Samyang 16mm f/2 ED AS UMC CS lens coming this summer, more lenses on the horizon


Samyang has scheduled to release several new lenses in 2014. The first one will be a 16mm f/2 ED AS UMC CS for APS-C cameras ($449). A second APS-C lens is also rumored to be announced this summer. During the 2012 Photokina show the company introduced a 10mm f/2.8 ED AS UMC CS lens for APS-C cameras that has not been released yet. A new Samyang 50mm f/1.2 lens is also on the roadmap for 2014.

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  • RMJ

    If the lens is coming this summer, how can it be the first one to come in 2014 ? Either the topic is wrong or the first sentence is wrong (should be 2013). Yet it talks about 50mm which is apparently scheduled for the next year.

    • Pablo Ricasso returned

      Oh wow then. That means Nikon might even produce that 58.

  • Too bad these are all manual…

    • Mr. Mamiya

      True. Focussing manually in those tiny DX viewfinders is a pain. The use of this lens is fairly limited: Static subjects: okay. Landscapes and architecture: why f/2? Maybe night photography and stars. DX size advantage? My old Ai-s 24/2 on FX seems smaller to me.

      • Eh, not the issue at all. Unless you have horribly awkward glasses (no offense meant, some people do, and I did in the past) the finders in the top end DX cameras are wonderful. And I’m not making excuses–I use FX and DX. I actually used MF on my shoot today, and it’s quite easy. But it’s slow. MF isn’t a sure fire as AF. I learned back with the D2x that the AF bested me in pretty much any light level. (well, not on the D7000, but that’s a whole other story)

        No, AF is a must for a lens this fast.

        Well, unless you’re using it on something with an EVF with magnified view or peaking. But that’s only applicable to the 1 Series in Nikon land. On a DSLR, AF is too useful to not have as an option.

        • Spy Black

          The biggest culprits are the viewfinders. Why the f#*k do Nikon FX body viewfinders have .7x magnification? I look though my D600 and my F2 and it’s no comparison. It’s quite easy to manually focus my Ai lenses on my F2 on the groundglass (without the split-image/microprism aid), it’s quite difficult with the same lenses on my D600, especially from 50mm and shorter. I know the groundglass is different, but to me the problem really is the viewfinder magnification.

          • Look into third party finders? I’ve been contemplating a katz-eye, but I don’t like the idea of having to get my meter recalibrated.

            • Spy Black

              The KatzEye focus aid is helpful (I have one in my D5100), but the viewfinder magnification is what really screws up the ability to manually focus. KatzEye as of yet does not have a screen for the D600 as well, although there is a Japanese company that does.

              I put DK-21M on the D600, which brought the magnification up to .819X. This helped, but still wasn’t sufficient, and the eyepiece invokes quite a bit of vignetting. It also looks like the eyepiece equivalent of a Zack Morris phone!

              Right now I’m trying to figure out how to bore out a DK-22 without breaking it to fit a DK-17M onto it. This would bring the magnification level at least up to .84x, without any vignetting.

              Hopefully this would help, but I really wish the eyepiece simply had a 1.x magnification in the first place. I just don’t see the point in this reduced magnification. It’s utterly idiotic.

            • Check out some of the parts here:

              I was also toying with ways to get a DK17m onto my D7100. If nothing at the above link pans out, I’ll start looking into doing something custom on shapeways.

              Could the vignetting have to do with the angles of the light? Maybe it would work better with a plain bright matte instead of the fresnel type they come with these days? In good light, the aliasing from the fresnel sometimes helps me judge focus.

            • Spy Black

              That looks interesting, but I don’t understand their parts identification. I see one or two part numbers, but 3-5 components. I could assume for a moment that the eyepiece frame (for instance) accepts the eyepiece glass, which is is held in by the retaining ring, and you have an option for a rubber eye cup. But what does the glass do? Is it a magnifier, or a diopter? What are the specs of the different glasses? Can I screw a DK-17M into the eyepiece frame or eyepiece adapter? It’s very vague to me.

      • Gab

        The old 24mm Ai lenses(f2 or f2.8) are pretty bad, barely usable on a d700, I expect this lens to be much better than those, unless Samyang did something wrong.

