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

reviewer#32710 date: Nov-20-2016
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.9
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:Sony 16-50mm F2.8 SSM zoom lens
Tamron 16-300mm PZD super zoom lens
Tamron 14mm F2.8 prime lens
Samyang 10mm F2.8 ultra-wide prime (comparison as this was the first experience I had with Samyang and their lenses).
price paid:£320 GBP (new)
positive:Build quality
Well damped and smooth manual focus ring
Relatively small & compact lens
Effective lens hood which clicks into plate securely
negative:Lens cap can come off if not carefully fitted when removing hood
Can sometimes be somewhat difficult to focus accurately even with live view/focusing aids
comment:I was very excited to receive this lens and seriously couldn't wait to get out there and give it a try. I was left in no false illusions that it would take some work and re-learning to get the best out of the lens on my a68; the earlier purchase of the 10mm F2.8 ultra-wide prime certainly was a learning curve.

Overall I am very impressed with this lens. Although it does stop short of the ultra-wide category, I have certainly already found many uses for it and the images are very sharp indeed (shooting at modest ISO's of 100-400 and F5.6-F8). It can stand up to those typical bright winter sunlit days quite well too which is a challenge for most lenses I find; flaring isn't really a problem even if it looks that way when looking through the EVF, the end result is often alot clearer which is a nice surprise.

My main issue with the lens is that the lens cap tends to drop off quite easily, I nearly dropped mine into a deep puddle of muddy water on the first day! Especially when removing the lens hood, people who are buying this lens may want to keep hold of the cap! The lens hood itself fits snugly into place and clicks so you know it is quite secure.

The only reason why I rated the lens for sharpness as 4.5 rather than 5 was simply there is a little difficulty in getting that tack-sharp image in some circumstances. I am sure as I use the lens more, this will be somewhat easier.

In short, a brilliant lens that certainly does produce wonderfully sharp images when you nail the focus right. Certainly far less distortion than my old Tamron 14mm and takes up less space than the Sony 16-50mm F2.8. Eventually I'd like to compare both the Sony 16-50mm zoom and this Samyang 16mm prime to see if one has the edge in sharpness over the other. I have a feeling the Samyang might just be ahead in that category.

Very happy with this purchase indeed!

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