Affinity 2 Launch Deal - Save 40% Today

Not a very good lens ? but does it matter?


Time for an update: I still use film, though. Not vast quantities, but I have a darkroom, and I'm not afraid to use it.

I enjoy every image I take: I hope you'll enjoy looking at them.
...Read More

Not a very good lens – but does it matter?

10 Jul 2021 10:02AM   Views : 336 Unique : 234


So… A couple of years back, Amateur Photographer’s list of possible presents for Christmas (I think it was) included a Fujian CCTV lens, all the way from China for under £20. I bought one, and it gives rather charming results. I can envisage a few glamour photographers buying them for a Sliver-like ‘don’t you like to watch’ set of pictures. (I remain a Sharon Stone fan.)

But you can have too much of a good thing, as I proved to myself when I bought a 50mm f/1.4 Fujian in the hope of even better things. And while the 35mm has faults that add charm to the Bokeh and dark corners on full frame cameras, the 50mm has FAR more of them.


Neither lens has click stops, and a diaphragm with plenty of blades changes from near-circular at full aperture to a long and thin rectangle when stopped well down before closing completely. There aren’t any index marks for either aperture or focus, so they might as well not be marked: though at least the 35mm lens has the f-stop sequence the right way round – the 50mm markings, if you can see them, mislead you as to which way to turn the ring…


It doesn’t stop there (pardon the pun…) While the 35mm optic focusses to infinity more or less at the end of the focus movement, the 50mm goes way past infinity, and goes no closer than around four and a half feet: most 50mm lenses go down to one and a half feet, not one and a half meters! The package I received included a couple of extension tubes as well as the Sony mount adaptor, but these bring the furthest focus down to a few feet. It doesn’t feel well thought-through.


Both lenses appear to be available still, at vastly varying prices, and I believe that there’s another branding with the same optics in a more user-friendly lens body. AP reckoned that this was worth the extra money, at nearly double the price. I’m less sure!

If weird appeals, for the price of a cheap meal out, you may want to give one of these lenses a go – though unless you have gone mirrorless, you will never achieve infinity focus!



dudler Plus
19 2.0k 1967 England
10 Jul 2021 10:03AM
I may well be about to give the 50mm lens away - even I don't need THAT many eccentric lenses.
af1 Plus
9 1 United Kingdom
10 Jul 2021 10:17AM
Interesting article John l have several weird lenses used a couple of times now somewhere gathering dust...Alan
pablophotographer 11 2.1k 431
10 Jul 2021 11:50AM
If you have it, why not use it?
10 Jul 2021 12:23PM
Bought one, used one, thought it was sort of OK, trouble is I now don't know where it is, perhaps I will try and find it again, well maybe I'll will just leave gather dust where ever it is. Paul.
10 Jul 2021 1:28PM
Just found mine it’s a 25mm f1.4 NEWYI, and the small aperture is just like your photo, which I had not noticed before. Paul.
thewilliam2 5 1.6k United Kingdom
10 Jul 2021 5:26PM
I thought the whole point of CCTV is for the image quality to be so low that even the criminal's mother wouldn't be able to identify him/her!

Sign In

You must be a member to leave a comment.

ePHOTOzine, the web's friendliest photography community.

Join For Free

Upload photos, chat with photographers, win prizes and much more.