Samyang 24mm f/1.4 ED AS UMC (EOS) - Full Format Review
Lens Reviews - Canon EOS (Full Format)

Review by Klaus Schroiff, published August 2012

Introduction

Over the recent years Samyang, a Korean manufacturer, has gained some visibility in the system lens market. The company is quite small yet they released some highly interesting designs like the 14mm f/2.8, 35mm f/1.4 or 85mm f/1.4 – such large aperture prime lenses are normally associated with „high end“ products - but Samyang manages to provide them at a fraction of the costs of their original manufacturer counterparts. One of the reasons behind this is the lack of AF and mechanically controlled aperture so they can keep extensive adjustments for the various manufacturer to a minimum.

This time we’ll have a look at the Samyang 24mm f/1.4 ED AS UMC – a full format SLR lens which has been released earlier this year. This moderate ultra-wide angle lens is slightly more expensive than earlier Samyang products yet it is still offered for about half the price of the "comparable" Canon EF 24mm f/1.4 USM L II.

The build quality of the Samyang is on a very high level based on a tightly assembled combination of plastic and metal parts on a metal mount. The broad, rubberized focus ring operates smoothly and well dampened like in the days prior of AF. The physical length of the lens remains constant regardless of the focus setting.

While we have no serious objections with respect to the outer build quality, things aren’t quite as impressive on the quality control side – the tested sample suffered from a centering defect and the focus scale wasn’t really well calibrated – and this wasn’t the first time we experienced this from a Samyang lens.

As already hinted above Samyang lenses are purely mechanical beings so you have to live without AF, there is no camera-controlled aperture and the produced EXIF data by the camera shows no lens data – these are probably the biggest show-stoppers for most users.

Specifications
Optical construction13 elements in 12 groups inc. 2x aspherical & 4xED elements
Number of aperture blades8
min. focus distance0.25 m (max. magnification 1:?)
Dimensions87.5 x 83 mm
Weight680 g
Filter size77 mm (non-rotating)
Hoodpetal-shaped lens hood, bayonet mount, supplied
Other featuresfloating system




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