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Lens review

Samyang 24 mm f/1.4 ED AS UMC

10 February 2012
Szymon Starczewski

4. Image resolution

The resolution test of the Samyang 24 mm f/1.4 ED AS UMC was based on RAW files from the Canon EOS 1Ds MkIII body. In the case of that camera the decency level is situated near 30-32 lpmm and the best fixed-focal lenses’ results can get to 44-46 lpmm.

How the tested lens compares here? Let’s have a glance at a graph below on which we present its results in the frame centre, on the edge of the APS-C sensor and full frame.

Samyang 24 mm f/1.4 ED AS UMC - Image resolution

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What sticks out at once is the performance by f/1.4 and f/2.0 which is average at most and definitely below the decency level. As we could have understood a weaker result by f/1.4, by f/2.0 it should have been definitely better. For example the Canon 1.4/24 at the maximum relative aperture brushed against 30 lpmm but by f/2.0 it had an excellent result of over 38 lpmm. The Nikkor 1.4/24 fared a bit worse than the Canon but it was still significantly better than the Samyang. On further stopping down the results of the Samyang don’t impress us either - by f/2.8 and f/4.0 brand name lenses are still better. The achievements of this trio get even only near f/5.6. Small wonder: with such ‘fast’ lenses and after such a significant stopping down the diffraction is the only limiting factor there.

Let’s progress to the performance on the edge of the frame. The difference in approach of Canon and Samyang constructors is clearly visible. The former took care of excellent results in the frame centre but at the expense of the edges. As the Canon defeats the Samyang in the centre of the frame, on the edge of the APS-C sensor that advantage is slight; on the edge of full frame the Samyang fares actually better. Well…unfortunately ‘better’ doesn’t mean ‘good’. The results by f/1.4 and f/2.0 are simply weak, by f/2.8 they become just a bit better and only by applying f/4.0 aperture you can enjoy fully sharp images.

What can be said? When such Samyang constructions as the 2.8/14 or the 1.4/35 didn’t need to be ashamed of anything when compared to their more renowned rivals, the 1.4/24 model, despite a much steeper price, lags behind other brand name devices in an obvious way.

At the end we present the photos of our test chart, taken from JPEG files.

Samyang 24 mm f/1.4 ED AS UMC - Image resolution