Samyang 18mm F2.8 AF FE E-mount lens review by QuietOC

reviewer#44398 date: Oct-24-2019
sharpness: 4
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.2
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
Rokinon 16 F2
Sony E 16 F2.8
Tamron SP 17-35 F2.8-4
Tokina 17 F3.5
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
Tamron 24 F2.8 OSD M1:2
Samyang/Rokinon AF 24 F2.8
price paid:309 USD (new)
positive:Modest size and weight
Bright for an F2.8
Flat field
Fast, quiet linear motor(s)
Minimal breathing
Lens Compensation
negative:Sample variation/alignment
A small amount of complex distortion
Edges are dark and blue tinted
Coma in far corners
58 mm filter thread diameter
Firmware updates require dock
comment:The first copy I received was not sharp wide-open, so it was returned to the eBay seller. The second copy purchased from Adorama is sharper but still misaligned. It also has more lateral CA on the right side than the left side. I should have returned this one too. The Tamron 17-28 F2.8 RXD is better aligned. "MADE IN KOREA"

I enjoyed their 12mm F2 on APS-C, and have been looking for a replacement for a while. The Zeiss Batis was more than I wanted to spend.

The image quality and operation of this lens are similar to their 24mm F2.8, but it is closer in size to their 45mm F1.8 and the Sony FE 28mm F2. It is smaller and lighter than the Batis and the Tamron F2.8 prime trio. The focal length is a just a bit wider than the Sigma 19mm F2.8 DN Art. It has better corner performance on APS-C than that lens and much better AF.

The blue color shift towards the edges reminds me of the Sony DT 18-55 SAM kit zooms at the wide end. The Minolta AF 20mm F2.8 and Sony E 20mm F2.8 also do this a lesser amount. The Tamron 20mm does not have this problem.

Capture One 12 misidentifies it as the Zeiss Batis 2.8/18, but exiftool shows Lens Model as SAMYANG AF 18mm F2.8.

The 58 mm filter thread diameter is unique in FE lenses, but it is a common on affordable Canon lenses. Samyang is also using this size for their 24 F1.8.

The molded, zippered clamshell case has no flat sides making it unstable for storage on hard surfaces. For some reason the zipper was run along the length of the case instead of around the diameter like the similar case included with the 24 F2.8 and 35 F2.8.

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 3
  • sharpness: 4.33
  • color: 4.67
  • build: 4.33
  • distortion: 4.33
  • flare control: 4.00
  • overall: 4.33 - Home of the alpha system photographer
In memory of Cameron Hill - brettania