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Samsung NX 50-200mm f/4.0-5.6 ED OIS II iFunction Lens Review

Gary Wolstenholme gives us his verdict on the Samsung NX 50-200mm f/4.0-5.6 ED OIS II iFunction lens.

|  Samsung NX 50-200mm f/4.0-5.6 ED OIS II in Interchangeable Lenses
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Handling and features

NX 50-200mm f/4.0-5.6 ED OIS II

This telephoto zoom lens for Samsung NX cameras provides an angle of view equivalent to a 75-300mm lens on a 35mm camera, includes optical images stabilisation and iFunction control for around £220. This lens replaces the 50-200mm OIS lens, which is virtually the same, except for the iFunction control.

Samsung NX 50-200mm f/4.0-5.6 ED OIS II

Samsung NX 50-200mm f/4.0-5.6 ED OIS II Handling and features

The lens barrel is constructed from high quality plastics and the lens mount is metal. It has a smooth glossy finish and a blue metallic ring between the lens body and zoom ring. With a weight of 406g and a length of 100.5mm, it balances perfectly on the Samsung NX20 body used for testing, but may feel a little cumbersome on more compact NX cameras.

Focusing is performed internally, and the 52mm filter thread doesn't rotate, which is ideal for use with graduated and polarising filters. Focus speeds are very fast, especially in good light and the thin manual focus ring feels quite smooth to operate. In manual focus mode the screen instantly magnifies the centre section of the image, making fine adjustments straightforward. This lens has iFunction control, which provides quick access to commonly adjusted features. Holding the button allows certain adjustments to be applied by turning the focus ring on the lens.

The minimum focus distance of 98cm is fairly typical for lenses of this range. The optical image stabiliser allows sharp hand-held shots to be taken with a certain degree of success at 1/20, which is roughly four stops slower than the usual rule of thumb would dictate is possible. The stabiliser also does a grand job of steadying the image on-screen, making composition easier at telephoto focal lengths.

Samsung NX 50-200mm f/4.0-5.6 ED OIS II

Samsung NX 50-200mm f/4.0-5.6 ED OIS II Performance

At 50mm and maximum aperture sharpness approaches very good levels across the frame. Stopping down improves performance and peak quality is achieved at f/8, where sharpness is outstanding in the centre, and excellent towards the edges of the frame.

At 100mm sharpness in the centre of the frame dips just below good levels and to fairly good levels towards the edges of the frame. Peak quality is again achieved at f/8 where sharpness in the centre is excellent, with very good sharpness towards the edges of the frame.

Finally, at 200mm, overall sharpness levels drop off slightly, but remains good in the centre, but drops to fair levels towards the edges. Peak quality is achieved between f/8 and f/11 where centre resolution is very good, with fairly good clarity towards the edges of the frame.

Resolution @ 50mm
Resolution @ 50mm
  Resolution @ 100mm
Resolution @ 100mm
Resolution @ 200mm
Resolution @ 200mm

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 are kept under reasonable control, reaching a level of just over a pixel width in the centre of the frame at 100mm. This level may pose some issues in large prints with high contrast edges.

Chromatic aberration @ 50mm
Chromatic aberration @ 50mm
  Chromatic aberration @ 100mm
Chromatic aberration @ 100mm
Chromatic aberration @ 200mm
Chromatic aberration @ 200mm

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 very well controlled throughout the zoom range, with corners being 0.388 stops darker than the image centre at maximum aperture at 50mm and 0.5 stops darker at 200mm. Stopping down by one stop from maximum aperture results in visually uniform illumination.

Distortion is very well controlled, with a virtually negligible amount of pincushion distortion detected by Imatest at 50mm, and only 0.344% pincushion at 200mm. These low levels of distortion should barely be visible and should very rarely need correcting.

Samsung NX 50-200mm f/4.0-5.6 ED OIS II Sample Photos

A deep circular lens hood is provided with this lens as standard, which does an excellent job of shading the lens from extraneous light that may cause flare of loss of contrast. Strong light sources outside of the frame may cause a substantial loss of contrast, so it is probably best to leave the supplied lens hood in place.

Value For Money

The Samsung NX 50-200mm f/4.0-5.6 ED OIS II iFunction lens is available for around £220. As no third party manufacturers currently produce lenses for the NX system, Samsung have a monopoly on lenses compatible with their cameras. Samsung also offer an 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 zoom lens with optical image stabilisation, which costs around £700.

Samsung NX 50-200mm f/4.0-5.6 ED OIS II Verdict

The performance of this lens is good, but nothing special, providing decent sharpness through most of the zoom range and good sharpness at maximum telephoto in the centre of the frame. It's a shame that the sharpness towards the edges of the frame doesn't improve as much when stopped down.

It is a well-built lens, with a very effective optical stabilisation system available at a very reasonable price. The addition of iFunction control brings this lens in line with the latest Samsung lenses currently offered.

The Samsung NX 50-200mm f/4.0-5.6 ED II lens is well built with effective OIS at a reasonable price.

Samsung NX 50-200mm f/4.0-5.6 ED OIS II Pros

iFunction control
Good build quality
Effective optical image stabiliser
Low distortion

Samsung NX 50-200mm f/4.0-5.6 ED OIS II Cons

A little large and heavy when mounted on a compact NX body
Sharpness doesn't improve as much towards the edges when stopped down


Samsung NX 50-200mm f/4.0-5.6 ED OIS II Specifications

Lens Mounts
  • Samsung NX
Focal Length50mm - 200mm
Angle of View8 - 31.4
Max Aperturef/4 - f/5.6
Min Aperturef/22
Filter Size67mm
35mm equivalent77mm - 308mm
Internal focusingNo Data
Maximum magnificationNo Data
Min Focus98cm
Box Contents
Box ContentsPouch & Lens Hood

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