Lens review

Samyang 21 mm f/1.4 ED AS UMC CS

8 December 2015
Arkadiusz Olech

11. Summary

  • excellent image quality in the frame centre,
  • low lateral chromatic aberration,
  • imperceptible spherical aberration,
  • very good distortion correction,
  • excellent performance against bright light.


  • differences in sharpness between the left and the right side of the frame,
  • too weak image quality on the edge of the frame in the vast area near the maximum relative aperture,
  • distinct vignetting,
  • lack of any depth of field scale on the lens.

It would be hard not to have mixed feelings after a test of such a lens. On the one hand the image quality in the frame centre is so good that it brushes against record values, presenting a truly amazing performance. Apart from that the work against bright light is very good and the same can be said about the distortion correction. On the other hand, as a potential customer, you have to carp about the poor quality control which let pass a decentered lens with noticeable sharpness differences between the left and the right side of the frame.

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The Samyang 21 mm f/1.4 ED AS UMC CS is not an expensive lens – you have to pay 1400 PLN for it. In such a market segment the economy is unavoidable to a certain degree and you can easily save on quality control. We don’t try to defend such a practice and we can hardly praise it but we are aware it is the world we live in.

Despite all the flaws we recommend this lens – but only with a caveat. Check the sharpness on both sides of the frame in the moment of purchase, whether it is the same and satisfactory. If you happen to find a specimen properly assembled you have a chance to acquire a quite nice lens for a sensible amount of money.