UKH

Samyang 12mm F2

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 Graeme G 29 May 2020

Thinking of buying this lens for my A5100.

Reviews for the Sony 16-50 kit lens are mixed but generally poor. I have to say I’m pretty pleased with the kit lens, particularly when compared to my old compact camera. But reviews for the Samyang are quite glowing.

So my question is, as an amateur budding photographer will I notice the difference?Does anyone use the Samyang? I’m mostly thinking landscape and maybe night photography.

 Alpenglow 29 May 2020
In reply to Graeme G:

It's supposed to be a sharp lens with some slight chromatic abberation and flare issues.

A lot of people use it for landscape astrophotography, and it seems well liked for that purpose. I'd actually recommend the Samyang 21mm f1.4 instead for astrophotography. The 1 stop wider aperture will make a huge difference in the amount of detail you'll be able to capture.

Another note, if you do decide to buy either, test your sample as soon as you receive it by taking a close up picture of a flat surface. Many people have reported decentering where one side of the frame is significantly less sharp than the other.

 Graeme G 29 May 2020
In reply to Alpenglow:

Thanks for this.

It’s probably more landscape I’d be using it for but thanks also for the tip re:21mm.

 jezb1 29 May 2020
In reply to Graeme G:

Haven’t used the Samyang but have a Sigma 16mm f1.4 that I really like semi permanently on my a6500. It’s very noticeably “better” than the kit lens.
 

In reply to Graeme G:

As Alpenglow says, copy to copy variation seems to be the concern with Samyang lenses, so probably worth assessing it in someway fairly early on. I have the FE 35mm f2.8 which is an OK copy.

You may find this interesting/useful.......

https://sonyalpha.blog/2020/03/02/which-lenses-are-the-sharpest-for-a-a6xxx/

In reply to Graeme G:

Got a Samyang 12mm f2 for my Fuji XT2. It is super sharp from f4 to f11, even at the edges and corners of the frame. However it does suffer from flare when shooting direct into the sun.

Personally, I like the all-manual feel to it. It forces me to slow down and think more about composition and critical focus. I usually focus wide open at f2, and then stop down to the sweet spot of f8 or f11 for the shot (unless you want the bokeh). On bright days for general landscapes it can be quick too - just keep it at f11, focus a little back from infinity and keep it there all day.

For landscapes, it's a very capable lens with excellent colour rendition, contrast and surprisingly little distortion.

Haven't used it yet for astrophotography, but intend to when I get around to it.

I'd advise you to buy one from a retailer like WEX or Jessops, where it will be easy to return it if you are unlucky enough to get a de-centred copy.

In reply to jezb1:

I'm also a fan of the Sigma 16mm f1.4. Always thought they were rather substantial on the A6xxx body. Just an excuse for my first picture post really.....


 Graeme G 29 May 2020
In reply to AllanMac:

Thanks. I like the idea of almost point and shoot as days on the hill can be long enough without stopping for photo shoots.

That said, I’m impressed with the A5100, so taking the time to get good shots is something I’m becoming more committed to.

 jezb1 29 May 2020
In reply to Mike_d78:

> I'm also a fan of the Sigma 16mm f1.4. Always thought they were rather substantial on the A6xxx body. Just an excuse for my first picture post really.....

Yeah that was a bit of a shock when I first got the lens! I quite like the feel for photography now but I do occasionally hand held vlog and my arm gets turbo pumped holding that up!!

 Graeme G 29 May 2020
In reply to jezb1:

Damn, reading some reviews and now you’re making me reconsider. I was really only floating between the Samyang 12mm and Sony 10-18mm as I wanted the wider field of view. But maybe 16mm is wide enough but just with a better lens? 

 jezb1 29 May 2020
In reply to Graeme G:

My Instagram has a couple of sunset shots from this week that might help give you an idea, they’re uncropped and shot in the 16mm.

Https://www.instagram.com/JBMountainSkills 

Post edited at 15:32
 Graeme G 29 May 2020
In reply to jezb1:

Thanks 😊 

 Alpenglow 29 May 2020
In reply to Graeme G:

The 10-18 f4 is supposed to be a good lens - it's pretty sharp.

Post edited at 15:49
 65 29 May 2020
In reply to Graeme G:

Samyang have a good name. I have the 8mm fisheye (on a Fuji X) which I'm impressed with. I think there is a Mk1 and 2 version of the lens you are talking about, its worth checking. I'm sure I read a couple of reviews that said the Mk2 was noticeably superior.

 Graeme G 29 May 2020
In reply to Alpenglow:

I also like the AF but just quite expensive.

 Graeme G 29 May 2020
In reply to 65:

Worth knowing, thanks.

