Does Samyang's fast prime for mirrorless cameras represent a bargain at under £300? Michael Topham gives it a thorough test
Samyang 50mm f/1.2 AS UMC CS review – Introduction
When I reviewed the Samyang 21mm f/1.4 ED AS UMC CS in AP 20 February, I also referred to the Samyang 50mm f/1.2 AS UMC CS – a lens that, like the 21mm f/1.4, has been designed with today’s mirrorless users in mind. Both lenses arrived in the office within the space of a week of each other, and having been blown away by the image quality performance of the 21mm f/1.4, I was eager to break Samyang’s 50mm f/1.2 out of its box to discover if it was just as good.
To recap, the 50mm f/1.2 AS UMC CS is one of a pair of manual focus lenses to have been recently added to Samyang’s mirrorless line-up. It is available in four mirrorless camera mounts catering for Canon EF-M, Fujifilm X, Micro Four Thirds and Sony E-mount users. The main appeal of this lens is its bright f/1.2 aperture and its price, which, at under £300, seems a bargain.
We’re used to seeing fast f/1.2 primes fetching prices around four figures, so it’s refreshing to see a more affordable example being made for those who own smaller compact system cameras. Mounted to a mirrorless camera with an APS-C sized sensor, this lens is equivalent to 75mm, whereas it’s comparable to a 80mm fixed lens attached to a Canon EF-M mount camera and a 100mm fixed lens on Micro Four Thirds. Whatever system this lens is used with, it will appeal to photographers who would like to shoot close-cropped portraits or other subjects requiring a short, fast telephoto lens.