Lens review

Samyang 10 mm f/2.8 ED AS NCS CS

16 June 2014
Arkadiusz Olech

3. Build quality

The following chart presents a comparison between the Samyang 2.8/10 and other lenses designed for reflex cameras with an APS-C/DX sensor, providing similar aperture fastness and the angle of view. It is very interesting that the Samyang, although being a fixed-focus lens, is also optically the most complex instrument here. Its weight and dimensions are very similar to those of its rivals but the lack of any possibility to attach filters is a serious flaw.

In the photo below there are three ultra wide-angle lenses, produced by Samyang, positioned side by side. Two of them are designed for reflex cameras with an APS-C sensor: the fish eye 3.5/8 and the rectilinear 2.8/10; the third one is the 2/12 lens for mirrorless cameras.

Samyang 10 mm f/2.8 ED AS NCS CS - Build quality

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The tested lens starts with a metal mount which surrounds a rear element, 17 mm in diameter. That element is positioned on the same level as the mount with dark plastic parts around it. It is mobile but only in a very narrow, almost imperceptible range.

Samyang 10 mm f/2.8 ED AS NCS CS - Build quality

The first element of the proper body of the lens is an aperture ring, 8 mm wide. It turns properly and is well-damped. It must be mentioned here that the contacts, allowing the connection with a camera body and controlling the aperture from the camera menu level, are unavailable in the Canon mount version of the lens. In that case the aperture can be changed only by moving the ring every 0.5 EV step and the photos which are saved in EXIF feature neither the focal length of the lens nor the aperture value. A Nikon F mount lens version features the contact and you can change the aperture every 0.3 EV step from the camera menu level.

Samyang 10 mm f/2.8 ED AS NCS CS - Build quality

The next part of the lens is a narrow, immobile ring on which you can find the name, the parameters of the lens and depth of field markings by f/5.6, f/4.0 and f/2.8 apertures. Further on you see a manual focus ring. It is very wide (35 mm) and most of it occupy rubber ribs, comfortable to the touch; below there is a distance scale expressed in feet and meters. The ring moves evenly and is well-damped. Running through the whole scale takes a turn through 130 degrees. With such a small focal length and significant depth of field it is a decent value, allowing you very precise settings.

Behind the focus ring the lens smoothly turns into a huge petal-type hood, permanently fixed in place. It surrounds the convex front element with impressive diameter of 72 mm. Unfortunately you can’t attach any filters here which is a huge disadvantage.

Samyang 10 mm f/2.8 ED AS NCS CS - Build quality

When it comes to the inner construction you deal here with 14 elements positioned in 10 groups (including two aspherical elements and one made of low-dispersion glass). Inside you can also find an aperture with six diaphragm blades which can be closed down to f/22.0. It is worth adding that the tested lens is the first instrument, produced by the Samyang Optics company, which features a nano-crystal anti-reflective coat. It is characterized by a lower reflectivity than (U)MC coatings; the process of applying it makes it fit better the structure of the element’s surface. The advantages of using the nano-crystal coat are: much lower light transmission, better protection against unwanted flares and a higher contrast level.

Buyers get in the box both caps and a soft pouch.

Samyang 10 mm f/2.8 ED AS NCS CS - Build quality