MEET A PRO

WORLD’S WIDEST PRIME LENS- DISTORTION-FREE

Dave Fowlie

Photographer from United Kingdom

Introduction

I was delighted to be selected as a Samyang Passionate Artist this year and get the opportunity to test and review some new lenses. I was sent the latest lens from the premium manual-focus XP range, the Samyang XP 10MM F/3.5, boasting as the world’s widest lens!

Out the box I was impressed with the aesthetics and build quality, the XP 10mm lens certainly has a premium feel, with a metal housing and a metal mount too. The focus ring is wide with a rubber finish for easier grip. The lens has a built-in petal-shaped hood to protect the lens and minimise flaring. It all arrived secured in a soft drawstring lens case.

As a keen astrophotographer I was glad to see the manual lens with full markings, distance and/or depth of field scale. Making focusing to infinity to capture pin sharp stars much easier. I own the older Samyang f/2.8, 14mm lens which totally transformed my astrophotography, so I was excited to see what the premium lens could do. I would be testing the lens on a Canon 6D, although Nikon and Sony mounts will be available. The XP lens has been designed for latest generation of 50 megapixel DSLRs, offering very high resolution images.

zoom
LENSES XP 10mm F 3.5
CAMERA Canon 6D
DIAPHRAGM F3.5
SPEED 30 sec
ISO 3200
EXPOSURE Manual
PHOTOMETRY -
BRIGHTNESS -
PHOTOMETRY -

Samyang XP 10mm F 3.5

Metal lens cap

I was impressed by the resulting image, the stars looked great, pin sharp, with plenty of detail.

After a few days testing the lens in daylight I got the opportunity to try some astrophotography. I was impressed looking through the viewfinder to see the whole stone circle wrapped in the frame and the wide angle allowed me to get very close, while still allowing a good proportion of starry skies. I was impressed by the resulting image, the stars looked great, pin sharp, with plenty of detail. The image had good dynamic range, from the ground snow to the dark sky. There’s slight aurora on the horizon too. Any reservations I had about the f/3.5 not being fast enough to capture good astrophotography soon faded.

Samyang XP 10mm F 3.5 on Canon 6D

zoom
LENSES XP 10mm F 3.5
CAMERA Canon
DIAPHRAGM F3.5
SPEED 30 sec
ISO 3200
EXPOSURE Manual
PHOTOMETRY -
BRIGHTNESS -
PHOTOMETRY -
zoom
LENSES XP 10mm F 3.5
CAMERA Canon
DIAPHRAGM F3.5
SPEED 1/200 sec
ISO 200
EXPOSURE Manual
PHOTOMETRY -
BRIGHTNESS -
PHOTOMETRY -

Distortion

The XP 10mm offers ‘Zero Distortion’ thanks to a full-field rectilinear design, an impressive feat as lenses with this kind of focal length are usually fisheyes. With the right subject the lens could capture some epic big scenes, with detail all the way to the edges. It should offer a 122° horizontal field of view, creating some great immersive images. I liked the way the ultra-wide angle emphasized the foreground too, giving an almost 3D-depth to the images.

Vignetting

As expected with wide angle lenses, there was vignetting in the corners when shooting wide open, but it quickly disappeared when optimised at f/8-f/16. Will be easily removable in postprocessing when lens correction is added also.

Vignetting on edges with no lens correction added.

zoom
LENSES XP 10mm F 3.5
CAMERA Canon
DIAPHRAGM F3.5
SPEED 30 sec
ISO 3200
EXPOSURE Manual
PHOTOMETRY -
BRIGHTNESS -
PHOTOMETRY -
zoom
LENSES XP 10mm F 3.5
CAMERA Canon
DIAPHRAGM F3.5
SPEED 30 sec
ISO 3200
EXPOSURE Manual
PHOTOMETRY -
BRIGHTNESS -
PHOTOMETRY -

Light Fall-Off

With the lens set to its maximum aperture of f/3.5, there is significant light fall-off in the corners. Stopping-down the lens virtually eliminates this. The Glass Mold Aspherical lens element did a good job of eliminating chromatic aberration too.

Crop showing light fall-off in corners when shooting wide open.

The only drawback I found about the lens was flaring. I noticed the flaring took a linear shape, possibly because of the full-field rectilinear design of the XP lens. That said, I composed this light trail shot of Marischal College carefully by avoiding direct street lights and it came out well. The passing bus didn’t create any major flaring and the light trails were clean. You just have to be more mindful of your composition with the width of the prime lens to avoid problematic light leaking in.

