ring flare (internal reflections) with strong point light sources in the frame:

ttartisan 50mm 1.4 m m-mount leica m10 sony a7riii a7riv sharpness bokeh resolution contrast review
Leica M10 | TTArtisan 50mm 1.4 | f/1.4

Stopping down to only f/1.7 makes it go away completely:


Sony A7rII | TTArtisan 50mm 1.4

The lens does not have any severe issues with ghosts, so if you can avoid stray light and you stop down you can often shoot straight into the sun without encountering any major issues:

ttartisan 50mm 1.4 m m-mount leica m10 sony a7riii a7riv sharpness bokeh resolution contrast review
Leica M10 | TTArtisan 50mm 1.4 | f/8.0

Coma

At f/1.4 and f/2.0 there is noticeable coma visible. Stopping down to f/2.8 improves the performance significantly, but to completely get rid of it you have to stop down to f/4.0 to f/5.6.
Performance is not that different from the Voigtlander 50mm 1.2 or other small yet fast lenses, so I cannot complain here.


100% crops from extreme corner, focused on center, A7rII

Distortion


Leica M10 | TTArtisan 50mm 1.4 | f/8.0

The TTArtisan 50mm 1.4 shows moderate pincushion distortion. There is no lens profile available yet, but dialing in -4 in Lightroom/Camera Raw is doing a pretty good job at correcting it. If you look very closely you may see remains of a wavy sub frequency, but this should hardly be field relevant.

Bokeh

ttartisan 50mm 1.4 m m-mount leica m10 sony a7riii a7riv sharpness bokeh resolution contrast review
Leica M10 | TTArtisan 50mm 1.4 | f/1.4

Most people interested in this lens are probably looking for a portrait/streetphotography lens, so bokeh may be an important factor. Generally we can choose from plenty 50mm lenses these days, but in my opinion not many of those offer a smooth and undistracting bokeh rendering.
The optical design gave me a bit of hope though, so let us have a closer look who the lens behaves at different distances.

Close to the minimum focus distance bokeh is smooth (this is true for most lenses), and as we have already seen in the sharpness close section contrast and resolution are also good at these distances.

ttartisan 50mm 1.4 m m-mount leica m10 sony a7riii a7riv sharpness bokeh resolution contrast review
Leica M10 | TTArtisan 50mm 1.4 | f/1.4
ttartisan 50mm 1.4 m m-mount leica m10 sony a7riii a7riv sharpness bokeh resolution contrast review
Leica M10 | TTArtisan 50mm 1.4 | f/1.4

At half body portrait distance (roughly 1.2 to 1.5 m focus distance) the lens yields smooth blur and sharpness as well as contrast are good, exceeding my expecations.

ttartisan 50mm 1.4 m m-mount leica m10 sony a7riii a7riv sharpness bokeh resolution contrast review
Sony A7rII | TTArtisan 50mm 1.4 | f/1.4
ttartisan 50mm 1.4 m m-mount leica m10 sony a7riii a7riv sharpness bokeh resolution contrast review
Leica M10 | TTArtisan 50mm 1.4 | f/1.4
ttartisan 50mm 1.4 m m-mount leica m10 sony a7riii a7riv sharpness bokeh resolution contrast review
Sony A7rII | TTArtisan 50mm 1.4 | f/1.4

Even at longer focus distances (e.g. at full body portrait distance) and with difficult backgrounds – where many lenses struggle – the TTArtisan 50mm 1.4 is doing a good job.

ttartisan 50mm 1.4 m m-mount leica m10 sony a7riii a7riv sharpness bokeh resolution contrast review
Sony A7rII | TTArtisan 50mm 1.4 | f/1.4
ttartisan 50mm 1.4 m m-mount leica m10 sony a7riii a7riv sharpness bokeh resolution contrast review
Sony A7rII | TTArtisan 50mm 1.4 | f/1.4
ttartisan 50mm 1.4 m m-mount leica m10 sony a7riii a7riv sharpness bokeh resolution contrast review
Leica M10 | TTArtisan 50mm 1.4 | f/1.4

