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Samyang T-S 24mm f/3.5 ED AS UMC Lens Review

Samyang T-S 24mm f/3.5 ED AS UMC Lens Review - Gary Wolstenholme gives us a World exclusive review of the new Tilt-Shift lens from Samyang - find out how the 24mm f/3.5 ED AS UMC lens performs.

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Category : Interchangeable Lenses
Product : Samyang T-S 24mm f/3.5 ED AD UMC
Price : £949
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Handling and features
Performance
Verdict
Specification

Samyang T S 24mm F3 5 Tilt Shift Lens (1)

Tilt-shift lenses are normally so expensive that many photographers cannot justify the cost, despite its benefits with control of the focal plane and of distortion. Samyang's new 24mm tilt-shift lens carries a recommended retail price of only £949, which makes it the least expensive optic of this type currently available.

Samyang T S 24mm F3 5 Tilt Shift Lens (6)

This lens is available to fit many different types of cameras, including Canon, Nikon, Pentax, and Sony Alpha SLRs, or even mirrorless cameras when used with an adapter. This lens offers no electronic, or mechanical coupling with the camera's metering systems, although most cameras will work well enough using stop-down metering with either centre-weighted or spot metering modes.

Samyang T-S 24mm f/3.5 ED AS UMC handling and features

Although you may expect that Samyang would have to scrimp on build quality to produce this lens at a lower price point that the competition, they haven't. A combination of high quality plastics and metal, with a textured external finish have been used for the lens barrel construction and the lens mount is metal. As a result the lens has quite a bit of heft to it and feels very solid, although at 680g, it isn't overly heavy when paired with the Nikon D700 used for testing.

Samyang T S 24mm F3 5 Tilt Shift Lens (2)

Manual focusing is a pleasure, thanks to the smooth and evenly damped action of the focusing ring, which extends the lens by approximately half a centimetre when set to the closest focusing distance. Using the focusing assist in the viewfinder is relatively easy at maximum aperture, then the aperture can be stopped down manually for picture taking. Closest focus is 20cm, which should be ideal for shooting in cramped environments, or even for close up images, which this lens is ideally suited for. The controls for tilt and shift movements are smooth to operate and the amount of force needed to turn the dials can be easily adjusted via dials, which can also lock the lens at the desired setting. The lens can be shifted up to 12mm off axis, or tilted by up to 8.5 degrees, which provides plenty of scope for adjustment.

Samyang T S 24mm F3 5 Tilt Shift Lens (4)

A useful hyperfocal scale is marked onto the lens barrel although these values will only apply is no tilt movements are set. Both tilt and shift movement can be rotated in 30 degree steps independently, allowing tilt and shift movements to be aligned with each other if required.

Samyang T-S 24mm f/3.5 ED AS UMC Performance

Samyang are rapidly gaining a good reputation for the optical performance of their manual focus lenses, and this lens should help to build on that. Sharpness in the centre of the frame is already excellent at maximum aperture, with clarity towards the edge of the 35mm frame area with the lens centred not being too far behind. With the lens still centred, stopping down to between f/4 and f/11 results in outstanding sharpness in the centre of the frame, with the clarity towards the edges of the frame exceeding excellent levels in the same aperture range.

With the lens fully shifted, sharpness is very good furthest from the optical centre, reaching excellent levels of clarity between f/5.6 and f/11.

Samyang24mmTS MTF
Resolution at 24mm
 

How to read our charts

The blue column represents readings from the centre of the picture frame at the various apertures and the green is from the edges. Averaging them out gives the red weighted column.

The scale on the left side is an indication of actual image resolution. The taller the column, the better the lens performance. Simple.

For this review, the lens was tested on a Nikon D700 using Imatest.

Within the confines of the 35mm frame area whilst the lens is centred, chromatic aberrations barely register, and shouldn't be an issue. With the lens fully shifted, fringing just exceeds one pixel width at f/3.5 and f/16, dropping to more acceptable levels at f/5.6.

Samyang24mmTS CA
Chromatic aberration at 24mm
 

How to read our charts

Chromatic aberration is the lens' inability to focus on the sensor or film all colours of visible light at the same point. Severe chromatic aberration gives a noticeable fringing or a halo effect around sharp edges within the picture. It can be cured in software.

Apochromatic lenses have special lens elements (aspheric, extra-low dispersion etc) to minimize the problem, hence they usually cost more.

For this review, the lens was tested on a Nikon D700 using Imatest.

