Lens review

Samyang AF 24 mm f/2.8 FE

11 September 2018
Arkadiusz Olech

4. Image resolution

The resolution (in the sense of the MTF50 values) of the Samyang AF 24 mm f/2.8 FE was based on RAW files from the Sony A7R II. In the case of that mirrorless camera the decency level is situated in around 39-41 lpmm and the best fixed-focal lenses can reach over 70 lpmm. So far the best results have belonged to the Tokina Fírin 20 mm f/2 FE MF (72.6 lpmm) and the Voigtlander Apo-Lanthar 65 mm f/2 Aspherical 1:2 Macro (78.5 lpmm).

Let’s check how the Samyang 2.8/24 FE compares – its results in the frame centre, on the edge of the APS-C sensor and full frame presents a graph below.

Samyang AF 24 mm f/2.8 FE - Image resolution

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In the frame centre at the maximum relative aperture you get a not especially impressive result of almost 43 lpmm; still, you have to admit it reaches a bit above the decency level. With the stopping down the aperture the image quality improves very quickly and by f/5.6 you see a value of almost 58 lpmm, the peak of the performance. It allows you to produce sharp images but we cannot say the lens impressed us in any way. The Tokina, mentioned in our introduction to this chapter, could deliver MTFs by several lpmm higher. Even Samyang have shown they can produce small, lightweight lenses which fared better - it’s enough you mention here the Samyang AF 35 mm f/2.8 FE which could exceed 60 lpmm.

If you combine very small dimensions, a wide angle of view, and a big full frame detector situated close to the rear element of the lens, you are facing very demanding conditions, especially when it comes to image quality on the edge of the frame. We didn’t expect good results in that place and we weren’t surprised that the performance on the edge of the APS-C sensor was only slightly better than the performance on the edge of full frame. In both cases, in a wide area near the maximum relative aperture, the image quality remains weak; in order to improve it you have to employ an aperture of about f/8.0.

To sum up, even though we didn’t expect anything record-breaking we did expect better results that the ones we actually saw. The edge of the frame makes us especially unsatisfied. It seems compromises went a bit too far.

At the end of this part of our test traditionally we present crops taken from photos of our resolution testing chart, saved as JPEG files along RAWs used for the analysis presented above.

A7R II, JPEG, f/2.8
Samyang AF 24 mm f/2.8 FE - Image resolution
A7R II, JPEG, f/5.6
Samyang AF 24 mm f/2.8 FE - Image resolution