Samyang 24mm f/2.8 FE Review

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The Samyang 24 mm f/2.8 FE is the latest addition for the Sony E-mount system. It is a very compact and light wide angle. The lens has autofocus, and the price is very attractive.

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We do not need a crystal ball to predict that this Samyang 24 mm f/2.8 will become a very popular lens.

Forthe Sony E-mount system, there is now a wide selection of lenses in the most requested focal points. But there is still plenty to be desired, especially when it comes to compact and affordable lenses. Samsung recently launched the small and very affordable 35 mm f/2.8 FE. We tested it (Samyang FE 35mm AF pancake review link) and were impressed by the image quality. That is pretty good, especially when you look at the dimensions and the price of the lens. That is why it is gratifying that Samyang continues this trend with the (almost) same-size, but much more wide-angle, 24 mm f/2.8 FE. It is - like the 35mm - a pancake and one of the smallest lenses you can get for the Sony A7 and A9 cameras. The lens is also nice and light (93 grams!). You can of course also use this lens on the Sony E-mount cameras with APS-C sensor, and it works like a 35mm wide angle. Both for the full-frame models and the APS-C models, this is the only lens in this focal point and price range. For the full-frame models, there are the Zeiss Batis and Loxia lenses, which both cost over a thousand euros; for APS-C, Sony offers a Zeiss 24mm with a higher brightness, but also a much higher price. In addition to the lower price, the Samyang also offers smaller dimensions and a lower weight. Ideal for travel and documentary photographers.

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Samyang 24mm f/2.8 FE Specs:

    • At 93 grams and 3.7cm, a unique and very compact Full-Frame AF wide angle.
    • High image quality from the center to the corners thanks to 5 special lens elements.
    • Samyang Ultra Multi Coating provides strong reduction in flare and ghosting.
    • Improved (compared to Samyang FE 35mm f/2.8 pancake) fast and quiet autofocus
    • Very short minimum focusing distance of just 0.24m.De Samyang FE f/2.8 AF is, zelfs inclusief zonnekap, een heerlijk compacte combinatie met een Sony A7R III.

The Samyang FE f/2.8 AF is, even including lens hood, a wonderfully compact combination with a Sony A7R III.

Samyang 24mm f/2.8 FE WITH OR WITHOUT IMAGE STABILIZATION?

SamyangVRtest

There is no image stabilization built into the lens itself. But Sony cameras now all have built-in image stabilization. That is much more efficient for wide-angle lenses than in-lens image stabilization. In our test, the image stabilization of the Sony A7R III with Samyang 24 mm f/2.8 was excellent. Shots taken with image stabilization and a shutter speed of 1/3 second were sharper than shots made without image stabilization and a shutter speed of 1/100 second!

Specifications
Samyang AF 24 mm f/2.8 FE
Image Stabilization:-
lenses/ groups:7 / 7
length x diameter:37x62mm
filter size:49
Weight:93
Lens hood:+

IMAGE QUALITY

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Bokeh is not the reason why you buy a wide-angle lens. But the lens design of the Samyang 24mm pancake with 7 lens elements and 7 aperture blades provides a beautiful background blur if you get close enough to your subject. With a minimum focusing distance of 23cm, you achieve magnification of 0.13.

You can expect visible vignetting from a pancake wide-angle lens in combination with a full-frame sensor. That is the case, as well, although you will have less trouble with both jpg files and RAW files you open in Lightroom or Photoshop if you set the camera to automatic lens corrections. After correction, one and a half stop vignetting remains, which halves after stopping down 1 stop. From f/5.6, the vignetting remains constant after correction at about half a stop.
Another aspect that can be directly related to the lens design is a greater sensitivity to internal reflections and ghosts. The intensity of light decreases quadratically with the distance. If there is light reflected onto the sensor by a lens element that is far away from the sensor, such as in the Distagon design of the Zeiss Batis, you won't see ghosts. But with a pancake lens, all 7 lens elements are very close to the sensor. In spite of good lens coatings, you cannot escape the fact that with a bright light source shining directly into the lens (and a lens hood is no help then), you will see ghosts. And I came across this in extreme backlighting situations in practice.

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For distortion, thanks to the in-camera lens corrections, you will not be bothered by it if you open RAW files in Lightroom or Photoshop, or if you use the jpg files directly from the camera. The resolution in the center is already high at full aperture, and increases to f/8, after which you notice with the small pixels of the Sony A7 R III that diffraction prevents further increase of the resolution. It is striking that the sharpness in the outer corners gives little up to the sharpness at the edges. You will get visibly better sharpness at f/5.6 and f/8 than at full aperture. The Samyang 24 mm f/2.8, in short, produces nice pictures, even though the Samyang 35 mm f/2.8 is even a bit better. That is of course no surprise, since a 24mm lens is much more difficult to design than a 35mm with the same brightness.

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ConclusiON: Samyang 24mm f/2.8 FE @ Sony A7R III review

Use the Lens Comparison or look in our list of reviewed lenses to compare this lens with other lenses.

WYSIWYG score: This table shows the performance of this lens if you save the files in the camera as jpg, with all available in-camera lens corrections applied. This score gives you for this lens/test camera combination: "What you see is what you get".


Focal Length
mm @ FF
Total score
Resolution
lat. C.A.
Vignetting
Distortion
AF accur.
AF speed

24
24
7.9
8.1
8.2
6.0
7.4
8
9

Pure RAW scoreThis table shows the performance of this lens if the file is stored in the camera in RAW format. This score approaches the intrinsic quality of the combination of lens and test camera. If you use lens correction profiles in Photoshop or Lightroom to convert RAW files, then the RAW scores for distortion, vignetting and chromatic aberration are even better.


Focal Length
mm @ FF
Total score
Resolution
lat. C.A.
Vignetting
Distortion
AF accur.
AF speed

24
24
7.4
7.7
9.1
5.5
5.5
8
9

PROS

      • Fantastic price-to-quality ratio
      • Inexpensive wide angle with AF
      • Extremely compact and light
      • Solid image quality

CONS

      • Sensitive to backlighting
      • Vignetting

The Samyang AF 24mm f/2.8 FE steals your heart with compact dimensions and an unbeatable price-to-performance ratio. Go out with this pancake wide angle and enjoy!

Miracles do not exist. If you compare your shots taken with the Samyang AF 24 mm f/2.8 FE with shots taken with a Zeiss Batis 25 mm f/2.8, you will see that the Batis is better. That is, of course, not a fair comparison, because the Batis costs a few times as much as the Samyang. Nevertheless, the Samyang 24 mm f/2.8 FE is indeed a competitor of the Batis and all other wide-angle lenses that are currently available for Sony FE (A7/A9) cameras with a full-frame sensor.
After all, what wide-angle lens adds less than one ounce to the weight of your camera - and hardly affects the size - at 24 mm? With the retention of AF? And with an image quality that you cannot easily match on cameras with a smaller sensor? For an extremely attractive price? Mount the Samyang f/2.8, take advantage of the good IBIS image stabilization of the Sony A7 cameras and go on an extended photo safari with this combination. Check the pictures afterwards on your screen and ask yourself: "Do miracles exist after all?"

Ivo Freriks
Author: Ivo Freriks
With Camera Review Stuff I hope to make a modest contribution to the pleasure that you get from photography. By testing cameras and lenses in the same way, evluating the results and weighing up the pros and cons, I hope to help you find the right camera or lens.

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