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

Gary Wolstenholme reviews the Samsung NX 50-200mm f/4.0-5.6 ED OIS lens.

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

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 is available for around £250.

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 Lens

Samsung NX 50-200mm f/4.0-5.6 ED OIS Lens 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 417g and a length of 100.5mm, it can feel a little cumbersome when combined with the compact bodied Samsung NX200, as used for testing.

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 lacks the i-Function button found on more recent Samsung lens designs, but switches are provided to activate the optical stabiliser and to change between automatic and manual focus.

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 ususal 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 Lens

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

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

At 100mm the high sharpness in the centre of the frame at maximum aperture is retained, and clarity towards the edges rises to very good levels. Peak quality is achieved between f/5.6 and 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 remain good across the frame at maximum aperture. Peak quality is achieved between f/8 and f/11 where centre resolution is very good, with 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 NX200 using Imatest.

Chromatic aberrations are kept under reasonable control, reaching a level of 0.75 pixel widths towards the edges of the frame at 100mm. This level should pose few issues even in large prints with high contrast near the edges of the frame.

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 NX200 using Imatest.

Falloff of illumination towards the corners is very well controlled throughout the zoom range, remaining consistent with corners being 0.8 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 a virtually negligible amount of pincushion distortion detected by Imatest at 50mm, and only 0.168% 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 Lens 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 or loss of contrast. When shooting into the light, contrast levels are retained well.

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

The performance of this lens is good, providing excellent sharpness through most of the zoom range and good sharpness at maximum telephoto.

It is a well-built lens, with a very effective optical stabilisation system available at a reasonable price. Due to this, it should be an asset to any Samsung NX system camera kit.

The Samsung NX 50-200mm f/4.0-5.6 provides an excellent sharpness and is available at a very reasonable price.

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

Excellent sharpness up to 100mm and good sharpness thereafter
Good build quality
Effective optical image stabiliser
Low distortion

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

A little large and heavy when mounted on a compact NX body
No support for Samsung i-Function


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

Lens Mounts
  • Samsung NX
Focal Length50mm - 200mm
Angle of View8 - 31.4
Max Aperturef/4 - f/5.6
Min Aperturef/22
Filter Size52mm
35mm equivalent75mm - 300mm
Internal focusingYes
Maximum magnificationNo Data
Min Focus98cm
BladesNo Data
Box Contents
Box ContentsLens caps, Soft lens pouch, Lens hood

View Full Product Details

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15 Feb 2012 3:52PM
Based on the images above, this review is actually for the 1st version of the lens, not the 2nd as the title states. The 50-200mm f/4.0-5.6 ED OIS II added an iFunction button and the stabilization is controlled in the camera menu, not on the lens itself.
theorderingone 17 2.4k
20 Feb 2012 11:31AM
Indeed, you're correct. I'm not sure what happened to the titles on this review. I'll alert the team and get them to change it.
joshwa Plus
10 927 1 United Kingdom
21 Feb 2012 3:06PM
This has been updated, and you are right the II version has the i-function built into the lens.

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