TTartisan 50mm f/0.95 in depth Review by ErickPHOTO with image samples

Update Feb/07/2020: I have my copy for sale at the forums, feel free to reach me through here as well if you are interested. Asking $650 USD and only shipping within the USA. This is an almost PERFECT alternative to the Nikkor S Noct 58mm f/0.95 and Leica Noctilux 50mm, but it has a few things that we need to consider. Let’s review each one of those key points in detail.
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TTArtisan 50mm f/0.95 by ErickPHOTO
The legendary Leica Noctilux ($12,500 USD) has two great contenders as of today! even-though there are various f/0.95 lenses out there, the Leica Noctilux has been victorious for many years. Its size and performance had not been matched before. The most recent contender that was introduced is the NIKKOR Z 58mm f/0.95 S Noct, made for the Nikon Mirrorless Z cameras holding a price tag of $8,000 USD but weighting 4.41 lbs makes it a monster to carry! compare that much to the Leica Noctilux that weights 1.5lbs.
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TTArtisan 50mm f/0.95 by ErickPHOTO
But here is a new direct contender that costs so much less! In fact, only $760 USD and is a great option, although you get some benefits, you also lose some. TTartisanVSnoctiluxf95 Let’s look at these charts taken both at f/0.95 and while they show that the TTArtisan is lightly sharper in almost every tangential or sagittal lines! One must remember that TTArtisan measures at 10lp/mm and 30lp/mm. Its difficult to judge because the Leica MTF is normally measured at 5, 10, 20, 40 lp/mm so the only side by side value we can note is the 10lp. Look at the aperture at f/5.6 for T10 we see that at the center of the frame we start on almost the same level 81% and these values continue to be similar across the entire frame. If we try to give an estimate of what a 40lp Tangital would look is also very similar but one cannot assume because these levels may vary. In short, the sharpness of this lens is very similar to the Noctilux in every day images.
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TTArtisan 50mm f/0.95 Sample Photo by ErickPHOTO – Lens is very sharp in the center
The main questions are how will it handle flare and ghosting, comma and aberrations, vignetting and how sharp are the corners for landscape photos? 15847367 My dislikes are mostly superficial, while the lens is so similar to the Leica Noctilux, my problem is the font that is used on the TTartisan. The irregular distance between the f stops on the aperture ring also bothers me but for only $750 I think I will let those irregularities slide. The aperture clicks are in half stops, I wish they were a little more stiff and “clicky” but they are there and are very useful. I like the brass color of the mounting ring.
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TTArtisan 50mm f/0.95 Finder View on Front by ErickPHOTO
In my years of shooting with the Leica system I have favored the Silver 50mm Summilux Asph, it’s a $4000 USD lens with a maximum aperture of f/1.4 weighing 0.74lbs. Even that lens feels heavy after a whole day of use. Some recommend to add a grip to your camera if shooting these heavier lenses.
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TTArtisan 50mm f/0.95 by ErickPHOTO
The TTArtisan 50mm f/0.95 has an optical formula of 11 elements in 8 groups, including 1 large-sized aspherical element (the Noctilux has 2 aspherical elements) and 8 high refractive elements to ensure high image sharpness at its wide open aperture. This lens is great for low light and shallow depth of field, great for helping you create dreamy images.
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TTArtisan 50mm f/0.95 by ErickPHOTO
This company is somewhat new, they have been making VERY GOOD lenses for the Leica M system, is just that no one really knows how long this lenses will last, will they suffer separation at an early age, would the moving parts really last a decade or half a century, will they be prone to early corrosion? How is their warranty?
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TTArtisan 50mm f/0.95 by ErickPHOTO
Many retail stores have this lens in pre-order, it is starting to ship now but is coming from China as of the time of this writing. I have seen the lists and the wait time with some people is at least 30 days!
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TTArtisan 50mm f/0.95 by ErickPHOTO
The Nikkor lens for the Z cameras which as said above goes for around $8000 is a phenomenal lens, almost perfect in every way, but the size of it is what bothers me, it is a lens that delivers so much detail and makes the images look tridimensional and realistic.
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TTArtisan 50mm f/0.95 by ErickPHOTO
The TTArtisan lens has a two year warranty but I am afraid that without a vendor in the US, you will be forced to ship to China for any warranty labor and this puts me in fear of having to pay shipping fees to China, which in return may bring a higher cost. Are you ready to order your lens? Get it directly from the TTArtisan Amazon Store now https://amzn.to/38nkJGR 
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TTArtisan 50mm f/0.95 by ErickPHOTO
When using this lens outdoors in very bright conditions, you would want to use a variable ND filter or simple ND400 filter. This is so that you can keep your aperture wide open and use your desired shutter speed, especially in direct sun.
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TTArtisan 50mm f/0.95 with Variable ND by ErickPHOTO
Using a Variable ND filter is also very useful for taking images with the use of flash, when your shutter sync has to be at 1/180 like in the Leica M. This allows you to sync and control ambient light to match your desired output.
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TTArtisan 50mm f/0.95 with Variable ND by ErickPHOTO
My 7Artisans lenses have been great to me, I’ve had them for about a year or two, although not the same company as TTartisan, it is said that they are only “vendors” and the manufacturer is DJ-Optica and 7Artisans along with TTArtisan are distributors. Barrel distortion is minimal as you can see int he example below, there is also some vignetting but is easily fixed in Lightroom.
