Samyang 16mm F2.0 ED AS UMC CS lens review: A worthy contender

By Kevin Carter - Tuesday March 25 2014

Lens Review
Introduction | Best performing wide-angle for the Canon EOS 7D | Samyang 16mm f/2.0 ED AS UMC CS Canon: Excellent IQ | Samyang 16mm f/2.0 ED AS UMC CS Vs Carl Zeiss Distagon T* 2.8/15 ZE Canon Vs Canon EF 14mm f/2.8L II USM: Superior uniformity | Conclusion
Samyang 16mm F2.0 ED AS UMC CS lens review: A worthy contender

Samyang is earning a reputation for good quality yet sensitively priced, high-speed full-frame manual focus primes. Can this new APS-C only 24mm equivalent model offer similar value and optical quality? Read on to find out.

As a model made expressly for smaller APS-C size sensors, and equivalent to a 24mm wide-angle in 35mm terms, the new manual focus Samyang 16mm f2.0 is a unique proposition. This particular model has a Canon EF mount, but along with the inevitable Nikon F DX and Sony A mount options, it’s also available with mounts for mirrorless cameras including Canon EF-M, Sony E (NEX) and Fuji X, Samsung NX and Micro Four Thirds.

Like the firm’s other lenses with a Canon EF mount, this model has no electronic contacts, meaning it has no automatic diaphragm and lacks both compatibility with certain exposure modes (Tv, P, flash and certain scene-based modes) on Canon DSLRs.

There’s no EXIF data recorded either, meaning it’s impossible to determine what apertures were used when adopting lens correction profiles (not knowing what aperture was used for a shot is also, arguably, a little disappointing when browsing at a later date).

Exposure metering is also limited to stopped-down metering only (though that’s not much of an issue with Canon DSLRs).

Together the lack of these features is somewhat restricting in a modern lens like this, but at $399 this model remains tempting. It has a thirteen-element design with one ED glass element and 2 aspherical (one being a hybrid type) to reduce aberrations, while focusing to a closer than usual 7.87” (20cm).  As a high-speed lens, the 16mm f2 has a large 77mm filter thread, measures 3.39 x 3.52" (86 x 89.4mm) and weighs a hefty 1.28 lb (583g).

Best performing wide-angle for the Canon EOS 7D

Samyang 16mm f/2.0 ED AS UMC CS Canon: Excellent IQ

Samyang 16mm f/2.0 ED AS UMC CS Vs Carl Zeiss Distagon T* 2.8/15 ZE Canon Vs Canon EF 14mm f/2.8L II USM: Superior uniformity

Conclusion