This also holds true with complex backgrounds like foliage or shiny metal parts:

ttartisan 50mm 1.4 m m-mount leica m10 sony a7riii a7riv sharpness bokeh resolution contrast review
Sony A7rII | TTArtisan 50mm 1.4 | f/1.4
ttartisan 50mm 1.4 m m-mount leica m10 sony a7riii a7riv sharpness bokeh resolution contrast review
Leica M10 | TTArtisan 50mm 1.4 | f/1.4
ttartisan 50mm 1.4 m m-mount leica m10 sony a7riii a7riv sharpness bokeh resolution contrast review
Sony A7rII | TTArtisan 50mm 1.4 | f/1.4
ttartisan 50mm 1.4 m m-mount leica m10 sony a7riii a7riv sharpness bokeh resolution contrast review
Leica M10 | TTArtisan 50mm 1.4 | f/1.4

All things considered, I have been very happy with the bokeh rendering of this TTArtisan 50mm 1.4. My favorite small 50mm lens in this regard was (and still is) the Voigtlander 50mm 1.2, but the TTArtisan comes really close.

Sunstars

I cannot really see a clear line when it comes to aperture constructions of TTArtisan lenses yet. Out of 5 lenses I saw 4 different aperture diaphragms. This one features 12 blades and might become my favorite among those, as it yields well defined sunstars between f/8.0 and f/16. The alignment of the blades is not as perfect as it is with Zeiss Loxia or Voigtlander lenses though.
If you want to know more about sunstar rendering of different lenses have a look at this article.


50% crops from center, A7rII

Chromatic aberration

lateral


100% crops from border, M10

There are only minor lateral CA visible that are easily corrected either in camera (for Jpegs) or in a raw developer like Lightroom by one click.

longitudinal

ttartisan 50mm 1.4 m m-mount leica m10 sony a7riii a7riv sharpness bokeh resolution contrast review
Sony A7rII | TTArtisan 50mm 1.4 | f/1.4 | 50% crop

In close up scenarios there is green behind and magenta in front of the focal plane visible. It takes stopping down to f/2.8 to mostly get rid of this aberration (see focus shift section).

As is usually the case with fast lenses purple fringing can be quite pronounced:


Sony A7rII | TTArtisan 50mm 1.4 | f/1.4

In extreme scenes like the one below you can sometimes spot longidutinal CA even in smaller output sizes, but it should be noted that this TTArtisan 50mm 1.4 fares no worse here than e.g. the Sony 55mm 1.8 or the Sony 35mm 1.8, both slower, more expensive lenses.

Sony A7rII | TTArtisan 50mm 1.4 | f/1.4

Focus shift


50% crops, A7rII

With some lenses when stopping down the plane of optimal focus shifts to the back or the front. Here the focus shift is minimal and should hardly be an issue in the field, good news for M-mount users!

Alternatives

I will only cover the really obvious alternatives in detail here, but if you ended up here by accident and you are looking for an AF lens may have a look at our Guide to 50mm lenses for Sony E-mount.

E-mount

Voigtlander 50mm 1.2 Nokton E:
The most obvious competitor. You gain electronic communications with your camera, half a stop of light gathering capabilities, better flare resistance and you are loosing a bit of weight. The Voigtlander is slightly worse close to the minimum focus distance and almost 3 times as expensive though.
buy from CameraQuest | B&H | Robert White | amazon.com | amazon.de | ebay.com | ebay.de for $999 (affiliate links)

Voigtlander 50mm 2.0 APO-Lanthar:
If you are looking for the best possible correction of optical aberrations instead of lots of bokeh this is the lens you are looking for.
buy from CameraQuest | B&H | Robert White | amazon.com | amazon.deebay.com | ebay.de for $1049 (affiliate links)

M-mount

Leica Summilux-M 50mm 1.4 Asph:
If you can easily afford the Leica lens I wonder why you are reading this. I have never used this lens personally but I would expect it to do better in certain scenarios like contrast and flare resistance, but I am not so sure about bokeh rendering. Are these possible differences worth spending 11 times as much? If you think so consider using one of my affiliate links next time you buy a Leica lens.
buy from amazon.com | amazon.de | B&H | ebay.com | ebay.de for $4.000 (affiliate links)

