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Samyang 24mm F3.5 ED AS UMC Tilt/Shift

Sharpness 
 7.7
Aberrations 
 7.3
Bokeh 
 7.7
Handling 
 6.7
Value 
 8.7
Reviews Views Date of last review
3 14,836 Thu July 3, 2014
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Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
100% of reviewers $1,065.33 8.33
Samyang 24mm F3.5 ED AS UMC Tilt/Shift

Samyang 24mm F3.5 ED AS UMC Tilt/Shift
supersize
Samyang 24mm F3.5 ED AS UMC Tilt/Shift
supersize
Samyang 24mm F3.5 ED AS UMC Tilt/Shift
Samyang 24mm F3.5 ED AS UMC Tilt/Shift
supersize
Samyang 24mm F3.5 ED AS UMC Tilt/Shift
supersize

Description:

The Samyang T-S 24mm f/3.5 ED AS UMC is a wide-angle, full-frame lens fitted with perspective control and tilt-shift functions. This makes it a good tool for architecture and landscape photography since perspective distortion can be corrected by tilting and/or shifting the lens.

The tilt mechanism enables tilting of the plane of focus so that an object that's at an angle to the lens can be rendered sharp while maintaining a shallow depth of field if so desired.

The shift mechanism enables correction of converging lines, useful in architecture photography.

Aperture control is done manually with the aperture ring since there is no aperture linkage between lens and camera body. Manual and Av exposure control is supported.


Samyang 24mm F3.5 ED AS UMC Tilt/Shift
Image Format
Full-frame / 35mm film
Lens Mount
Pentax K
Aperture Ring
Yes (no A setting)
Diaphragm
Manual, 6 blades
Optics
16 elements, 11 groups
Mount Variant
K
Max. Aperture
F3.5
Min. Aperture
F22
Focusing
Manual
Min. Focus
20 cm
Max. Magnification
0.16x
Filter Size
82 mm
Internal Focus
No
Field of View (Diag. / Horiz.)

APS-C: 59.9 ° / 51.3 °
Full frame: 83.5 ° / 73.2 °
Hood
None
Case
Pouch included
Lens Cap
Included
Coating
Multi-coated
Weather Sealing
No
Other Features
Tilt / Shift
Diam x Length
86x108 mm (3.39x4.25 in.)
Weight
646 g (22.8 oz.)
Production Years
(In Production)
Pricing
$699 USD current price
Notes
Max tilt amount: +/- 8.5 degrees, max. shift amount: +/-12 mm

Buy Lens: Buy the Samyang 24mm F3.5 ED AS UMC Tilt/Shift
In-Depth Review: Read our Samyang 24mm F3.5 ED AS UMC Tilt/Shift in-depth review!
Mount Type: Pentax K
Price History:



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Loyal Site Supporter

Registered: August, 2011
Location: North Carolina, USA
Posts: 4,386

5 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: July 3, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $874.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Uniquely useful offering for K-mount; full frame; build quality; close focus
Cons: Sharpness wide open, barrel distortion, no metering on aperture-coupled bodies, restricted movements on some bodies
Sharpness: 7    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 7    Value: 9    Camera Used: K-5, KX, MX   

I give this lens a high overall rating and high value rating because it is the only wide-angle tilt/shift lens available for K-mount, it is about half the price of comparable Nikon and Canon offerings, and it is a good performer if you work within its limitations. I have long wanted a tilt/shift lens, so when the street price on this model dropped below USD1000 I bought one immediately.

First, some functional limitations. The flash/prism hump on some Pentax bodies interferes with the lens movements. On the K10D upward shift is limited. No issues with the K-5. The lens is of course completely manual; it is not practical to have an aperture coupling or actuator on a lens that tilts and shifts away from the lens mount axis. However, as a pre-set lens you can use it in Av mode, and of course you can also meter with the Green Button. Note that if the lens is shifted this will affect metering accuracy. Unfortunately, on an aperture-coupled manual body (e.g. Pentax MX, KX) the Rokinon's mount is not designed correctly to allow metering. This design defect means that these older bodies are tricked into thinking that the lens is fully stopped down, perhaps even beyond the smallest actual aperture of the lens (f/22). It would certainly be possible to modify the lens to restore correct behavior on these bodies—the slot on the lens mount where the aperture coupling would normally go just needs to be mostly closed off, as it is on fully manual K-mount extension tubes.

Build quality seems high. There is an in-depth review and teardown on lensrentals.com that any prospective buyer of this lens should read. Executive summary: build quality looks good but it is an open question how durable some of the small mechanical parts will be. The large focus ring is nicely damped and turns smoothly. The aperture ring is immediately next to the focus ring, such that is easy to accidentally move the latter while trying to turn the former. This wouldn't be such an issue on an ordinary lens, but as a pre-set lens where one turns the aperture ring before most every shot, and where considerable care is required in focusing with the lens tilted, it is quite annoying. The knobs for shift (one to lock, one to move the lens) are small and can be hard to turn in some lens/tripod configurations, but there's only so large you could make these before they would interfere with lens movements, so I think it is a reasonable compromise. I wish the locking knob were distinguishable by feel from the gear knob. This is more an issue with the tilt knobs, because the tilt and shift mechanisms each have 90° of rotation available, and when combined this means the tilt mechanism can be rotated a full 180°, making it impossible to memorize the positions of the tilt knobs. It's probably a bad idea to crank on the gear knob while the locking knob is locked, but I've done this several times by accident.

