Samyang 14mm F2.8 ED AS IF UMC A-mount lens review by Dipsausje

reviewer#8592 date: Jan-29-2011
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 3
flare control: 5
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 used to own this lens
compared to:Sigma 12-24
Sony ZA 24-70
price paid:280 GBP (new)
Good Colours
Good Flare control
Well built
negative:No AF or any electronics
comment:This lens is the best value in a lens ever in my opinion. Starting at f2.8 the results are sharp, and very pleasing. The lens uses metal and plastic parts, build quality feels good and the focus ring is smooth (maybe a bit too smooth even).

Especially for such a wide-angle lens the flare control is very good, I've used the lens with the sun clearly in view and then you start noticing flare, but this is at the point were the sun also influenced my view quite a lot. The amount of contrast my a850+Samyang 14mm managed to get from this situation was astonishing.

Now the downside: this lens has no AF, a manual aperture and no electronics to communicate with the body. Since the firmware update it is possible to use this lens in A-mode on the a850/a900. MF is something to learn, especially at this focal length, however at f5.6-f8 nearly everything will be in focus if you ust put the focus at about 2m. The distortion is a bigger problem. With objects in close you'll see strange effects in the corners, I think simply because of the huge fov. Also the lens shows a strange "mustache" shape distortion which is disturbing in some shots, however PTLens can correct most of it with ease. Also quite often the distortion is there, but not disturbing, this of course depends on subject and composition. Also the results are sharp at f2.8 but vignetting is visible then.

It's not a perfect lens and it definitely has flaws (distortion mostly), but especially considering price this lens is simply stunning even with it's flaws (vignetting at 2.8 and distortion).

Edit: I'm referring to a850 several times, I've tested this lens on my A100 as well but for me this lens is really for FF, this lens just shines with the large fov.

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 19
  • sharpness: 4.74
  • color: 4.58
  • build: 4.47
  • distortion: 3.63
  • flare control: 4.16
  • overall: 4.32 - Home of the alpha system photographer
In memory of Cameron Hill - brettania