        • groucher

          You must have a damaged lens. My 24mm f2.8 out-resolves my D800 and is one of the best lenses I have ever used.

          • Gavin Morris

            Same here. I have an Ai one from the 70s. It’s, frankly, amazing on the D800. It was amazing on the D2x, too.

        • Pablo Ricasso returned

          There was a minor change in the 24 about the time AI became normal. I don’t know if or how many AI units were made to the old specs or if you have one that was AI converted. I also don’t know the condition of your glass. I also don’t know if you are one of those who must shoot everything with the lens set on max aperture, but I will guess you are trying to use the lens on a cropped sensor.
          I know that I liked my pre AI 24 for film… right until I got an AI copy. There was no comparison. I promptly sold the early version.

          I suppose if you get an AIS copy you eliminate the chance of getting the early optic. It’s not as crisp as the 28 f2, but the colors are much better. The 24 f2 is a bit softer yet. But if you have that lens wide open on a full frame you would need a 16 f1.4 to make your depth of field as narrow. Tell Samyang to make you a 16 f4. And get a full frame camera for your lenses. Hell, a kit zoom might work better on a cropped sensor.

          • Pablo Ricasso returned

            My bad. If a d700 is showing them to be weak you must have an element slightly out of place. It would be one thing if you said they weren’t sharp, but it’s quite another when you say there’s no contrast. The color rendition is one of the best things about the 24 f2.8. (The colors are much flatter or less “contrasty” on the 24 f2. But then again, I really can hardly stand the colors I’ve seen on my admittedly early Samyang lenses.) There is no way that a lens on a DX camera will give you anything equal to a 24 on a full frame with the same number of pixels or more. Given the size of the front element, the focal length, and the aperture, I’d say that Samyang has a huge challenge just to be close, and especially if someone wants to use it wide open.

            And so you know I’m not biased, raw performance data indicates that the lens has now been mainly beat by several zooms. The 24-70 is one if you can stand the extra distortion. The old 17-35 appears to clobber it, so there is no doubt that the 14-24 also does, if you can deal with the flare. And, of course, you could also compete with it by using the Nikon or the Samyang 24 f1.4. But you probably know which one I recommend.

            I used that lens to compare because it’s small, cheap, a;; metal, and (my copy) has beautiful colors rendition, something I often find missing in third party lenses. That it can be improved upon by spending somewhat sizeable amounts of money on various zooms or faster primes should indicate that the lens is nothing special. That said, most of the ones still around will beat this very special lens when used on a sensor sized for the intended image circle. And I’m not going to spend 500 bucks for a huge plastic piece of landfill so I can put it on a crappy camera and do something almost as good as if I were using the real thing.

    • I have the 14mm 2.8.

      On the wide end, MF isn’t an issue at all. Stop it down to 5.6, focus to 6 meters, and everything from 3 meters to infinity is in focus. (The old DOF scales you can find are a little too generous, if you plan to print big or crop, hyperfocal distances start a little further back than focus scales say they do.)

      • …and those times you need the large aperture/can’t afford to stop down/run out of shutter/run out of ISO? THEN MF is an issue!

        • Gavin Morris

          Only if you can’t work it. Fine if you do, but not everyone relies on AF.

          • ISO 25,600, f2, 1/20th …I can’t see, but either of my cameras can focus and take a properly exposed picture.

  • Pablo Ricasso returned

    It looks like third parties are going to own the APS format.

    For ultrawide there is the Sigma 8-16. For wide with speed there is the Tokina 11-16. For wide to normal more speed there is going to be the Sigma 17-35. And now there is going to be a fast prime.

    Nikon didn’t listen to all you crybabies.

    But somebody did.

    However, the fact that the makers aren’t giving you these lenses should indicate that they feel that the most affordable path to high performance is through the use of a larger sensor. When resolutions increase, these lenses will be more challenged than full frame lenses because full frame lenses can have one and a half times the amount of slop and produce the same quality. Since the distance from the mount to the sensor is equal, it is easier to get better quality with a larger image circle. These high end DX lenses remind me of third party AF lenses that were made to work on manual cameras. They were a stop gap measure for those who didn’t want to cross over to the next thing. The lens will eventually be more of a curiosity than anything.

