Samyang AF 12mm F2 X Review

March 7, 2022 | Mark Goldstein | Rating star Rating star Rating star Rating star Half rating star


The Samyang AF 12mm F2 X is an appealing ultra-wide-angle prime lens for Fuji X-series shooters that majors on affordability.

It's most obvious rivals are the the XF 10-24mm F4 R OIS WR and the XF 8-16mm F2.8 R LM WR zooms, but they're both much larger and heavier, not as fast and more expensive than the Samyang 12mm. There's also the Fujifilm XF 14mm f2.8 R, but that's not quite as wide and again slower and more expensive.

The Samyang AF 12mm F2 X can't quite compete with those lenses optically, but it's a much more attractive option financially for those casual users who want to add an ultra-wide-angle lens to their range without too much expense.

Sharpness in the centre of the frame is excellent even when shooting wide-open at f/2, but the edges are not as sharp as the centre, requiring you to stop down to at least f/4 to get the best results.

There is also obvious vignetting at wide-open apertures, although admittedly that's something that other fast lenses also suffer from. On a more positive note there is little evidence of chromatic aberrations and flare is well controlled even when shooting directly into the sun.

Auto-focusing proved to be quick and reliable on the Fujifilm X-S10 camera that we tested the lens with, and the linear motor AF mechanism is pretty quiet too, making it well-suited to both stills and video use.

As with other Samyang lenses that we've recently reviewed, the build quality is surprisingly good given the relatively low price tag, with weather-sealing being the icing on the proverbial cake for a lens that is likely to get a soaking every now and then.

Overall, there's a lot to like about the very affordable and surprisingly capable Samyang AF 12mm F2 X, particularly given the lack of other fast, ultra-wide-angle prime lens options in the Fuji system at the time of writing.

4.5 stars

Ratings (out of 5)
Design 4
Features 4.5
Ease-of-use 4
Image quality 4
Value for money 5