Samyang 50mm F1.2 AS UMC CS Review

October 8, 2015 | Mark Goldstein | Rating star Rating star Rating star Rating star


The Samyang 50mm F1.2 AS UMC CS is an affordable and very fast short telephoto lens for mirrorless users, although the effective focal length of 75mm on APS-C cameras is a little short of the classic 85mm portrait setting, and 100mm on Micro Four Thirds a little too long. You also need to make sure that you can live with the lack of auto-focusing and the transfer of metering information and automatic image quality corrections.

The Samyang 50mm F1.2 AS UMC CS's build quality is reassuringly good, proving to be an ideal partner to the Sony A6000 camera that we tested it with. Focusing manually is straight-forward thanks to the responsive focusing ring and Sony's excellent focusing aids, although we did miss having a hyperfocal distance scale. The aperture ring is also a great feature, although we'd have liked to see 1/3 stop exposure adjustments. Regular auto-focus users will undoubtedly miss the convenience of modern AF systems, though not perhaps for as long or as much as they might envisage, whilst video shooters will positively embrace the de-clicked aperture version of this lens.

Image quality is generally pretty good, especially in the centre of the frame. There are some optical issues to be aware of, though, most notably some minor chromatic aberrations, obvious corner shading until you reach f/5.6, and a lack of sharpness from f/1.2-f/2 in the centre and f/1.2-f/4 at the edges.

If you like the effective focal length and don't mind the lack of auto-focusing or big-brand name, we can certainly recommend the Samyang 50mm F1.2 AS UMC CS as an affordable short telephoto prime lens for mirrorless camera owners.

4 stars

Ratings (out of 5)
Design 4
Features 4
Ease-of-use 4
Image quality 3.5
Value for money 4