Samsung NX 20mm f/2.8 ( W20NB ) - Review / Lab Test
Lens Reviews - Samsung NX
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Review by Klaus Schroiff, published November 2011


Some people may have wondered why we didn't test any more Samsung NX lenses after the NX 30mm f/2 about 1 1/2 years ago. Well, Samsung products may be fine but the local service here in Germany is dismal at times - our initial test base camera (NX10) was "serviced" by Geissler (Samsung's local "service" partner here in Germany) for almost half a year with the extra spice of cheeky phone call responses. After this rather unpleasant experience we decided to stop testing NX for a while. Anyway, a positive side effect is the restart of the tests based on the NX200 thus on a 20 megapixel camera.

Our first test covers a lens from one of the most appealing system aspects the NX system - a pancake lens or a "Carry" lens in Samsung terms, more specifically the Samsung NX 20mm f/2.8. As of the time of this review this is one of three pancakes by Samsung and regarding the current popularity of such lenses we'll certainly see a couple more. These lenses are, of course, small and comparatively fast and as a combination they're a nice setup for street photography for instance. Anyway, coming back to the 20mm f/2.8 - it behaves like a "31mm" lens on full format cameras so we are talking about a moderate wide-angle prime lens here.

Well, pancake lenses are simply like that - flat, small and light-weight. The NX 20mm f/2.8 has a height of less than 25mm and it weights just 96g. The NX200 is "almost" pocketable in this combination (at least in a jacket). The build quality is just fine based on a good quality plastic body and a metal mount. The lens uses an extension system for focusing so the inner lens tube extends a little when focusing towards shorter focus distances. The rubberized focus control ring operates smoothly and without wobbling. Samsung's iFn ("i-Function") feature allows you to control various camera settings via a corresponding iFn button in combination with the focus ring.

Below is a comparison between the NX 20mm f/2.8 (to the left) and the NX 30mm f/2.

The AF works fast and quietly. You can switch between AF and MF in the camera (menu) rather than via a corresponding switch on the lens. Manual focusing is "by wire" so you actually trigger the focus motor. Combined with the magnified focus view in the camera it is fairly easy to achieve accurate results.

Equiv. focal length31 mm (full format equivalent)
Equiv. aperturef/4.3 (full format equivalent, in terms of depth-of-field)
Optical construction6 elements in 4 groups (1x aspherical element)
Number of aperture blades7 (circular)
min. focus distance0.17 m (max. magnification 1:5.5)
Dimensions62.2 x 24.5 mm
Weight89 g
Filter size43 mm
Hoodbarrel-shaped, optional
Other featuresiFn

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