Lens review

Samyang AF 24-70 mm f/2.8 FE

2 June 2023
Maciej Lata³³o

4. Image resolution

Our resolution test (resolution meaning the MTF50 function values) of Sony FE lenses is based on RAW files from the 42.4 Mpix sensor of the Sony A7R II or the Sony A7R III camera. In the case of this kind of detector the decency level we set about 39-41 lpmm and the best fixed focal lenses have been able to reach a level of 75-80 lpmm. Record-breaking lenses are able to exceed 80 lpmm and so far, our list of these record-breakers features the Sigma C 65 mm f/2 DG DN (82.7 lpmm), the Sony FE 20 mm f/1.8G (83.7 lpmm), and the Sony FE 50 mm f/1.4 GM (90.9 lpmm).

Let's check how the Samyang AF 24-70 mm f/2.8 FE compares – first we are going to deal with its results in the frame centre at 24, 45, 50, and 70 mm focal lengths which are presented by a graph below.

Samyang AF 24-70 mm f/2.8 FE - Image resolution

At once we can say this performance doesn't bowl us over. Compare it to the Sigma A 24-70 mm f/2.8 DG DN which, at every focal length, up from the maximum relative aperture, showed results exceeding 60 lpmm and in the middle of the focal range it even got to 70 lpmm. Of course you have to say that the Samyang in the centre does a good job – there are no weaker points and the resolution is on a proper level even at the maximum relative aperture.

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Now let's check the edge of the APS-C sensor – an appropriate graph you can find below.

Samyang AF 24-70 mm f/2.8 FE - Image resolution

At the shortest focal length everything is in perfect order- no objections here. In the middle of the range the situation deteriorates, as at the maximum relative aperture the lens reaches barely the decency level. Fortunately image quality improves very swiftly on stopping down. At the 70 mm focal length the situation is already unacceptable for this class of equipment because both the f/2.8 and the f/4.0 apertures aren't useful at all.

Now let's pass to the performance on the edge of full frame.

Samyang AF 24-70 mm f/2.8 FE - Image resolution

Only the shortest focal length can't be criticized but even there, at the maximum relative aperture, the lens barely brushes against the decency level. Significant problems start already in the middle of the focal range where the lens should be closed down to near f/4.0 in order to produce sensible image quality. At 70 mm the situation is even worse – you have to stop the lens down to near f/6.3 to get images of satisfactory quality.

To sum up this chapter, the Samyang didn't manage to impress us. In the frame centre it fares relatively well, but the edges of both the smaller APS-C sensor, and full frame, leave a lot to be desired. The fact that the producers took special care of the 24 mm focal length, so you can get sharp images across the frame, is some consolation, though. After all, in this kind of equipment it is the most important focal length.

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

A7R III, JPEG, 45 mm, f/2.8
Samyang AF 24-70 mm f/2.8 FE - Image resolution
A7R III, JPEG, 70 mm, f/5.6
Samyang AF 24-70 mm f/2.8 FE - Image resolution