Samsung NX 16 mm f/2.4
- handy, light-weight and solid casing,
- very good image quality in the frame centre,
- decent image quality on the edge of the frame (apart from the maximum relative aperture),
- slight chromatic aberration,
- negligible astigmatism,
- quite good work against bright light,
- accurate autofocus.
- big distortion,
- significant vignetting,
- big coma at the maximum relative aperture,
- image quality at the maximum relative aperture on the edge of the frame should have been better.
The Samsung NX 16 mm f/2.4 is a very interesting lens, worth our attention, not only as a part of the NX system but also from the perspective of other mirrorless systems. Compared to the Sony E 16 mm f/2.8 it is better in practically all categories: it is faster, its optics and its build quality are superior as well. It would be difficult to find a serious rival for this one even in the Micro 4/3 system, which features the biggest number of such lenses. The Panasonic G 14 mm f/2.5 ASPH ‘pancake’ is a bit slower, with a narrower angle of view, similar optical properties; mind you, is noticeably more expensive. The Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 12 mm f/2.0 ED offers a bit more but it is not as handy as a classic ‘pancake’ and its price is much higher than that of the Samsung.
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When it comes to ‘prime’ lenses aimed at advanced amateur photographers the NX system presents itself really well. Not only the choice is sensibly wide, taking into account the age of the whole system but also they are optically and mechanically good; their prices are hardly exuberant either. It seems Samsung has all it takes to compete successfully with other mirrorless system. Why don’t they try to gain a better place on the market by a more active strategy and better availability of their products? We don’t know. It is a fact that Samsung is able to compete very efficiently with such companies as Sony or Panasonic when it comes to TV sets, home cinema systems or mobile phones. We don’t understand why, having such good products in their line-up, they don’t try to do the same in the segment of photographic equipment, losing by default so to speak.