Samyang 12mm F2 NCS CS E-mount lens review by QuietOC

reviewer#44052 date: Apr-30-2018
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 5
overall: 4.7
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 used to own this lens
compared to:Sigma 10-20 F4-5.6 EX DC
Samyang 12 F2
Sigma 12-24 EX DG HSM
Opteka 15 F4
Rokinon 16 F2
Sony E 16 F2.8
Tamron SP 17-35 F2.8-4
Tokina AF 17 F3.5
Samyang AF 18 F2.8
Sigma 19 F2.8 DN Art
Sigma 20 F1.8 EX DG
Tamron 20 F2.8 OSD M1:2
Sony E 20 F2.8
Minolta AF 20 F2.8 & RS
Tokina AF 20-35 F3.5-4.5 I & II
Canon EF 22-55 F4-5.6 USM
price paid:218 USD (used)
positive:Very sharp wide-open in the center
Smooth focus throw
Accurate aperture ring
negative:Size and weight
Lateral CA
Minor barrel distortion
6 aperture blades (curved)
67 mm filter thread
comment:This lens is one of the reasons I was interested in a mirrorless camera, but I held off buying it after getting the E 16 F2.8 and matching ultra wide converter. I probably overbid on this pristine silver copy, but it looks brand-new and works well. It is currently on sale for $269 on Amazon. "MADE IN KOREA"

It is slightly larger than the E 16 F2.8 + VCL-ECU1 ultra wide converter. That combination has considerably wider angle-of-view than this lens.

This copy is very sharp wide-open in the center. There is a good amount of lateral CA in the corners, but the corner performance is still quite good--much better than the Sony E 16 F2.8 and 20 F2.8 pancake lenses at the same aperture settings. It has a similar amount of distortion as the E 16 F2.8 + VCL-ECU1, but much better image quality.

The front element is quite small but bulbous. The 67 mm filter thread seems larger than necessary, but at least it isn't 77 mm like their 16 mm F2 prime.

Focus and aperture controls work very well.

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 14
  • sharpness: 4.71
  • color: 4.79
  • build: 4.79
  • distortion: 4.43
  • flare control: 4.00
  • overall: 4.54 - Home of the alpha system photographer
In memory of Cameron Hill - brettania