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TTArtisan 50mm f/0.95 by ErickPHOTO barrel distortion
Here are the settings that I entered manually to adjust the distortion and to remove the vignetting. Distortion to -5 and Vignetting to +41 with a Midpoint at 15. lightroomsettings.gif
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TTArtisan 50mm f/0.95 by ErickPHOTO barrel distortion fixed!
This is a preliminary test on corner performance but it seems that it likes to create a magenta cast on my Leica M Typ 240.
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TTArtisan 50mm f/0.95 on Leica M Typ 240 Magenta Cast on Corners by ErickPHOTO
Which again, if we crate a color profile and vignette manual distortion fix, all of those problems will be gone. I have a Lightroom lens profile for sale on my website, it will correct all of those problems when shooting in daylight.
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TTArtisan 50mm f/0.95 Lightroom Profile by ErickPHOTO
How does it look when pointed at a really bright light source? well in this sample is pointed at the sun, this shows what we can expect with taking photos at sunset mostly, it looks very pleasing to me. The image below is a highly cropped image.
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TTartisan 50mm f/0.95 by ErickPHOTO wide open (zoom 100%)
Let’s take a look at color fringing on the sample below, it is to be expected on a lens that is wide open at f/0.95 but I have only seen one lens that looks better than this, it was mentioned earlier that the Nikkor is executional and wins this battle. Let’s keep looking at 100% magnification, in other words let’s pixel peep at its widest aperture.
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TTartisan 50mm f/0.95 by ErickPHOTO fringing visible wide open (zoom 200%)
There is color fringing as expected with any lens that is this wide but after we apply the lens profile I created or that you can also create, we can virtually remove that nasty effect and forget it with a simple click!
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TTartisan 50mm f/0.95 Fringing fixed with ErickPHOTO Lens Preset
I am selling the Lightroom Lens PreSet that fixes these mentioned problems, feel free to order on my Etsy shop trough here https://etsy.me/3fpZWVX Alright, so how is the corner performance? sadly it isn’t the best in that dept. This lens is best suited for portraits or photos where the sweet spots in wider apertures, you can always crop the edges if you require the most sharpness across the sensor. Let’s look at some corners at 100%.
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Top Left Corner, Bottom Left Center, Right Image is the Center
This lens is fantastic in the center but the extreme corner just never gets sharp no matter what aperture is chosen. This is on a Leica M digital body and Nikon Z6. Remember, this lens is targeted to people who want to create dreamy images where your corners are always going to be soft on purpose. The lens is very artistic and is great for creating dreamy images by simply shooting wide open.
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TTartisan 50mm f/0.95 by ErickPHOTO
While some people hate flare in certain images, others love it! Just depends on the type of photography you do. For example, if you are creating raw artsy images is just fantastic. The image below was flared purposely by placing the light just out of frame and pointed directly into the lens. This is easily fixed by moving that source away from the lens or by buying a lens hood such as this one here https://amzn.to/2YVvywB
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TTartisan 50mm f/0.95 by ErickPHOTO
As said above, with the maximum shutter on most Leicas at 1/4000 you will certainly need an ND filter if you desire to shoot wide open during the day, especially if you are outside under the sun. Most people like to get a variable ND such as this https://amzn.to/3f2jP5i and there are other cheaper alternatives such as this https://amzn.to/38mHTND Are you ready to order your lens? Get it directly from the TTArtisan Amazon Store now https://amzn.to/38nkJGR 
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TTArtisan 50mm f/0.95 by ErickPHOTO Image Sample
The next thing is finder blockage, it is very significant and in some ways imagine that half of a car is blocking your view at all times like the image sample below:
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TTArtisan 50mm f/0.95 by ErickPHOTO Image Sample
Now, joking aside let’s look at what the real thing is trough the viewfinder on your camera. Since the lens extends when focusing at objects that are farther away, you will notice that if you use a filter that extrudes even just a few millimeters from the lens, then your range finder patch will also be blocked, and this is more noticeable when taking images at close distances such as .7m and add a lens hood and will block even more, so for a hood definitely get the vented type like in the list of accessories at the bottom of this page.
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TTArtisan 50mm f/0.95 Finder Blockage by ErickPHOTO
I must say that even with the negatives mentioned above, I still find this lens to be great in what it does, to create dreamy images that no other lens will in this price range. Once you practice your focus and manage to hit it spot on, the images are surreal. Look at the sample below, sharp where it needs to be and a soft blur where you don’t. I think medium body and headshots are best with this lens. 117950600_1247656665586018_2675602231969269365_o If you want to mount this on a mirrorless camera, go for it, you won’t suffer from focus shift and all you need is the proper adapter and the other benefit is that you won’t have to worry about finder blockage or ever needing to calibrate the rangefinder coupling.  Get it directly from the TTArtisan Amazon Store now https://amzn.to/38nkJGR  Here is a list of recommended accessories for this lens:

