Samyang 50mm F1.2 AS UMC CS Review

Share on FacebookPin on PinterestShare on StumbleUponTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedIn

Introduction

The Samyang 50mm F1.2 AS UMC CS is a fast manual focus lens for mirrorless cameras with APS-C or smaller sized sensors, offering a focal length equivalent to 75mm on 1.5x crop APS-C sensor, 80mm on 1.6x crop sensor (Canon M) or 100mm lens on 2x crop Micro Four Thirds sensor. The Samyang 50mm f/1.2 is constructed of 9 elements in 7 groups including 2 glass aspherical lenses, with multi-layered and anti-reflexive UMC coatings to help prevent ghosting and flare. The Samyang 50mm F1.2 AS UMC CS is priced at £299 / $549.

Ease of Use

The Samyang 50mm F1.2 AS UMC CS is quite compact, measuring about 7.4cm in length and weighing in at 375-385g, depending upon the mount. We tested it on a Sony A6000 APS-C camera, which felt well-balanced in use.

Samyang 21mm f/1.4 ED AS UMC

The Samyang 50mm F1.2 AS UMC CS lens mounted on a Sony A6000

Samyang 21mm f/1.4 ED AS UMCSamyang 21mm f/1.4 ED AS UMC

The Samyang 50mm F1.2 AS UMC CS lens mounted on a Sony A6000

Samyang 21mm f/1.4 ED AS UMC

The Samyang 50mm F1.2 AS UMC CS lens alongside a Sony A6000

Build quality is very good for such an affordable lens. The Samyang 50mm F1.2 AS UMC CS feels very solid in your hand, even if the outer barrel and the filter thread appear to be made from plastic.

Samyang 21mm f/1.4 ED AS UMC

Side of the Samyang 50mm F1.2 AS UMC CS lens

Samyang 21mm f/1.4 ED AS UMC

Front of the Samyang 50mm F1.2 AS UMC CS lens

Samyang 21mm f/1.4 ED AS UMC

Rear of the Samyang 50mm F1.2 AS UMC CS lens

The focusing ring is generously wide and has a ridged, rubberised grip band. As this is a manual focus lens only, there’s a distance scale that runs from the closest distance of 50cm to infinity, but sadly no depth of field scale.

At the base of the lens is an aperture ring, adjustable in 1/2 stop (0.5 EV) intervals, which has a definite clicking action. An uncoupled (de-clicked) manual aperture version of the lens (the Samyang 50mm T1.3 AS UMC CS Cine) is also available if your main interest is shooting movies rather than stills.

Samyang 21mm f/1.4 ED AS UMC

Front of the Samyang 50mm F1.2 AS UMC CS lens

Samyang 21mm f/1.4 ED AS UMC

Rear of the Samyang 50mm F1.2 AS UMC CS lens

The lens is generously supplied with a detachable circular shaped lens hood, lens caps and soft lens bag. The filter size is 62mm. Focusing is performed internally so the Samyang 50mm F1.2 AS UMC CS doesn’t change length and the filter thread doesn’t rotate, good news for filter users.

Samyang 21mm f/1.4 ED AS UMC

The Samyang 50mm F1.2 AS UMC CS lens, in-hand

Samyang 21mm f/1.4 ED AS UMC

The Samyang 50mm F1.2 AS UMC CS lens with the supplied lens hood fitted

Note that the Samyang 50mm F1.2 AS UMC CS lens doesn’t have any electronic contacts for transferring exposure information to the camera body, so the EXIF data won’t include anything about the lens, such as the focal length and aperture that were used for each shot.

Chromatic Aberrations

Chromatic aberrations, typically seen as purple or blue fringes along contrasty edges, are a minor problem with this lens, largely because the camera body isn’t performing any automatic corrections due to the lack of electronic contacts on the lens – the examples below show the worst-case scenario.

Samyang 21mm f/1.4 ED AS UMC

Samyang 21mm f/1.4 ED AS UMC

Light Fall-off

With the lens wide open at f/1.2, you can see some very noticeable light fall-off in the corners. Stopping down helps, although to completely get rid of this phenomenon, you will need to use an f-stop of f/5.6 or smaller.

