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Samyang AF 24-70mm F/2.8 FE Lens Review

John Riley has been putting the Samyang AF 24-70mm F2.8 FE lens through its paces which is a wide-angle to short telephoto lens designed for E-mount mirrorless 35mm full-frame and APS-C mirrorless cameras.

| Samyang AF 24-70mm F2.8 FE in Interchangeable Lenses

Samyang AF 24-70mm F/2.8 FE Lens Review: Samyang Af 24 70mm F2,8 On Sony A7RIII Top View | 1/4 sec | f/16.0 | 40.0 mm | ISO 100

First, there were the inexpensive manual focus lenses, then the excellent AF lenses and now Samyang spread its wings a little further with its first AF zoom lens. A new landmark whilst celebrating 50 years of Samyang lenses. The Samyang AF 24-70mm f/2.8 FE, for Sony FE full-frame and E crop sensor cameras (giving a "35mm equivalent" field of view of 36-105mm), offers weather sealing, constant aperture, a 9 bladed diaphragm for smooth bokeh and, very interestingly, a parfocal design. Most zoom lenses are varifocal in design, which means that lenses should be refocused after the zoom setting is changed. Parfocal lenses maintain their focus as they are zoomed, which has interesting implications for videography as well as stills photography. So now let's couple the new lens up with the 42MP Sony A7R III body and see if Samyang has hit the ground running as they enter the fiercely competitive world of the fast standard zoom.


Samyang AF 24-70mm F/2.8 FE Handling and Features

Samyang AF 24-70mm F/2.8 FE Lens Review: Samyang Af 24 70mm F2,8 Rear Oblique View | 0.4 sec | f/16.0 | 88.0 mm | ISO 100

This is a heavy lens, weighing in at a hefty 1027g without a hood or caps and 1096g with a hood attached. The supplied hood bayonets cleanly onto the lens and is secure, without the need for any retaining catch. Within the bayonet fit for the hood is a standard 82mm filter thread.

Our tour of the lens starts with the electronic control ring that has two functions, selected by the Custom Mode switch that is the closest control to the camera body. Mode 1 gives us a manual focus ring if the camera is set to MF or DMF (Direct Manual Focus), the latter enabling manual focus tweaks whilst AF is active. Focusing is linear. Mode 2 gives us control of the aperture, clickless and silent and ideal for videography. Use of the optional Lens Station will enable other options to be selected, plus the means for firmware updates. Focusing is down to 0.35m, or 1.15 feet, for a maximum magnification of 0.27x.

The wide zoom ring offers an excellent grip but is very heavy in its action. The upside of this is that there is no zoom creep. There are clearly marked settings of 24mm, 35mm, 50mm and 70mm. The lens extends when zooming. Interestingly, as mentioned, this is a parfocal zoom, so focus is held throughout the range. It is also held well. Most zoom lenses are varifocal and have to be refocused after every change to the focal length. The parfocal design could be useful for videography, although the stiffness of the zooming action might make a smooth change in focal length difficult. AF performance does keep up and is nice and snappy, courtesy of the linear sonic motor.

Samyang AF 24-70mm F/2.8 FE Lens Review: Samyang Af 24 70mm F2,8 Front Element View | 1/4 sec | f/16.0 | 48.0 mm | ISO 100

Optical construction is 17 elements in 14 groups, including 2 Aspheric, one Hybrid Aspheric, 3 HR (High Refractive index) and 3 ED (Extra-Low Dispersion). The coating is Samyang's well established UMC. For improved bokeh, the diaphragm comprises 9 blades. The lens is also weather-sealed.

The metal bayonet fitting is well made and clicks into place smoothly. There is absolutely no rotational play when the lens is seated. Overall, the lens is clearly made to a high standard, the only real question being the rather heavy zoom action. Otherwise, everything works as it should and the lens is simple and straightforward to use.


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2 Mar 2022 2:24PM
Someone appears to have put the wrong lens specification on this page. ???Blush
2 Mar 2022 4:15PM
Thanks Alan, I'll pass that along.
3 Mar 2022 8:54AM
Updated, Alan, thank you! Smile
altitude50 18 23.3k United Kingdom
3 Mar 2022 9:19AM
An alternative, but with a slightly shorter zoom range is the Tamron 28-75 mm f 2.8Di 111 RXD which is cheaper and a lot lighter (550 g.). I am very pleased with mine except that the zoom is smooth but slightly noisy.

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