Voigtlander VM 50mm 1.2 Nokton:
See E-mount version above.
buy from CameraQuest | B&H | amazon.com | ebay.comebay.de for $1.059 (affiliate links)

7Artisans 50mm 1.1:
This is a very different lens as it is not optimized to give smooth bokeh at maximum aperture but rather nervous bokeh with lots of field curvature. Does not fit my taste, but may be the cheapest option to get a new very fast 50mm lens.
buy from amazon.com | amazon.de | B&H | ebay.com | ebay.de for $349 (affiliate links)

Conclusion

good

  • bokeh
  • sharpness (where it matters)
  • sunstars
  • build quality and handling
  • size
  • price
average

  • vignetting
  • correction of CA
  • distortion
  • weight
not good

  • flare resistance
  • coma correction
  • minimum focus distance only 0.7 m

When I bought the 7Artisans 28mm 1.4 FE-Plus (manufactured by DJ-Optical) I was not only impressed by its optical qualities and price performance ratio, I was also hoping we will see many lenses that share its qualities. That was in March 2019.
Now in October 2020, one and a half years later, it seems to me DJ-Optical is manufacturing lenses for TTArtisan exclusively and I have reviewed all of them. The 21mm 1.5 and the 50mm 0.95 especially offered staggering specs at a low price point, but in the end they might have been a bit too ambitious, spotting too many compromises.

Why am I wasting your time telling you all of this?

Reviewing and using the TTArtisan 50mm 1.4 has been a pleasant surprise as it offers surprisingly good bokeh for a small 50mm lens as well as good sharpness where it matters.
It manages to accomplish something where even some of the fast Voigtlander lenses fail: stopped down it is plenty of sharp across all of the frame.
This makes it a great allround 50mm lens that can be used for portraiture as well as landscape and infinity shooting.

I felt like getting 90% of the Voigtlander 50mm 1.2‘s qualities for about 40% of the price. Not a bad deal in my book.

TTArtisan 50mm 1.4 on Leica M10

You can usually find this lens on amazon.com/amazon.de, B&H or ebay.com/ebay.de for about $369 (affiliate links)

Sample Images

ttartisan 50mm 1.4 m m-mount leica m10 sony a7riii a7riv sharpness bokeh resolution contrast review
Leica M10 | TTArtisan 50mm 1.4 | f/5.6
ttartisan 50mm 1.4 m m-mount leica m10 sony a7riii a7riv sharpness bokeh resolution contrast review
Sony A7rII | TTArtisan 50mm 1.4 | f/1.4
ttartisan 50mm 1.4 m m-mount leica m10 sony a7riii a7riv sharpness bokeh resolution contrast review
Sony A7rII | TTArtisan 50mm 1.4 | f/1.4
ttartisan 50mm 1.4 m m-mount leica m10 sony a7riii a7riv sharpness bokeh resolution contrast review
Sony A7rII | TTArtisan 50mm 1.4 | f/1.4
ttartisan 50mm 1.4 m m-mount leica m10 sony a7riii a7riv sharpness bokeh resolution contrast review
Leica M10 | TTArtisan 50mm 1.4 | f/1.4
ttartisan 50mm 1.4 m m-mount leica m10 sony a7riii a7riv sharpness bokeh resolution contrast review
Leica M10 | TTArtisan 50mm 1.4 | f/1.4
ttartisan 50mm 1.4 m m-mount leica m10 sony a7riii a7riv sharpness bokeh resolution contrast review
Leica M10 | TTArtisan 50mm 1.4 | f/1.4
ttartisan 50mm 1.4 m m-mount leica m10 sony a7riii a7riv sharpness bokeh resolution contrast review
Sony A7rII | TTArtisan 50mm 1.4 | f/1.4
ttartisan 50mm 1.4 m m-mount leica m10 sony a7riii a7riv sharpness bokeh resolution contrast review
Leica M10 | TTArtisan 50mm 1.4 | f/5.6
ttartisan 50mm 1.4 m m-mount leica m10 sony a7riii a7riv sharpness bokeh resolution contrast review
Leica M10 | TTArtisan 50mm 1.4 | f/1.4
ttartisan 50mm 1.4 m m-mount leica m10 sony a7riii a7riv sharpness bokeh resolution contrast review
Leica M10 | TTArtisan 50mm 1.4 | f/1.4
ttartisan 50mm 1.4 m m-mount leica m10 sony a7riii a7riv sharpness bokeh resolution contrast review
Leica M10 | TTArtisan 50mm 1.4 | f/1.4
ttartisan 50mm 1.4 m m-mount leica m10 sony a7riii a7riv sharpness bokeh resolution contrast review
Leica M10 | TTArtisan 50mm 1.4 | f/1.4
ttartisan 50mm 1.4 m m-mount leica m10 sony a7riii a7riv sharpness bokeh resolution contrast review
Leica M10 | TTArtisan 50mm 1.4 | f/1.4