In reply to Alpenglow:

Some shots with the Sony 10-18 f4. It's a nice light weight lens and a good size for the Sony aps-c cameras.

I'm not convinced that it is a great astro lens... not bright enough...

Post edited at 17:02

 Graeme G 29 May 2020
In reply to Mike_d78:

Nice. Yeah the F4 vs F2 between the Sony and the Samyang is a factor I’m considering. Now somebody’s mentioned the Sigma that just adds more to my thinking. But then that’s quite heavy.....

Jeez, is buying new lenses always this difficult? 

In reply to jezb1:

> Yeah that was a bit of a shock when I first got the lens! I quite like the feel for photography now but I do occasionally hand held vlog and my arm gets turbo pumped holding that up!!

Who knew holding a camera could be a workout...

 Elldel 29 May 2020
In reply to Graeme G:

> Nice. Yeah the F4 vs F2 between the Sony and the Samyang is a factor I’m considering. Now somebody’s mentioned the Sigma that just adds more to my thinking. But then that’s quite heavy.....

> Jeez, is buying new lenses always this difficult? 

Ha ha ha, yes I believe it is!

In reply to Graeme G:

> Nice. Yeah the F4 vs F2 between the Sony and the Samyang is a factor I’m considering. 

If you mostly shooting landscape you will probably stop either lens down a bit anyway, so perhaps the questions is do you want the option for a wider aperture/more light/shallower DoF and save £200 (Samyang) or a slightly wider field of view plus some zoom (Sony).

In reply to LucaC:

My summary of the 3 lenses (I’ve owned the Sigma & Sony) mentioned would be;

Samyang 12mm - Nice size, at the wide end for a typical landscape. Generally well-reviewed. Plenty useable for astro. Good value.

Sigma 16mm – Bigger. Typical landscape focal length. Very well reviewed. Good for astro. Good value.

Sony 10 – 18 – Nice size. Covers wide to typical landscape focal lengths. Generally well-reviewed. Probably not great for astro. More expensive.

No perfect lens?

 Graeme G 30 May 2020
In reply to Mike_d78:

Thanks. Having checked a few YouTube video reviews I’m starting to sway towards the Sigma. Def more affordable, just wish it was lighter.

 malk 31 May 2020
In reply to Graeme G:

i have the sony5100 and the 12mm samyang has been on my wishlist for a while- mainly intended for astro use.

i wouldn't spend any extra for aperture like the sigma 1.4 mentioned if main use is landscapes where you usually stop down for dof..

the sigma 19mm 2.8 is a cheap and sharp little lens..

1
 Graeme G 31 May 2020
In reply to malk:

Thanks, that’s actually a really good price. Not sure 19mm is as wide as I’d like though. But given the price it’s not like I couldn’t save up for something else if it didn’t live up to my aspirations 

In reply to Graeme G:

19mm on an APS-C is more like 28mm on a full frame which isn't very wide... I wouldn't want this to be my only option (personally speaking of course). But the image quality would probably be better than the Sony PZ16-50 you've got at the moment. 

 Graeme G 31 May 2020
In reply to LucaC:

> 19mm on an APS-C is more like 28mm on a full frame which isn't very wide... I wouldn't want this to be my only option (personally speaking of course). But the image quality would probably be better than the Sony PZ16-50 you've got at the moment. 

That was my thinking. Def keen to get as wide as I can and with sharper photos. The Sony is probably my preferred choice but I’d need to wait a couple of months for the extra cash. The Sigma 16 def looks like a really good lens, but I think it’ll just dwarf the A5100. The Samyang’s main issue is lack of AF, the A5100 doesn’t have a viewfinder so I don’t imagine manual focus off the screen will be easy.

Post edited at 19:55
 galpinos 01 Jun 2020
In reply to Graeme G:

> ....... so I don’t imagine manual focus off the screen will be easy.

Manual Focus is easier than you think, especially for landscape photography when you have the time. You also have focus peaking and focus magnifier options on the Sony which will help a lot.

(I don't have the Sony, I have an X-T1, but have been playing with manual focus on my 14mm lens for landscape and if I'm trying to get everything sharp at F8, for example, it's quite easy! I have a lot of photos of my street from my top top floor window using various trees, lampposts and buildings to test sharpness.....)

In reply to Graeme G:

MF with the screen isn't hard, I have the viewfinder permanently turned off. But I must say I prefer shooting AF since I don't trust myself to nail the focus better than the camera. MF gets switched on when the camera starts to struggle e.g. night sky photos.  

If it's just a case of waiting two months and getting the Sony, thats what I would do. 

 Graeme G 01 Jun 2020
In reply to LucaC:

Ta. I’m thinking that might be the best option. 


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