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

reviewer#44467 date: Feb-12-2020
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 3
distortion: 4
flare control: 5
overall: 4.4
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 MP24MP24 MP36MP36 MP42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:- Sony FE 50mm f1.8
- Konica Hexanon AR 40mm f1.8
- Canon new FD 50mm f1.4
- Sony FE 28mm f2
- Sony FE 85mm f1.8
- Konica Hexanon 57mm f1.4
price paid:340 EURO (new)
positive:- Sharp wide open
- Good micro-contrast
- Very light & compact
- Good AF
- Small hood
- Strong vignetting wide open
- Some focus breathing
- Plastic body and mount
- Firmware update needs dock, and needs Firmware 2 or higher (infinity AF issues reported with v1)
comment:Focal lengths between 40 and 50 are my most used, with 40-45 being my favorite.I was satisfied by Sony FE 50mm f1.8 image quality but really annoyed but it's noisy and slow AF on my A7ii.

The build is very plasticky, but tighly assembled. The upper side of this is the lens is extremely light. But even the mount is plastic as I see it (others think it's metal, I hope they're right but i have a hard time believing it). It worries me concerning longevity.

Image quality is clearly above the FE50, sharper from wide open, more contrast in details. It's very good where it matters wide open, and gets stunning everywhere stopping down.
Only points where it's not perfect are
- the strong vignetting at f1.8 (becomes less noticeable at f2.8). It needs to be corrected in post if the subject is out of the central third of the frame.
- and I think it has a tad more distortion compared to FE50, but that would only be noticeable on architecture and correction would not result in poor corner sharpness like on the FE28.

AF is satisfying, i'd say between FE85 and FE28, and infinitely betetr than FE50.It is not completely silent but not noticeable for stills, and hardly noticeable in video if you use an external microphone.

In summary, it makes top notch / very pleasant pictures and it's super light although the trade-off is a very plasticky body.
It's by far been my most used lens since I had it (about 3 months).

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 3
  • sharpness: 5.00
  • color: 5.00
  • build: 4.33
  • distortion: 4.33
  • flare control: 4.67
  • overall: 4.67 - Home of the alpha system photographer
In memory of Cameron Hill - brettania