Samyang AF 14mm F2.8 RF Review
The Samyang AF 14mm F2.8 RF is an appealing ultra-wide-angle prime lens that majors on affordability.
The Canon RF 15-35mm F2.8L IS USM is the only other comparable lens currently available for the Canon full-frame mirrorless system, and that costs a whopping £2,329 / $2,299, which will put off all but the most enthusiastic wide-angle fans. The Samyang AF 14mm F2.8 RF can't compete optically, but it's a much more attractive option financially for more casual users who want to add an ultra-wide-angle lens to their range.
Image quality is this lens' weakest point. Sharpness in the centre of the frame is soft when shooting wide-open at f/2.8, good at f/4 and great from f/5.6 onwards, with the edges not as sharp as the centre. If you stop down a lot as a matter of course, the softness at f/2.8 probably won't bother you, but if you expect to be able to shoot wide-open and get pin-sharp results across the frame, this lens isn't for you.
There is some evidence of chromatic aberrations plus obvious vignetting at wide-open apertures, although admittedly that's something that other fast lenses also suffer from. Barrel distortion is also clearly evident, particularly when taking advantage of the 20cm close-focusing distance, while the lens is susceptible to flare despite its fixed hood. Filter fans may also not like the rear-only option for fitting them.
Auto-focusing was acceptably quick on the Canon EOS RP camera that we tested the lens with, and the AF mechanism is pretty quiet too, making it well-suited to both stills and video use.
As with the Samyang AF 85mm F1.4 RF lens that we recently reviewed, the build quality is surprisingly good given the relatively low price tag, with the metal lens mount and housing contributing to the premium feel. Full weather-sealing is the icing on the proverbial cake for a lens that is likely to get a soaking every now and then.
Overall, whilst the image quality is merely good rather than stellar, there's a lot to like about the Samyang AF 14mm F2.8 RF, particularly given the paucity of other options at the time of writing. If you're looking for an affordable yet high-quality ultra-wide-angle lens for your Canon EOS R camera and you don't need or simply can't afford the superb Canon RF 15-35mm F2.8L IS USM, then the Samyang AF 14mm F2.8 RF lens is definitely well worth considering.
|Ratings (out of 5)|
|Value for money||5|