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Samsung 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 ED OIS Lens Review

Gary Wolstenholme reviews the Samsung 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 ED OIS NX i-Function Lens for Samsung NX cameras.

|  Samsung 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 ED OIS in Interchangeable Lenses
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Handling and Features

Samsung 18 200mm Ed Ois I Function Lens (6)

This 11.1x zoom lens for Samsung NX cameras provides an angle of view equivalent to a 27-300mm lens on a 35mm camera, includes optical images stabilisation, i-Function control and is available for around £600.

Samsung 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 ED OIS Handling and Features

Samsung 18 200mm Ed Ois I Function Lens (8)

High quality plastics have been used for much of the lens barrel's construction and the lens mount is metal. It has a smooth glossy finish and a blue metallic ring between the lens body and zoom ring. Weighing 549g and being 105.5mm, it balances well with the Samsung NX20 body used for testing, but may feel a little large on Samsung's more compact bodied cameras.

Samsung 18 200mm Ed Ois I Function Lens (2)

Focus speeds are reasonable, especially in good light and the thin manual focus ring is well damped and feels quite smooth to operate. Focusing is performed internally, and the 67mm filter thread doesn't rotate, which is ideal for use with graduated and polarising filters.  In manual focus mode the screen instantly magnifies the centre section of the image, making fine adjustments straightforward. This lens includes the i-Function button for quick access to camera controls and switches are provided to activate the optical stabiliser and to change between automatic and manual focus. A locking switch is also provided to stop the lens extending when being transported.

The minimum focus distance of 50cm is fairly typical for lenses of this range. With care, at 200mm, the optical image stabiliser allows sharp hand-held shots to be taken with some consistency at 1/20, which is roughly four stops slower than the usual rule of thumb would dictate is possible.

Samsung 18 200mm Ed Ois I Function Lens (3)

Samsung 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 ED OIS Performance

At 18mm and maximum aperture, sharpness in the centre of the frame is extremely high, although the clarity towards the edges of the frame falls behind somewhat, reaching good levels of sharpness. Stopping down improves sharpness across the frame, with peak sharpness being achieved at f/4. Here the clarity in the centre of the frame is outstanding and sharpness towards the edges of the frame is very good.

Zooming to 70mm results in a disappointing reduction in sharpness across the frame at all apertures. Clarity approaches very good levels in the centre of the frame between f/8 and f/11 and sharpness towards the edges of the frame is fairly good.

Finally, at 200mm, sharpness is reduced further, with fair to fairly good sharpness at maximum aperture. Good sharpness is achieved in the centre of the frame with the lens stopped down to f/8.

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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 Samsung NX20 using Imatest.

Chromatic aberrations can be a problem with this lens, especially at 70mm, where ringing towards the edges of the frame approaches one and a half pixel widths. Care may need to be taken when shooting high contrast subjects with this lens as a result.

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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 Samsung NX20 using Imatest.

Falloff of illumination towards the corners is extremely well controlled throughout the zoom range, remaining consistent with corners being 0.4 stops darker than the image centre at maximum aperture. Stopping down by one stop from maximum aperture results in visually uniform illumination.

Distortion is very well controlled, with pincushion distortion ranging between 0.0443% at 18mm and 0.565% at 200mm. These levels are so low that lines parallel to the edge of the image area can be considered straight for most purposes.

A petal-shaped lens hood is provided with this lens as standard, which does a reasonable job of shading the lens from extraneous light that may cause flare of loss of contrast. This lens can be a little prone to flare and shooting into the light can often result in reduced contrast, so it's probably best to leave the hood in place at all times.

Samsung 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 ED OIS Sample Photos

Value for Money

Taking into account how this lens performs, the asking price of £600 seems quite a high price to pay for the convenience of the extended zoom range offered.

As there are currently no alternatives available from other manufacturers Samsung have a monopoly in this instance.

Samsung 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 ED OIS Verdict

Super-zoom lenses are always a bit of a compromise as far as optical performance is concerned, but in many cases the added convenience of the zoom range outweighs any shortcomings in the way the lens performs.

In the case of this lens, it's certainly not a terrible lens, but there are better examples of super-zoom lenses out there for other camera systems, which prove that it is possible to create a convenient lens that delivers excellent performance. This lens performs okay, with a few caveats, such as the reasonably high levels of chromatic aberrations, and loss of contrast shooting into the light. If okay is good enough for your photography, then this lens may be right for you.

Samsung 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 ED OIS Pros

Convenient zoom range
Good build quality
Effective optical image stabiliser
Low distortion
Excellent sharpness in the centre at 18mm
Low falloff

Samsung 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 ED OIS Cons

Drop off in performance as the lens is zoomed in
Chromatic aberration levels may be an issue
Loss of contrast shooting into the light


Samsung 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 ED OIS Specifications

Lens Mounts
  • Samsung NX
Focal Length18mm - 200mm
Angle of View8 - 75.9
Max Aperturef/3.5 - f/6.3
Min Aperturef/22
Filter Size67mm
35mm equivalent27mm - 300mm
Internal focusingYes
Maximum magnificationNo Data
Min Focus50cm
Box Contents
Box ContentsHood, Front and Rear lens Cap, Lens.

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30 Dec 2016 12:10AM
Does this FIT nx500?
joshwa Plus
11 927 1 United Kingdom
30 Dec 2016 10:54AM

Quote:Does this FIT nx500?


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