Samyang to start making autofocus lenses for Nikon F-mount

samyang-autofocus-lenses-for-nikon-f-mount
In a recent interview with Focus-numerique, the head of product planning at Samyang Jeong Min Shin said that they will start making autofocus lenses for Nikon mount (this rumor has been circulating for a while):

We started the implementation of an autofocus optical FE frame and we are adapting to of other mounts, like Canon and Nikon. We also believe in Fujifilm and Micro 4/3, but these markets are not very important

Via FujiaddictPhotorumors, picture credit: Samyang

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  • doge

    cool

  • Colin Stuart

    “Fujifilm and Micro 4/3, but these markets are not very important” BURN!!!!

    • akkual

      Well, mirrorless have had static 15-20% share of sold DSLRs. So they are not that important (yet).

      • lorenzo

        I do not understand mirror-less; I have one from Nikon and most of the times I tend to put my eye on the LCD; when I realize that i still never see what I am taking a picture of, especially outside in the day light. If the come with a EVF that is not fast enough to please me.
        I feel good just with my pentaprism and will never trade it.

        • Captain Megaton

          If it came between a good EVF and a bad OVF though, I’d take the EVF.

          • But a bad evf is mostly dependent on your lens. And in the nighttime an evf should be better than any ovf. So the usabilities are distinctly clear cut for both. Nikon should come out with an ovf camera which can take an extra evf .

            • KnightPhoto

              Yes I want a DSLR that takes an accessory EVF for mirror up shooting and video.

              90% of the time I want an OVF and world class autofocus. 10% of the time I’d like the EVF advantages and then I don’t need a mirrorless cam (and heaven forbid a separate set of lenses) cluttering up my bag.

            • Captain Megaton

              A slow lens or darker scene will result in a darker OVF image, but my point was that if it came between a so-so pentamirror OVF like Canon Kiss or the awesome EVF of the Fuji T1, I’d take the EVF for sure even though I’d choose the OVF of a full-frame dSLR over any EVF.

            • Sorry I meant to write “bad OVF”and by mistake wrote EVF. I meant to convey exact same thought you explained. Correcting my typo now.

        • Maksim Pyatkovskiy

          Try a good, large EVF on Fuji XT1/2. It is from another universe: more functional, brighter and bigger than any OVF.

          The only time when you still need real OVF is if you are tracking something fast and even this, last remaining use case has been much improved with XT2.

          • Thom Hogan

            Mostly yes to this. Several other recent mirrorless cameras also have very good EVFs.

            • Eric Calabros

              and also power hungry

            • Maksim Pyatkovskiy

              EVF is power hungry – true.

              But to be fare, the batteries of mirrorless cameras are typically smaller than DSLR batteries because ML bodies are also smaller.

              For instance the volume of Nikon-s batteries that I used to carry is almost twice as large as the batteries that I now plug into my Fuji.

              I assume that the battery volume is proportional to the capacity, if the technology is the same.

              So one could make a large DSLR like mirrorless camera and equip it with larger batteries, or put a VG like Fuji did.

              Then the battery life is more comparable.

            • Eric Calabros

              Your Fuji battery is rated 8.7Wh. Nikon EN-EL15 is 13.3Wh. its 1.5x more power. So if your Fuji mileage is around 300 shots, it will be 400-500 shots with Nikon battery. Still in a 2012 entry level DSLR range.

            • Maksim Pyatkovskiy

              Well, EVF isn’t perfect…

              But the point was that ML battery life doesn’t have to be so bad

          • Spy Black

            Haven’t seen the XT2, but the XT1 EVF sucked royally. I considered buying the XT1 until I looked through the finder. I felt similarly about the Panasonic GH4 finder, although another model Panosonic has, I believe it was the G7, had a better finder.

            • Maksim Pyatkovskiy

              🙂

        • thundrrd

          sd

    • EcoR1

      I guess Nikon and Canon should also BURN, because they were just a secondary priority. Sony’s mirrorless E-mount were the first priority. Tells something about the current valuation of market from the lens manufacturers perspective 😉

      • Thom Hogan

        Sure. All the lenses that Samyang would make already exist in the Canikon world. Not quite so much in the Sony world. At the moment there’s less choice in the Sony world but demand for more lenses, so yes, it’s a short term lens selling opportunity.

