Samsung NX 16mm f/2.4 ( W16NB ) - Review / Test Report
Lens Reviews - Samsung NX

Review by Klaus Schroiff, published December 2011

Introduction

After having covered the NX 20mm f/2.8 and NX 30mm f/2 let's have a look at the latest addition to the pancake prime series - the Samsung NX 16mm f/2.4. Just like its cousins it is very suitable for street photography but landscape lovers will also find it appealing for instance. In classic full format terms it is equivalent to "25mm" thus a moderate ultra-wide-angle prime lens. As of the time of this review it is also the widest lens offered by Samsung. Regarding its max. aperture of f/2.4 it is somewhat faster than average for a lens in this class - certainly a plus although it doesn't make the lens design any easier. It'll be interesting whether Samsung was able to manage this spread between speed and performance.

Pancake lenses are flat, small and light-weight and the NX 16mm f/2.4 is no exception to the rule here - it has a mere height of 24mm and it weights just 75g. The NX200 is "almost" pocketable in this combination (at least in a jacket). The build quality is just fine based on a high-quality plastics body on a metal mount. The rubberized focus control ring operates smoothly and there's no wobbling whatsoever here. The iFn ("i-Function") button allows you to control various camera settings in combination with the focus ring. The lens uses an extension system for focusing so the inner lens tube extends a little when focusing towards shorter focus distances.

Here's an overview of the "gang of three" - the NX 16mm f/2.4, NX 20mm f/2.8 and NX 30mm f/2 (left to right):

The AF works both fast and almost silently. You switch between AF and MF in the camera (menu) rather than via a corresponding switch. Manual focusing works "by wire" so you do actually trigger the lens motor when turning the focus ring. While some people do not like the idea we had no real issue with this approach. Combined with the magnified focus view in the camera it is fairly easy to achieve accurate results.

Specifications
Equiv. focal length25 mm (full format equivalent)
Equiv. aperturef/3.7 (full format equivalent, in terms of depth-of-field)
Optical construction7 elements in 6 groups (2x aspherical element)
Number of aperture blades7 (circular)
min. focus distance0.185 m (max. magnification 1:8)
Dimensions61.5 x 24.0 mm
Weight75 g
Filter size43 mm
Hood-
Other featuresiFn




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