An affordable pancake option for the NX series, with excellent image quality
Just under half the barrel’s length is occupied by the focusing ring, which is useless most of the time but is free to rotate. This rotation is a particular inconvenience when trying to take the lens off the camera as any applied twisting action is more likely to turn the focus ring than the lens.
The good news is that Samsung’s 30mm f/2 easily produced excellent image quality. Its MTF figures only drop below the critical 0.25 cycles-per-pixel level at f/22, and all the way down to f/16 its results are significantly better than those of the 18-55mm zoom set to 30mm. Peak sharpness exceeds 0.35 cycles-per-pixel in the range f/4 to f/5.6. The slightest hint of chromatic aberration was seen during technical testing but real-world images were crisp and fringe-free.
These benefits could be enough to cancel out the minor niggles and justify its top-of-the-tree price were it not for the fact that the only way to use the 30mm lens in MF mode is to make that selection via the camera’s menu: sadly, there is no AF/MF selector on the lens itself.