Does Samyang's fast prime for mirrorless cameras represent a bargain at under £300? Michael Topham gives it a thorough test
Samyang 50mm f/1.2 AS UMC CS review – Test results
Our Applied Imaging tests tell us the sharpness is comparable at the corners and the centre at f/1.2. There’s a noticeable spike in sharpness in the centre between f/2 and f/2.8, with the sweet spot of sharpness at the centre and edge being located close to f/4. Close the lens down beyond f/4 and the centre sharpness starts to drop a little, but acceptable sharpness is maintained up to f/11.
Corners appear approximately 0.7EV darker than the centre of the image at f/1.2. This is impressive for such a fast prime, and corner shading is quick to disappear when it’s closed down. There is an obvious improvement at f/1.4, and by the time you reach f/2 edges are 0.3EV darker than the centre. Vignetting won’t be an issue between f/2.8 and f/16.
A close study of our distortion chart reveals the lens puts in a great performance, and compared with the Samyang 21mm f/1.4, which displayed minor barrel distortion in its images, this lens renders horizontal and vertical lines straight with no obvious signs of barrel or pincushion distortion.