Lens review

Samyang 12 mm f/2.8 ED AS NCS Fish-eye

30 December 2014
Arkadiusz Olech

11. Summary

  • sensational image quality in the frame centre,
  • good correction of longitudinal chromatic aberration,
  • no symptoms of spherical aberration,
  • moderate astigmatism,
  • negligible vignetting on APS-C/DX,
  • very good work against bright light.


  • weak image quality on the edge of the frame,
  • too high level of lateral chromatic aberration.

It would be difficult to asses the Samyang 12 mm f/2.8 ED AS NCS Fish-eye unambiguously. On the one hand it provides a sensational image quality in the frame centre; on the other hand its resolution on the edge is hardly impressive. Our difficulties also stem from the fact that it is the first fisheye lens we had an opportunity to test on full frame. Even if we did such tests before our problems wouldn’t diminish – none of contemporary producers offers a fisheye device based on stereographic mapping which is the most difficult to construct,. Only the Samyang undertook such a task so far and, as a result, their product remains one of its kind.

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We can only compare the lens’s performance to the results of other diagonal fisheye devices designed for smaller sensors and those fared in many different ways. The Sigma 10 mm f/2.8 EX DC FISHEYE HSM, like the Samyang, was incredible in the centre but let us down on the edge. The Samyang 8 mm f/3.5 Aspherical IF MC Fish-eye didn’t have such discrepancies between the frame centre and its edge but its resolution values in the frame centre could hardly be called sensational. The Samyang 8 mm f/2.8 UMC Fisheye designed for mirrorless cameras with APS-C sensors, fared exceedingly well in almost every aspect. It is an example to follow – that’s how a fisheye lens should be constructed. Pity the full frame Samyang 2.8/12 didn’t follow its lead.