Samyang AF 14mm f/2.8 FE - Review / Test Report - Sample Images & Verdict
Lens Reviews - Sony Alpha (Full Format)

Sample Images

Click on an image for downloading the full-size variant.

MakeSONY
ModelILCE-7RM2
ISO Speed100
Focal Length14.0mm
Aperture:f/9.0
Exposure1/160s

MakeSONY
ModelILCE-7RM2
ISO Speed100
Focal Length14.0mm
Aperture:f/9.0
Exposure1/320s

MakeSONY
ModelILCE-7RM2
ISO Speed100
Focal Length14.0mm
Aperture:f/9.0
Exposure1/200s

MakeSONY
ModelILCE-7RM2
ISO Speed100
Focal Length14.0mm
Aperture:f/9.0
Exposure1/250s

MakeSONY
ModelILCE-7RM2
ISO Speed100
Focal Length14.0mm
Aperture:f/2.8
Exposure1/640s

MakeSONY
ModelILCE-7RM2
ISO Speed100
Focal Length14.0mm
Aperture:f/9.0
Exposure1/125s

MakeSONY
ModelILCE-7RM2
ISO Speed100
Focal Length14.0mm
Aperture:f/2.8
Exposure1/100s

MakeSONY
ModelILCE-7RM2
ISO Speed100
Focal Length14.0mm
Aperture:f/2.8
Exposure1/640s

MakeSONY
ModelILCE-7RM2
ISO Speed100
Focal Length14.0mm
Aperture:f/16.0
Exposure1/125s

MakeSONY
ModelILCE-7RM2
ISO Speed200
Focal Length14.0mm
Aperture:f/11.0
Exposure1/60s

MakeSONY
ModelILCE-7RM2
ISO Speed100
Focal Length14.0mm
Aperture:f/11.0
Exposure1/125s

Competition

Sony has a couple of (very good) zoom lenses that rule the high-end of the market but there's nothing that comes close to the Samyang (shown to the left) in terms of pricing. If we stretch things a little, we may include the Sigma 14mm f/1.8 ART DG HSM - which is essentially an adapted DSLR lens. Combined with the much larger aperture, it's a HUGE lens in comparison. But ... it is also sharper than the Samyang. Another option - albeit a manual focus one - is the Laowa 15mm f/2 Zero-D. It is more expensive still but also a full stop faster. Optically they are in the same league although we'd give the edge to the Laowa here. The Laowa is also impressively small in comparison.

Visual comparison courtesy of camerasize.com.

Verdict

In the introduction, we asked the question of whether a 14mm f/2.8 and a low price tag 500USD/EUR is a winning combination. Most users want their ultra-wide lenses to be sharp way into the far corner. And that's where the Samyang AF 14mm f/2.8 FE struggles. The center quality is sharp enough but the corners are soft at f/2.8 and f/4. Now whether this is really a relevant shortcoming depends on what you are shooting. If you use large apertures for shallow depth-of-field images only, it'll be a nonissue. For astrophotography, it's not ideal though. Stopped down to f/8 the overall quality is good for such a lens. The amount of vignetting is relatively well-controlled but clearly visible unless image auto-correction is activated. Image distortion is heavy in RAW files but, once again, this can be corrected in post. Lateral CAs are Okay for such a lens. We haven't formally tested the quality of the bokeh. When looking at our sample images taken at f/2.8, you may agree that the bokeh is quite rough. However, let's be fair here - this applies to the vast majority of ultra-wide lenses.

In terms of build quality, the Samyang lens is quite convincing. Nothing wobbles and most of the lens is made of metal. We aren't a huge fan of the satin finish but that's largely a matter of taste. The lack of weather-sealing is a bit unfortunate but not surprising in this price class. The AF is plenty fast for an ultra-wide lens, and it's noiseless, too.

Overall we aren't overly thrilled by the optical performance. However, you also have to recognize the fact that the price point of the Samyang AF 14mm f/2.8 FE is extremely low for a such lens. If you own a 16/24 megapixel full-format or APS-C camera you also won't really notice much of an issue (assuming you get a good sample) - that's also something to keep in mind.


Optical Quality:    
★★★★★
Mechanical Quality:
★★★★★
Price/Performance:
★★★★★

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