Jackar Snapshooter 34mm f/1.8

Jackar 34mm f/1.8The Internet is full of reviews of this particular lens. But what these reviews fail to say is that this lens has character. Heaps of character.

Most complaints about this lens are that it is soft at the edges of the frame. To me this is quite a desirable effect. I have used (and still own) various kinds of lensbaby lenses. I love the results I get from them, but mostly I find it is a bit too much. Whereas the soft edges of the frame produced by this lens is rather subtle. So you get a slight dreamy look without it being overpowering. I also love the shallow depth of field one can achieve with this lens.

One quirk that does annoy me is the unpredictable behaviour of the focus ring. I tend to wind the focus till just past the point of maximum sharpness and then wind back a little to get it again. This is a technique that works quite well with manual focus lenses as you intuitively feel the distance to wind back when you go a little too far. Unfortunately on this lens you end up winding back three times more than what you think you should. So the natural feeling is lost. I have adapted to this, but it has taken quite a bit of practice and frustration.

Lens flare is quite strong but also renders rather nicely. Most other lenses I use don’t attract flare anywhere near what the Jackar does, but when they do flare it is quite ugly. Whereas the flare I’ve experienced using this lens is quite frequent, I’ve never been repulsed by it. In fact I love it.

I’ll close with an example image that should speak to the uses of this lens:

Note the blurred edges and strong flare. This was a situation where any lens would have flared (pointing at the sun).

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