Use the code EXCIRE-EP to save 15% on Excire Foto Software

Samyang AF 12mm F/2 X Lens Review

John Riley has been out and about with the Samyang AF 12mm f/2 X lens, putting it to the test on the Fujifilm X-S10 to find out just how good it is at capturing images.


|  Samyang AF 12mm F2 X in Interchangeable Lenses
 Add Comment

Samyang AF 12mm F2 X
 

The range of third-party lenses for the Fuji X system is rapidly expanding and here we have a new, compact Samyang AF 12mm f/2 lens that broadens the possibilities. Coupled with the 26MP Fujifilm X-S10 body, this gives us a “35mm equivalent” field of view of around 18mm, a definitely ultra-wide lens. At f/2 it is also fast, which in itself opens up the possibilities of low light use and more selective focusing because of the reduced depth of field. So now let's get out there, shoot some pictures and see how the new lens handles and performs.

ADVERTISEMENT
MPB

One image can change us.

A picture, a moment can change the way we feel. Change how we see ourselves. Change our understanding and change the rules. Provoke and change history.

MPB Gear

MPB puts photo and video kit into more hands, more sustainably. Every month, visual storytellers sell more than 20,000 cameras and lenses to MPB. Choose used and get affordable access to kit that doesn’t cost the earth.

Sell the kit you’re not using to MPB. Trade in for the kit you need to create. Buy used, spend less and get more.

Buy. Sell. Trade. Create.

MPB Start Shopping

Samyang AF 12mm f/2 X Handling and Features

Samyang AF 12mm F2 X
 

The lens is small and light, weighing in at just 213g without caps or hood. Add the hood and it tips the scales at 225g. It balances very nicely on the Fujifilm X-S10 and sits squarely and with stability on a flat surface, so it could be placed, for example, on a table or flat wall top for shake-free long exposures.

Starting our tour of the lens at the front, the provided petal lens hood clips securely into place. There is no tendency for this to become dislodged during use. Within the bayonet fit for the hood is a conventional 62mm filter thread. Behind this, and visible when the lens is viewed from the front, is the “hidden red ring” which is mentioned several times in the Samyang literature and appears to be a design flourish. On that basis, it is aesthetically pleasing.

The wide manual focusing ring affords an excellent grip, but manual focus is not the easiest way to use this ultra-wide lens. There is a useful manual focus scale in the viewfinder that becomes activated in MF mode, but the overall need for MF is not the forte of this particular optic. The AF system, driven by a linear STM motor, is fast, very quiet and very accurate, far better than we could achieve by eye. It is possible that the MF setting could be used to set a snapshot focus point for street photography, so having the option is good.

Samyang AF 12mm F2 X
 

Focusing is down to 0.2 m, or 0.66 feet, for a maximum magnification of 0.09x. This is usefully close, but not in the realm of macro photography.

The lens is weather-sealed, protecting against moisture and raindrops, and a rear protective glass adds to the level of sealing. The bayonet mount is metal, is well made and clicks securely into place without even a hint of rotational play.

Optical construction is 12 elements in 10 groups, including 1 Hybrid Aspherical, 1 Aspherical and 3 ED (Extra-Low Dispersion). The diaphragm comprises 7 blades. Flare resistance is enhanced by the use of Samyang's well-proven UMC multi-layer coating techniques.

There is no shake reduction, just as there are no additional controls on the lens. Everything is handled by the camera body. As such, the handling of the lens is very straightforward - focus, compose and shoot. The lens becomes an extension of the eye and there is little else to distract from that creative process. This could well, therefore, appeal to street photographers looking to get right into the action, even becoming a part of the ebb and flow as opposed to being a simple viewer from a distance.

Other applications include interiors, food, lifestyle, astrophotography, nature and architecture. The taste for wider angle images has been steadily growing wider and wider over the years, so whereas once a 35mm (full-frame) lens would have been considered wide and a 28mm ultra-wide, this perception has meant that this 12mm (18mm full-frame) has now entered the mainstream and at a realistic price level too.

Samyang AF 12mm F2 X
 

 


MPB Start Shopping

Support this site by making a Donation, purchasing Plus Membership, or shopping with one of our affiliates: Amazon UK, Amazon US, Amazon CA, ebay UK

It doesn't cost you anything extra when you use these links, but it does support the site, helping keep ePHOTOzine free to use, thank you.

Other articles you might find interesting...

Nikkor Z 24-120mm F/4 S Lens Review
Tamron 35-150mm F/2-2.8 Di III VXD Lens Review
Nikon Nikkor Z DX 18-140mm F/3.5-6.3 VR Lens Review
Sigma 18-50mm f/2.8 DC DN Contemporary Lens Review
New Nikkor Z 400mm F/2.8 TC VR S Full-Frame Super-Telephoto Prime Lens
Meike 24mm T/2.1 Lens Announced
Nikkor Z Lens Line-Up Expansion Shown On Updated Lens Roadmap
Canon RF 100mm f/2.8L MACRO IS USM Lens Review

Comments


LenShepherd 13 4.4k United Kingdom
2 Jan 2022 8:47PM
An "interesting" lens performance.
25 years ago a 45% reduction in resolution between centre and corner resolution was to be expected with an extremely wide angle lens.

