Friday, 9 April 2021

Samyang AF 24mm f1.8 FE


Samyang kick off 2021 with yet another release to their widely successful "Tiny" range. This time it's another 24mm lens and following on from their last couple of lens releases for Sony E-mount this new Autofocus 24mm lens follows suit with similar size and design to the AF 35mm f1.8 and AF 75mm f1.8 lenses. Again adding a custom button to the lens which comes in very handy especially for video use, Samyang have added another feature on this particular lens with an AF Hold button which allows photographers to set the infinity focus point, a great feature for astrophotographers. 



Suited mainly for landscape, street photography and architectural shots, to say that 24mm is a popular focal length is a bit of an understatement. Sony has the GMaster 24mm f1.4 (a very expensive variant at this focal length) along with nine zoom lenses which all have 24mm within the focal length range and that's just the native first party brand. When it comes to third party brands there's no fewer than five 24mm prime lenses and three zoom lenses. That's a total of eighteen full frame autofocus lenses that are capable of the 24mm focal length. So there is a lot of competition there at this focal length. Even more if you go further and include manual focus lenses.


As with the AF 35mm f1.8 FE and the AF 75mm f1.8 FE before that, the custom switch has two modes labelled "Mode 1" and "Mode 2". If the switch is set to Mode 1 then as you’d expect you can alter focus using the focus ring (if the camera is set to MF or DMF). However, if the switch is set to Mode 2 then you can adjust the aperture using the focus ring instead of the dial on the camera body.

At just 71.5mm in length and weighing in at a tiny 230g/270g (without lens cap or hood/with lens caps and petal shaped hood) this lens features a construction of 11 elements in 8 groups. Samyang utilises 2 aspherical elements, 3 high-refractive lenses, plus Ultra Multi Coating in the lens which are capable of capturing crisp, contrasty images with low chromatic aberration and minimal distortion. Similar to both the AF 75mm and the AF 35mm f1.8 it has nine aperture blades for smooth bokeh, a 58mm filter thread and quite a close minimum focus distance of 0.19m (0.62ft). It has a 83.7° angle of view on full frame, 60.9° on APS-C (cropped sensor) cameras. As with all Samyang's AF lenses this lens doesn't include a distance or depth of field scale. However, it does feature weather sealing with a rubber gasket on the metal lens mount. This lens has a slightly different and more matte finish/coating to the body of the lens itself as opposed to the other Samyang lenses which have a more shiny finish. After using this lens for a while I think I prefer this new look and feel. As with all other lenses from the "Tiny" range this lens comes shipped with its own little protective zipped case.


Size in hand (I have smallish hands)

The AF 24mm F1.8 FE lens incorporates a Linear Stepping Motor (STM) for fast, smooth and accurate focusing. Focusing is via focus by wire and is near silent. Eye AF works very well and is able to track movement. Low-light performance of the AF is great too. As with all of Samyang's "Tiny" lenses I love how compact and lightweight this lens is. This lens is definitely a great addition to Samyang's lens line-up and a lens that will appeal to a wide range of photographers.


Image below features Samyang's latest lenses for Sony E-Mount. From left to right, the brand new AF 24mm f1.8 FE, AF 35mm f1.8 FE, AF 75mm f1.8 FE. Note the size difference between the three lenses and the different (matte) finish on the AF 24mm f1.8 FE.


Due to the work and sort of images I shoot, a 24mm lens is a focal length that I rarely use. I usually shoot food so the lenses I mainly use are my Samyang AF 50mm f1.4 FE, Samyang AF 75mm f1.8 FE and a macro lens. I also shoot interiors so a 24mm for this sort of shoot would not be quite wide enough. For interiors, I usually use a 16-35mm on my Sony A7RIII or my Samyang AF 14mm f2.8 FE for really wide angles for smaller spaces to get as much in the shot as possible. Having said that, the size of this 24mm lens is relatively small, and it doesn't add much weight to add to a bag of camera gear. Also, the minimum focus distance allows you to get quite close to your subject so I was surprised to see that I was able to shoot a couple of food shots with this lens and they came out pretty well. Covid-19 has certainly limited the amount I've been able to get out and shoot with this lens as the UK has been in lockdown throughout the time I've had it. As such I haven't shot as many sample images as I would've liked especially in terms of landscape images which this lens would be ideally suited for. Also a comparison with the smaller Samyang AF 24mm f2.8 FE would be great as I have that lens too but just haven't been able to get out and shoot with the two. Maybe that would be an article for another time. To sum up, my overall conclusion of the lens so far is that it has a very similar build and size to the AF 75mm f1.8 which I love as it feels like it gives a great balance to the camera I use. It's not too big or too small. I really like the newer finish/coating to the body of the lens itself. Weather sealing, the custom switch and the new AF Hold button all make this a very appealing lens. The AF Hold button would be great for astro shooters but I haven't been able to test this out yet. AF is very responsive and accurate. Images are sharp and detailed as you can see from the samples below. Another great lens from Samyang!



All sample images shot with a Sony A7RIII (click to enlarge)

1/160th sec, f4, ISO 64






1/160th sec, f5, ISO 100








1/160th sec, f5, ISO 50








1/160th sec, f5, ISO 50









1/160th sec, f5, ISO 50








1/160th sec, f10, ISO 125









1/160th sec, f10, ISO 125









1/800th sec, f4, ISO 80








1/4000th sec, f1.8, ISO 100








1/160th sec, f4, ISO 80









1/1600th sec, f1.8, ISO 100

1/4000th sec, f1.8, ISO 100








1/1250th sec, f2.5, ISO 100









1/1250th sec, f3.2, ISO 100









1/500th sec, f5, ISO 100










Video footage straight out of camera. Recorded in S&Q mode on Sony A7RIII at 120fps. I'm pretty new to shooting video and don't really know what I'm doing with it. I need to look more into the editing side of processing video hence the raw footage here. The camera was handheld, but I think the footage is fairly smooth and the AF performs well even in a relatively low light situation.


Thanks for reading!

For more information on Samyang products please take a look at their website - and subscribe to their newsletter to keep up to date with product news. If you're based in the UK then check out UK distributor Intro 2020.

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Samyang AF 24mm f1.8 FE