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Lens review

Samyang 12 mm f/2.0 NCS CS

Samyang 12 mm f/2.0 NCS CS
28 May 2014
Arkadiusz Olech

1. Introduction

It is very difficult to produce an ultra wide-angle lens (so with the angle of view of approximately 100 degrees) with a good aperture fastness. Small wonder lenses of that type usually offer you an aperture as fast as f/3.5-4.0; only few of them come with f/2.8. There are only three contemporary exceptions to that rule I know of: the Sigma 20 mm f/1.8 EX DG Aspherical RF which, with an angle of view of 94.5 degrees, is as fast as f/1.8 (mind you I am not completely sure this lens is still being produced at all), the Voigtlander Ultron 21 mm f/1.8 and the very expensive Leica Summilux-M 21 mm f/1.4 ASPH which offers you an angle of view of 92 degree with an aperture fastness of f/1.4.

Lately the Korean Samyang company decided to enlarge that elitist group as they launched the Samyang 12 mm f/2.0 NCS CS, a truly unique instrument, designed to mirrorless cameras with an APS-C sensor, which tries to combine an angle of view of 99.5 degrees with f/2.0. These parameters are very difficult to correct, pushing the limits far more than any rival lens so far. It’s enough to remind here that wide-angle ‘primes’ for mirrorless cameras are also offered by Zeiss (the Touit 2.8/12) or Fuji (the Fujinon 2.8/14) but they are slower than the Samyang and three times as expensive!

Where’s the catch? Is there a catch anywhere? Did Samyang manage to combine those extremely difficult parameters and a price acceptable for the wider group of consumers? Read on to find out!


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We would like to thank the Delta company, the sole distributor of Samyang products in Poland, for lending us the lens for testing purposes.

You are also invited to get acquainted with our test procedure, described in the article "How do we test lenses?" If you feel it’s still not enough, please go to our FAQ section where you can find some further explanation.

Samyang 12 mm f/2.0 NCS CS - Introduction