Samyang 24mm F1.4 ED AS UMC (AE) lens review: Best 24mm lens for Nikon full-frame users?

By Kevin Carter - Wednesday March 19 2014

Lens Review
Introduction | Best performing 24mm for the Nikon D800 | Image quality ranking: Samyang 24mm f/1.4 ED AS UMC Nikon | Samyang 24mm f/1.4 ED AS UMC Nikon versus competition | Conclusion
Samyang 24mm F1.4 ED AS UMC (AE) lens review: Best 24mm lens for Nikon full-frame users?

Following the recent review of the Canon mount model we’ve had the opportunity to test the Nikon mount version of ultra-high speed Samyang 24mm F1.4 prime. Unlike the Canon version this model has a built-in CPU for full compatibility with the various exposure and metering modes. It also has a fully automatic aperture. Read on to find out how well the Samyang performs in our tests and if that or a rival model is the best choice for Nikon FX users.

With an extensive field of view and good close focus capability, the 24mm focal length is one of the most popular wide-angle models in a maker’s range. In the past the choice of ultra-high speed models has been limited to the expertise of the camera marques but that’s no longer the case. South Korea lens maker Samyang has a manual focus only model, the 24mm f1.4 ED AS UMC, at just $669. At that price it lacks niceties such as auto-focus but unlike the recently reviewed Canon mount version the Nikon mount (AE) model has a built-in CPU and data-bus contacts (like the manual focus Zeiss ZE model) allowing full compatibility with various exposure and metering models employed by current Nikon DSLR. Crucially it has automatic aperture control, which is a big plus over the Canon model but it is expected these days regardless of price. The optical construction is a real highlight and reads like a top-tier model. It has 13 elements in 12 groups, including four ED glass elements to minimize chromatic aberration and two aspherical elements to reduce spherical aberration. With a 77mm filter thread and measuring 3.27 x 3.74" (83 x 95 mm) this is a big lens, and at over half a Kilo (580g) or 20.46 oz it’s the weight of some DSLRs.

Best performing 24mm for the Nikon D800

Image quality ranking: Samyang 24mm f/1.4 ED AS UMC Nikon

Samyang 24mm f/1.4 ED AS UMC Nikon versus competition

Conclusion