Due to the nature of the lens, it isn't possible to accurately measure the falloff across the whole image circle with Imatest. Across the normal 35mm frame with the lens centred, the corners of the image are 1.26 stops darker than the image centre at Maximum aperture and uniform illumination is achieved with the lens stopped down to f/8 or beyond. As is the case with other tilt-shift optics, applying a severe tilt will darken the image in the viewfinder.

As is typical with wide angle lenses, some barrel distortion is present. Imatest detected 2.53% barrel distortion, which is only a mild amount, although you'd be forgiven for expecting less from a lens like this.

Contrast is good, even when shooting into the light, although the lens isn't quite as contrasty as manufacturer's own lenses. Strong light sources might cause issues with flare though, so it pays to take care when shooting in those conditions.

Panoramic images are easy to produce by shifting the lens, taking advantage of the optic's larger image circle| 1/1250 sec | f/5.6 | 24.0 mm | ISO 200
Panoramic images are easy to produce by shifting the lens, taking advantage of the optic's larger image circle| 1/1250 sec | f/5.6 | 24.0 mm | ISO 200

Samyang T-S 24mm f/3.5 ED AS UMC Sample Photos


Value for money

With a recommended retail price of £949 at launch, this lens is already over £500 less expensive than equivalent optics made by Canon or Nikon, making it incredibly good value for money.

Nikon's PC-E 24mm f/3.5 ED lens offers electronic meter coupling with the camera and an automatic aperture, but costs around £1470. Canon's TSE 24mm f/3.5L offers similar automation to the Nikon optics, but is even more expensive, costing around £1600.

Pentax and Sony do not currently offer a tilt-shift lens in their SLR lens line-up, so this lens may be of particular interest to owners of either camera system.

Samyang T-S 24mm f/3.5 ED AS UMC Verdict

Although this tilt-shift lens is far from being an inexpensive optic, with its launch price being over £500 less than equivalents from Canon or Nikon, it does bring tilt-shift control within the reach of more people.

It manages to be less expensive, whilst offering excellent optical performance, great build quality and handling. Those in the market for a tilt-shift lens should definitely add this to this list of considered optics.


   
  The Samyang T-S 24mm f/3.5 lens delivers excellent optical performance with incredibly good value for money.

Samyang T-S 24mm f/3.5 ED AS UMC Pros

Priced very keenly
Excellent optical performance
Solidly built
Good, solid controls over tilt-shift movements

Samyang T-S 24mm f/3.5 ED AS UMC Cons

CA a little high towards the edges of the image circle
Susceptible to flare in harsh lighting


FEATURES  
HANDLING  
PERFORMANCE  
VALUE FOR MONEY  
OVERALL  

Samyang T-S 24mm f/3.5 ED AS UMC Specifications

ManufacturerSamyang
General
Lens Mounts
  • Nikon F
  • Canon EF
  • Sony A
  • Pentax K
Lens
Focal Length24mm
Angle of View83.5
Max Aperturef/3.5
Min Aperturef/22
Filter Size82mm
35mm equivalentNo Data
Internal focusingNo Data
Focusing
Min Focus20cm
StabilisedNo
Construction
Blades8
Elements16
Groups11
Box Contents
Box ContentsFront and rear caps, case.
Dimensions
Weight680g
Height110.5mm

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Comments


Glynn 8 1.2k 1 England
1 May 2013 8:06PM
Can the team tell me if this new lens has the same issues as the nikon version shift lens. The Nikon model adjustment knobs does not allow for full rotation as it snags on the flash housing please?

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theorderingone 10 2.4k United Kingdom
14 May 2013 1:19PM
The dials are smaller on this lens and as it can be rotated 360degrees, adjustments can always be applied. I had no issues with it fouling the in built flash during testing, although it can be tight reaching the dials sometimes, depending on how you have it set.

I hope this helps?
Glynn 8 1.2k 1 England
14 May 2013 3:35PM
Excellent and thank you for the information
josa 2 25 Czech Republic
14 May 2013 5:25PM
I wonder if you could get rid of "wighted" column, makes no sense at all, it's just confusing...
josa 2 25 Czech Republic
14 May 2013 7:42PM
Oh I forgot, thanks for adding the extreme (corners) that's really helpful.Smile
theorderingone 10 2.4k United Kingdom
23 May 2013 4:01PM

Quote:I wonder if you could get rid of "wighted" column, makes no sense at all, it's just confusing...


The weighted average value is an average of centre and edge readings, weighted towards centre sharpness. It's useful for those who may not be bothered about specifics, but want to see at a glance an overview of the lens' performance for each aperture.
24 Dec 2013 11:57PM
Can someone please tell me why this review's IQ chart shows stats for this lens at F32 when it only stops down to F22? Thank you

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