Samyang 16mm F2.0 ED AS UMC CS A-mount lens review by ivansinger

reviewer#11581 date: Jan-4-2014
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 3
flare control: 5
overall: 4.3
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 24/2.8 AF II
Minolta AF 24-50/4
Nikon AF 20/2.8D
price paid:435
positive:Lovely IQ and very pleasing bokeh. Pixel peeper sharp in plane of focus and close focusing. Big focus ring and solid construction. Fast and sharp wide open, esp. with an articulated EVF for oblique (e.g. low to ground, above shoulders) angles, this lens really shines like few others. Reasonable distortion, easy to correct in Lightroom.
negative:On SLT Alphas, focus peaking sometimes not sufficient to nail focus, must be used in conjunction with zoom or zone focus techniques. Not generally a useful focal length for video and not particularly a snap to focus for street photography because of Rokinon/Samyang extremely shallow DOF at most f-stops below f11.
comment:I bought this lens as a UWA companion for my AF 24/2.8 on my Sony A-57 (APS-C sensor) primarily for video work of live theater and music performances. With a 1.8x crop factor in 16x9 video mode it is still surprisingly wide, meaning that the subject has to be very nearby and the horizon of the frame centered and rectilinear to have maximum visual impact. Needless to say, once you find the right placement for the tripod you will want to use it sparingly, because of it's wide coverage, or mount it on a jib. As a stills test, I took some close-up shots of the dog and other nearby objects with texture wide open and was pleasantly surprised by the in-focus detail and bokeh. It really grabs attention. I did not see evidence of flare or CA when pointed at light and the color is neutral and contrast snappy. It seems difficult to focus using focus peaking alone because the peaking will pick out many more areas than a longer focal length lens. It was not until I used the digital zoom feature that I could nail focus. Focus ring is very sensitive to minor adjustments, esp. when find the focus plane.

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 4
  • sharpness: 4.75
  • color: 4.75
  • build: 4.50
  • distortion: 4.00
  • flare control: 4.75
  • overall: 4.55 - Home of the alpha system photographer
In memory of Cameron Hill - brettania