LensTip.com

Lens review

Samyang 100 mm f/2.8 ED UMC MACRO

22 August 2015
Arkadiusz Olech

11. Summary

Pros:
  • sensational resolution in the frame centre,
  • good image quality on the edge of the APS-C/DX,
  • imperceptible longitudinal chromatic aberration,
  • low lateral chromatic aberration,
  • lack of spherical aberration problems,
  • practically zero distortion,
  • moderate coma,
  • low astigmatism,
  • nice appearance of blurry areas,
  • low vignetting on the APS-C/DX sensor.

Cons:

  • the frame edge near the maximum relative aperture is noticeably worse than in the case of direct rivals,
  • too high vignetting on full frame,
  • manual focus ring could have been better.

The Samyang 100 mm f/2.8 ED UMC MACRO is undoubtedly a quite good lens. The problem? It’s hardly enough, especially if you take into account the fierce competition in this segment and its price, about 1800 PLN. In order to gain a strong market position it would have to be an outstanding device and it certainly can’t be called that. You don’t have to look very far to find a much better option – for example the Tamron SP 90 mm f/2.8 Di MACRO 1:1 VC USD is sharper than the Samyang both in the centre and on the edge of the frame; it also comes equipped with autofocus and stabilization. What’s more, it costs only 100 PLN more. With such a direct rival I really cannot find one single reason why I should recommend the Samyang to any owner of a reflex camera.


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Mirrorless systems can save the Samyang a bit because there are no macro 100 mm lenses designed for them almost at all. Still it’s cold comfort…

If I had to formulate a more general opinion I would say some decisions of different producers never stop to surprise me. Entering the macro 100 mm class by Samyang was a really brave but risky move. Our test proved the effort wasn’t worth it. I actually wonder why nobody thought about offering a 150-180 mm macro lens; by doing so they would enter a segment with far less intense competition and much higher prices (e.g. the independent Sigma 2.8/150 OS costs almost 4000 PLN). In our opinion a good quality, well-done 2.8/150 model costing about 2000 PLN would find much more buyers than a 2.8/100 lens.