Lenses Fujian 35mm f1.7 CCTV Quick review

Discussion in 'Gear talk' started by moroseduck, May 30, 2016.

  1. What can you buy for £20 to expand your gear bag just a little? One suggestion is the Fujian 35mm f1.7 CCTV lens, available from a variety of Hong Kong based ebay sellers for all modern camera bodies.

    So what do you get for 20 quid? The lens itself is a small metal affair, manual focus with aperture adjustments on the barrel and a screw thread, it comes with the adaptor needed to pair it with your weapon of choice, in my case the Fuji X-pro 1.

    First impressions centre around the adaptor, which on my camera is a little tight getting on, and quite tight to get off - there was a brief moment when I thought that my lovely X-pro might be forever stuck to this CCTV lens, but fortunately it was not the case.

    Focus and aperture ring both move smoothly, they're both marked with their respective indicators, but there isn't a line to match them up with so it's a little vague. It's quite easy to accidentally unscrew the lens when adjusting either of these, but it's not too much of a problem.

    Focussing isn't too bad if you're used to manual focus lenses, the turn distance between 1 meter and infinity is pretty darn small though so a delicate touch is needed and focus peaking is very useful if shooting wide open. If you want to shoot closed down it is far easier to focus wide open, then adjust to required setting. Also worth noting, the lens will cheerfully focus to infinity and beyond - turns out that beyond infinity is blursville.

    As to image quality, the centre has reasonable sharpness which disappears very rapidly towards the edges. Bokeh when it's wide open (and when wouldn't it be?) is quite pleasant and swirls around the centre in a distinctive way. Even on crop sensor cameras there's some sweet vignetting goodness, and you can throw in some ghosting on brighter areas as well for lols

    [​IMG]Poppy through a CCTV lens by Graeme Jago, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Morris men by Graeme Jago, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Morris men by Graeme Jago, on Flickr

    So, overall impressions? For £20 this is a fun lens to use if you want to get out and get creative in a "Toy camera" style without having to play around in post production. The only thing I dislike about it is the fitting of the lens adapter onto the camera.

    If you like this kind of look, and don't fancy tinkering with old lenses as discussed on an upcoming podcast (OH s*** WHAT!!?!?!) then what have you got to lose? 20 quid, obvs.
     
  2. Have you simply bought a pre-broken lens? :) surely it is more fun to tinker yourself?

    In look it resembles a Holga lens I have for Nikon cameras. Clearly it has an advantage on apertures it can use. Something about the colour rendering though is reminiscent.

    Glad to see you attended a typical Oxfordshire village May Day bonanza!
     
  3. Well, even I have a finite number of lenses that I'm prepared to sacrifice to experimentation, and the combination of it being a true "normal" lens on a crop sensor camera and the speed made it worth the punt.

    They are actually available 3 different focal lengths but the 35mm seems to be "the one", probably as it's best suited to portraits, and given the nature of the lens that seems like a good use...as long as you mostly ignore the rule of thirds.

    Anyways, this CCTV lens will keep me out of mischief until I can get my hands on some cheap bellows, at which point my attention will be switching to my enlarger lenses.
     
  4. Glorious! What a lens.
    I see they also do a 25mm 1.4!
    Excellent value. I wonder if they do a bladapter..
     
  5. New podcast whispers?
    Go on...
     
  6. On reflection, I'm liking that flower picture more and more. The colours work really well with the texture of the lens rendering. This is the sort of thing I get from using a Holga or Diana. It is also the sort of thing that makes me feel good about having made an image with some soul (interpretation) rather than just a pristine digital capture.

    And it's why a like Hipstamatic.

    If all this makes me sound like a pretentious wanker then maybe I am :)

    But a photo like the flower above really makes me think about what I am trying to achieve with this hobby (other than spending a load of money).
     
  7. So @moroseduck (or any other buddies) what is the worst 35mm lens I could get for my Fuji? Is it this or are there worse?

    Possibly I already have the worst in the Holga lens which I feel is too bad to count as artistic - it is simply s***. Which is weird because I love the film camera.

    I'd love to try something cheap and really crappy!
     
  8. By way of example here is a photo of my boy I took today with a state of the art (for now) digital camera and a lens sharp enough to use for brain surgery. I have smashed the pixels to get something out of them I like.


    I am mostly dissatisfied with this image, apart from his expression which I love. So in the sense that this is a portrait and I have captured what the subject is feeling, I have done the job. Why then do I feel it would be better shot with a crappy film camera - which by the way couldn't have captured this shot very easily at all.

    Damn you yellow flower at the top of this post - you have seriously got me thinking.
     
  9. Looking at that shot I would forget about brain surgery and consider an orthopaedic intervention to address your boys foot. Lovely shot tho, I don't think a cctv lens would have improved it.

    Worst lens going? Hands down the one in my Sony Z5, it's appalling.

    Have you considered going bareback and ditching the lens completely? Pinhole FTW if you desire crap photos
     

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