    • EcoR1

      I guess Nikon and Canon should also BURN, because they are just a secondary priority. Sony’s e-mount was the first priority for Samyang. Tells something about the market valuation nowdays, does it 😉

    • nukunukoo

      Hopefully with the immense success of the X-T2 (Nikon user, but also a proud new owner of the X-T2), Sigma, Tamron and Samyang would take notice. Or if only some Chinese firm could create an AF/OIS adapter would also be incredible. I don’t think Metabones will do any of the sort, sadly.

    • zzzxtreme

      Xiaomi just announced their first M4/3 camera. They have a huge following. They could sell more m4/3 cameras in one flash sale compared to some sell in a year. Just my prediction.

  • I will guarantee you that once they start making AF glass, they will price it on par with Siggy and Tammy. At this point I’d at her get Nikkor glass instead.

    • Angers Samuel

      I think the exact same thing!

    • Angers Samuel

      I think the same!

    • Spy Black

      I think initially they won’t, because they’re going to have to prove their AF lenses against established third-party manufacturers, so they’ll be a bit cheaper.

    • Already they have priced their newer lenses quite higher compared to their older ones.

  • Spy Black

    Man, put AF on that 135 f/2, sell it for $800-$900, and they’ll have one hot tamale on their hands.

    • Screw that I want my plastic fantastic 18mm effective 1.8 cheapo af lens for DX. Make it screw drive even.

      • Max

        Yes me too

    • lorenzo

      It might also depend on: how fast their AF and how noisy the HSM will be, assuming they will have a similar one.
      I don’t know much about the glass IQ, in the the previous DxO on the Milvus it didn’t look so great. Am I wrong?

      • Spy Black

        Never saw the DxO score, but I saw direct image comparisons to the Canon 135. Blew it away.

        How well their AF works is of course something that remains to be seen.

    • decentrist

      if they don’t have to backwards engineer AF

  • Mr_Miyagi

    In addition to their excellent optics, Nikon makes a fair number of mediocre ones. They are vulnerable.

    • Captain Megaton

      Having an open mount and healthy competition would benefit Nikon in the long run.

      • Rob

        It certainly makes their bodies more worth getting if their are more lens alternatives, that goes for full frame and crop.

  • catfishb52

    Welcome addition to a good lens line

  • Adam Brown

    Great news… they make some great affordable optics. I use the Samyang 14/2.8… it’s fairly easy to manually focus such an ultra wide, but AF would be nice.

  • Good to see new competitors emerging into the market. Now that they will have AF, Samyang should start getting more of a look. I’ve been using their Rokinon branded 14mm f/2.8 and it’s pretty good. Distortion is terrible, but controlled just fine with software (otherwise it’s useless). It’s very sharp and flare isn’t difficult to manage. I use it on real estate shoots that are a small part of my business and I didn’t feel like spending a ton of money on. It’s way more than adequate for that purpose. MF with that focal length and shooting at f/8 or f/11 is simple.

  • HD10

    Samyang would make a good start in making AF F-mount by making DX lenses in 11mm f/2.0, 16mm f/2.0, 23mm f/2.0.

    Unlike the Fuji and m43 where there are many good lens mount, this is where there is a dearth of lenses. I am surprised that Sigma, Tamron and Tokina has not filled this gap that Nikon seemingly intentionally left vacant.

    • EnPassant

      Dream on. The lenses you ask for will not be small. Samyang already make manual 10/2.8 and 16/2 lenses for Nikon DX cameras at 600g each!

      Why such heavy when the Fujinon 16/1.4 is less than 400g?
      Because the much longer flange distance make wide angle lenses bigger than for mirrorless cameras with shorter distance from mount to sensor.

      As a rule of thumb expect DX primes to be as big or even slightly bigger than the equivalent FX prime with same aperture and cost about the same. There’s the explanaition as few would buy them.

