PRODUCT REVIEW

AF 18mm F2.8 FE

It's affordable, really sharp, focuses fast and produces crisp, attractive images. Handling is superb. ePhotozine 2019-11-21

Samyang AF 18mm f/2.8 FE Lens Review

 

Samyang AF 18mm f/2.8 FE Review - John Riley reviews this new FE-mount lens for full-frame and APS-C Sony E-Mount mirrorless cameras.

 


 

 

Samyang have a fine reputation for producing reasonably priced, excellent lenses, initially manual focus only, but for some time now with a rapidly expanding AF range. This new 18mm f/2.8 ultra-wide is a welcome addition to the range, offering a very useful focal length for Sony FE full frame mirrorless cameras. It can also be used on the APS-C format cameras, where the “35mm equivalent” field of view would be around 27mm. Here we review it using the full frame 24MP Sony Alpha A7 III. Let's see how it performs and handles and if it makes a good companion to the rest of Samyang's AF range.

 

Samyang AF 18mm f/2.8 FE Handling and Features

 

The lens is light and compact, weighing in at a svelte 145g without caps. Construction is of high quality, using appropriate plastics that reduce the weight.

 

There is a provided petal lens hood that bayonets securely into place and shows no sign of being likely to dislodge accidentally. The bayonet fit surrounds a standard 58mm filter thread. The front element is relatively small, not like the traditional ultra-wides that needed huge domed glass front elements. Coatings are Samyang's UMC multi-coating.

 

The only control on the lens is the manual focus ring. It is electronic and therefore ultra-smooth and its function is controlled via the camera menus. Sony offers various choices regarding focus – AF-S, AF-C and AF-A are the AF options and are single shooting, continuous shooting and automatic selection between the two. The MF options are DMF and MF. DMF is Direct Manual Focus and enables manual tweaks after AF has been performed. MF is of course just manual focusing. The focusing range is down to 0.25m, or 0.82 feet, which is a maximum magnification of 0.09x.

 

AF is driven by a linear STM motor and is precise and fast. It is also virtually silent.

 

 

 

 

Optical construction is 9 elements in 8 groups, including 3 Aspherical, 2 HR (High Refractive Index) and 3 ED (Extra Low Dispersion). The diaphragm comprises 7 blades. It is interesting that the rear element is concave rather than convex, not unheard of, but unusual. In the performance section we will see if this enhances the edge performance.

 

Handling is just spot on, there is nothing to the lens to cause any grief and it operates slickly and sweetly in every respect. 18mm is actually quite wide, so the biggest danger would be in not getting in close enough to subjects; to fill the foreground. Ultra-wides are lenses that cry out for dramatic compositions, as well of course enabling sweeping interior shots. For most subjects we need to get in close, and then closer still.

 

 


 

 

 

 

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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