Most of the sample images in this review can be found in full resolution here.

Further Reading

The following two tabs change content below.
My name is Bastian and I am your expert here when it comes to ultra wide angle lenses, super fast portrait lenses (ranging from a 50mm f/0.95 to a 200mm f/1.8) and I also have reviewed way too many 35mm lenses. Don't ask me anything about macro or wildlife shooting though.

33 thoughts on “Review: TTArtisan 50mm 1.4”

  1. Great review. This looks to be a nice budget alternative to the Voigtländer 50mm f1.2. I quite like the rendering in the example pictures you shared. I wish this lens had a bit more contrast. Then again the micro contrast while not amazing, balances well and works in the lenses favor I think. This lens has some character to it. Also nice that this lens has a low profile. I was considering the Meike 50mm f1.2 but that lens is quite big. Overall this TTartisan looks to strike a great balance in rendering, weight and price.

    Do you know if this TTartisan 50mm 1.4 has a de-click aperture option? I assume not.

    Would you otherwise know any other budget manual 50mm lenses with a de-click option? I know the Loxia and Voigtländers have it but they’re on the pricier side.

    Lastly, any budget manual lenses with electronic contacts? Again besides Loxia and Voigtländers. Why is it that we have all these great budget options but none seem to utilize electronic contacts?

    1. TTArtisan 50mm 1.4 has no de-click option.
      There are also no cheap manual lenses with electronic contacts, a used Loxia is your cheapest option.
      The Zhong Yi 50mm 0.95 M has no click stops, all the other recent lenses do. Again the cheapest option with de-click feature is a used Loxia.

  2. Nice review,
    Bastian, you should review the Voigtlander 58mm f1.4 SL. I recently got the Voigtlander 50mm f1.2 for my sony. the 50 is a great lens but nothing compared to the 58mm so I’m actually selling it. Optically the 58mm is the best lens i’ve ever touched and I think you would enjoy it!

  3. Hi Bastian,
    great review! How about Nokton 50 1.5? Can be had for the same price (minty, LTM is cheaper still), is significantly lighter, has (arguably) better sunstars and very nice colors/bokeh. You’ve reviewed the lens, so it would be interesting to hear your opinion on those two.

    1. I have not used that lens on the M10, on the R2 off center sharpness at portrait distances was so bad that I don’t consider it an alternative on higher resolution cameras anymore.

      1. Will you consider reviewing the new optically changed version II of the Voigtlander Nokton 50mm f/1.5 lens, which is set to release next week?

  4. Hi Bastian, very nice review, seems to be a nice lens.
    You were right to state that this lens has an inbuild converter. This opens the chance for Artisans to produce a 70mm f2 lens
    Which can be used on a FUJI GFX as well
    with a 0,71x converter for Sony, Nikon or Canon. to end up with the same lens as tested by you. LAOWA did the opposite with their 12mm f2.8, with the shift-converter to 17mm f4 and built in version 17mm f4 for FUJI GFX. Bjorn

    a new 35mm f0,95 is nearly coming from 7-Artisans as well.