The lens is at its sharpest in the f/8 to f/11 range. This is a distinct weakness as compared to the Canon and Nikon 24mm t/s lenses, and is undoubtedly much of the reason for the massive price difference. Given my main uses for the lens this isn't much of a concern. Either I want the wacky "tilt-shift effect", where tack sharpness is hardly needed, or I am going for maximum focus using the Scheimpflug principle, hence a tripod and stopping down to increase DOF, moving into the lens's sweet spot. Aberrations seem well controlled, although there is certainly some flare when shooting into the light. The lens does not come with a hood, and it would be tricky to find a hood that would work without vignetting, especially when the lens is shifted. My rating for bokeh quality is based on using extreme lens tilt and here I find it plenty smooth. Update: With the lens stopped down at extreme shift the bokeh in the corners can be a bit odd.

The lens can focus very close, nearly into macro territory. At minimum focus the working distance is very small and the reproduction ratio approaches 1:2.

Update: after trying some more architectural shots, I have downgraded the Aberrations rating and overall rating because of the pronounced barrel distortion. If the lens is shifted and/or tilted this is challenging to correct in post, and of course the whole point of using this lens for architecture is to use the shift function.
   
Loyal Site Supporter

Registered: August, 2010
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 26,440

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: April 26, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $999.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: both tlt & shift
Cons: expensive
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 7    Handling: 6    Value: 8   

I have the Rokinon branded version of this lens. I agree with most comments of the preceding very thorough review. This lens has neither the fit & finish nor the optical quality of the Canon TSS I used in the 90's. Although rather bulky, it is smaller & lighter than the Pentax 28mm shift-only that I also once owned. The latter was far too big to transport unless specifically doing an architectural shoot. This lens is small & light enough to bring along when traveling just in case an opportunity to use its unique abilities arises.
Although this lens is good for straightening converging verticals of tall structures, its primary value for me is great apparent* depth of field in scenics by applying the Scheimpflug principle. The lens must be both tilted forward and shifted down (to keep the image in the sharp center of the circle of confusion). This brings light in at a steep angle which throws off the metering in A-mode. The three images posted are a first test using a line of daffodils There are enlarged crops from the lower left and upper right of the image to demonstrate the depth of field that can be obtained at f8 with this lens, although 1) a tripod is a MUST; 2) a pan-tilt head is preferable; 3) tilt, shift, focus, and alignment must all be fiddled repeatedly to get the desired result. Using Scheimpflug is a view-camera trick to obtain great apparent* DOF, and view camera technique and patience are required.
The IQ seems to be very good, more than sufficient. Build quality is decent, especially considering the cost relative to similar lenses from Canikon.

*tilting does not actually increase] DOF, it simply reorients the zone of sharp focus - notice that the trees above the cyclist are far outside the plane of focus






   
Pentaxian

Registered: September, 2006
Location: Antwerp, Belgium
Posts: 1,039

8 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: October 1, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $1,323.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Build quality, price, ease of use, tight aperture ring
Cons: Limited shift posibilities, flare, metering
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 7    Handling: 7    Value: 9   

I've been anticipating this lens for a long time. I already own a Pentax K28/3.5 Shift but didn't use it much. 28mm was a bit too tight for what I was looking for in a Shift lens, but since I had always like the FOV that I got with my lowly Vivitar MC24/2.8, I was eager to find out whether the Samyang 24/3.5 T/S would be my perfect T/S lens. It took some time after the announcement at Photokina 2012 for this lens to appear in Pentax mount, but finally two weeks ago (September 2013) I received my pre-ordered copy (roughly 6 months after it was available in the mounts of the big two).

Build
Build quality is excellent. It's a heavy lens, but it balances OK on the K-5 (with grip is best). The only parts that feel less firm are the knobs for Tilt and Shift and corresponding lock/unlock knobs. These are plastic, but after one day use I have no worries about this. The rotation lock tabs, which I read were a bendable (!!) plastic in first copies (for other mounts), seem metal in my Pentax mount copy of the lens, at least I find them impossible to bend.

Tilt and Shift
Both Tilt and Shift are achieved in a similar way. On one side of the lens there is a black plastic knob that can be turned to change the amount of shift or the angle of tilt. On the opposite side a corresponding light grey plastic knob serves to lock/unlock the Tilt or Shift movement.

Shifting is up or down per default (camera in landscape mode, lens rotated with logo up, shift controls on the side). The shift mechanism isn't very tight when unlocked, and as such it tends to be pulled down by gravity when not in its central position (there is a click stop in the central position to ensure this). When unlocked it is possible to shift by pushing the lens up or down rather than turning the Shift knob, and by doing so I found it easy to keep the lens in its shift position using my normal camera holding grip, and a such the gravity thing was much less of an issue than anticipated.

