Lens review

Samyang 14 mm f/2.8 ED AS IF UMC

20 April 2010
Szymon Starczewski

3. Build quality

When the Samyang falls into our hands the first thing that sticks out is an enormous, convex front element. Its dimensions are really huge and it is surrounded by an in-build petal-type hood, made of plastics ( a bit longer than in the previous model). Right behind it we find a comfortable, wide and ribbed manual focus ring. It moves smoothly but is very well-damped so you can hardly complain about its work. There is a distance scale on it, in both feet and meters. You can adjust it with high precision because the full turn of the ring takes about 250 degrees – really a lot, taking into account a huge depth of field in the case of a lens with such a focal length.

Samyang 14 mm f/2.8 ED AS IF UMC - Build quality

After the ring we find a small and immobile fragment of the metal casing with the inscription: "14 mm 1:2.8 ED AS IF UMC". Moving in the direction of the mount we see a narrow aperture ring. Contrary to an 8 mm model, this one has a nicely damped action. You can change the aperture in the range from f/2.8 to f/22 every 1/2 EV stop.

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At the very end we find a metal bayonet mount which surrounds an immobile rear element, about 17 mm in diameter. The producer didn’t anticipate any possibility of using filters there, as also in front we deal with a big convex element. It’s a pity Samyang didn’t follow the example of the manufacturer of the Zenitar 2.8/16 – they managed to include small screw-on filters for the rear element.

How does the Samyang 14 mm compares with its competitors? Our chart shows a comparison between its parameters and those of other lenses in this class. As you can notice, when it comes to weight and physical dimensions all these lenses constitute quite a homogeneous group. The Samyang differs from more expensive lenses only in the category of minimum focus, which in its case amounts to 0.28 meter and in the case of the Sigma and the Nikkor can descend to even 0.18-0.2 meter.

Samyang 14 mm f/2.8 ED AS IF UMC - Build quality

The description above indicates that, compared to the first version of this lens, there are just few differences on the outside. There are more differences inside, though. The new model, as its predecessor, features 14 elements in 12 groups. However, the aspherical elements in the optic system of the lens have been redesigned. The first of them is an ordinary aspherical element, the second one is a hybrid aspherical element. Such a change is supposed to improve image resolution results by about 15% in the corners without influencing chromatic aberration. The second important change consists of redesigning the anti-reflection coatings (the UMC symbol on the casing) and damping down inner flares – it is supposed to make the lens less prone to flares and light artifacts.

Samyang 14 mm f/2.8 ED AS IF UMC - Build quality

Inside the lens we’ll also find an aperture with six diaphragm blades which can be closed down to f/22.

The buyer gets both caps and a soft case included in box. In the case of the old model the big front cap for the huge front element was made of metal, now it is made of plastics, though.

Samyang 14 mm f/2.8 ED AS IF UMC - Build quality