Lens review

Samsung NX 20 mm f/2.8

Samsung NX 20 mm f/2.8
16 January 2013
Arkadiusz Olech

1. Introduction

When it comes to mirrorless lenses the Samsung company has the most sensible offer available on the market, at least from the point of view of an advanced amateur photographer of a semiprofessional user. Of course you can find more lenses in the Micro 4/3 system, where Olympus and Panasonic join their forces, but the Samsung prevails when it comes to the ratio of interesting fixed-focal devices to all the rest. From the very beginning that company delivers interesting launches, mainly in the form of optically well-made ‘pancakes’. When it comes to fixed-focal lenses you can find 16 mm, 20 mm, 30 mm, 45 mm, 60 mm and 85 mm focal length models in their line-up. You must admit it is really a nice set of instruments.

What about the prices? The situation is equally interesting. Prices of lenses suggested by Samsung are not low. For example the Samsung NX 20 mm f/2.8, tested here, retails at 1199 PLN. Fortunately in good shops you can purchase it for less. For example in Cyfrowe.pl its current price is 1007 PLN. What’s even more interesting on different auction sites people offer from time to time the same lens for less than half its suggested retail price – mind you these devices come from legal sources so buying them you get an invoice and a short guarantee period. The lenses are new, they just differ from the original ones because they lack a box and their guarantee period is just 3 months. Still the sellers ask about 400 PLN for the Samsung NX 2.8/20 so 3x less than the Samsung company suggests.

A short investigation explains why. It seems that authorized service centers of Samsung are the source of such cheap lenses. The devices they sold are most likely the ones they get for spare parts – currently, with such simple instruments as lenses it is not profitable to send the service centers different spare parts separately so the producers send entire lenses instead. That’s why these lenses don’t have original boxes or normal guarantees.

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Is the quality of the equipment sent for spare parts to a service centre the same as the quality of retailed lenses? I admit it is an open question. It is quite possible that lenses which passed quality control with a positive result are sent to normal shops and those series of products with small problems are set aside for spare parts. As there are animated discussions going on among the proponents and opponents of the Samsung system we decided to shed more light on that issue. We bought a Samsung NX 20 mm f/2.8 on an auction site, paying less than 400 PLN for it, and we tested it thoroughly – enjoy!

You are also invited to get acquainted with our test procedure, described in the article "How do we test lenses?" If you feel it’s still not enough, please go to our FAQ section where you can find some further explanation.

Samsung NX 20 mm f/2.8 - Introduction

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