  5. Thank you for the review. As all the reviews here, very thorough an very informative.
    I recently bought the 7artisans 50mm f1.1 and I’m very happy with the pictures I get with it, it’s a nice lens if you are aware of it’s limitations. My only complain with that lens is that the focus throw is too short (as Juriaan mentioned in his review), so sometimes is hard to nail focus. How about this TTartisan? Did you find the focus throw adequate and easy to focus?

    Also, I’m interested in how this TTartisan 50mm f1.4 reviewed here compares to the 7artisans 50mm f1.1 for portraits (don’t care about infinity sharpness), and more specifically in terms of bokeh. Do you think the bokeh of the TTartisan at f1.4 is much better than the 7artisans at f1.4? (at f1.1 is quite nervous, but at f1.4 I find it rather smooth)

    Thanks!

    1. Hi Joseph,
      I think the TTartisan 1.4/50 will have better bokeh towards the corners at longer distances due to less field curvature. At close distance I don’t think the difference is that big. Furthermore I think the 1.4/50 has larger sharp area at full and half body portrait distance, where the 7A 1.1/50 suffers a bit.

      1. Thanks for the quick reply. It seems the TTartisan is clearly the better lens, although I’m not sure if for me and my usage it’s worth the hassle of selling the 7artisans and getting this one. Surely having both lenses doesn’t seem to make much sense. I’ll think about it 🙂

    2. With 7Artisans 50mm 1.1f you have 2 lenses in one body at 1,1f its nervous t 1,4f its smooth 🙂 Also this lens has a unique look in BW photography, you should try that out

  6. Hello Bastian,
    I really enjoyed all of your reviews, I noticed your images recently have a nice vintage tone, could you please give us a tutorial on your post process method? I believe I am not the only one who interested in your style.
    Thank you for all your work! They are indeed great and helpful.

  7. Hello Bastian,
    as owner of a Leica Summilux-M 1,4/50 asph I was very interested in reading how the TTArtisan would perform.First I am really impressed how well the TTArtisan is doing. The Summilux is doing most things better, but comparing the price tags the difference should be bigger. So I really admit the TTartisan beeing a nice little lens showing a very good performance for a sensational price. If you are on a budget go get it. If not, and if you want to sqeeze out the maximum performance of a small lens, you have no alternative to the Summicron 😉
    Best regards,
    Christian

    1. I also own the 50 Lux ASPH and here’s my take on how it differs (on the Leica M) from the TTArtisan 50/1.4 images in this review: Leica claims the Lux ASPH is actually an APO design yet was not branded as such (IIRC this was mentioned by lens designer Peter Karbe in an interview). This seems to be supported based on low LoCA and very low wide open purple fringing compared to the TTA 50/1.4. I rarely notice this problem in images with it. It also has very low distortion. However, it has a few flaws that can be annoying: a drop in sharpness and that becomes quite nervous in the mid zone between around f/2.5-4.5 with corresponding wavy field curvature, making rule of thirds subject placement problematic; ‘ninja-star’ aperture opening between f/2.5-5.6 (apparently to minimize focus shift); not so great flare resistance. It will produce a similar, though less colorful flare ring as the TTA wide open and IMO is generally not great at resisting veiling flare with bright light just outside the frame. It does not have to be a specular light source; it could even be an overcast sky. Unfortunately this is something I’ve noticed with other Leica lenses, particularly the various modern 90s I have owned (Summarit, Macro, APO-ASPH).

      The 50 Lux ASPH appears to have a more Gaussian background blur, is slightly smaller in all dimensions and about 50g lighter. Edge sharpness is also better, but the tradeoff is the mid zone performance drop until around f/5.6. Sunstars are very difficult to provoke (I can’t really remember getting any from it), which I actually strongly prefer over most recent lenses, perhaps due to the aperture shape.

      IMO the TTA 50/1.4 is compelling for better off-axis sharpness wide open and slightly stopped down rendering due to non-ninja-star aperture shape (though unfortunately straight-sided), not to mention the very reasonable price.

