Lens review

Samyang AF 45 mm f/1.8 FE

12 September 2020
Maciej Latałło

3. Build quality

Our comparison chart is enough to show that, when it comes to standard f/1.7-2.0 Sony FE lenses you are really spoilt for choice. We managed to fill it completely with lenses designed for these mirrorless cameras.

The Samyang AF 45 mm f/1.8 FE sticks out here with its lowest weight and small physical dimensions. The filter diameter also makes it close to the lower part of the chart. Only the Batis 2/40 CF, bigger but slower aperture-wise, is more optically complex than the Samyang.

The next photo shows how small the Samyang really is, especially when you compare it to the Batis; the third lens in that photo is the Voigtlander Apo-Lanthar 2/65.

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Samyang AF 45 mm f/1.8 FE - Build quality

The mount of the tested lens is made of metal; it surrounds a contact plate and a rear element, 27 mm in diameter, which is put into a slightly accented frame. That frame's dimension is limited to 25 mm at its shorter side and round it you can see well matted plastic part with an inscription 'MADE IN KOREA'. There are no slits in the proximity of the rear element so you can't glimpse any electronic parts inside; it means this lens is fully sealed.

Samyang AF 45 mm f/1.8 FE - Build quality

A smooth, black ring that doesn't move is the first part of the proper barrel of the lens; on it you see the parameters of the instrument (AF 45/1.8 FE), the name of its producer, another information stating that the lens was made in Korea, and a white dot, making an alignment with a camera easier.

Samyang AF 45 mm f/1.8 FE - Build quality

Further on you see a manual focus ring, 17 mm wide and completely covered by fine ribbing. It is a focus-by-wire construction and it allows you very precise setting because even if you turn it quickly running through the whole distance scale needs an angle of about 140 degrees; we you move it slower you can reach even 180 degrees. The lens is equipped with contacts so it can communicate with the camera body; it means you can use the focus peaking function in automatically enlarged images. The ring doesn't feature any distance scale (although such a scale appears in the display of the camera when you work in the MF mode) or any depth of field scale.

Samyang AF 45 mm f/1.8 FE - Build quality

Next parts of the lens are a metalic red ring and the ending in a form of a narrow, plastic ring and a hood mount. The front element doesn't move and is 26 mm in diameter. It is surrounded by a non-rotating filter thread, 49 mm in diameter, and an inscription with the parameters of the lens.

Samyang AF 45 mm f/1.8 FE - Build quality

When it comes to optics you deal here with 7 elements in 6 groups. Among them you can find one low dispersion ED glass element and two aspherical ones. As you see, the producers have modified the classic double gauss construction quite a lot. Inside there is also an aperture with nine diaphragm blades which can be closed down to a maximum value of f/22. The producers also boast of anti-reflection UMC coatings.

Buyers get in the box with the lens: both caps, a hood, and a stylish hard case. Taking the price of the lens into account it is a quite rich accessory kit, especially as the producers added that shapely, protective case. Nowadays many manufacturers don't add it at all even to more expensive instruments or they choose the minimalistic approach and you get just a pouch which might remind you more a handkerchief than something that should protect your lens. Here Samyang is definitely an example to follow.

Samyang AF 45 mm f/1.8 FE - Build quality