Michael Topham samples Samyang’s latest manual-focus prime lens, which is designed with today’s mirrorless users in mind
Samyang 21mm f/1.4 ED AS UMC CS review: Introduction
The growing number of mirrorless models on the market has seen a gradual rise in the number of third-party lenses produced for smaller system cameras. Samyang is one of the latest manufacturers to add a pair of lenses to its mirrorless line-up and we’ve recently taken delivery of the 21mm f/1.4 ED AS UMC CS and the 50mm f/1.2 AS UMC CS. Both lenses are compatible with Canon EF-M, Fujifilm X, Micro Four Thirds and Sony E mounts, and in this test we’re focusing on the wider of the two.
Designed for those who’ll appreciate its fast aperture and wide focal length, the 21mm f/1.4 ED AS UMC CS shares the same optical design as Samyang’s 21mm T1.5 ED AS UMC CS. The latter is squarely aimed at video users and differs slightly from the lens we’re looking at here in the way it features a de-clicked aperture ring for silent operation, as well as a distance scale and T numbers on both sides of the lens. Mounted to a mirrorless camera featuring an APS-C-sized sensor, the 21mm f/1.4 is equivalent to 31.5mm, whereas it’s comparable to a 42mm fixed lens attached to a Micro Four Thirds body. Before examining our lab results, let’s first familiarise ourselves with the key features.