Lens review

Samyang 85 mm f/1.8 ED UMC CS

5 October 2018
Arkadiusz Olech

4. Image resolution

The resolution test of the Samyang 85 mm f/1.8 ED UMC CS we based on RAW files from the Fujifilm X-T2 camera. Those files were developed with the help of the dcraw program (with the 3-pass X-trans filter) and analyzed by the Imatest package.

Let’s remind here that the best prime lenses of the Fujifilm X system, tested that way, are able to reach results of about 80 lpmm and the decency level is set near 44-45 lpmm. Lately we’ve tested the Fujinon XF 50 mm f/2 R WR with the help of the X-T2 and it proved to be one of the sharpest lenses in the system, getting to about 83 lpmm.

Let’s see how the Samyang 85 mm f/1.8 ED UMC CS compares – an appropriate graph you can see below.

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Samyang 85 mm f/1.8 ED UMC CS - Image resolution

The performance of the Samyang 1.8/85 in the frame centre is excellent. Already at the maximum relative aperture you deal with a very high resolution level, that of 66 lpmm, and the stopping down only helps to increase that. The maximum of its possibilities the tested lens reaches by f/2.8 – 4.0 where the results are close to 74-76 lpmm. These are brilliant results but not record-breaking ones. For example the Fujinon 2/90 tested on the same body could reach 78.5 lpmm. Still the slower Fujinon is also noticeably bigger, heavier and more expensive than the Samyang.

What’s interesting, significant dimensions of the Fujinon didn’t help that lens on the frame edge and there it loses its duel with the cheaper Samyang. The Samyang is sharp already up from the maximum relative aperture and on stopping down can exceed 63 lpmm; it is a value definitely higher than 55 lpmm achieved by the Fujinon.

The assessment of the Samyang’s performance in this category can only be positive. The constructors managed to maintain an excellent balance between the weight, dimensions and the image quality, both in the centre and on the edge of the frame.

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.

Fujifilm X-T2, JPEG, f/1.8
Samyang 85 mm f/1.8 ED UMC CS - Image resolution
Fujifilm X-T2, JPEG, f/4.0
Samyang 85 mm f/1.8 ED UMC CS - Image resolution