Cropped.

zoom
LENSES XP 10mm F 3.5
CAMERA Canon
DIAPHRAGM F8
SPEED 1/250 sec
ISO 200
EXPOSURE Manual
PHOTOMETRY -
BRIGHTNESS -
PHOTOMETRY -
zoom
LENSES XP 10mm F 3.5
CAMERA Canon
DIAPHRAGM F14
SPEED 10 sec
ISO 200
EXPOSURE Manual
PHOTOMETRY -
BRIGHTNESS -
PHOTOMETRY -

Conclusion

Obviously at 10mm this is a specialised ultra-wide angle lens not for general purpose, but for photography such as landscapes, astrophotography, architecture and interior it excels. The weather-proof build quality is excellent, with the metal lens mount and housing adding to the high-quality feel. Matched by great optics offering sharp, colorful, vibrant images with great clarity and zero distortion. No auto focus makes daytime shooting a bit harder but the lens rewards those willing to put time into planning. I did however find the non removable lens hood a little restricting not being compatible with filters, as it would limit my creativity for landscapes.

As a astrophotographer I found the manual lens very easy to use and was shooting in minutes. Despite being 2/3 of a stop slower than my older f/2.8, 14mm Samyang lens, the XP 10mm f/3.5 offered drastically improved images. Even at a modest ISO the star detail was incredibly sharp and detailed. The wide field also allowed me to include enough foreground interest without losing starry skies. Partially useful when capturing the vast Milky Way. I’m looking forward to the Milky Way core being more visible in March and really pushing the lens with my tracker. It will be very well suited to wide field astrophotography.

Overall I think Samyang have made another fantastic lens with the XP 10mm f/3.5 and their innovation to produce the world’s widest lens with the full-field rectilinear design is impressive. For those wanting complete manual control the advantages of the lens far outweigh the bad flaring issue when shooting in direct light. It’s sharpness and quality has certainly earned it a permanent spot in my kit bag.

David Fowlie

Creative freelance photographer, specialising in portrait, landscape, astrophotography and light painting.

davidfowliephotographyblog.wordpress.com

Samyang’s Guide to Achieving the Optimal Angle of View

The perfect spacing and distance are always necessary when shooting all kinds of subjects, including people, to give them a proper relationship with the beautiful space around them. So, what’s the exact distance that helps you best appreciate a work of art, or a photo?

The correct answer is the diagonal length of the full frame of a subject.

표준화각 자료 이미지
표준화각 자료 이미지

The best standpoint from which to appreciate the full view of a subject is the distance of the diagonal length of the subject frame. This wider angle is superior to standing closer at a 50 degree angle to get a more detailed view. This notion of an ideal distance or view point is also applicable in the world of photography.

For still images, keeping a distance equal to the diagonal length of the full image surface is recommended. The full frame sensor of a digital camera is 36 x 24mm and the diagonal length is 43.26mm so any distance close to this number is nearer to the ideal than the currently accepted industry standard of 50mm.

Back when film cameras were common, 45mm was the industry standard and this continued as reflex cameras needed extra space to fit a mirror. However, as mirrorless cameras become more popular again, there has been a need to return to this industry standard…which is the impetus for the Samyang AF 45mm F1.8 FE. With less distortion than a 35mm lens and wider angles than a 55mm lens, the Samyang AF 45mm F1.8 FE is a perfect lens for portraits, landscapes, architecture photography, and pictures of pets.

DSLR / Full Frame
1D X Mark Ⅱ
1D X
1Ds Mark Ⅲ
1Ds
5DsR
5Ds
5D Mark Ⅳ
5D Mark Ⅲ
6D Mark Ⅱ
6D
DSLR / APS-H
1D Mark Ⅲ
1D
Mirrorless / APS-C
M6
M5
M10
M3
M2
DSLR / APS-S
7D Mark Ⅱ
7D
80D
70D
60D
30D
D60
D30
77D (9000D)
760D (8000D / Rebel T6s)
1300D (Kiss X80 / Rebel T6)
1200D (Kiss X70 / Rebel T5)
200D (Kiss X9 / Rebel SL2)
800D (Kiss X9i / Rebel T7i)
700D (Kiss X9i / Rebel T7i)
100D (Kiss X7 / Rebel SL1)
650D (Kiss X6i / Rebel T4i)
600D (Kiss X5 / Rebel T3i)
550D (Kiss X4 / Rebel T2i)
500D (Kiss X3 / Rebel T1i)
1000D (Kiss F / Rebel XS)
450D (Kiss X2 / Rebel X냐)
DSLR / Full Frame
D850
D5
D810A
D4S
D810
D750
Df
D610
D4
D800
D800E
D600
D3s
D3x
D700
D3
DSLR / APS-C
D7500
D3400
D500
D5600
D7200
D5500
D3300
D7100
D5300
D5200
D7000
D300s
D300
DSLR / Full Frame
Z6
Z7
D810A
D4S
D750
D810A
DSLR / APS-C
D7200
D500
D3300
D5500
D5600
D3400
D7500

* Cameras released within 5 years from 2019 are tested.

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