Samyang Autofokus AF 2,8/14 mm EF for Canon Review

One or the other may have noticed: 2017 i became a Samyang Passionate. Now i was allowed to participate in a beta test for the new Samyang lens AF 2.8 / 14 mm EF with autofocus. (Note: this review ist also available in german)

SAMYANG’s first auto-focus lens for Canon cameras

I already own the manual, “old” 14mm lens , which is with me in my my photo bag for landscape and astrophotography.

Even at weddings, I used the manual focus 14mm lens regularly in the 2017 wedding season (group pictures, opening dance, location pictures, etc.). But most of the time I used the 14mm lens for astrophotography.

An ultra wide angle lens with autofocus promises more comfortable handling in landscape photography or at weddings for me. I think that’s great!
Although there are already a couple of years between both versions, I would like to consider both lenses in a direct comparison.

But before I do that, I’d like to share my impressions of the new Samyang AF 2.8 / 14mm EF !

Haptics and features of the Samyang AF 2.8 / 14 mm EF

The new Samyang AF 2,8/14 mm EF for Canon

The new Samyang AF 2.8 / 14 mm EF has been completely redesigned on the in- and outside and now comes in a simple and clear design. Compared to its predecessor, it is wider, but lighter.

Front and rear covers are also new and look more valuable than their predecessor. All in all a very good upgrade!

The lens fits perfectly with my Canon cameras. No wobbling or rattling. The cool thing is that the lens mount is also provided with a water-repellent rubber coating!

Aperture settings are made electronically via the camera in the range of f/2.8 to f/22 and the lenses settings are also available in the EXIF information in the finished image. That was not the case in the old version. So this is a great upgrade!

 

Optical performance of the Samyang AF 2.8 / 14mm EF

Let´s look at the most important thing of a lens – the optical performance:
First of all – I’m no „Pixelpeeper“ and I can not and do not want to test lenses like they do in the lab. I won´t take photos of adjustment charts or anything like that. To me it is important that a lens can be used well in real situations, deliver sharp images and is reliable.
I can already anticipate that the Samyang AF 2.8 / 14 mm EF has really excelled and is an amazing lens!
One more word about the pictures you see here: No distortion correction was done during RAW development.

Distorsion

The Samyang 14mm used with a ND-Filter, 5D Mark IV

I remember well when I first put the Samyang AF 2.8 / 14mm EF to my Canon 6D and looked through the viewfinder. I had a real WOW effect, because at first glance, I saw no barrel at all.

And yes … in direct comparison to the old version is a huge difference! People who are familiar with the old Samyang 14mm 2.8 ED AS IF UMC, will be amazed with the minimal distorsion oft he new lens!

Anyway- if you photograph tile patterns, you will see a very slight distortion, but in my opinion, it really is no big deal. I think you don´t even have to clear it in post-processing at all. That really blew me away!

Sharpness

Sharp image even shot wide open at f/2.8
100% view of the center of the above image (f/2.8, 6D Mark I)

The last few years have done quite a bit on the lens market in terms of sharpness. Samyangs prime lenses are always known to deliver sharp images even when shooting at wide apertures! Therefore it was almost no surprise that the new Samyang AF 2.8 / 14 mm EF does an extremely good job in terms of sharpness.

I noticed that especially when photographing the Milky Way. Because of the great sharpness even at f/2.8 it was extremely easy to focus stars correctly via LiveView!
Outside in “classic” landscape photography, I was able to achieve really good results with the lens.

I found that the Samyang AF 2.8 / 14mm EF is very usable at f/2.8 and is way sharper than its predecessor! At f/4 the lens gets another boost in sharpness and remains until f/11 on a top level!

As all lenses with extremely short focal lengths, you will find less sharpness in the corners. I think Samyang has done a good job with the AF 2.8 / 14 mm EF and I never felt the slightly less sharpness at the edges disturbing in any way. Again, I think, it is a clear difference to old version and a huge step forward!


[singlestroke_side_background image=”4896″][/singlestroke_side_background] I have photographed a row of different apertures that you look best in full size (small blurs on the branches or on the ground are caused by the wind, since it was very stormy when it tested the lens). Even at aperture 4, landscapes are so sharp that apart from the reduced vignetting I see no difference. And even on my 5D Mark IV the Samyang AF 14mm 2.8 EF delivers sharp images wide- open!

 

Autofocus

The part i was most curious about, because all my Samyang lenses have no autofocus and the new 14mm is the first auto-focus lens for Canon cameras from Samyang.
The autofocus of the Samyang AF 2.8 / 14 mm EF does a really good job. It is quiet and fast, works in both LiveView and classic phase detection AF. On my cameras (Canon 70D, 6D and the 5D Mark IV), the AF has worked perfectly.