    As for subject isolation, this is effectively a 24 f2.8 lens on a full frame. I have that and a 24 f2 lens. They both have 52 mm filters and do fairly well wide. I also have a zoom that works well at f2.9 and 24mm. Even in the unlikely event this lens on a D7100 would hold up against any of those on a D600, it wouldn’t offer me any advantage because it’s as big as the zoom and the zoom zooms. One of the primes opens effectively a stop further, or to the same aperture. In low light the D600 will kill the D7100, so this lens had better cost much less than the price difference between the two cameras. Because my 24 f2.8 cost 100 bucks and is probably the sharpest of the 3 as well as the smallest.

    • J. Dennis Thomas

      Last time I checked the Sigma 17-35 had been discontinued for some years now.

      • RMJ

        By “is going to be” he meant just released 18-35mm f/1.8

    • KnightPhoto

      I must say:
      – this lens seems awfully large for an APC-C lens;
      – f/2 does sound advantageous. But yeah, if it means it’s going to be that big, I’m not so sure…;
      – I’m pretty much exclusively an FX shooter now, so personally I’m more interested in the 24mm tilt-shift from Samyang;
      – Samyang does in general seem to be coming out with some interesting stuff though.

    • Gab

      The 24 f2.8 is not sharp, nor contrasty on a d700, this samyang lens has to perform better on DX.

    • spicynujac

      A contrary view is that technology has already or will create smaller sensors that will capture amazing detail with incredible low light performance and that the arbitary sensor size that is equal to the size of an old piece of film is simply an anachronism that will fade away and your old FX will be a “stop gap measure” for those who temporarily wanted the best thing available in the early 2010s. I am sure medium format performs better than FX and DX. But DX is amazing and is my format of choice. I see the future as something even smaller, not larger.

      • Pablo Ricasso returned

        It might well be that smaller is the future. But if so, it won’t be a DX DSLR. The distance between the mount is the same which means that the distance from the rear element to the sensor is almost the same. That means that while the lens can be somewhat sharper because it projects a smaller image circle it also needs to be one and a half times more precise between the mirror and the sensor to resolve the same number of line pairs on a sensor of the same pixel count. Precision is what costs the $$$$. At one time a big sensor was costing even more $$$$. This is no longer the case due to the amortization of the machine tools needed to make such sensors. And full frame can become considerably smaller. Look at the Nikon EM or the Pentax ME for instance.

        Those EVIL mirrorless cameras can have lenses that fit like a rangefinder, allowing smaller size, faster apertures, more precision and whatnot. And then consider Leicas and remember that they are also full frame and remember that full frame will also have an advantage even in small EVIL mirrorless systems. At some point I’m sure there will be one that is smaller than the smallest full frame film camera that you can think of.

      • KnightPhoto

        “A contrary view is that technology has already or will create smaller sensors that will capture amazing detail with incredible low light performance” – I have to agree on this. Even though since 2009 I have been a committed FX shooter and now do nearly all my photography with two FX cameras, a high-performing DX Nikon mirrorless option is one I would quickly add to my kit. It’s only a matter of time for when a Nikon DX mirrorless appears. And heck yeah I will continue to keep a 1-series kit as one of my options. Adding a 1-series lens a year is pretty easy to do financially and the lenses tend to be very good performers.
        So, yup, continue to improve CX, DX, and FX. The more the first two happen the less the latter will be needed and yeah will prob fade away (the lenses are huge after all).

  • Nikonuser

    These lenses need DOF scales!

    • Why? If you’re working that slow, just use live view. It’s more accurate than any DOF scales.

    • @bodhisattvah:disqus – DOF is incredibly important for wide angle lenses. It allows you to preset focus and actually capture action. I find AF almost mandatory for telephoto lenses when used for fast-moving functions – at least in today’s fast-paced photography world. But, wide angle lenses can be used MF very very quickly and with a proper DOF, make it doubly fast to preset and shoot rather than look, then shoot.

      When I shoot down low up at my subjects (mainly school photography), I never have the time (nor the flexibility) to look through the viewfinder or the rear LCD.

      A good DOF scale would allow me to eye the distance and preset. Shoot. Bam! Done.

    • tengris

      Let’s wait for the first shipped copies. My Samyang 35mm f/1.4 AE has a depth of field scale, although the first presentation samples hadn’t.

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