Samsung NX 30mm f/2 ( S30NB ) - Review / Lens Test
Lens Reviews - Samsung NX

Review by Klaus Schroiff, published November 2011

Note: We tested this lens already a while ago on the old NX10 so we've reused some passages in this new review.

Introduction

The Samsung NX 30mm f/2 is another member of the Samsung "Carry" lens series - or in other words: a pancake lens. Just like its dwarfish cousins, the NX 16mm f/2.4 and NX 20mm f/2.8, it is very suitable for street photography for instance. In classic full-format terms it is equivalent to "46mm" thus basically a standard prime lens. The max. aperture of f/2 is very fast for a pancake lens although it stays somewhat short of conventional prime lenses in favor of a more compact size - probably a smart decision because a small(er) size is one of the primary aspects of mirrorless systems.

The NX 30mm f/2 has a mere height of about 22mm and it weights just 85g - the smallish NX200 is "almost" pocketable in this combination (at least in a jacket). The build quality is just fine based on a quality plastics body and a metal mount. The tiny plastic focus control ring operates smoothly. Unlike the newer NX 20mm f/2.8 and 16mm f/2.4 it does not feature iFn but this is not much a loss anyway. The NX 30mm f/2 extends marginally when focusing towards closer distances so it has no IF ("internal focusing") but a so-called linear extension system.

Here's a comparison between the NX 20mm f/2.8 (left) and NX 30mm f/2 (right):

The NX 30mm f/2 features a conventional micro-motor which operates quite fast (on the NX200, less so on older NX cameras) and nearly silently. Interestingly the motor seems to be different compared to the newer NX 16mm f/2.4 or NX 20mm f/2.8 - the focus moves in distinctive "micro-steps" but the granularity is fine enough anyway. The AF accuracy is very high but that's typical for such systems. The small focus ring is not directly coupled to the focusing gear - similar to Micro-Four-Thirds it works "by wire": the focus ring activates the AF motor. We had no issues with this approach.

Specifications
Equiv. focal length46 mm (full format equivalent)
Equiv. aperturef/3.1 (full format equivalent, in terms of depth-of-field)
Optical construction5 elements in 5 groups (1x aspherical element)
Number of aperture blades7 (circular)
min. focus distance0.25 m (max. magnification 1:8.6)
Dimensions61.5 x 21.5 mm
Weight85 g
Filter size43 mm
Hood-
Other features-




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