      The intriguing third option someone mentioned earlier is the new Voigtländer 50/1.5, which is smaller and lighter than TTA and 50 Lux ASPH, making it a more harmonious fit for rangefinder cameras (though lacks focusing tab). Fred Miranda has started a running review of it over on his forum and early impressions are very favorable (on Leica M and to a slightly lesser degree on Sony). It appears to be very sharp across the frame from wide open with some mid zone softness, but doesn’t seem as severe as the 50 Lux ASPH. Distortion appears to be very minimal with promising flare resistance (based on urban landscapes by an FM member with this lens). At nearer distances there is residual SA, which slightly softens the image and may be desirable for some subject types. LoCA and purple fringing is noticeable and probably closer to the TTA than the 50 Lux ASPH. The very small size also results in optical vignetting with cats eye bokeh balls already slightly off-axis…

      So IMO, none of these lenses offers a ‘perfect’ balance of features. For my use of the 50 Lux ASPH, it’s either between f/1.4-2.0 for its rendering characteristics, or stopped down to f/5.6-8 for across frame performance. Both the TTA and Voigtländer probably allow better wider aperture off-axis sharpness/subject placement, but a tradeoff being poorer LoCA/purple fringing behavior.

      Hope this helps!

      1. Thanks for adding your experiences with the 50mm 1.4 Lux!
        A lens, I am also interested in reviewing, if I ever get the chance.

        In your conclusion the price differences may be worth talking about though.
        I am sure not many people can or want to afford a 50mm 1.4 for 3.700€.
        So considering it is “balanced” in any possible way is a bit of a stretch imho.

        Also, may you have any source that backs the claim that the Ninja star aperture blades do in fact reduce focus shift?
        I am asking because:
        a) I cannot think of any physical reason why it should
        b) Many Leica lenses with such aperture blades still suffer from focus shift

        1. Is the Otus 55/1.4 worth the price? Of course the 50 Lux ASPH is extremely expensive! Please consider it was released in 2006 and for a while was the only technically ‘good’ 50/1.4 available in M mount. I also tried the original Voigtländer 50/1.5 LTM and while sharp centrally, was not great off-axis, plus had purple fringing. In the last 10 years, lenses from all brands across the board have improved significantly, but it’s really been in the last roughly 3 years where we’ve seen considerable improvement in fast non-Leica M mount lens performance. I’m not sure I’d end up with the 50 Lux ASPH if starting fresh today (I bought it about 10 years ago) in light of the performance value of this TTA lens, or the new Voigtländer 50/1.5, or their 50/1.2 (what I’d really like is their 50/2 APO in M mount).

          Regarding the ninja-star aperture shape and possible reduction of focus shift: at this point I can’t recall the exact source; it’s one of those ‘things I read on the internet.’ I have a theory about why the shape might minimize focus shift, but since I’m not an optical engineer and have no way to verify it, I’ll refrain from potentially digging myself further into a hole. 🙂

          Probably the best solution would be to ask Peter Karbe why it, and other Leica lenses, have this peculiar aperture shape.

  8. The phrase “has quite some issues” must have commonly used direct translation in German. I’ve heard a few Germans use similar phrasing, including Max from Analog Insights on YouTube. It’s not grammatically correct in English, but it does have a sort of charm to it.

  9. “I felt like getting 90% of the Voigtlander 50mm 1.2‘s qualities for about 40% of the price.”
    I guess you are not Churchill…
    only the best will do…

  10. Has anybody tested this lens on a GFX or Hassleblad Medium format camera yet? Would love to hear if it covers the medium format sensor!

  11. 7artisans recently released a 35mm F0.95 for APS-C. Will you be reviewing it? I’m curious how this lens will compare to the lens in this review considering it will be a 50mm F1.4 equivalent in crop mode. The lens is considerably cheaper and looks well made.

    1. We usually don’t review APS-C lenses.
      I also don’t think ever in the history of cameras the faster and cheaper lens for the smaller format has been better than the slower equivalent for the bigger format.
      Therefore I don’t exactly have high hopes here.

      1. Right I understand that and logic would say that will be the case. I did however find some photo examples online and was pleasantly surprised and impressed. The price is actually unbelievable. So it could be a very interesting comparison worth considering 😉 Also considering that we have the a7R IV and the e mount. Either way, I understand your perspective.

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