PRODUCT REVIEW

AF 18mm F2.8 FE

The Samyang AF 18mm f2.8 FE is an autofocus focus wide angle lens that can be used with any of the Sony mirrorless cameras (E or FE). As such, you get 18mm on the A7 or A9 models, and a near 28mm (equivalent) on the apsc’s models. Mirco Zancanella 2019-09-05
The Samyang AF 18mm f2.8 FE is an autofocus focus wide angle lens that can be used with any of the Sony mirrorless cameras (E or FE). As such, you get 18mm on the A7 or A9 models, and a near 28mm (equivalent) on the apsc’s models. 

The Samyang line is a lightweight and small lens that possesses a very nice and balanced AF system (LINEAR stm) - similar and a bit better, maybe due to the focal lens, than older models (85mm and 45mm).

The 18mm F2.8 FE is really small for its focal length - significantly smaller and lighter than the Batis 18mm Zeiss I used in the past. At 145g, you can enjoy it on trips and as a mountaineer I can say that weight and dimensions count. Also its dimensions are noteworthy: my idea of travel will be based on a double lens trip - I would bring with me a normal zoom and this little 18mm which is relatively weightless.

So what’s the real size and weight? Compared to the Batis 18mm (95mm in length, 100mm in diameter and 330g), the Samyang is smaller and lighter (60.5mm in lenght, 63.5mm in diameter and 145gr). That’s wonderful! 
Internally, the lens design presents 9 elements in 8 groups, with a few asph lenses. That’s the only way to do a perfectly sharp and light combo.
On the top, we have a 58mm filter head, perfect for light and quality filters (and also to save money). Samyang supplies a lens hood that fits on the front of the lens. 
You can count on a 110,1° angle of view: amazing! 
The price? Trust me, you will be surprised by Samyang. It is really cheap if you consider the quality it can provide.




Hands on feelings. 

Short answer - too plastic in my opinion (like its older brothers) but it will not affect the file quality. I think that if the quality is there, I can seriously shoot with a piece of sheet. I’m not a huge fan of metal and heavy lenses. 
Actually it’s really similar to the Samyang AF 45mm F2.8 FE, a bit smaller and lighter. That was a surprise for me as I was waiting for a lens similar to the Batis 18mm Zeiss.

There are no focus indicators on the body and that’s an issue for me. Actually they have never been absolutely perfect but it’s a feature I can expect on a modern lens. I think that this kind of choice was made because it’s a lens dedicated for Sony bodies where the AF system is superb and the focus peaking can work extremely well. With a view to guarantee savings that’s not a bad choice.





Quality and performances.

All in all, this is not better than the Batis 18mm Zeiss I used in the past but you have to consider that the Samyang is designed with very different purposes. That said, it is lighter, cheaper and with different a quality to its materials.

Wide open, the Samyang is sharp, but not terribly so. This kind of sharpness is excellent in the center, but there’s slight degradation at the edges, even on the apsc’s and experiences much stronger loss as you move to the full frame corners. Corners are pretty soft even at f/5.6. you have to close at least at f8 to get the best sharp lens.
Overall I’d judge edges to be good wide open, and very good stopped down. 





There are some lateral chromatic aberrations but they are controlled and you can easily correct them with different software, as you can see in the sample images. 
Astigmatism and coma into the corners are well controlled. This lens is nice for astrophotography.




Linearity is good, not perfect in my opinion: there’s very little linear distortion at the edges. That’s pretty common in wide angles lens (maybe Laowa works better but it’s again heavier and it’s also a manual focus lens). 
Vignetting on an full-frame’s bodies is visible and needs correcting if you dislike it (about 1.5 stops worth), but stop down to f/5.6 and it becomes mostly negligable. Personally, I like a bit of vignetting, it’s more “moody” I would say. 

Vignetting never quite goes away at non-diffracted apertures, by the way. For such a wide angle lens, the vignetting performance is decent, but that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t vignette. Wide open, without correction in raw files, you’ll absolutely see the corner fall off. 


Bokeh features.

As a portraitist as I am, I would like to consider the bokeh feature on this lens. Bokeh in not the main feature you consider on a wide angle lens but, if you get close enough to your subject wide open, it might start to come into your scene in a very nice way. The bokeh you can get is really similar to the Samyang AF 45mm F2.8 FE, which is progressing and accurate, different frome the Sigma art 20mm F1.4 FE. The out-of-focus areas are regular with different distances from the subject. 




Overall, just like the 45mm and the 85mm which I had the good fortune to try and use, this lens is another Samyang winner. Sharpness and contrast are good and the other features don’t really detract from that, though some of them have to be corrected in post-production.

 

 

 




So…
That’s really cute as a wide angle light lens, a best buy in my opinion. 
Why would I not like this lens? Materials are the worst thing but read another time the review, you will find the answer.
The good news is that if you want an autofocus 18mm lens that covers the full-frame’s cameras and delivers performance that looks good even at 42mp ( I also tried it on my sony a7rII), then you’ve found a cheap candidate lens in this Samyang, despite to the little materials quality. 

This is a good companion to the Sony A7r series for when you want to go wide and get the best quality. I suspect that travel, street and landscape photographers will be the ones that most respond to this lens. But it’s not bad for night photography, either.

The resullt i salso good in video, it has warm colors as the other Samyang and you can do the best VLOG you are thinking about.
I certainly can recommend it, looking also at the price. 



 


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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