      • HD10

        “As a rule of thumb expect DX primes to be as big or even slightly bigger than the equivalent FX prime with same aperture and cost about the same. There’s the explanaition as few would buy them.”

        Really? How to you explain this?

        Nikon 35mm f/1.8G DX
        Size: Approx. 2.76 x 2.07″ (70 x 52.5 mm)
        Weight: 200g
        Filter: 52mm
        Price: $ 197

        Nikon 35mm f/1.8G FX
        Size: Approx. 2.83 x 2.81″ (72 x 71.5 mm)
        Weight: 305g
        Filter: 58mm
        Price: $ 527

        “Dream on. The lenses you ask for will not be small. Samyang already make manual 10/2.8 and 16/2 lenses for Nikon DX cameras at 600g each!”

        You are incorrect to assume that the design for the AF and MF will be the same, with Samyang just adding AF.

        • TO-DOUG

          Well, HD10, EnPassant said “As a rule of thumb expect DX primes to be as big or even slightly bigger than the equivalent FX prime with same aperture and cost about the same.” The key word there is equivalent. So what is the Nikon lens that is equivalent to the DX 35mm f/1.8? That would be the FX 50mm f/1.8 of course, as both are “normal” lenses with the same angle of view (FOV). Using the specs from B&H once again:

          Nikon 35mm f/1.8G DX
          Angle of View 44° on DX
          Size: Approx. 2.76 x 2.07″ (70 x 52.5 mm)
          Weight: 200g
          Filter: 52mm
          Price: $ 197

          Nikon 50mm f/1.8G FX
          Angle of View 47° on FX
          Size: Approx. 2.8 x 2.1″ (71 x 53 mm)
          Weight: 185g
          Filter: 58mm
          Price: $ 217

          As you can see, Nikon’s FX normal lens is the same size as its DX normal lens. However the FX normal lens is slightly lighter, and slightly more expensive.

          • HD10

            A 35mm lens in DX is the equivalent of a 35mm lens in FX, only that the DX lens has a smaller area coverage. You can use the 35mm DX lens in an FX camera and it will be the same as a 35mm FX, only that it has a smaller area coverage and will vignette significantly. What you are referring to is field of view.

            • TO-DOUG

              HD10, that is not correct. Clearly, a 35mm lens has the same 35mm focal length, regardless of whether it is on a DX or FX camera. However, the angle or view of field of view (FOV) obviously is different when you put the same lens on different format cameras. I am using the word “equivalent” to mean equivalent in FOV, because that’s a photographer’s key concern when selecting a lens. In that sense, a 35m DX lens has equivalent FOV to a 50mm FX lens. Of course, other factors are not equivalent. The 50mm lens will provide a shorter depth of field, which might (or might not) be desirable.

            • Rob

              All they need to do is make ultra wide primes that are smaller than the ultra wide zooms that are available, they don’t need to be any faster, just cheaper.

          • 24×36

            Actually, you’re both wrong. A 35mm f1.8 DX lens is the equivalent of roughly a 50mm f2.5 FF lens (technically a 52.5mm f2.7).

            Repeat after me:

            1. Same focal length is NOT equivalent on different formats, because it provides a NON-EQUIVALENT angle of view.

            2. Same f-stop is NOT equivalent on different formats, because it provides a NON-EQUIVALENT depth of field.

            3. Same ISO is NOT equivalent on different formats, because it provides a NON-EQUIVALENT level of noise.

            …all when you are taking a given (read: SAME) image on each such format. WHICH IS WHAT “EQUIVALENT” MEANS. For the 100,000th time!

        • EnPassant

          You missed the vital word EQUIVALENT!

          The Nikon 35mm DX lens should therefore be compared with equivalent FX lens, the AF-S 50mm f/1.8 which is the same size but 15g lighter!

          But to be fair I noticed I should have written DX wide angle primes as that is what we are talking about. But the only WA lenses Nikon make for both FX and DX DSLRs are the fisheyes 16mm/2.8 D and DX 10mm/2.8 G.

