LensTip.com

Lens review

Samyang 10 mm f/2.8 ED AS NCS CS

16 June 2014
Arkadiusz Olech

4. Image resolution

The resolution test of the Samyang 10 mm f/2.8 ED AS NCS CS was based on  RAW files from the Canon EOS 50D camera. The best lenses, tested on that camera, can reach as high as 52-55 lpmm. The decency level is situated around 34-35 lpmm. It’s worth reminding here that the new Tokina 11-16 mm f/2.8 at 11 mm focal length and fully opened had results of nearly 46 lpmm and on slight stopping down it could exceed slightly a level of 50 lpmm. The Sigma 10-20 mm f.3.5 was tested with the Nikon D200 so on a sensor less densely packed, providing lower MTFs. Still we didn’t complain either: at 10 mm and wide open the Sigma got to 40 lpmm which is an excellent result for such a sensor.

As you can see the Samyang faced a real challenge because the standards are raised very high. Let’s check how it compared in the frame centre and on the edge of the APS-C/DX sensor.

Samyang 10 mm f/2.8 ED AS NCS CS - Image resolution


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The results in the frame centre are sensational. At a very difficult combination of 10 mm focal length and f/2.8 aperture the lens reaches a brilliant result of 50 lpmm. On slight stopping down you see the MTF levels rise to 52 lpmm, a value worth the best fixed-focus lenses. Here we don’t have the slightest reservations; in fact the lens should be praised a lot.

The situation on the edge of the frame is a bit of a problem though. Firstly the image quality decreases swiftly as you move from the centre and the differences between MTF values you get in the centre and on the edge are really huge – so huge that by f/2.8 and f/4.0 you can’t call the images you see near the edge useful and decent results are reached only by f/5.6. The best value, that of 36 lpmm, the lens gets by f/8.0. It is a sensible result but nothing more…

The performance of the Samyang looks even worse when you compare it with the performance of its zoom rivals. The Sigma 10-20mm became useful already from f/4.0 and even at the maximum relative aperture it was only a tad below the decency level. The Tokina 11-16 mm f/2.8 at 11 mm was also useful already by f/4.0 and by f/5.6-8.0 it could even exceed a level of 40 lpmm.

Overall in this category our feelings are mixed. A sensational image quality in the centre is undoubtedly a huge advantage; on the other hand a wide-angle device is exactly for using the whole frame to its fullest. Cropping it in order to remove weak edges is out of question. I think I’d prefer a bit weaker performance in the centre and much better edges.

Samyang 10 mm f/2.8 ED AS NCS CS - Image resolution