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Samyang V-AF 24mm T1.9 Lens Review

The Samyang V-AF 24mm T1.9 cine lens has been put to the test by John Riley to find out just how good it is at capturing photos.


| Samyang V-AF 24mm T1.9 in Interchangeable Lenses
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Samyang V AF 24mm T1,9 Front Oblique View | 0.3 sec | f/16.0 | 135.0 mm | ISO 100
 

The Samyang V-AF 24mm T1.9 Video lens is one of a new series of matching video optics from Korean lens maker Samyang, including focal lengths of 20mm, 24mm, 35mm, 45mm and 75mm. These all share identical dimensions, weights, colour balance and other properties that are intended to unify the video experience from lens to lens. They also have the distinction of being the first range of AF video lenses. Designed for Sony FE full frame cameras and equally suitable for stills photography, these compact prime lenses look very interesting indeed. Are there any compromises made to enable this high level of uniformity? Are the lenses able to take full advantage of the high pixel count of Sony full-frame mirrorless cameras? Let's find out, using the 42MP Sony A7R III mirrorless camera body.

 

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Samyang V-AF 24mm T1.9 Handling and Features

Samyang V AF 24mm T1,9 On Sony A7RIII Front Oblique View | 0.3 sec | f/16.0 | 68.0 mm | ISO 100
 

The lens is compact, measuring just 72.2mm in diameter and 72.1mm in length, and light, weighing in at a very modest 280g. In fact, all the lenses currently here for review, the other two being the 35mm and the 75mm, are absolutely identical in this respect, making them all eminently suitable for use on drones and gimbals. There is also a unified centre of gravity, so on a drone, for example, any of the lenses fit and balance in an identical manner.

We start off our tour of the lens with the rather strange lens cap, a large, plastic affair that pushes onto the front of the lens. It does not push on slickly, but seats with quite an amount of friction and is not smooth to mount. A bit of a design failure, but it has the saving grace of being very unlikely to fall off and has a cutout on each side that reveals the focal length in large numbers. This last point is important as the lenses look and feel the same.

The front element is surrounded by a conventional 58mm filter thread and outside of that is a unique bayonet fit for future dedicated V-AF accessories, including electronic contacts in readiness for these. There is also a tally lamp that indicates the recording status when shooting video.

The rubber focusing ring has standardised gearing across all the V-AF lenses, a further example of the unified approach, and this ring can be programmed to various functions depending on the setting of the mode switch. This switch selects Mode 1, which is a focusing mode and is compatible with the usual Sony focusing options including MF and DMF, the latter being where manual focusing is active during AF operation. Mode 2 by default controls aperture. Focusing is down to 0.19m, or 0.62 feet, for a maximum magnification of 0.21x. There is also a focus hold button that locks AF when pressed. The actual AF performance is excellent, being fast and accurate and also virtually silent.

 

Samyang V AF 24mm T1,9 Rear Oblique View | 0.3 sec | f/16.0 | 135.0 mm | ISO 100
 

The white index mark for lens mounting in this instance doubles as a Tally Lamp indicating, as does the one at the front of the lens, video recording status. Other than the well-made, solid metal lens mount there is nothing else on the lens itself that might distract from the photography/videography.

Optical construction is 11 elements in 8 groups and the lens is designed for video resolutions up to 8K. The diaphragm comprises 9 blades, with an eye to improving the bokeh of images. Weather sealing is also included, always a welcome, perhaps almost an essential feature.

Samyang V AF 24mm T1,9 Rear Element View | 0.3 sec | f/16.0 | 88.0 mm | ISO 100
 

This simple video lens is intended for all sorts of video shooters and content creators, as well as filmmakers. It is very straightforward to use and the uniformity with its V-AF siblings bodes well for the consistency of results without having to be too involved with the colour matching in post-production. The potential is there for all content creators, but also with such a light and small form factor, for drone use and gimbals. Here the uniformity from lens to lens scores highly.

So is there a price to pay for making all the lenses the same, or has Samyang excelled themselves and managed to make excellence of performance equal the excellence of practical design and convenience? Let's move on to the performance results and find out.

 


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