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11 Comments Add yours

  1. Rick Mofsen says:

    Hi Erick,
    How can I get your Lightroom lens profile for the TTArtisan 500mm f/0.95?
    Thanks,
    Rick

    1. Erick PHOTO says:

      Hi! Are you using it on a Leica? I want to ensure I send you the link to correct profile. Thanks!

      1. Rick Mofsen says:

        Yes, on a 10-P. Love this lens so far, especially for portraiture. But it does need some correction.

      2. Erick PHOTO says:

        Here is the link: https://etsy.me/3fpZWVX Let me know if you need anything else.

  2. Michael Soppa says:

    Hi Erick,
    How does this lens compare against the other “cheap” Noctilux contender from 7Artisans, the 50mm f1.1?
    Would be a nice comparison. Could you make one?

    1. Erick PHOTO says:

      Michael, thanks for writing! I’ll have a side by side eventually but right now I can assure you that the f/1.1 is definitely not in the same category. The TTArtisan is much sharper and they eventually get closer at around f/4 but at that aperture almost any lens is good. This lens is definitely better if you have the extra cash.

      1. Michael Soppa says:

        That sounds quite good.
        Well, I was not convinced with the results of the 7Artisans 50mm f1.1 to begin with after seeing the results. Thorsten Overgaard seems to praise it though.
        So, going back to the TT. Could you make a direct comparison with the TT and the Leica Noctilux or were able to only compare their MTF charts?

      2. Erick PHOTO says:

        I don’t have any direct comparison samples in my files right now but will get some out eventually. I liked the 7Artisans lens a lot but the thing is to not expect it to be a Summilux in anyway. I definitely see this TTArtisan much better, just remember that the extreme corners seem to suffer a lot and no amount of post production can fix the soft corners as in the samples in the video.

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