Samyang 45mm F1.8 AF FE E-mount lens reviews

reviews found: 4   
reviewer#44550 date: Jul-12-2020
sharpness: 5
color: 4
build: 3
distortion: 5
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:Sony and Minolta 50/1.4
Canon 50/1.8 and 50/1.4
Sigma 35/1.4 ART
price paid:€399,- new
positive:Small, light and sharp
negative:Lousy build, uncertain AF-C and minimum focus distance
comment:This is a problematic lens IMHO. It is really sharp, but there the advantages end for me.

Build: the (visible) build is somewhere between the Canon 50/1.8 II (cheap plastic) and the Sony 28/2. It is simply not good enough for a €399,- (or €349,- after cashback) lens IMHO. I do not understand people giving it a 5 for build.

MFD: I find I am struggling with the Minimum Focus Distance. I keep going back when I take a close up picture. I do not have this with my Minolta/Sony/Canon 50mm lenses. They also have a 45cm MFD, but while that seems fine in a 50mm lens, it is a problem for me here, because this lens is wider. The Sigma 35/1.4 has a MFD of 30cm, that is fine. For me, this lens should have had a 40cm MFD (YMMV)

Focus: AF-S is fine, but I usually use AF-C and it does not work well. It regularly pumps, even in good light. I also find the behaviour not intuitive: maybe it just behaves different from my Sony lenses. But in all, the AF-C experience is not pleasant.(disclaimer: firmware 1; should be better with firmware 3)

Focus noise: Focus is clearly audible. It is fine, but it is not "quiet" or "silent".

Focus breathing: the lens suffers from focus breathing. As I (mostly) use it for stills, I would normally not mind for a 45mm lens - but as it can pulse when it tries to focus, it really is annoying.

Bokeh: This is quite personal, but it is not my favourite out of focus rendering.

Firmware dock: Like I said, AF-C with firmware 1 is problematic, but you need to buy a dock to get decent AF. Not good.

Colour: Modern colour, not quite my taste, but it is good.

chromatic aberration: Saw some colour fringing in high contrast scenes. I have seen better and I have seen worse.

Sharpness: Well, excellent in the centre, might be less in the corners - but for general use, it is fine.

It could've been a great lens, but to me, it is not. I tried it during the 2020 July challenge for one week and it has some strengths. I can see some people like it for specific reasons like if you want a sharp and light lens. But in general, IMHO it does not live up to some of the reviews I have seen.
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 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP; 61MP61 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).
reviewer#44390 date: Oct-19-2019
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.6
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
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
Canon EF 50 F1.4 USM
Sigma 50 F1.4 EX DG HSM
Minolta MD & AF & Sony AF 50 F1.4
Minolta AF 50 F1.7 & 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 50 F2
Minolta MC 55 F1.7
Sony FE 55 F1.8 Sonnar
Minolta SR 55 F2
Minolta MC 58 F1.4
price paid:328 USD (new)
Sharp wide-open
Flat field
Minimal CA
Quiet, fast internal AF
Lens Compensation
49 mm filter size
Semi bubbly bokeh
Dark corners
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. My copy is sharper than either copy of the FE 50mm F1.8 I've tried. It performs much like the slightly larger Sony FE 55mm F1.8. 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 optical design looks more similar to the Sonnar 55mm F1.8.

The body feels solid unlike those of the Sony FE 50mm F1.8 and the Tamron OSD primes. I might 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 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 50/1.8.
reviewer#44343 date: Aug-11-2019
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 5
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 E 10-18mm. Voigtlander FE 15mm. Batis 18mm. Batis 25mm. Zeiss 16-35mm f4. 16-35mm GM. Sony FE 28mm. Zeiss FE 35mm. Sony FE 35mm f1.8. Batis 40mm. Samyang FE AF 45mm. Sony FE 50mm. Sony FE 50mm macro. Zeiss FE 55. Sony FE 85. Sigma A FE 135mm. Sony 70-200 GM. Sony 100-400mm GM.
price paid:£350.00
positive:Weight, size, sharpness, colours rendition, silent fast autofocus.
Images are indistinguishable from those made with the latest Sony FE 35mm f1.8 except for the difference in focal length.
negative:The hood. Some will describe the build as plasticy which is disingenuous for a truly brilliant bit of lightweight design.
comment:My build rating is based on the fact that this is an ultra light lens, brilliant to travel with and have on your camera all day long. The hood serves only to protect the front of the lens so my flare rating is based on use with an aftermarket lens hood.

This is one awesome lens, tack sharp, fantastic colours, very little if any distortion and as light as a feather. I love 45mm as a focal length but you will need to try that for yourself. I just find it really natural to use.
reviews found: 4   

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 4
  • sharpness: 5.00
  • color: 4.75
  • build: 4.00
  • distortion: 4.50
  • flare control: 4.50
  • overall: 4.55

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