2019-07-04

Samyang 45mm f1.8 Review



Introducing the brand new Samyang 45mm f1.8 lens for Sony E Mount cameras. We've been shooting with this lens over the last few days shooting a variety of different genres of photography as well as video to really put it to the test.


Focal Length

This is a very interesting focal length to shoot at, it’s a bit wider than the popular 50mm as well as closer to the perspective of the human eye. It’s also tighter than a 35mm making it a great all rounder able to shoot landscapes, portraits and all kinds of things.



It’s coming in at £349 at the time of writing this, which places it in the budget end of things, putting it up against lenses like the Sony 50mm f1.8. For a budget option, this lens is actually nicely constructed and the image quality is great.

Image Quality

Shooting wide open with this lens, I was very happy to see that it’s nice and sharp, especially in the centre of the image. Stopping down to f2.8 only increased this and gave me sharpness right across the image and that was the same again for f4, f8 and f11.



That fast aperture gives you better low light performance, which is always handy, and some lovely bokeh and I’m very pleased to be able to report that the bokeh here is beautiful. It’s lovely and smooth with no artifacting. There are a couple of outlines around larger objects but overall it looks lovely.



I was also glad to see there were no issues with distortion or vignetting and it was very capable when it came to flaring. Even shooting directly into the sun, I wasn’t having any issues with flares.

Autofocus

This is a really interesting part of this lens. Obviously this is a budget lens so no one’s expecting this to be the fastest autofocus in the world or anything like that; but the AF on this lens was so reliable that I never found myself even thinking about it until I’d been shooting for a few hours.



There was no hunting, it just locked on, it was able to track, it works perfectly with the Sony Eye AF, it works perfectly with the animal eye AF. At this price point, that is exactly what I would hope this sort of lens would be able to do and the Samyang 45mm nailed it.

On top of that, it wasn’t making any noise so if you like to use a shotgun mic on the top of your camera, it’s not going to cause you any problems.

Build and Feel

This lens is small and it’s very lightweight weighing 160g. It fits perfectly on the front of the small, light mirrorless camera bodies from Sony and it gives it this compact, almost travel camera feel.



The lens is a great all rounder and because of the size, it makes your camera very easy to take with you no matter what you’re doing. You won’t need a big camera bag to take this out and about.

In terms of control, there’s not much on the lens itself, just the manual focus ring. This is in line with other Samyang E Mount lenses and it makes the lens nice and sleek. The actual build quality of the lens is surprisingly good for a budget option.



Conclusion

Ultimately, this lens is actually really nice, especially for the kind of price point it’s coming in at. It’s a great option versus a 50mm, giving you that slightly wider look, and it’s such a great all rounder shooting portrait, landscape, street, video… it’s going to be able to handle them all. It’s useful for photographers and videographers alike and because of its size, the whole system becomes so light and small that you can just throw it in your bag when you’re heading out. It’s a great everyday lens and if you’re looking at this sort of price level, this is definitely a lens to be looking at.

Gear we used to shoot the video and photos:
Sony A7 III
Samyang 45mm f1.8

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