Samyang AF 45mm f/1.8 FE Review - Performance

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Samyang AF 45mm f/1.8 FE Performance

Central sharpness is excellent from the start, from f/1.8 all the way through to f/16. Even at f/22, it is still very good. The edges start off only fairly sharp at f/1.8, becoming good by f/2.8 and very good from f/4 to f/8. Edge sharpness is excellent at f/11 and f/16 and still very good at f/22. Apart from a slight softness at the edges when wide open, which could be a benefit creatively, this is a very high and consistent standard.


Samyang AF 45mm f/1.8 FE MTF Charts

How to read our MTF charts

The blue column represents readings from the centre of the picture frame at the various apertures and the green is from the edges.

The scale on the left side is an indication of actual image resolution as LW/PH and is described in detail above. The taller the column, the better the lens performance.

For this review, the lens was tested on a Sony Alpha A7R III using Imatest.

CA (Chromatic Aberration) is very well controlled centrally, a little less so at the edges. Some fringing will be visible with challenging subjects, such as tree branches against bright sky, but there are software solutions that can easily be applied.


Samyang AF 45mm f/1.8 FE Chromatic Aberration Charts

How to read our CA charts

Chromatic aberration (CA) 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 Sony Alpha A7R III using Imatest.


There is barrel distortion, measuring at -0.71%, which is quite normal for a lens of this type. For most subjects this won't be a problem, but if necessary correction can be applied using software.


Bokeh, the quality of the out of focus areas in an image, is smooth and gives a pleasing look to the images. There is always that difficult to define quality that separates a technically excellent lens from one that shows a unique “character” and combining the two is part of the lens maker's art. Samyang has given us that elusive quality with this new lens.


It is somewhat susceptible to flare though, and if the sun does creep into the edge of the image area almost complete white-out is the likely outcome. However, to be fair, in more normal use the images are nice and crisp, with good contrast and colour, and we have to look for challenging circumstances to make the lens flare a problem.


Compact lenses do often show a fair bit of corner darkening, and indeed this lens is no exception. Vignetting can be measured at -2 stops at f/1.8, reducing to -1.5 stops by f/2.8, and thereafter settling at around -1.3 stops. As always, this can be corrected in software, but equally, there are many circumstances where some corner darkening can actually enhance the subject.


In summary, a very satisfactory and high level of performance, albeit it with perhaps the necessity of utilising some software corrections. A partnership between lens, camera and computer software, but one that results in a lens with some character.



Samyang AF 45mm f/1.8 FE Sample Photos


Samyang AF 45mm f/1.8 FE Aperture range

You can view additional images in the Equipment Database, where you can add your own review, photos and product ratings.

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Samyang AF 45 mm F1.8 Sony FE Full Format Lens for Mirrorless Sony Alpha System Cameras (FE and E-Bayonet) with Full Format and APS-C Sensor, 49 mm Filter Thread, Small and Premium, 22803
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LenShepherd 12 4.2k United Kingdom
7 Jun 2019 4:40PM
I am intrigued by your summary of "Excellent Sharpness" - have regard to edge performance being a long to long long way behind centre at apertures faster than f8.
Did you mean excellent central sharpness - and good edge sharpness at f8 and smaller apertures?
7 Jun 2019 6:56PM
I mean excellent sharpness virtually throughout the centre of the image and also at some smaller apertures. It's a summary only, but the detail is in the fuller description. On reflection, it might have read more accurately if the wording of the summary was more specific.
9 Jun 2019 1:51PM
Thanks John, I'm definitely going to pick this lens up. Can I ask when distances from the centre are you MTF centre and edge measurements taken at? Thanks
9 Jun 2019 1:52PM
Sorry, "what" are the distances?
9 Jun 2019 5:01PM
I measure at the centre and at various points at the edges. Hope that helps!
e23423 1
9 Jun 2019 9:46PM
Spec page shows data for Chinon 28mm f/2.8 Smile
10 Jun 2019 12:19AM
Thanks for that, I'm sure this will be corrected very soon.
14 Jun 2019 12:57PM
How does it perform in regards to the Samyang 50 1.4 ?
I have it and this makes me want to change Smile
14 Jun 2019 6:25PM
It depends on whether you want a more compact lens with a smaller aperture, or a larger, longer and slightly faster one. Either way, you will get sharp, satisfying images.
21 Jun 2019 11:43AM
Well, bokeh is important. If the one of the f1.4 better ? (At similar aperture of course) ?
21 Jun 2019 1:35PM
The bokeh image set does show the sort of effect that both lenses demonstrate. It is an aesthetic choice, so careful examination of those images might help. I can't be more specific at this point as a fair bit of time has passed and a fair few other lenses have been looked at as well.

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