 

However, I had to fine tune the AF on my 6D and on my 5D Mark IV, so that I had perfect results (but I usually do that with my lenses anyway).

Photographing the Milky Way with the 14mm 2.8 AF

[singlestroke_side_background image=”4632″][/singlestroke_side_background]

Phew, what shall i say – I simply don´t want to photograph the Milky Way with my old Samyang 14mm 2.8 ED AS IF UMC anymore ?

I´m so in love with the new Samyang AF 2.8 / 14 mm EF ?

Unfortunately the test period was a bit late for really impressive photos of the Milky Way (October / November). And in general in Germany it is not quite as easy to produce impressive Milky Way shots, as you can do in the more southern countries.

Nevertheless, I was able to get some nice pictures of the Milky Way with the new 14mm in late autumn. And it really was awesome working with this lens! With the old 14mm lens, it’s much harder to focus the stars correctly in the Liveview, because the stars in the 10x LiveView have always been a bit blurry.

With the new Samyang AF 2.8 / 14 mm EF things are very different: thanks to the excellent sharpness at f/2.8, I immediately see if I have properly focused the stars in the 10x live view and can start immediately with shooting.

After focussing the stars with the new Samyang lens I knew I had a new favorite lens for Milky Way photography. Furthermore, temperature changes seem to have less effect on the set focus distance than on the old lens. At least I did not even have to refocus during a one-hour session. But that is my purely subjective feeling and temperatures didn´t vary that much

 

Conclusions to the Samyang AF 14mm 2.8 EF

  • Very good optical performance, razor-sharp from aperture 4
  • really good sharpness at f/2.8
  • Lightweight lens – perfect for hiking tours!
  • Splashproof and dustproof
  • Fast, quiet, and precise autofocus
  • Has displaced my old 14mm from the camera bag ?

The new Samyang AF 2.8 / 14mm EF convinced me completely. It’s a solid improvement to the old 14mm and has a reliable, fast autofocus that hits the focussed object perfectly after some finetuning. In addition to the low distortion I was particularly impressed by the sharpness and the low weight. I am happy about every single gram less on my photo equipment, espacially on trips or at a wedding day.

The lens is just perfect for landscape and MilkyWay photography. It is definitely worth a recommendation and now has a permanent place in my photo bag!

Incidentally, I found out that the Samyang filter holder for the old 14mm 2.8 fits perfectly on the new Samyang AF 2.8 / 14mm EF (filter size 165mm). ?

 

The 14mm EF together with an ND-Filter.

Note

Samyang gave me a lens in BETA-State for this test. I didn´t recieve any money for this review!

15 Comments zu Samyang Autofokus AF 2,8/14 mm EF for Canon Review

  1. Ulf Bittner June 8, 2018 at 6:39 pm

    Vielen Dank für deine Rezension, ich habe diese Scherbe seit etwa 4 Wochen und bin extrem zufrieden, vor allem die Schärfe.
    Frage: welcher Filterhalter ist das genau, der da passen soll? Ich suche verzweifelt, denn es ist ja dicker als das alte Objektiv. Der samsfh-14 jedenfalls passt nicht.

    Reply
    1. Maxim June 8, 2018 at 7:44 pm

      Hi Ulf,

      Der Filterhalter passt, wenn du den Adapter-Aufsatz für die Streulichtblende weglässt. Er passt bei mir jedenfalls auf den Millimeter genau. Das Anbringen ist ein bisschen fummelig, aber es geht 😉

      Reply
      1. Thilo May 4, 2019 at 8:11 am

        Hey,
        super Rezension!
        Jetzt steht es fest, ich werde mir das Objektiv zulegen.
        Zu den Filtern aber eine frage, den sfh14 mit Filtern bekommt man ja nicht mehr so einfach und auch online gibt es viele die z. B. Nur für das samyang 14mm von Sony klappen sollen, dann noch den MKII von Lee SW… Hat einer eine Erfahrung, welcher noch alternativ statt dem sfh-14 klappt?

        Reply
        1. Maxim May 8, 2019 at 7:12 am

          Hi Thilo, da bin ich leider überfragt. Ich tippe jedoch stark drauf, dass sich die Canon-Version von der Sony-Version in der Größe nicht unterscheiden werden (außer natürlich am “verlängerten” Bajonett-Anschluss der Sony Version).
          Den Filterhalter gibt es derzeit für rund 20€ auf Amazon, passt jedoch nur auf die neue 14mm Version, wenn man den Geli-Aufschub nicht mit aufbringt.

