[Online adventures] #7 – Amazon – Fujian 35mm f1.7 CCTV lens

This time around we have a C-mount lens. Its original purpose? For CCTV cameras (surveillance). Why would one mount something like this on to a mirrorless camera? Because it is a 35mm f1.7 on the cheap!

Amazon: 32CAD + free shipping

The lens itself + E-mount to C-mount converter ring

Sony NEX-5R + E-mount to C-mount converter + Fujian 35mm

This is why I love mirrorless cameras, the short flange focal distance means you can use *almost* any lens with a simple passive adapter ring.

Using it:

I am using it with a NEX-5R, an APS-C camera with a crop factor of 1.5x. Meaning this lens will have a field of view equivalent to 52.5mm.

This lens is small but not as compact as say a pancake lens, so it is still not pocketable. With that being said, due to the small lens, it kind of feels like using a point and shoot instead of a mirrorless.

There is no optical stabilization for handheld use however, thanks to the large aperture, if you are coming from an f3.5 lens, you’ll gain an extra ~two stops of shutter speed, which is good enough to offset the lack of stabilization.

Focus is easy thanks to Sony’s peaking mode. I was able to teach a friend how to manual focus with this lens in less than a minute!

Let’s talk aperture

This is probably the #1 reason why anyone would buy this lens. 35mm @ f1.7? Bokeh!

Cheap lenses like the Canon 50mm f1.8 have 5 non-rounded aperture blades.

Expensive lenses like the Canon 24-70 f4/L have 9 rounded aperture blades.

This? I present to you the Fujian 35mm f1.7, has 12 rounded aperture blades

@ f1.7

@ f16 we have full closure! Wait what? I am not sure if you can call this a feature but it is possible to shut out all the light purely with aperture 😛 But hey more features the better right? Maybe someday I’ll find a use for this f9000 mode (disclaimer: not accurate description).

Also, the aperture ring is completely smooth (analog). So if you can do the math, you can really hit any aperture size you so desire starting from f1.7

But who buys this lens just to stop it down? You are throwing optical quality, optical stabilization, distortion, and basically everything image quality wise out the window just to get to that bokehlicious f1.7 for a low low price of 32CAD.

Test shots!

Sure we might have a 12 blade rounded aperture, but that doesn’t mean you are going to get round bokeh circles. Here we see its short comings in optical quality. But hey! Good colors.

*side note* The Chinese says 北京飯店 which means Beijing Restaurant, the English says Korean Restaurant, the letters in the logo and on the side are Korean characters. So what is it? Beijing or Korean restaurant?

This lens is only “usably” sharp in the center. So not only do you get the bokeh effect thanks to the f1.7 aperture, everything near the sides and corners are also blurred out. Once again, we have thrown everything image quality related out the window to hit f1.7 at 32CAD. But hey! There isn’t much distortion.

This is where I would like to say this:

Stop complaining, understand the short-comings, and use it to your advantage.

The lens is only sharp in the center? Then put things that are important in the center!

*side note* I personally think the restaurant’s statement is a little rough. I believe that selfies have their place. As long as a photo evokes memories, then it’s a good shot 🙂

*side note* 3CAD for one liter of bubble tea, good times in Vancouver 😀

My birthday cake in 2014 from Sobey’s. Friend had no experience with bad lenses or manual focus. Within minutes of playing around with the lens, she nailed every shot! So good I had her take the rest of my birthday photos with this lens 😀

Final thoughts

Aperture ring and focus ring is smooth. Focus at infinity is questionable. Macro shots are possible as they include two macro rings. But really, focus in general is questionable 😛 It is usably sharp in the center but everywhere else it is not. In general, this is a fun lens and should be treated as such.

At 32CAD, if all you care about is the large aperture, this is your lens.

Yes, this lens has a crazy amount of short-comings, but really, nothing is perfect. You can spend as much or as little as you want and you will end up with something that has its fair share of strengths and weakness. This is where I would like to use the quote again: If you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.

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