Samyang 18mm F2.8 AF FE E-mount lens reviews

reviews found: 3   
reviewer#45766 date: Oct-7-2021
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 3
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 own this lens
compared to:Zeiss Batis 18mm.
price paid:£349
positive:Brilliant lightweight budget lens that in image quality punches well above its price point, about £1000 above.
negative:Nothing at the price.
comment:Don't bother with the Batis.
reviewer#45671 date: Mar-22-2021
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.8
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:Samyang 12mm f2 MF
Samyang 24mm & 35mm f2.8 AF primes
Sony 28-70mm FE OSS (the kit one)
Sony 16mm f2.8
Sony 16-50PZ
Sony 18-55mm & 55-210mm E lenses.
Meike 35mm f1.7 MF
Newer 32mm f1.6 MF
MF lenses in 28, 35, 50mm
All the A-mount SAM DT lenses
Lots of other A-mount lenses.
price paid:£265 new.
positive:Compact lens
Amazingly sharp even at full aperture even on A7Rii
Very little distortion & CA (corrections on)
Useful UW lens on FF and W on APS-C
Useful case
Lens hood adds some protection.
negative:Large filter thread at 58mm
A little front-heavy on the Nex-6.
Not a lot, really.
comment:I now have three of the small Samyang AF FE primes: the 18mm, 24mm, and 35mm f2.8, respectively new, ex-demo and s/h. I wanted inexpensive compact primes in the most useful FL on both the A7Rii and on the Nex-6, which were useable wide open without terrible corners and had a quick and reliable AF.
I bought this one new from an eBay seller in Switzerland and received it promptly.
First impressions of the lenses are good with a solid feel, small carry-case and interesting lens hoods/caps. The 18mm is quite a bit bigger than the other two; on the A7Rii this makes little difference but on the Nex-6 it is around the same size as the SEL18-55 and hangs down at the front on a neck strap. The 58mm filter thread marks it out from the others, as does the lens hood which is almost a petal type and almost useful.
AF is definitely better than with the 35mm f2.8, very slightly quicker I think but with much less focus breathing, so that although the image does flicker slightly when focussing (in AF-S on the A7Rii, and in AF-C on the Nex-6) the image doesn't change size so it is a lot less annoying.
Like the other Samyang f2.8 AF primes it is extremely sharp even wide open and with good contrast too, and on the A7Rii it is quite extraordinary how much detail can be seen if you zoom into 100% crop and more on playback. You can photograph an entire wall of a bookshop hand-held and read every title perfectly! My copy must be sharper in the corners wide open than some reviewers' though vignetting is quite noticeable at f2.8 even with corrections on.
I bought the 18mm to get the same sky coverage on the Rii as I had with the Samyang 12mm MF on the Nex, and though this is too wide for most other things you can crop to APS-C and/or 16:9 to reduce the empty spaces and get a useful and flexible single-lens solution for those walks where the views are often wide.
On the Nex-6 the focusing behaviour is reversed as commented on in the 35mm review; AF-S gives a quick focus and AF-C does the CDAF dance, whereas it’s the opposite on the A7Rii – no idea why.
The 18mm Samyang is noticeably narrower angle view than the Sony 16mm f2.8 but much sharper, and the geometry corrections seem to be very small. On the Nex-6 the 18mm is a moderate wide angle (27mm equiv) and a nice lens for wandering around if you don't mind the extra size and weight over the 16mm or 16-50 PZ.
If you don't mind the physical size, I'd recommend it over the other E lenses on the APS-C cameras and if I had the A7C it would be my first choice UW.
BTW I can really recommend the u-tube reviews by Christopher Frost. He also finds these Samyang lenses very sharp.
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.
reviews found: 3   

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 3
  • sharpness: 4.67
  • color: 4.67
  • build: 4.33
  • distortion: 4.33
  • flare control: 4.00
  • overall: 4.40

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