Samyang 24mm f/1.4 ED AS IF UMC Lens Review

Samyang 24mm f/1.4 ED AS IF UMC Handling and features

Although £480 isn't a small amount of money for many, this price is still around a third of what manufacturers ask for their own 24mm f/1.4 lenses. Even though this is a budget lens, the build quality is very good. High quality plastics with a lightly textured finish have been used for much of the lens barrel, with a metallic red ring placed just after the aperture ring, denoting this is one of Samyang's premium lenses. The lens has a decent weight to it, but isn't overly heavy and it balances perfectly on the Nikon D700 used for testing.

The smooth manual focusing ring is a pleasure to use, with damping that is neither too stiff, not too light. Those who shoot video on a DSLR and tend to use manual focus anyway, may find this lens ideal due to its excellent manual focusing action and ability to isolate a subject through shallow depth of field. Closest focus is 25cm, which should be ideal for shooting in cramped environments or even for the occasional close up, where the wide angle will allow more of your subject's surroundings to be included than lenses with longer focal lengths. 77mm filters can be used with this lens and as focusing is performed internally, the lens doesn't change length, and the filter thread does not rotate, which makes it ideal for use with graduated and polarising filters.

A metering chip with electronic contacts is included on the version tested, so matrix metering is supported on all Nikon cameras. The lens has to be set at f/22 to operate normally on modern Nikon cameras, but no lock is provided to hold the aperture in this position. No such issues should be encountered with the basic version, as no metering information is transferred to the camera.

A useful and clear hyperfocal distance scale is included, but there is no hard stop included for infinity focus, probably due to the use of low dispersion glass in the optical design. A lightweight plastic hood is provided with the lens, which fits snugly on the provided bayonet fitting. Unfortunately the rotation of the bayonet fitting is in the same direction as the lens needs to be turned to remove it from Nikon cameras, which often results in the hood coming loose when changing lenses.

Samyang 24mm f/1.4 ED AS IF UMC

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