Samsung NX 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 OIS II ( S1855IB ) - Review / Lab Test
Lens Reviews - Samsung NX
Tuesday, 15 November 2011 07:24
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Review by Klaus Schroiff, published December 2011


Samsung offers two standard "kit" zoom lenses for the NX system - the collapsible NX 20-50mm f/3.5-5.6, a member of the "Carry" (thus compact lenses) series, and the bigger NX 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 OIS II, an "Optima" (thus mainstream) lens according to Samsung's product classifications. In this review we will have a look at the latter lens which is probably also a bit more popular due to its slightly broader range and the addition of an optical image stabilizer. Prise-wise there's basically no difference between the two (ca. 180EUR/200$). The field of view of the NX 18-55mm II is equivalent to about "28-85mm" on full format cameras so it is a rather typical representative of its species. The max. aperture range follows the mainstream as well.

The build quality of the lens is about average. It is a plastic construction down to the lens mount but this is nothing bad per se. The inner lens tube shows only a very marginal amount of wobbling when zooming to 55mm thus max. extension. The zoom action is somewhat uneven combined with a relatively high amount of friction whereas the focus ring operates smoothly.

The lens features the usual iFn button which allows control of various camera settings in combination with the focus ring - this seems to be the only difference compared to the initial version of the NX 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 OIS so users of that lens don't really need to consider upgrading.. iFn is nice but not a feature to die for in our opinion and users of the older lens have the advantage of having a dedicated OIS on/off switch instead.

The AF motor is both fast - at least on the NX200 - and silent. Typical for a contrast detection AF system we had no real issue with focus accuracy. Manual focusing works, as usual for NX lenses, "by-wire" so you actually trigger the focus motor by turning the focus ring (unless the camera is busy).
The lens features Samsung's OIS ("Optical Image Stabilizer") which is about as efficient as the other optical stabilizer systems out there - you can expect "a gain" of about 3 f-stops from it (at the expense of shutter speed).

Equiv. focal length28-85 mm (full format equivalent)
Equiv. aperturef/5.4-f/8.6 (full format equivalent, in terms of depth-of-field)
Optical construction12 elements in 9 groups (1x aspherical element)
Number of aperture blades7 (circular)
min. focus distance0.28 m (max. magnification 1:4.5)
Dimensions63 x 65.1 mm
Weight198 g
Filter size58 mm
Hoodpetal shaped, bayonet mount, included
Other featuresiFn