Samyang AF 12mm F2 Image Gallery
May 24th, 2021
I had mixed feelings about some of Samyang’s (also sold under the Rokinon brand) early full frame lenses, but I really loved their compact APS-C primes whose design language was in many ways a precursor to their full frame “Tiny Series”. I love the tiny series, and the newest lens in the series (the Samyang AF 24mm F1.8 which I reviewed here) was the best yet. But fortunately Samyang has not abandoned APS-C shooters (who are perennially overlooked), and has released an updated autofocus version of one of my favorite lenses of the earlier series – a 12mm F2 (which I reviewed here). That lens was manual focus only, but I loved the compact, handsome build, and in many ways it had really excellent optics. I liked it well enough in my review that I bought one for my Canon EOS M cameras and only sold it when I moved from Canon to Sony on the APS-C mirrorless front. The new Samyang AF 12mm F2 is an autofocus version of this formula for Sony E-mount (APS-C mirrorless), and also comes with a new build and fresh design language that is slightly different than anything I’ve seen from Samyang before. It’s great to see Samyang give some fresh love to APS-C, and the 12mm F2 gives an approximately 18mm full frame angle of view (99.1°). The Samyang AF 12mm F2 can be mounted on a full frame Sony camera since the E mount is for both full frame and APS-C, but, as we can see, there is a significant amount of mechanical vignetting if you try to use the lens on a full frame camera.
The AF 12mm F2 simply isn’t designed to cover the full frame image circle. In this case the APS-C crop isn’t far off. If I manually crop the full frame image (on the right, below), I end up with roughly 25MP of resolution vs the natural 21MP of the Alpha One’s APS-C crop.
If you didn’t happen to own a full frame wide angle lens, that might work in a pinch, though I certainly wouldn’t buy it specifically for that. The Samyang AF 18mm F2.8 is the full frame equivalent in the “Tiny Series”. But I’ve always enjoyed this focal length on its native APS-C, though, where it delivers nicely dynamic images with a great angle of view:
Samyang states that this becomes the widest autofocusing lens on Sony APS-C, though that’s not entirely true. The Sony 10-18mm F4 OSS lens does exist, and it is an autofocusing lens, though with a much smaller maximum aperture that is a full two stops slower. The Samyang AF12 is the widest autofocusing prime lens on Sony APS-C at the moment, though, and is certainly a better choice for low light situations or astro than the F4 zoom (which also costs more than twice as much!). That makes it a very welcome lens, and, there are a number of positive upgrades here that mean that things are looking up for this lens.
The AF12 has been updated with a some of Samyang’s recent design updates, including linear STM autofocus, weather sealing, and a few design element updates. What isn’t new, however, is the optical formula. This was always a strong lens optically, though it is a little less strong relative to the competition these days. Still, at $399 USD, it’s hard to point to a stronger wide angle option that goes this wide. You can get all the details by either watching the definitive (long format) or standard video reviews, read my text review, or just enjoy the photos below.
Thanks to Samyang for sending me a test copy of the lens. As always, this is a completely independent review.
Photos of the Samyang AF 12mm F2
Photos taken with the Samyang AF 12mm F2
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Keywords: Samyang AF 12mm F2, Samyang, AF, 12mm F2, FE, Samyang 12mm F2 Review, Samyang AF 12mm Review, Samyang AF 12mm F2 Review, Sony Alpha 1, Sony A1, Sony a6400, Sony a6600, Review, Hands On, Dustin Abbott, Real World, Comparison, Sharpness, Autofocus, Image Quality, Sample Images, Video, Photography, Astrophotography
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