Samyang is continuing its commitment to producing exciting new lenses for full-frame Sony E-mount cameras. This latest rectilinear ultra-wide 18mm offering is particularly special, not least because Sony itself doesn't offer a wide-angle FE-mount prime wider than 24mm, but also because Samyang has managed to go this wide while also making the lens exceptionally portable.
At just 145g (without hood and lens cap), the Samyang AF 18mm F2.8 FE is a fraction of the weight of a typical Sony FE-mount ultra-wide. It's also considerably smaller, measuring a mere 60.5mm long and 63.5mm in diameter.
There's no shortage of lenses being released for full-frame mirrorless cameras that are optically superb, but compactness often takes a back seat, negating the size advantage of shooting with a mirrorless camera rather than a DSLR. Kudos to Samyang for bucking this trend. Mount the AF 18mm F2.8 FE to an A7-series body and you've got a formidably compact, go-anywhere pairing.
Despite the crash diet, Samyang has still managed to squeeze in a linear STM autofocus motor, claiming it provides fast, quiet and accurate focusing.
The lens's optical path is comprised of 9 elements in 8 groups, including 3 Aspherical, 2 High Refractive and 3 Extra Low Dispersion elements. These are employed to maximize sharpness and minimizing chromatic aberrations and distortion.
Samyang is positioning this as part of an amusingly titled 'Tiny Series' of ultra-compact lenses, which will include an AF 35mm F2.8 FE, AF 24mm F2.8 FE and AF 45mm F1.8 FE.
The Samyang AF 18mm F2.8 FE will be available in September with an RRP of £349.99.
Rokinon 18mm F2.8 AF
In the US the lens is marketed under the Rokinon brand and will be available in early October with a MSRP of $499. It will include a removable petal-shaped hood, lens caps, and a custom fitted case.
- Mount: Sony E
- Coverage: full-frame
- Aperture range: f/2.8-22
- Minimum focus distance: 0.25m
- Magnification ratio: 0.09x
- Angle of view: 100.1 degrees (76.2 degrees on APS-C cameras)
- Filter size: 58mm
- Length x diameter: 60.5mm x 63.5mm
- Weight: 145g (without lens cap and hood)