Tilting is left or right per default (camera in landscape mode, lens rotated with logo up, tilt controls on top and bottom). The Tilt mechanism has the largest knob sitting on top of the lens. It turns easily, so there I did use the knob mostly instead of pushing the lens left or right. Tilting all the way retains a nicely sharp vertical section in the middle of the scene with both left and right in a blur.

There are two metal tabs that unlock the lens to allow rotation of 90 degrees each, with 30 degrees click stops. The one on the Shift part of the mechanism closest to the body allows clockwise rotation from the default position. The one on the Tilt section allows counterclockwise rotation from the default position.

Rotating for Shift is rather limited. Actually this is the most important downside to the lens for me. The default position allows Shift up (12 o'clock) and down (6 o'clock), and rotating the full 90 degrees gives left (9 o'clock) and right (3 o'clock) shift. It's the intermediate shift directions that are limited though. With the camera in landscape position, the lens only allows for shift between 12 and 3 o'clock in one direction (click stops at 1 and 2 o'clock), and between 6 and 9 o'clock in the opposite direction (click stops at 7 and 8 o'clock). This means shifting to 4, 5, 10 and 11 o'clock isn't possible, which is a shame because I regularly do require shift in these directions. Fortunately I personally shoot mostly for a square 1:1 crop, so holding my camera in portrait mode allows me to shift in the remaining directions, but for 3:2 shooters this is not a possible solution.

The limitation for Tilt rotation is also 90 degrees, but when combined with a 90 degrees rotation of the Shift mechanism, the lens can be tilted all the way around. It's not a one turn operation, but at least all options are available.

Focusing and composing
The focus ring moves smooth and just tight enough for precise manual focus. The focus throw is generously large.

Using focus confirmation in the view finder works fine in the normal position or when only shifting. It takes some getting used to first pointing the camera parallel to a subject and keeping the camera position fixed while shifting to compose. I did find the operation easier than on my other shift lenses that require a ring to be rotated for shift. The ring mechanism is sturdier and less gravity sensitive, but pushing the lens up or down makes me less prone to moving the camera from the original position when shooting hand held.

Once Tilt comes into the picture, focusing through the viewfinder becomes much harder. I recommend switching to live view and zooming in on the areas that need to be in focus (info button in Lv) esp when critical Tilt is desired, e.g. when tilting the focal plane to coincide precisely with a non-parallel surface in the scene. This requires an iterative technique to get focus right, which I won't get into as there are great tutorials on-line. One thing's clear: Live view and a tripod are essential for critical Tilt.

For 'creative' Tilt (e.g. for the so-called Toy City effect) this is not necessary, and the lens can be used hand held.

Metering
The aperture ring is fully manual. It moves with gentle click stops, and it's just tight enough to avoid accidentally changing the aperture while handling the lens, a typical problem I have on most lenses that require setting the aperture on-lens.

Metering is a bit tricky. The non-coupled aperture ring means you should be able to use the lens in Av mode on Pentax DSLRs, but Shifting and Tilting seems to make the light do strange things (I'm no scientist ) so that the amount of light that reaches the light meter isn't the same as what the sensor registers. I quickly settled on using M mode and bracketing extensively (5 shots 2 stops apart). I generally got at least 3 shots that I could put through the LR/Enfuse plug-in in Lightroom to achieve an image with extended DR.

Optics
Sharpness and contrast are excellent to my observation. Note that I didn't measure this, but I derive this from my initial non-scientific results. Also, I used the lens stopped down to f/5.6 or f/8 mostly. Wide open it was a bit soft, but for a 24mm Tilt/Shift I expect never to use it wide open anyway. The results are not stellar like some of Pentax's own primes, but very noticeably better than my K28/3.5 Shift or Hartblei 65/3.5 Super Rotator, my other two Shift(/Tilt) lenses.

One thing the lens does suffer from is flare. Of course a 24mm lens covering an image circle large enough to allow tilt and shift on a 135format camera, means a bulging front element, so the sun is easily caught by it. I really should look into a hood for this lens, which shouldn't be a problem since I'm only using the center part of the image because of the APS-C crop.

There is a little distortion, but I haven't shot a brick wall yet so I cannot fully quantify it. However, I did shift a great deal to get the lines in my shots as vertical/horizontal as possible, and I didn't find I noticed the distortion really. I might still look closer into this, esp to find out whether Lightroom's lens correction tools allow for manual correction (distortion being off center because of Tilt and Shift may make things more complicated to fix). But as I wrote, I personally haven't noticed anything that bothered me.

Conclusion
For me, this Samyang seems to answer my hopes. I found the 24mm FOV on APS-C sufficiently wide for the architecture shots that I did last week-end, though I must say I was working in a rather spacious industrial site. Since 24mm is also a nice street photography FOV on APS-C, the lens may even work as a (not so discrete) creative walk about lens. I certainly liked the first results I got out of it.

hth, Wim

PS: the price I paid is obviously the European price converted to USD. I paid €823.06 (incl shipping and with discount). I purchased from UK Digital.
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