Review – Samyang 24 mm F2.8 FE
Samyang AF F2.8 FE

Review – Samyang 24 mm F2.8 FE

Sony announced its first full-frame mirrorless camera, the Sony A7 in 2013 with 5 FE lenses. Many people criticized that the number of FE lenses was far less than sufficient. More and more 3rd party manufacturers have joined the line to produce Sony FE mount lenses throughout the years. Samyang is one of the manufacturers that produce amazing FE AF lenses at an affordable price. The Samyang AF 24 mm F2.8 FE lens is the latest product in Sony FE lines. It is designed in a compact form that is almost identical to the Samyang AF 35 mm F2.8 FE and Sony Zeiss 35 mm F2.8.

Sony Zeiss 35 mm vs Samyang 24 mm
Left from the shot is Sony Zeiss FE 35mm F2.8, right is the Samyang AF 24 mm F2.8 AF

Key Specification

The Samyang AF 24 mm F2.8 FE specification as the following:

  • Length in 37 mm (exclude the lens hood)
  • Weight in 93g (exclude lens hood and lens cap)
  • Maximum diameter 61.8mm
  • 49 mm filter thread
  • F2.8 to F22
  • 7 elements in 7 groups
  • 7 blades
  • Minimum focus distance 24cm
  • Maximum magnification ratio 0.13x

Pros & Cons

  • compact and lightweight
  • good sharpness even at F2.8
  • great chromatic aberration control
  • short minimum focus distance
  • silent and accurate AF
  • strong ball-shaped ghosting might cause concern when direct shooting at sun/light source at a certain angle
  • heavy vignetting across all apertures but can be corrected easily
  • plastic built

Body and Design

Samyang AF 24 mm F2.8 FE comes with a hard, compact lens case with red color zip. Its design is similar to the lens design itself.

Samyang 24 mm - Lens and Case
Samyang AF 24 mm F2.8 FE and Lens Case

Samyang AF 24 mm F2.8 FE is compact and made of plastic, and the silver matte color painted lens mount seems to be made of plastic too. However, for such a less than 100g lens, it shouldn’t be a problem.

Thanks to the internal focusing design, the front lens barrel does not rotate when focusing. It’s great for filter users. The focus ring is smooth and does not have any hard stops at the end. It has a metallic red ring and a silver ring, which add a pleasant view to the minimalist lens appearance.

The lens hood is tiny and keeps the lens in a low profile.

Lens Performance

Sharpness and CA

The lens surface is coated with Samyang Ultra-Multi-Coating to increase the sharpness and clarity by reducing the lens flare and ghosting. Below are the 100% cropped center and corner of the test chart to test the sharpness and CA.

Center

The center sharpness is good at its widest open F2.8 with visible magenta CA. Stop down to F4 significantly increase the sharpness. F5.6 is the sharpest and has no visible CA. Sharpness slightly reduces from F8 onwards, while the F22 sharpness is the softest due to the diffraction.

Corner

At the corner, F2.8 sharpness is good, and the sharpness is further increased when stopped down. F5.6 is the sharpest, and F22 is the softest. Magenta CA is spotted at F2.8, F4, F16, and F22 but it is pretty well controlled at the corners.

I’m impressed by Samyang AF 24 mm F2.8 FE sharpness and CA control performance. Great job Samyang!

Vignetting

The vignetting is heavy at F2.8, and visible across all the other apertures. 

Nevertheless, the vignetting is pretty easy to correct in post-processing software like Adobe Lightroom, Capture One Pro, etc.

Distortion

There is minor barrel distortion.

Ghosting and Flare

I have mixed feelings regarding the ghosting and flare control by the new Samyang lens. There would be a strong visible ball-shape ghosting in very rare situations when directly shooting at the light source at a certain angle.

Samyang 24 mm - Ghosting

To confirm it is not an artificial mistake, I clean the lens surface and attach the lens hood, shoot at the LED light, and compare the same shooting condition with the Sony Zeiss SEL35F28Z as the following.

The ball-shaped ghosting only occurs in the Samyang lens. I couldn’t replicate it in the Sony Zeiss SEL35F28Z.

In real life, night shots and long exposure shots are fine and seem unaffected by the ghosting issue.

Direct shooting at the sun also seems unaffected by the ghosting issue.

Throughout my days of shooting, I rarely noticed any of the ball-shaped ghosting. Although it is not perfect for the flare and ghosting control part, it’s still doing good in most shooting scenarios.

Macro/Close Up

The Samyang AF 24 mm F2.8 FE minimum focus distance is 24 mm, with a 0.13x magnification ratio.

When shooting at the closest focus distance, the SD card is not magnified much. If you want to shoot some macro or close-up photography, this lens will not be your first choice.

Bokeh

The Bokeh appears circular at its widest open F2.8. The Bokeh does not hold in circular shape once it stops down to F4 onwards.

I take the lotus shot below at F2.8, and crop the Bokeh area for reference. At the 100% cropped, the Bokeh might not be as creamy as you would like.

Shooting Experiences

I always like to travel light, Samyang AF 24 mm F2.8 FE compact design is perfectly matched with my Sony a7 III. It gives minimum attraction to others when shooting on the street.

The AF motor is silent, fast, and accurate; the eye-AF and continuous AF work as smoothly as the native FE lens. I did a quick AF test for video shooting, there is also no audible noise, and the AF transition is smooth too.

If you have concerns about the ball-shaped ghosting issue I mentioned earlier, honestly, it rarely occurred throughout my days of shooting. Overall, I am pretty satisfied and enjoyed the shooting with Samyang AF 24 mm F2.8 FE lens.

Sample Shots

Well, let’s have some more sample shots that I take using the Samyang AF 24 mm F2.8 FE. They are straight out of camera JPEG. Besides the cropping and resizing in Capture One Pro 11, I do not apply any other post-processing.

Bottom Line

The Samyang AF 24 mm F2.8 FE is compact, lightweight. Its optical performance is pretty good, considering it sells for USD 399 or SGD499. If you are looking for a compact AF wide-angle lens for daily, you may consider to get the Samyang AF 24 mm F2.8 FE (well, also the only choice at the moment)

I hope you enjoyed the review and happy shooting. Cheers!

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Nice review. Just ordered this lens. I had reservations at first because there seems to be copy variation but it’s perfect size and FL for street and I’m find the Samyang 35/2.8 excellent with A7S. Good to hear CAF and eye-focus working well – that will be of great use when I get Sony A9 soon. I was concerned about flare but it looks better than most of my legacy glass.

    1. Thanks man. Hope you enjoyed the lens. Do let me know if you need any help! Cheers!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Close Menu