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06-13-2012, 06:30 AM   #1
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Somewhat dissapointed with my new Samyang 14 mm F 2.8 IF ED UMC

Hi everybody,

Having once more succumbed to my LBA, I bought myself a Samyang 14 mm F2.8 IF ED UMC.

I already own a Pentax DA 16-45 which has completely satisfied me thus far, but I was looking for something wider and sharper, yet still affordable.

I bit the bullet and bought the Samyang.

After "lab" and real world tests, I am a bit disappointed with its output.

It's 2 mms wider, but the mandatory distortion correction (I use PTLens) amlost turns it into a 15 mm.

I've never had issues with manual focus on portrait lenses, but this one requires very precise focus, and as the focus throw is very long, it's time consuming.

I've conducted comparative sharpness tests with the 16-45 from F5.6 to F11, which are the apertures I'll be using for landscape or architecture shots.

The Samyang appears a bit sharper at F5.6 in the corners, and only marginally so at F8 and F11.

The only notable improvement IMHO is the almost complete absence of CA.

I've included links to my Flickr account with some test pictures so you can judge for yourself (the test pictures are labelled samxx for the Samyang and testxx for the Pentax)

Flickr: MtotheT's Photostream

Were my expectations too high for an UWA, or is my 16-45 that good ?

I'm thinking about returning the lens, and am now considering the 12-24, but I have to save for it .

Any other suggestions for a sharp and affordable UWA ?

Thanks in advance

Mat

06-13-2012, 06:49 AM   #2
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Just to confirm, you got the UMC version (as your headline says), not the older MC version, right?
06-13-2012, 06:50 AM   #3
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Doh! Sorry that lens isn't working out for you. The distortion is crazy for sure. What about f stops below f/5.6? Seems the Samyang is good already wide open at f/2.8, though this isn't a typical landscape setting. Also keep in mind that when the mythical Pentax FF comes out, you could use the Samyang on it.

If you're just looking for a good landscape lens for APS-C, the Sigma 10-20 (either version) is quite nice. Check the homepage for an article with comparisons between several UWAs.
06-13-2012, 06:53 AM   #4
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The Samyang looks a good lens with surprisingly even sharpness from wide open, but there's a lot of barrel distortion, and it's not really much wider / more compact than your 16-45mm.

In the affordable range, the Sigma 10-20mm f4-5.6 has to be worth a try. The distortion at 10mm can be a bit odd (and hard to correct), but pull back to 12-14mm and it performs really well and doesn't need much correction. I really enjoyed going from the 16-45 to the 10-20, although I have the 15mmLTD now, as compactness is important to me.

06-13-2012, 06:55 AM   #5
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I got the UMC version of course, hence the superb resistance to CA and purple fringing .

At F4 the Samyang is clearly better in the corners, but that's not an aperture I'll use a lot as I'll often need a big DOF.

Do you guys come to the same conclusions as me after viewing the test pics ?

Btw I use a K-5.
06-13-2012, 07:01 AM   #6
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For a major improvement in sharpness, stitching may be a better (and cheap) way to go,
unless you're in places where you can't bring a tripod.
06-13-2012, 07:08 AM   #7
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Dunno? Don't have the 16-45.

I got a Samyang 14 and Pentax 14. The Samyang seems sharper.

But my real luv is the 15 Pentax and a 8mm zoom sigma.
06-13-2012, 07:12 AM   #8
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Thanks for the suggestions.

I'm eyeing the Sigma 10-20mm f4-5.6 and the Sigma DG 12-24 f/4.5-5.6 which can be found used at reasonable prices.

I'v tried the 15mm and while I loved its size and build, its IQ is on par with the 16-45.

I already do some panos and stitching but as you said those techniques are not always usable.

06-13-2012, 07:16 AM   #9
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I have the Samyang, and I had the DA 16-45. The latter is an excellent lens, for sure, and after DxO treatment pics taken with it look really wonderful. However, my Samyang is clearly sharper in the corners at any aperture (well, beyond f8 sharpness might be the same with both lenses), and it is amazingly sharp wide open. But what I like most about it is the micro-contrast, with respect to which it is much better than the DA 16-45--although not as good as the DA 15. Distortion is correctable; my problem with this lens is its weight. So heavy, my spine hurts.


QuoteOriginally posted by slackercruster Quote
Dunno? Don't have the 16-45.
I got a Samyang 14 and Pentax 14. The Samyang seems sharper.
But my real luv is the 15 Pentax and a 8mm zoom sigma.
It seems you have most UWA primes available in K mount. How does the Samyang 14 compare to the DA 15? Are the borders much sharper with it (especially below f5.6)?

Last edited by causey; 06-13-2012 at 07:24 AM.
06-13-2012, 07:29 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by causey Quote
I have the Samyang, and I had the DA 16-45. The latter is an excellent lens, for sure, and after DxO treatment pics taken with it look really wonderful. However, my Samyang is clearly sharper in the corners at any aperture (well, beyond f9-10 they might be the same), and it is amazingly sharp wide open. But what I like most about it is the micro-contrast, with respect to which it is much better than the DA 16-45--although not as good as the DA 15. Distortion is correctable; my problem with this lens is its weight. So heavy, my spine hurts.
From F8 onwards I didn't find noticeable improvements. Micro contrast is very good indeed, but IMHO the 16-45 holds its own, and I prefer its typical Pentax color rendition.

The Samyang's weight would be a problem after a day of lugging it around I agree !
06-13-2012, 07:37 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Matchete Quote
From F8 onwards I didn't find noticeable improvements. Micro contrast is very good indeed, but IMHO the 16-45 holds its own, and I prefer its typical Pentax color rendition.

The Samyang's weight would be a problem after a day of lugging it around I agree !
Take both lenses outside and shoot with them. You'll see the Samyang is better, especially at long distances with infinity focus.
06-13-2012, 07:47 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by causey Quote
Take both lenses outside and shoot with them. You'll see the Samyang is better, especially at long distances with infinity focus.
That's what I intended to do in order to be really sure before returning the lens.

Do you have any sample pics taken with your Samyang ?

Thanks
06-13-2012, 07:58 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Matchete Quote
That's what I intended to do in order to be really sure before returning the lens.

Do you have any sample pics taken with your Samyang ?

Thanks
See my review here: Samyang 14mm F2.8 ED AS IF UMC Lens Reviews - Miscellaneous Lenses - Pentax Lens Review Database

Photos, here:
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/lens-clubs/137335-samyang-lens-club-7.html
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/post-your-photos/163493-cityscape-wide-fall.html

All the wide shots in this set:
Photopretexts: Garden of the fallen (Arlington Cemetery)
06-13-2012, 08:25 AM   #14
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I have shot with both the samyang a d the sigma 10-20. While the barrel distortion of the samyang is there, the lens is sharp, virtually free of CA and the coatings are excellent, you can almost point the lens into the sun. Note the hood is not optimal for digital as this is a full frame lens, so the hood could be longer.

The real joy of this lens is when on a film camera. I have done some shots with my PZ1. They should be in the samyang lens club thread.
06-13-2012, 08:40 AM   #15
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Beautiful examples, Stefan. Been wanting the Samyang for awhile now, altho the 16-45 would be a major upgrade for me as well.
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