Lens review

Samyang AF 45 mm f/1.8 FE

12 September 2020
Maciej Lata³³o

4. Image resolution

The resolution test (resolution meaning the MTF50 function values) of the Samyang AF 45 mm f/1.8 FE was based on RAW files from the Sony A7R II camera. In the case of that mirrorless device the decency level we set about 39-41 lpmm and the best fixed focal length lenses might get to 70 lpmm. So far the records have been reached by two Voigtlander devices, namely the Voigtlander Apo-Lanthar 65 mm f/2 Aspherical 1:2 Macro (78.5 lpmm) and the Nokton 50 mm f/1.2 (78.6 lpmm). The Zeiss Batis 40 mm f/2 CF, with a result of 77.1 lpmm fared just slightly weaker.

Let's check how the Samyang AF 45 mm f/1.8 FE compares – a graph below presents its results in the frame centre, on edges of the APS-C and full frame sensor.

Samyang AF 45 mm f/1.8 FE - Image resolution

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In the frame centre the small and affordable Samyang does exactly what you would expect from such constructions: it doesn't go near any record values but still by f/4.0 it manages to exceed 70 lpmm, an excellent result. What's more, up from the maximum relative aperture it reaches levels that can be described not only as useful but even good.

Taking the physical dimensions of the tested lens into account our expectations concerning the performance on the edge of the frame weren't high. It proved to be a good policy because otherwise we would feel a tad disappointed. The edge of both, the APS-C and full frame, is not that much different from the performance witnessed in the frame centre. As a result, in order to get decent images, you have to stop the lens down to near f/2.5 on the APS-C and to about f/3.5 on full frame. Fortunately by f/5.6 the results in both cases exceed 50 lpmm what allows us to speak about good image quality.

If you expected miracles you might be slightly disappointed by the performance of the Samyang on eges of the frame. However, if you are a realist, after a closer look at the weight, dimensions, optical construction and the price of the lens, you'll start to appreciate its excellent results in the frame centre. A bit weaker values on the edge of the frame should be considered a price worth paying.

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

A7R II, JPEG, 45 mm, f/1.8
Samyang AF 45 mm f/1.8 FE - Image resolution
A7R II, JPEG, 45 mm, f/4.0
Samyang AF 45 mm f/1.8 FE - Image resolution