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Lens review

Samyang 16 mm f/2.0 ED AS UMC CS

21 August 2013
Szymon Starczewski

4. Image resolution

Attentive readers have certainly noticed that, with this test, we pensioned off the old Nikon D200. It belonged to our editorial office for many years, serving as a testing tool. In fact it could have been used longer for testing the optics because it remained in full working condition if not for one problem – visible noise at ISO 400-800. From time to time we happen to take sample shots at those speeds so we decided to start testing lenses with the help of a very well made Nikon D7000. Its 16 Mpix sensor is one of the best APS-C/DX detectors available on the market. The fact that such detectors are also used in many other cameras, sold nowadays, and some cameras we test optics with (e.g. the Sony A580 or the Pentax K-5) had its importance as well. Of course it’s worth noticing that the AA filter of the Nikon D7000 is weaker than that of the K-5 or the A580 so you get results by 3-4 lpmm higher.

You can say we expect that the best lenses, tested on the D7000, will be able to reach the peak of their possibilities near 55-58 lpmm and the decency level will be situated at 37-39 lpmm.

Let’s check how the Samyang 16 mm f/2.0 ED AS UMC CS compares here, only adding that the measurement errors of the presented values ranged from 0.2 to 0.7 lpmm.

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Samyang 16 mm f/2.0 ED AS UMC CS - Image resolution

The performance of the tested lens in the frame centre is excellent. Even at the maximum relative aperture it can generate high MTFs, reaching a bit less than 50 lpmm, and provide a very good aperture fastness. On slight stopping down it gets to 54-55 lpmm and by f/4.0 it goes as high as 58 lpmm, reaching truly sensational peak of its possibilities – hats off!

The performance on the edge of the frame deserves to be praised as well. A wide angle of view and a good aperture fastness combined together always create a difficult combination – that’s why by f/2.0 the images are still not of a good quality, just approaching the decency level. Still it is not a reason to complain. By f/2.8 the resolution is already good and from f/4.0 upwards even very good. The crops, shown below, were taken from JPEG files saved along RAW files used for the analysis above.

Samyang 16 mm f/2.0 ED AS UMC CS - Image resolution