Samyang T-S 24mm f/3.5 ED AS UMC
Price as Reviewed:£949.00
Andrew Sydenham tests a 24mm tilt-and-shift lens, which seeks to deliver the technical advantages of a perspective control lens with focus tilt-and-shift is an affordable package
Samyang T-S 24mm f/3.5 ED AS UMC review – Image quality and resolution
The resolution chart at each full aperture shows the best performance at f/5.6, which is significantly better than wide open or fully stopped down – a problem with a lens designed to enhance sharpness and likely to be used at small apertures. Enlarge resolution chart
Image: Grey card vignetting test
Samyang’s prime lenses are well respected for their image quality and performance. Indeed, we awarded the firm’s 35mm f/1.4 AS UMC lens five stars in AP 27 August 2011, so I was particularly excited about putting this slightly niche product through its paces.
Resolution testing was carried out using a 24-million-pixel Nikon D600 on our reference Applied Image Chart. At f/3.5, centre sharpness was good, falling off towards the edge of the frame with slight chromatic aberration becoming apparent at the outer extremes. Stopping down to f/5.6 and f/8, centre sharpness becomes exceptional and is excellent right to the edges of the frame, only falling away in performance at the smaller apertures of f/16 and f/22. With full shift applied to the lens, edge sharpness is still good right out to the edge of the frame.
Optically, this lens is best used at f/5.6 or f/8, when its performance equates to that achievable with a prime 24mm lens – the main difference being that a prime lens would resolve superbly at f/3.5.
Edge resolution is the acid test of lens sharpness and this lens is not fully capable of extending its excellent centre performance to its boundaries.
Minor barrel distortion is apparent as indicated in the bowing of the lines in our chart, but this is reasonably easy to correct. That said, any distortion in a lens used for architectural projects is undesirable.
Control over vignetting is very good: it is visible at f/3.5 and f/4 but has virtually disappeared at f/5.6, and is intrinsically far less apparent than I would expect in a prime 24mm lens at any level.
In the centre of the frame it is difficult to find any chromatic aberration as modern ED glass technology largely deals with this distortion. At aperture extremes and full tilt-and-shift, however, there are certainly traces present towards the edges of the frame.
Image: 24mm view
Image: At f/3, significant vignetting is visible at this maximum degree of shift
- Construction: 16 elements in 11 groups
- Filter size: Diameter 82mm
- Focus Markings: 0.2m - Infinity
- Diaphragm Blades: 8
- Stabilisation: None
- Weight: 680g
- Max diameter x length: 86 x 110.5 mm
- Min Aperture: f 22
- RRP: £949
- Max Aperture: f 3.5
- Focal Length: 24mm
- Mount: Nikon F, Canon EF, Sony Alpha, Pentax K
- Minimum focusing distance: 20cm