Samsung NX 20-50mm f/3.5-5.6 ( S2050NB ) - Review / Lab Test
Lens Reviews - Samsung NX
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Review by Klaus Schroiff, published December 2011

Lens kindly provided by Oliver Stein!


Samsung offers two standard "kit" zoom lenses for the NX system - the NX 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 OIS and the NX 20-50mm f/3.5-5.6. The NX 18-55mm is a fairly big lens which makes it bit less appealing in the (smallish) mirrorless scope. Fortunately, Samsung was also aware of this so as an alternative they offer the Samsung NX 20-50mm f/3.5-5.6. In comparison the length and weight has been reduced by ~40% which is why it can be described as a "pancake zoom lens". It also belongs to the so-called "Carry" lens series which includes all the Samsung NX pancake prime lenses. Obviously the shrinking procedure came at a price - the focal length range is slightly reduced and you will have to live without an optical image stabilizer.

The build quality is about average based on a plastic construction down to the lens mount. The NX 20-50mm is retractable so you have to unlock it from its transport position. In working mode it is, of course, a little longer (56.6mm vs 39.9mm). The inner tube moves a little during zoom operations. The lens reaches its longest physical length at 20mm and 50mm and it's slightly shorter in the middle range (in working mode). The zoom action has a relatively high amount of friction whereas the focus ring operates smoothly. If you like to use a polarizer you may get disappointed - the front element rotates during focusing operation making this aspect somewhat cumbersome. Typical for all recent NX lenses it features the usual iFn button which allows the control of various camera settings when used in combination with the focus ring.

The AF motor is somewhat slower than on the 18-55mm and there are also slight noise emissions (high frequency). Manual focusing works "by-wire" so you actually trigger the focus motor by turning the focus ring (unless the camera is busy).

Here's a visual comparison between the NX 20-50mm (left) and NX 18-55mm (right). The NX 20-50mm remains somewhat more compact even in working mode and it's a lot smaller when comparing the two at max. tele settings.

Equiv. focal length31-77 mm (full format equivalent)
Equiv. aperturef/5.4-f/8.6 (full format equivalent, in terms of depth-of-field)
Optical construction9 elements in 8 groups, 1x aspherical and 1x LD element
Number of aperture blades7 (circular)
min. focus distance0.28 m (max. magnification 1:4.5)
Dimensions64 x 40 mm
Weight119 g
Filter size40.5 mm
Other featuresiFn

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