          And you know what? The DX lens is 6mm longer and 15g heavier! Compare that to Samyangs 8mm/2.8 Fisheye for Fujifilm that is 15g lighter then the Nikon FX lens. Maybe not such a big difference in this case. But that is propably because of the type of lens.

          Obviously the type of constructions matter a lot. The plastic in the Batis lenses is much lighter than the metal in Loxia lenses. And considering Nikon use more plastic in their cheaper lenses I would expect Nikon could make a 16mm/2 DX lens 150-200g lighter than the Samyang 16/2 lens.

          However it would still be slightly bigger than the Fujifilm 16/1.4 lens. Even if weight would be almost the same the Nikon lens in relative terms would be bigger and heavier because of being one stop slower and using less metal in the lens construction.

          The problem with a short flange distance is that digital sensors don’t work well with steep ray angles. The further away the optics are from the sensor the more telecentric the lightrays will be.

          So yes it can be more difficult constructing short wide lenses for mirrorless cameras that perform well on the short sides of the sensor. But it’s not impossible, as can be seen with the superb Fujifilm 16/1.4 lens. If the mount however is more far away as on DSLRs it is indeed very difficult to make the lens equally small with same optical quality. That is also very well known by lens manufacturers. I think some Panasonic representative explained this in a video from Photokina 2014.

          You can also compare the Zeiss lenses for DSLRs and Sony E-mount. Even if not all E-mount lenses are much smaller the diffeence in weight is substantial, usually 200-300g.

          Besides, even if size of the lenses would be the same DSLRs all the time for WA lenses have the disadvantage of a longer flange distance. For Nikon (46.5mm) that is a 28.5mm disadvantage compared to most mirrorless (around 18mm) camera mounts. A DX DSLR camera and lens combination will therefore always be thicker (assuming similar lens construction) than a mirrorless APS-C camera using a lens with same specifications.

      • Samyang lenses are heavier because of their solid metal build. Otherwise they are actually quite compact and small.

        • EnPassant

          The metal build doesn’t explain the size. And the Samyang lenses I mentioned are not small.
          The 10/2.8 is 77mm long and 86mm in diameter. The closest prime for Fujifilm is the Zeiss Touit 12/2.8 which is 65mm long and 88mm wide (mainly because of the removable hood missing on Samyang) and is 270g light, less than half the weight of the Samyang. The metal build alone can’t explain the weight difference. More and bigger elements also add to the total weight.

          The Samyang 16/2 is 89mm long and 83mm in diameter compared to the one stop faster Fujifilm 16/1.4 which is 73mm in both directions and that with a one stop advantage.

          When you say Samyang lenses are small you may be thinking of the M4/3 7.5mm/3.5 fisheye which I agree is quite tiny.

          But let’s instead compare Samyangs 8mm/2.8 II fisheye for Fujifilm; 65mm long and 60mm diameter and 275g with Samyang’s (SLOWER!) 8mm/3.5 fishey for Nikon’s DX cameras that is 98mm long and 79mm wide with 440g weight!
          Explain that if you can!

          • I was talking about 14mm and 85mm. Those are small. Don’t know about others. But metal build must substantially contribute to weight increase. All others are plastic. Right?

    • whisky

      unless they’ve found an innovative way around the physics — the optical and mechanical challenges will be reflected in both cost and size.

      ultimately, for UW perspectives, if cost and size is a given, it makes sense to investigate FX as one would get better IQ to boot. JMO.

      • HD10

        “ultimately, for UW perspectives, if cost and size is a given, it makes sense to investigate FX as one would get better IQ to boot. JMO.”

        I use both 36mm x 24mm bodies as well as 24mm x 16mm bodies. There are cogent reasons why the 24mm x 16mm bodies and lenses are better suited than the 36mm x 24mm for some uses.

        My Nikkor WA FX lenses are the Nikkor Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8, 16-35mm f/4.0, and 24mm PC-E f/3.5. Compare the image quality, size and weight of a D810 with an L-bracket and these lenses vs that of a Sony 5100 with an L-bracket and a Samyang 12mm f/2.0 … and do this after hiking for pretty much the whole day. The answer of which to bring for me (as well as for many others) will be very obvious .

