TTArtisan 50mm F2 Prime Lens for Micro Four Thirds Review

TTArtisan 50mm F2 Prime Lens for Micro Four-Thirds Review

Welcome to the website; my name is Shane. In today’s review, we’re checking out the affordable TTArtisan 50mm F2 Prime Lens for Micro Four Thirds. The TTArtisan lens is cheap and extremely fun to use if you like pancake lenses.

The 50mm field of view on my Panasonic GH5 Mark II gives us the equivalent field of view as a 100mm lens on a full-frame camera.  

TTArtisans 50mm Lens for Micro Four Thirds
TTArtisans 50mm Lens for Micro Four Thirds

 

Price 

When writing this review, the TTArtisan 50mm f2 Prime lens costs only $69 US DOLLARS. $69 Bucks!! Usually, it’s a $99 lens which I consider a bargain either way. I wasn’t sure what I was getting into reviewing a manual prime lens at this price, but I’m thankful I was open-minded enough to give it a shot. This T-Artisens prime lens has surprised me, and I’ll talk about why throughout this review. 

In this video, I’ll cover everything you need to know about the features, handling, image quality, and whether or not this lens is worth it. Then, at the end of the video, I’ll list the pros and cons so you can better decide whether or not this is right for your shooting style.   

A quick spoiler, this is way better than it should be for $69

The sample footage and photos are all produced using this T-Artisans 50mm f2 prime lens paired with my Panasonic Lumix GH5 Mark II. While I primarily focus on video, there will also be plenty of sample photos in this review video. 

Disclaimer

Before we get into it, a massive thank you to Pergear for sending out this lens for this review; I appreciate it. If you want to check out the T-Artisan 50mm f2.0 prime, I’ll link it down in the description. Those links help support this channel at no extra cost to you. This article will be a total pros and cons review, and I hope it’s helpful. So let’s get into it. 

TTArtisan 50mm F2 Prime Lens Video Review

Below is my video review of the TTArisans 50mm f2 lens for Micro Four Thirds. Check it out for more sample videos and photographs.

Buy it on B&H | Amazon Australia | Amazon UK

Let’s take a look at the lens up close:

This lens has incredible build quality. Everything from the metal housing, high-tension focus ring, and clickable aperture ring feels great. This TTArtisans 50mm lens is reminiscent of the Panasonic Leica 15mm f1.7 prime design, only on steroids. This lens is small but beefy, coming in at 183 grams without the lens and rear caps. In contrast, the Pansonic 15mm weighs only 115 grams. 

TTARistans 50mm f2 Bokeh
TTAristans 50mm f2 slow shutter speed | GH5M2

 

Focus Ring

Since this is a manual lens, the focus ring has hard stops on either side, making it very easy to pull focus consistently in either direction. For video work, I had no issues pulling focus on this lens, and given how small it is, this impressed me. Sometimes with smaller lenses like the Pansonic 20mm f1.7, the focus ring is too small and cumbersome, but T-Artisan got this right. The quality focus ring is one of the reasons why I enjoy using this lens so much. 

As you can see from the back of the lens (see video), there are no contacts or terminals. The T-Artisan 50mm f/2 prime lens is only 100% manual. The lens allows you to set the aperture and focus yourself manually! Learning to focus manually gives you confidence and skills behind the camera that autofocus only fans are missing out. (heaven-forbid saying “Manual Focus” in 2022, right!) 

How to set Your Camera

For beginners who haven’t used a manual lens before, don’t stress; you don’t have to have the camera in manual mode only. You can still shoot with your camera in Shutter priority or Aperture priority mode. Changing this setting lets the camera take on some of the work simplifying the entire experience. 

The T-Artisans “clicked” aperture ring is wide open at f2 and goes down to f.16. The click of the aperture ring feels secure and solid, and again, the build and feel of this ring exceeded my expectations.  

If you work with ND filters, we get a 46mm filter thread size on the front of the lens.  

The TTArtisans 50mm f2 lens has no optical stabilization. When pairing this lens with cameras like the Panasonic GH5, GH6, G85, or Olympus bodies, this won’t be a problem. However, I wasn’t expecting to see any lens stabilization for a lens at this price point. 

Panasonic GH5II
Sample photos in this review were shot with the Lumix GH5 II

 

About this Focal Length

This 100mm equivalent focal length is a very underestimated and often overlooked focal range, especially in primes. This 50mm focal length will have you back up much more than your 25mm MFT lens. Once you get used to the framing, it’s a lot of fun. 

You can use this focal range for nature and street photography, portraits, food photography, and anything else you point at. I also found this to be a great little video lens with only a few trade-offs – again given the price. 

Buy it on B&H | Amazon Australia | Amazon UK

Portraits

For portraits, this focal length is quite flattering. Here are some portraits I shot outside on an overcast day. Again, F2.8 is the sweet spot for this lens regarding portraits, but this is all personal taste. 