          Reply
          1. Thilo Wilke June 9, 2019 at 9:52 pm

            Welchen Filterhalter meinst du denn genau?
            Sorry das ich erst jetzt antworte, war u. A. Im Urlaub und abgelenkt.
            Ich habe z. Zt. Einen von Nisi im Auge, aber der allein kostet halt 109€ abgesehen davon das 150*170er filter Platten ca bei 140€ anfangen…

          2. Maxim June 19, 2019 at 6:15 am

            Der “Samyang Filter Holder” passt drauf.

            Allerdings nur ohne den Befestigungsaufsatz und du musst den Filterhalter auf das Objektiv schieben.

  2. Ulf Bittner June 9, 2018 at 8:14 pm

    Na, das werde ich testen. Danke erstmal.

    Reply
  3. Hanno Sekuterski January 13, 2019 at 3:12 pm

    Bei Filterhalter Größe 165 gehe ich mal davon aus, daß die Frontlinse vorsteht? Schon mal an deinen Sony’s mit Adapter probiert?

    Reply
    1. Maxim February 5, 2019 at 6:58 am

      Ja die Frontlinse ist gewölbt, was bei 14mm durchaus üblich ist. Da ich (noch) keine Sony habe (Ich liebäugle sehr mit einer Alpha9) kann ich dazu nix sagen – da es aber eine eigene Version für Sony gibt, solltest du diese nehmen 🙂

      Reply
  4. Marlene January 30, 2019 at 2:55 pm

    Hallo Maxim,

    Danke für den tollen Bericht. Was ich noch nicht vertehe, wird der Fokus im MF elektrisch gesteuert? habe ich das richtig verstanden?

    Reply
    1. Maxim February 5, 2019 at 6:56 am

      Hallo Marlene,

      ganz genau. Dieses Prinzip nennt man “Focus by wire” – also fokussieren mittels Drahtverbindung 🙂

      Reply
  5. Marcel April 6, 2019 at 9:33 pm

    Hallo Maxim,
    gegen wie viel Uhr wurden die Fotos denn geschossen? 🙂

    Reply
    1. Maxim April 8, 2019 at 10:40 am

      Hallo Marcel,

      welche Fotos meinst du denn genau?

      Reply
  6. t31 July 21, 2019 at 11:44 am

    Ich besitze dies Objektiv auch gerade eben noch, es wird zurückgehen, da es m.M.n. absolut unbrauchbar ist. Bei Blende 2.8 bekomme ich maximal das Zentrum scharf, selbst bei Blende 8.0 würde ich das Zentrum zwar als scharf bezeichnen, aber nicht als überragend, das fatale dieser Linse sind die nicht zentralen Bereiche (sehr gut bei den Fotos mit den Bäumen im Hintergrund zu sehen, so sieht es bei mir immer ind en Rändern aus), auch bei Blende 8 habe ich an den Rändern und Ecken Doppelbilder und Verwischeffekte (selbst auf Kameradisplay deutlich erkennbar), als würde man die Kamera verreißen oder der Spiegelschlag hätte zugeschlagen. Von Stativ mit Fernauslösung und Spiegelvorauslösung wird es auch nicht besser. Jetzt wird gerne argumentiert, das seien 14mm. Ich besitze auch ein 16-35/4, keine Probleme, ja, das sind nur 16mm und nicht 14mm – gut, muss hinnehmen, aber ich habe auch ein Sigma 8-16mm für Crop, was dem Bildeindruck von 12,8mm entspräche, alles verwendbar, es verzeichnet stärker, aber es ist scharf (7D2, habe es auch an die EOS-M5 geschnallt, fast vergleichbar zur Auflösung der 6D2). Für mich steht fest, ein UWW kann ordentlich abbilden, ein Samyang nicht. Für Panorama ist das Samyang auch nicht geeignet, denn man könnte nur mit dem zentralen Bereich ernsthaft arbeiten, da kann ich gleich auf 28mm verwenden.

    Reply
    1. Maxim July 21, 2019 at 3:56 pm

      Hi,
      dass hört sich für mich so an, als hättest du ein dezentriertes Objektiv erhalten. Bei meinem 14er ist jedenfalls alles in Ordnung. Schade, aber oft weiß man ja leider nicht, was mit dem Objektiv auf dem Lieferweg alles passiert. Ich hatte auch schon ein Obejtkiv aus Canons L Serie bei dem der Autofokus eher ein Zufallsgenerator war.

      Reply

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