Samyang AF 14mm f/2.8 EF Review

January 30, 2018 | Mark Goldstein |

Introduction

The Samyang AF 14mm f/2.8 EF is a new ultra-wide-angle prime lens for full-frame Canon DSLR cameras. The weather-sealed Samyang AF 14mm f/2.8 EF is comprised of 15 elements in 11 groups including 2 aspherical lenses, 4 high-refractive lenses and 1 extra-low dispersion lens, and has an iris diaphragm with seven rounded aperture blades. It's the first ever Samyang lens for Canon full frame DSLR cameras to feature auto-focusing, incorporating a stepping motor for smooth and accurate autofocusing. On a full-frame camera body, the Samyang AF 14/2.8 FE lens offers an angle of view of 116.6 degrees. The lens has a minimum focusing distance of 20cm/0.656ft and a maximum reproduction ratio of 0.15x. The Samyang AF 14mm f/2.8 EF lens retails for £649 in the UK and €749 in Europe.

Ease of Use

Weighing in at 536 grams and measuring 9.56cm in length, the Samyang AF 14mm f/2.8 EF is about the same size as its main rival, the Canon EF 14mm f/2.8L II USM, but it weighs 109 grams less. As seen in the photos below, it's well-balanced on the full-frame Canon EOS 5DS R camera that we tested it with.

Samyang AF 14mm f/2.8 EF The Samyang AF 14mm f/2.8 EF lens mounted on a Canon EOS 5DS R

Samyang AF 14mm f/2.8 EFThe Samyang AF 14mm f/2.8 EF lens mounted on a Canon EOS 5DS R

Samyang AF 14mm f/2.8 EFThe Samyang AF 14mm f/2.8 EF lens mounted on a Canon EOS 5DS R

Samyang AF 14mm f/2.8 EFThe Samyang AF 14mm f/2.8 EF lens alongside a Canon EOS 5DS R

Build quality is excellent. The lens has a metal housing and a metal mount too. The optical elements are made of high-grade glass and aspherical lenses have been included to minimise aberration and unnecessary light dispersion. The focus ring is pleasingly wide and ridged for easier grip.

Samyang AF 14mm f/2.8 EFSide of the Samyang AF 14mm f/2.8 EF lens

Samyang AF 14mm f/2.8 EFSide of the Samyang AF 14mm f/2.8 EF lens

Focusing is usefully internal and manual focusing is possible when set via the switch on side of the lens. Full-time manual focus override is not available, and there's no distance and/or depth of field scale either.

The Samyang AF 14mm f/2.8 EF lens has a wide focus ring. There are no hard stops at the ends of the range, making it more difficult to set focus at infinity.

 

Samyang AF 14mm f/2.8 EF Front of the Samyang AF 14mm f/2.8 EF lens

Samyang AF 14mm f/2.8 EFRear of the Samyang AF 14mm f/2.8 EF lens

When it comes to auto-focusing, the Samyang AF 14mm f/2.8 EF is a fairly quick performer, taking about 0.25 seconds to lock onto the subject using the optical viewfinder when mounted on the Canon EOS 5DS R that we tested it with.

We didn't experience too much "hunting", either in good or bad light, with the lens accurately focusing almost all of the time. It has a pretty quiet focusing mechanism, too, which makes this lens well-suited to video recording.

Samyang AF 14mm f/2.8 EFSide of the Samyang AF 14mm f/2.8 EF lens

Samyang AF 14mm f/2.8 EFSide of the Samyang AF 14mm f/2.8 EF lens

The Samyang AF 14mm f/2.8 EF ships with a soft drawstring bag and a large integrated plastic petal-shaped lens hood. It doesn't accept filters due to the fixed lens hood.

Samyang AF 14mm f/2.8 EFThe Samyang AF 14mm f/2.8 EF lens in-hand

Focal Range

At the 14mm focal length the angle of view is 116.6 degrees.

Samyang AF 14mm f/2.8 EF14mm

Chromatic Aberrations

Chromatic aberrations, typically seen as purple or blue fringes along contrasty edges, were not very prevalent in our test shots, with the worst case shown in the examples below.

Samyang AF 14mm f/2.8 EF Samyang AF 14mm f/2.8 EF

Light Fall-off

With the lens set to its maximum aperture of f/2.8, there is significant light fall-off in the corners. Stopping-down to f/8 virtually eliminates this.

Samyang AF 14mm f/2.8 EFLight fall-off at 14mm

Macro

The Samyang AF 14mm f/2.8 EF isn't claimed to be a macro lens, with a minimum focusing distance of 20cm/0.656ft and a magnification reproduction ratio of 0.15x. The following example demonstrates how close you can get to your subject, in this case a Compact Flash memory card.

Samyang AF 14mm f/2.8 EFClose-up performance

Bokeh

Bokeh is a word used for the out-of-focus areas of a photograph, and is usually described in qualitative terms, such as smooth / creamy / harsh etc. In the Samyang AF 14mm f/2.8 EF lens, Samyang employed an iris diaphragm with 7 rounded blades, which has resulted in quite nice bokeh in our view. We do realise, however, that bokeh evaluation is subjective, so we've included several 100% crops shot at the various aperture settings below.

Samyang AF 14mm f/2.8 EF
f/2.8
 
Samyang AF 14mm f/2.8 EF
f/4
 
Samyang AF 14mm f/2.8 EF
f/5.6
 
Samyang AF 14mm f/2.8 EF
f/8
 
Samyang AF 14mm f/2.8 EF
f/11
 
Samyang AF 14mm f/2.8 EF
f/16
 
Samyang AF 14mm f/2.8 EF
f/22

Sharpness

In order to show you how sharp this lens is, we are providing 100% crops on the following page.