Portraits TTArtisans 50mm f2
Portraits TTArtisans 50mm f2

 

Vlogging

For those wondering if you can vlog with this lens? The answer is a clear no. Haha, it’s way too close! Check my video above to see how horrible this lens is for vlogging. Stick to a 12-15mm lens for best Vlogging results.

Low Light

For low light Micro Four Thirds shooter, this f2 lens is entirely usable. I was able to run my ISO down at iso 500 to get the shots you see on screen. For this, I shot with the camera in full manual mode, exposing the GH5 MK 2 waveform, which did a great job. It was dark and raining, and the lens performed great. 

F2.0 for Micro Four Thirds

f/2.0 on this 50mm Micro Four Thirds lens makes creating a shallow depth of field very easy. Whether I was up at the minimum focus distance to back quite a way was not a problem. Pulling focus in the video showcases how easy it is to achieve this shallow depth of field. The background blur is smooth and thick, as seen from these sample clips on the GH5 II. 

TTArtisans Shallow Depth of Field
TTArtisans Shallow Depth of Field

 

Sharpness

This lens isn’t the sharpest I have ever used, but it’s pretty good in the center area of the frame. For video work, it’s solid, but for pixel peepers, you will surely notice edge softness. I shoot all my photos in 16×9 these days as I usually put them on a video timeline; I don’t have any complaints.  

TTArtisans Lens Sharpness
TTArtisans F2 Lens Sharpness

 

I shot a series of photos between f/2 and f/16, and here are my results. The lens is far sharpest anywhere between f2.8 and f11. The softest pictures, without a doubt, were f2 and f16. These might be too soft to use for most situations unless you shoot in low light and need the extra aperture bump. 

Sunstars and Lens Flaring

This T-Artisans 50mm f/2.8 prime lens at f/16 doesn’t produce what I could call very pleasing sun stars. I had some luck with the sun obscured through the trees, but this also came at the expense of lens flaring.  

In these shooting situations, I noticed a lack of colors and contrast. I can forgive this, though, as the lens has many positives, given the price. However, if you love to shoot sun stars, this lens might not be for you.  

TTArtisans 50mm f2 Flaring & Sunstars
TTArtisans 50mm f2 Flaring & Sunstars

 

Chromatic Aberration

Chromatic Aberration is well controlled in the center of the frame. When zoomed in at 400% on several of my photos and had no complaints in this department. I saw some chromatic aberration in shots with extreme contrast or towards the edge of the scene.   This chromatic Aberration might be more my technique than anything else, and I think the lens did an excellent job in this department, and this is not a deal-breaker. 

Focus Breathing

Another compromise to the low price of this lens is how much focus breathing it has.   While I expect some focus breathing at 50mm on MFT, this lens does breathe a lot.  

Bokeh

Let’s talk about the Bokeh. This lens produces what I would consider good bokeh balls. This effect is straightforward to achieve when using f2 or f2.8. The Bokeh looks quite solid for a lens at this price point. Shooting at the minimum focus distance is the easiest way to achieve this effect with this lens. I shot the windscreen of my car at night, with some street lights in the background, and the bokeh balls looked great. 

Vignetting:

Like most pancake lenses, there’s some vignetting in the corners. For video shooters using 16×9, this won’t cause you any real issues unless you’re looking for it. When shooting photos in a 4:3 aspect ratio, you’ll see the vignetting way more. 

Final Thoughts:

To wrap up this review, I will cover this lens’s pros and cons, and you can decide whether it’s right for you. Let’s cover the pros first.

This lens is the best value, the most inexpensive prime lens I have ever seen so far

Secondly, the focus ring, aperture ring, and overall build quality are spectacular. However, this feels like a much more expensive lens than even some Panasonic prime lenses. 

A dedicated 50mm prime for MFT is few and far between. However, this has a unique character and look, especially for shooting videos. 

Low light performance is solid, at f2, even with the reduced sharpness. I was impressed with the results. 

Background blur, subject separation, and Bokeh look nice on this lens. The Chromatic Aberration was well-controlled and not a problem. 

For a manual focus lens, I have enjoyed using them more than far more expensive lenses, thanks to the excellent tension on the focus ring. However, the lens feel is a deal-breaker or deal-maker for me, and this one delivers. 

Now let’s cover some of the tradeoffs. 

f2.0 and f16 are too soft compared to all other aperture settings.

This prime lens has some heavy focus breathing for video shooters. This focused breathing will pose problems for wild focus throws. However, for less extreme use, it’ll do the job.

Most pancake lenses like this have to vignette, which is no exception.

Overall this is the best value prime lens I have seen for Micro Four Thirds. At $69, the build quality blows my mind, and I would pick one of these up before the price increases. But, for me, all of the tradeoffs are worth the result.  

This pancake prime lens is fun to shoot with, and it reminds me of why I love shooting with the compact form factor of MFT.   Sure this lens has some tradeoffs, but the positives far outweigh any negatives, especially at this price.  

Buy it on B&H | Amazon Australia | Amazon UK