This lens looses 45% across the apertures range - at the edges - in 2021.
Corner is presumably even lower.

In your summary (as distinct from bullet points) says "it offers a very high level of performance".
By 2021 standards edge performance I consider weak at best.

Mentioning edge performance as lagging centre in the bullet points, though at a good price, and a score of 4 would surely be a much better summary of the test results you obtained.
I agree to what LenShepherd wrote. The performance in the corners is weak. But with a wide angle, that's where you want to see sharp results.
All in all, "excellent performance" is not the classification I would use for this lens.
Greetings from Germany.
I'am perplexed by the manual focus information in this article.

Quote: ...the overall need for MF is not the forte of this particular optic

I do street and travel photography. This focal length plus the weather resistance is exactly what I want, and I use manual focus at least 30% of the time, so that there is a presumption too far.

Quote:It is possible that the MF setting could be used to set a snapshot focus point for street photography...

You meant zone focusing, right? How much the manual ring rotates for front to back focusing would be useful information. Any information about whether this improves on the older manual focus Samyang 12mm would also have been relevant.

I came across this site because I was searching for information on this lens. This is where you would want to capture me as part of your audience. So far I'm not feeling captured.
4 Jan 2022 3:26PM
I think I agree with much of what is said above, and it probably highlights the difficulty of making a genralised review that covers as many genres as possible as opposed to a more specialised review. It also highlights the difficulty of assigniing ratings based on a scale of 1 to 5. This doesn't mean we shouldn't, but it gives plenty of scope for discussion.

Taking the rating on performance, the result moves from 4 to 4.5 partly because the lens performed significantly better than a previously tested similar Samyang optic for E mount. They couldn't be the same rating, but in any event even changing that figure wouldn't change the overall result. The central sharpness (actually resolution of course) is very high, which does eclipse the edges somewhat as a result. However, the edges are still very good and that still means a very good result. Images will be sharp edge to edge.

Regarding manual focus, yes I was referring to zone focusing and I did have in mind the street photographer who might wish to set a distance and then rely on depth of field. This can work well, and of course there's no focusing delay. Unfortunately comparisons with specific older lenses can only sometimes be made as a lot of time comes between the reviews of such and they are not to hand to make a meaningful comment. Sometimes they are, in which case there's a bonus there that we can take advantage of.

Hope that helps!
LenShepherd 13 4.4k United Kingdom
8 Jan 2022 9:10PM

Quote:
(snipped) the lens performed significantly better than a previously tested similar Samyang optic for E mount. They couldn't be the same rating, but in any event even changing that figure wouldn't change the overall result. The central sharpness (actually resolution of course) is very high, which does eclipse the edges somewhat as a result. However, the edges are still very good and that still means a very good result. Images will be sharp edge to edge.

Hope that helps!



Sorry - to disagree - you have not helped with your reply - you may even have made things worse.

The central sharpness at f8 tested on a 26 MP is right up there with a good lens tested on a 45 MP cameras.
This result is perhaps best described as above excellent at outstandingly high.

Suggesting images will be sharp edge to edge with edge resolution 50% less than centre seems without question just plane wrong - except for perhaps the few who never print bigger than 5x7 inches or view on a £350 laptop without knowing how to zoom into the image.

Something that did not occur when I first posted is the centre resolution seems to be too good to be true - for even the best possible lens on a 26 MP body.
If the centre figures should be about 25% lower (a reasonable expectation on a 26 MP body) then, with an appropriate update, the numbers make sense.


8 Jan 2022 10:58PM
What I can tell you is that whatever is measured is measured, and we can't really say that any measurement "should be" lower or even higher, as the nature of a scientific measurement is we have to believe what we see. It's of course true that many scientists over the years have perhaps seen what they want to see to support a particular hypothesis, but that is an aspect of human nature and there are few absolutes. Imatest tell us that very high figures are entirely possible, and when measured they are what they are. Perhaps that supports the description "outstanding" in this case.

We are of course measuring resolution and the resolution at the edges produces a very good level of sharpness, the centre an outstanding level. We can directly compare that to other lenses used at 26MP, and by inference to other resolutions. Other variables will be different sensors and different processing by the camera software, but there's a limit to what we can do. But the edges are still sharp. The rest will depend on the size of reproduction and the acuity of our eyes, as well as the type of subject matter and the way it is lit.

Sign In

You must be a member to leave a comment.

ePHOTOzine, the web's friendliest photography community.

Join For Free

Upload photos, chat with photographers, win prizes and much more.