Samyang 21mm f/1.4 ED AS UMC

Macro

The Samyang 50mm F1.2 AS UMC CS is not a macro lens. The close-focus point is at 50cm from the film/sensor plane. The following example illustrates how close you can get to the subject, in this case a CompactFlash card.

Samyang 21mm f/1.4 ED AS UMC

Close-up performance

Bokeh

Bokeh is a word used for the out-of-focus areas of a photograph, and is usually described in qualitative terms, such as smooth / creamy / harsh etc. One of the main reasons to buy a fast lens is to be able to isolate the subject from the background, which is normally very hard to do with a wide-angle lens. Samyang was apparently very much aware of this requirement, as they employed an iris diaphragm with 9 rounded blades for a pleasing rendering of the out-of-focus highlights. Based on what we have seen, we can say that they largely succeeded. Below you’ll find some examples, but you are also encouraged to check out our sample images.

Samyang 21mm f/1.4 ED AS UMC

Samyang 21mm f/1.4 ED AS UMC

Samyang 21mm f/1.4 ED AS UMC

Samyang 21mm f/1.4 ED AS UMC

Sharpness

In order to show you how sharp this lens is, we are providing 100% crops on the following page.

Sharpness at 50mm

The sharpness tests for this review were carried out using a real-world subject rather than a test chart. The Samyang 50mm F1.2 AS UMC CS lens was attached to a Sony A6000 body, which in turn was mounted on a sturdy tripod. Self-timer mode was activated. Slight tonal changes are due to slight changes in natural light during the session.

The full frame

The full frame at 50mm

Centre sharpness is outstanding between f/2 and f/8, with some softness evident wide open at f/1.2. At f/11 and f/16 sharpness is beginning to drop off a little. The edges aren’t quite as sharp, with the best results obtained between f/4-f/8.

Aperture Centre Crop Edge Crop
f/1.2

f/1.4

f/2

f/2.8

f/4

f/5.6

f/8

f/11

f/16

Specifications

Lens type Short telephoto prime lens for Mirrorless APS-C or smaller sensor
Focal length 50mm
Maximum aperture f1.2
Min aperture f22
Angle of view 30.0 degrees (1.6x crop APS-C), 31.7 degrees (1.5x APS-C), 24.5 (MFT)
Min focusing distance 0.5m
No. of diaphragm blades 9 (circular blades)
Focus type MF (Manual Focus only)
Lens construction 9 elements in 7 groups, 2 aspherical lenses (ASP)
Dimensions 67.5mm diameter, length 73.0 to 74.5mm (approx, dependent on mount)
Weight 375g – 385g (dependent on mount)
Lens hood: Detachable
Filter Size: 62mm
Available mounts Sony E, Micro Four Thirds (MFT), Fujifilm X mount and Canon M

Conclusion

The Samyang 50mm F1.2 AS UMC CS is an affordable and very fast short telephoto lens for mirrorless users, although the effective focal length of 75mm on APS-C cameras is a little short of the classic 85mm portrait setting, and 100mm on Micro Four Thirds a little too long. You also need to make sure that you can live with the lack of auto-focusing and the transfer of metering information and automatic image quality corrections.

The Samyang 50mm F1.2 AS UMC CS’s build quality is reassuringly good, proving to be an ideal partner to the Sony A6000 camera that we tested it with. Focusing manually is straight-forward thanks to the responsive focusing ring and Sony’s excellent focusing aids, although we did miss having a hyperfocal distance scale. The aperture ring is also a great feature, although we’d have liked to see 1/3 stop exposure adjustments. Regular auto-focus users will undoubtedly miss the convenience of modern AF systems, though not perhaps for as long or as much as they might envisage, whilst video shooters will positively embrace the de-clicked aperture version of this lens.

Image quality is generally pretty good, especially in the centre of the frame. There are some optical issues to be aware of, though, most notably some minor chromatic aberrations, obvious corner shading until you reach f/5.6, and a lack of sharpness from f/1.2-f/2 in the centre and f/1.2-f/4 at the edges.

If you like the effective focal length and don’t mind the lack of auto-focusing or big-brand name, we can certainly recommend the Samyang 50mm F1.2 AS UMC CS as an affordable short telephoto prime lens for mirrorless camera owners.

(photographyblog.com)

 

Comments

comments

Share on FacebookPin on PinterestShare on StumbleUponTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedIn