Samyang AF 18mm F2.8 FE review

The Samyang AF 18mm F2.8 FE is an ultra-compact, ultra-wide-angle prime for Sony full-frame mirrorless cameras

Samyang AF 18mm F2.8 FE review
(Image: © Matthew Richards)

Digital Camera World Verdict

Bucking the trend set by ultra-wide-angle lenses for full-frame cameras over the last few years, the Samyang AF 18mm F2.8 FE proves that they don’t need to be big, chunky affairs. This one is pretty much pocket-sized and a real featherweight, making it ideal as a walkabout lens or a little extra something for when your standard zoom runs out of viewing angle. There’s nothing lightweight about the image quality and all-round performance, however, making the Samyang a great buy at the price.


  • +

    Ultra-compact and lightweight

  • +

    Excellent image quality

  • +

    Removable hood


  • -

    No weather-seals

  • -

    Modest minimum focus distance

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As an ultra-wide-angle, fairly fast prime lens, the Samyang AF 18mm F2.8 FE is unfeasibly compact and lightweight. It measures just 64x61mm and weighs in at a mere 145g, making it small enough to slip into a spare pocket when you’re out and about. As such, it earns its place in Samyang’s ‘Tiny’ series super-compact lenses.

One thing that isn’t small is the range of options in Samyang’s collection of wide-angle primes for Sony E-mount cameras. It currently starts off with a 12mm F2 APS-C format lens, then shifts up a gear to full-frame compatible 14mm F2.8, 18mm F2.8, 24mm F1.8 and a trio of 35mm F1.4, 35mm F1.8 and 35mm F2.8 primes. The 18mm is particularly attractive as it gives a greater viewing angle than a typical 24-70mm zoom, without going overboard. You get a 100-degree angle of view on full-frame cameras, and a still respectable 76 degrees on APS-C format bodies.


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Matthew Richards

Matthew Richards is a photographer and journalist who has spent years using and reviewing all manner of photo gear. He is Digital Camera World's principal lens reviewer – and has tested more primes and zooms than most people have had hot dinners! 

His expertise with equipment doesn’t end there, though. He is also an encyclopedia  when it comes to all manner of cameras, camera holsters and bags, flashguns, tripods and heads, printers, papers and inks, and just about anything imaging-related. 

In an earlier life he was a broadcast engineer at the BBC, as well as a former editor of PC Guide.