2018-07-06

Samyang 24mm F2.8 – AF Sony E Mount wide angle lens review

The Samyang AF 24mm F2.8 FE is a budget, wide angle lens for Sony mirrorless users. Using the Sony Full Frame E Mount fitting, this wide angle promises to deliver quiet and fast autofocus at a competitive price.



Samyang sent us their new f/2.8 24mm lens for the Sony E Mount mirrorless cameras. Featuring full autofocus, we sent our man Gareth out and about to put it through its paces. We’ll bring you the results and full video review below, but first, let’s look at where this lens sits in the market.

The Sony mirrorless wide angle lens market


While the Sony mirrorless E-mount system has been around for a while, it’s fair to say that the range is still relatively young. Sony themselves of course offer a range of zoom lenses – the 24-70 G Master lens is simply fantastic, although it’s not the cheapest.

A 24mm prime lens is a popular focal range, being particularly suited for landscape photography, and versatile enough for street and travel photography. The Samyang 24mm F2.8 FE has a suggested retail price (SRP) of just £279 (all prices below are SRP as at July 2018 – check on the links for the latest price).

Options for Sony E-Mount 24mm wide angle lenses include:


So – how does this entry level option perform?


Road testing the Samyang AF 24mm f/2.8 Lens (Sony E Mount) 

The first thing that struck us was just how small and light this lens is. Weighing in at just 93g, it balances well on the Sony mirrorless bodies.

As you’d expect for the price, the lens is predominately made from plastic – but it doesn’t feel cheap. The focus ring is ergonomic and lovely to use. Other than that the lens is as you see it – it has one job to do – simplicity is key here.

Autofocus performance

We tried this lens in different scenarios to see how well the autofocus worked, and we’ve got to say we were impressed. Even filming video in low-light conditions, through the woods, it tracked focus well, dealing with a moving subject and varying light levels. It also performed well in misty morning conditions too.



And this is what sets this lens apart. Many third party lenses that hit the lower end of the market have historically been manual focus – so to offer autofocus for this money is impressive.

And we didn’t scrimp when testing this either – we used the Sony a7R III, which has one of the more advanced autofocus systems in their range (the flagship a9 and a7III lead the way here).

We were also impressed with how it handled considering we were using this on a 42.4MP, full frame body. If ever anything was going to highlight any loss in image quality, this was it.

Optical performance

We found that the f/2.8 allowed the lens to work in low light, offering pleasingly blurred out backgrounds. It may not offer the ‘creamiest’ bokeh we’ve ever seen, but it gets results considering both the lens size and money (wide angle is rarely the forte for bokeh anyway).



As well as performing well in low-light, it also produced nice sharp images when we were shooting landscapes at narrower apertures – f/8-11.

As to be expected, there was some minor vignetting, and some fallout on image clarity towards the edge of the frame when shooting wide open, but this is hardly exclusive to Samyang, and is a common trait of many wide angle lenses. Nothing that can’t be fixed by applying lens correction profiles in post!



Conclusion

Overall we were mighty impressed by what Samyang have bought to the market for a very reasonable price. If you are looking for a wide-angle lens (with the diversity of shooting opportunities it brings), then this piece of kit can turn your Sony mirrorless into a superb, discreet travel kit.

If you have any questions, don't hesitate to add them below in the comments and we'll get back to you.

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