        • TO-DOUG

          The Nikon 12-24 f/4 DX is 90mm long, weighs 465 grams and lists at US$1,150. The equivalent full-frame lens is the Nikon 18-35 f/3.5-4.5 which is 95mm long, weighs 385 grams and lists at US$750. Both are AF-S, both are 2x zooms, neither has VR. So these two equivalent ultra-wide zooms are roughly the same size and weight (but the FF one is less expensive).
          This leads me to believe that DX equivalent versions of wide prime lenses would not be significantly smaller or lighter than the current Nikon FX wide prime offerings. And they would be much less versatile – as they would only work on DX.

          • HD10

            The point is size, weight, price, image quality, and use.

            I think you can do a more honest comparison by not using the most expensive pro-level Nikon DX UWA lens and compare this against the least expensive Nikon FX UWA lens. Use the Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8 as the basis of your UWA FX comparison. Then for size and weight of the camera, compare the size and weight using a D5500 vs a D750 (both having a tilting screen). Then assume that you will need to walk for pretty much the whole day for at least 14-21 days.

            • TO-DOUG

              You have to be kidding! You want to compare the Nikkor 14-24 f/2.8 with the Nikkor 12-24 f/4? The only thing they have in common is that they are both Nikkors. They are close to the same focal length range, but they are very different in terms of field of view and image circle size. Apples and oranges!

          • These two lenses are not comparable. The Dx lens is premium whereas the Fx one is not.

            • TO-DOUG

              So you really think that you have better image quality from using the Nikon 12-24 DX on a DX camera, compared with using the Nikon 18-35 FX on an FX camera? I don’t think so…
              The Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 18-35mm f/3.5-4.5G ED lens is one of Nikon’s sharpest! DxO gives it a score of 25, considerably higher than any DX wide zoom. To me, a “premium” lens is one that is lightweight and provides great image quality. Isn’t that what is really important?

            • The DX lens is constant f/4 and pro built. Also the IQ in the corners is very good and distortion is well controlled. Which was not so in the older 18-35. That lens was consumer grade. Sharpness is not everything . And you are comparing new very sharp 18-35 FX to older DX 12-24 . That is bound to skew the results.

        • whisky

          i shoot with FX, DX, and CX mounts. if nikon’s rumored mirrorless enables a mFT~ish sized sensor … i’d probably find some uses for that too. some desire for faster, wider prime glass to fit these formats will always be there.

          yet at what cost? there is a “dearth” precisely because, at present, the cost, size, weight, IQ, QC trade-offs haven’t proven themselves cost effective in a widely fragmented marketplace.

          generic lens makers would love more customers to say “shut up and take my money”. what they appear not comfortable doing is investing in high risk designs which are expensive, and sell in low volumes to a fickle marketplace. JMO.

  • something completely different

    Good. Maybe they can improve the cost effectiveness of F-mount lenses and fill in the holes in Nikon’s DX lens offerings.

    • TO-DOUG

      I doubt that. One can buy a Samyang 16mm f/2.0 ED AS UMC CS Lens for Nikon from NYC stores right now. It is “for DSLRs with APS-C Sized Image Format”. It is manual focus and it isn’t Nikon, but it gives us an idea of how big a 16mm DX from Nikon might be, if they ever made one. This Samyang 16mm weighs 571 grams and is 87mm long, with a 77 mm filter. It has an 83 degree FOV on DX.

      The FX lens with an equivalent 84 degree FOV and similar speed is the Nikon 24mm f/1.8 G ED. It weighs just 355 grams and is 83 mm long, with a 72 mm filter thread — even though it has automatic diaphragm and focus.

      So this Samyang 16mm f/2 DX lens (even without an AF motor) is slightly larger and much heavier than the equivalent FOV Nikon 24mm f/1.8 FX lens. If I want to shot a lens with that 84 degree FOV, why would I not use the FX lens? Why bother with DX at all?

      • something completely different

        Wide angle is certainly a weak spot for DX, no question. The few good DX wide primes are expensive and heavy. I’d just like to see a few more out there to fill out the range and bring prices under control.

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