Does Samyang's fast prime for mirrorless cameras represent a bargain at under £300? Michael Topham gives it a thorough test

Product Overview

Overall rating:

Samyang 50mm f/1.2 AS UMC CS

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Samyang 50mm f/1.2 AS UMC CS review

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Price as reviewed:

£299.00

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Samyang 50mm f/1.2 AS UMC CS review – Our verdict

The appeal of this lens lies in its incredibly fast aperture which, combined with its focal length, can produce stunning results with a super-shallow depth of field. For mirrorless users with a passion for portraiture or other subjects where a fast telephoto zoom is advantageous, it represents excellent value and there’s nothing to suggest it won’t last a lifetime in the hands of those who care for it.

This shot was taken at the lens's minimum focus distance with the aperture set to f/1.2

This shot was taken at the lens’s minimum focus distance with the aperture set to f/1.2

It’s not ideal for all subjects and situations, though, and you’ll want to ask yourself whether you’re prepared to spend time refining focus manually rather than letting an autofocus system carry out the hard work for you. If the subjects you photograph move erratically and you can’t control their speed, position or direction, you’re likely to struggle to find focus fast enough, which could result in unusable out-of-focus shots.

If your subject is static, or you know you have time to perfect your focus settings, you’ll have nothing to worry about, and the smooth focus ring of the lens makes the user experience enjoyable.

TESTBENCH GOLD 5

Details

Filter diameter:62mm
Lens elements:9
Groups:7
Aperture:f/1.4-f/16
Minimum focus:50cm
Length :74.5mm
Diameter:67.5mm
Weight:380g
  1. 1. Samyang 50mm f/1.2 AS UMC CS review - Introduction
  2. 2. Samyang 50mm f/1.2 AS UMC CS review - Features
  3. 3. Samyang 50mm f/1.2 AS UMC CS review - Build and handling
  4. 4. Samyang 50mm f/1.2 AS UMC CS review - Image quality
  5. 5. Samyang 50mm f/1.2 AS UMC CS review - Test results
  6. 6. Samyang 50mm f/1.2 AS UMC CS review - Our verdict
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