A staple part of an astrophotography kit but versatile enough to be for different scenarios
Samyang AF 24mm F1.8 FE is
a staple part of an astrophotography kit
but versatile enough to be just
as strong for different scenarios,
landscapes and life in the city.
Samyang recently released another lens in their Tiny series for 2021,
the Samyang AF 24mm F1.8 for Sony full-frame E mount. As with the lenses
in the Tiny series, the 24mm lens has a simple but modern design that is
ultra-compact, lightweight. Out of the box, the lens comes with a lens hood
and a protective case that’s been consistent in Samyang’s tiny lenses.
Superb Image Quality
I was really pleased with the superb image quality from this lens. The images from my tests were really sharp as you can see from the examples above.
Compact and Lightweight
with Modern Design
As with all lenses in the Samyang tiny line, the AF 24mm F1.8 FE is really
compact and lightweight. Measuring in at about 270 grams including the
hood and lens cap, this lens is really easy to carry. Great for all-day shooting!
From left to right is the AF 18mm F2.8, AF 24mm F1.8 and AF 35mm F1.8. The images above feature Samyang lenses in the tiny range to show the improvements to the
lens design, from the addition of the custom switch to the new focus hold button. Along with the different designs in the lens hoods, the 24mm has a more matte finish -
there’s a clear difference in the reflections of the lenses from the light source in the image.
This lens is weather-sealed, a welcome addition especially for landscape and cityscape photographers facing less than ideal weather conditions. From dust, rain or snow
you’ll have the ability to capture images even with these challenges.
with the Focus Hold Button & LED Index
New Focus Hold button is a welcome feature for astrophotographers.
A feature specific to this lens is the new focus hold button next to the custom switch. Out of the box, it saves different focus positions. Essentially in manual focus mode,
holding the button will save the desired focus point and this will be confirmed through your viewfinder blinking and the LED index on the lens. This button is a welcome
feature for astrophotographers as the lens will turn red as an LED index that you’re no longer in infinity mode.
Of course, if you intend to utilise the button for different purposes you can simply navigate through the custom menu and change the function to better suit your needs.
To do this, enter the Sony menu and navigate through the following: Menu -> Custom Operation 1 (8/9) -> 1st custom key -> 3/3 -> Focus Hold button. It’s a feat to have
the switch and the focus hold button on a Samyang lens to provide more shortcuts to set up the camera for specific uses. I can’t wait to see more Samyang lenses with
these features moving forward.
24mm Focal Length
I love using wide angles for tight spaces and
interiors to create more space in the location.
I knew with Covid-19 it would be difficult, so I utilised stations and tunnels where I could use this lens where it shines and keep a safe distance. Along with the strengths
of a 24mm focal length for situations such as landscape, cityscapes, close up and interior photography, this lens is great for blending people with an environment.
There’s an element of scale in these shots from the wide-angle perspective, but even so, the subjects are prominent enough in the shots. You can tell the shots are wide
but it’s not deceiving. A daily driver with a bit of a creative flair is why I love this focal length.
Getting Closer with Short M.O.D
With a minimum focus distance of 19 cm,
you can close in on the subject to
get different perspectives
with a wide-angle view.
Although you can get close up shots this is certainly not a macro lens
but with the ability to get such a close distance with a wide-angle lens like
this - you can get much closer to accentuate the subject and add more
drama to shots.
I was curious at how this lens would function shooting wider to get some bokeh. The f1.8 coupled with the minimum focus makes this lens all the more versatile to get
close up for bokeh at a wider perspective. With a 9 blade aperture, you get a smooth, natural-looking bokeh. In addition to this, this lightweight and compactnessM
certainly put this into the bracket of an all-dayer lens. It’s an opportunity to see a new perspective when it comes to all-day shooting instead of traditionally versatile focal
lengths such as 35mm or 50mm.
Utilising Samyang’s linear Stepping Motor (STM), the autofocus is fast, responsive and does a great job of tracking subjects. I didn’t experience any focus hunting on my
tests and feel quite confident in trusting the autofocus as a statement to its reliability and accuracy. In addition to the fast autofocus, this lens is quiet which would be well
suited for filming. As primarily a manual focus brand before the Sony system, it’s good to see how Samyang has improved the STM technology to keep up and at times
surpass native brands.
The Samyang AF 24mm F1.8 FE is a great addition to Samyang’s Tiny line of autofocus lenses. It’s a fantastic small and lightweight carry-it-everywhere lens.
The innovations of the external features on the lens such as the custom switch and now the new focus hold button are welcome additions to this line-up. This lens is a
staple part of an astrophotography kit but versatile enough to be just as strong for different scenarios, landscapes and life in the city.