Samyang 45mm F1.8 AF FE E-mount lens review by QuietOC

reviewer#44390 date: Oct-19-2019
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.1
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:Minolta 40 F1.7
Konica AR 40 F1.8
Sony FE 40 F2.5 G
Canon EF 40 F2.8 STM
Pentax-M 40 F2.8
Pentax-DA 40 F2.8 XS
Pentax-FA 43 F1.8 Limited
Tamron SP 45 F1.8 USD (VC & non VC)
Minolta MD 45 F2
Sigma 45 F2.8 DG DN C
Rokinon 50 F1.2
Yongnuo 50 F1.4
Zeiss C/Y 50 F1.4 Planar
Canon EF 50 F1.4 USM
Sigma 50 F1.4 EX DG HSM
Minolta MD 50 F1.4 & AF & Sony (D)
Minolta MD 50 F1.7 & AF & RS
Sony FE 50 F1.8
Canon EF 50 F1.8 STM
Fotasy 50 F1.8
Konica AR 50 F1.8
Vivitar 50 F1.8
Sony DT 50 F1.8 SAM
Sony E 50 F1.8 OSS
Minolta MD 50 F2
Neewer/Meike/Vivitar 50 F2
Konica AR 52 F1.8
Minolta MC 55 F1.7
Sony FE 55 F1.8 Sonnar
Minolta SR 55 F2
Lensbaby 56 F1.6
Konica AR 57 F1.4
Minolta MC 58 F1.4
price paid:328 USD (new)
Quiet, fast, internal AF
Lens Compensation
49 mm filter size
negative:Dark corners
Lateral CA
Occasionally crunchy out-of-focus
No sealing
Tiny circular hood
Firmware updates require dock
comment:This was the most expensive new lens that I had purchased--about three times the cost of the Canon 50mm F1.8 STM. It is currently $100 cheaper than the large Tamron SP 45mm F1.8 VC USD and the smaller Sigma 45mm F2.8. "MADE IN KOREA"

I've enjoyed this focal length since purchasing a Minolta MD 45mm F2 back in 2016. I haven't been using the large Tamron SP 45mm F1.8 VC USD much. The Samyang is sharper than either copy of the FE 50mm F1.8 I've tried. It is sharp wide-open to the corners even sharper than the Sony FE 55mm F1.8, but the rendering is not quite as nice. It focuses very quickly and quietly.

It is comically small next the Tamron SP, but a bit larger than the Sigma Contemporary. Unlike the simple planar FE 50mm F1.8, the lens elements take up the entire length.

The body feels solid unlike those of the Sony FE 50mm F1.8 and the Tamron OSD primes. I prefer a softer focus grip. The lens caps are nicer than Sony's but also bulkier.

The 49 mm filter thread diameter is shared with the Samyang 24/2.8 and 35/2.8 primes and many Minolta and Sony lenses. The hood bayonet is shared with the 24/2.8. The included circular hood is only slightly larger than the 24/2.8 hood.

Wide-open this lens has outlined background bokeh--like it is over corrected for spherical aberration similar to many old planar 50mm primes. Backgrounds wide-open are not as busy as most of those, but they are not as smooth as the Sony FE 1.8/50 or 1.8/55 Sonnar.

The lens is quite sharp wide-open, but it has more lateral CA than the old Planars in the extreme corners.

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 5
  • sharpness: 4.80
  • color: 4.60
  • build: 4.20
  • distortion: 4.60
  • flare control: 4.20
  • overall: 4.48 - Home of the alpha system photographer
In memory of Cameron Hill - brettania