Samyang 10mm F2.8 ED AS NCS CS A-mount lens review by balacau

reviewer#11809 date: May-3-2014
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 3
overall: 4.4
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sigma 8-16mm F4.5-5.6 UWA zoom
Sigma 10-20mm F4-5.6 UWA zoom
Tamron 14mm F2.8 wide angle prime
Sigma 18mm F3.5 "Zen" wide angle prime
price paid:£383 (new)
positive:Build quality; made with plastic but has a nice durable and weighty feel to it.
Focus and aperture control rings are well designed, smooth movement.
Well designed lens cap and fitting.
Even at the edge of the frame, straight lines seem to stay straight, can't see much distortion which on a lens this wide is something to boast about.
negative:Flaring! It produces several bright blobs as a result of internal reflection between glass layers and the sensor.
Corners not sharp until you pass F8 or smaller.
No filter thread (not a major deal breaker for me, but might be for some).
comment:This was one of those lenses that when I heard about it way back in 2012 (announced at Photokina), I figured it was worth getting. I know I've been spoiled with AF lenses and wanted something a little different that went wide, but also larger aperture than the Sigma 8-16. Well it was delayed for a considerable period but now its in my kit bag and its producing a mixed feeling after spending some time using it and mulling over the results.

Well lets start off with the good bits. Its a well-built lens. Almost feels like the higher-end Tamron 70-200/2.8 with the kind of materials used and the finish. I certainly have no problems with that, the use of plastics also keeps the weight down and since its a fairly large lens, that's a good thing in my opinion.

Both the aperture and focus rings are nicely done, the aperture ring clicks as its turned and the focus one is very smooth but damped enough to turn it with a single finger easily. Very effective although the aperture ring is a little close to the camera body which may be an issue for some.

The lens cap fits snugly, clips on without a problem and hasn't come off when I've been removing the lens from my Tamrac Rally 4 2-lens bag. Its happened with a few Sigma lenses so was something I was interested in especially when I saw how large the lens is and the cap design. So far, so good!

Distortion control is better than expected. I've taken some pictures of buildings to see how things looked towards the corner of the frames and straight lines/walls stay straight so that's something to smile about. In par with the Sigma 8-16 here.

Well now to the less positive things.

Firstly the lens flaring is something to really watch out for. With the Sigma 8-16, its exceptionally well controlled. Not so here. A light source will produce a number of multi-coloured blobs running in a line formation down the image. This is quite similar to the older Sigma 10-20/4-5.6 zoom and Tamron 14/2.8 prime lenses.

Centre image sharpness is passable at F2.8 but I've seen much better, even compared with the older Sigma 18/3.5. Its far better at F4 but the corners are still soft. It'll take dropping down to F8 and probably using a tripod to get a sharp image right across the frame; my best results so far after around 250 images have come from using a tripod, 30sec timer, F8-F11, ISO 100 and 1/80. This is all of static subjects in a variety of natural lighting conditions.

Please bare in mind that I'm not exactly used to MF-only lenses. With what I have, I have only two completely manual lenses, this being one and the old Sigma 600/8 mirror being the other. Its an ongoing challenge to get the most out of both and I'm enjoying the experience and doing something different but for more "serious" stuff, I'll be using the Sigma 8-16.

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 3
  • sharpness: 4.17
  • color: 5.00
  • build: 4.67
  • distortion: 4.33
  • flare control: 3.67
  • overall: 4.37 - Home of the alpha system photographer
In memory of Cameron Hill - brettania