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A Great Option for Astrophotography for Canon RF Users

Daniel Gangur

Photographer from Australia

A Great Option for Astrophotography for Canon RF Users

 

 

 

Samyang have just announced another lens for Canon’s full frame mirrorless RF mount cameras. Unlike the previous lenses the MF 14mm f2.8 and MF 85mm f1.4  this time they are bringing us an auto focus lens, the Samyang AF 14mm f2.8 RF. I believe this is the first native Canon RF mount auto focus lens from a third party manufacturer, nice work Samyang!

 

Samyang are well known for their 14mm lenses amongst nightscape photographers, 14mm is their most popular focal length, so it makes sense that their first auto focus lens for the RF system is this one.

 

Some info directly from the Samyang Optics website

 

The world’s first AF 14mm F2.8 for RF mount is designed for users to enjoy a broader perspective

in mirrorless cameras. The compact lens design dedicated to mirrorless cameras is packed with 113.9 degree of broad angle of view and fast and precise autofocus function.

 

The World’s First  AF 14mm F2.8 for RF Mount

 

To meet the growing market for mirrorless cameras and user needs, Samyang introduces the world’s first AF 14mm F2.8 lens dedicated to RF mounts. In addition to MF 14mm F2.8 and MF 85mm F1.4, you can meet Samyang Optics’ optical technology with AF.

 

Compact Lens Design Optimized for Mirrorless Cameras

 

The compact lens design dedicated to mirrorless cameras eliminates the need for adapters, resulting in shorter flange back. Experience a compact mirrorless camera lens that is only 9.5cm long and weighs 484g.

 

40 years of optical R&D technology has created the minimum distortion for this ultra wide angle lens. Enjoy a broader perspective of 113.9 degree with minimum distortion and deep and spacious image.

 

Outstanding Image Quality from Corner to Corner

 

Among 14 lenses in 10 groups, 6 special lenses are used to effectively adjust the light flow and reduce the abberation. 3 aspherical lenses, 1 high reflective lens and 2 extra-low dispersion lens provides impressive image quality from corner to corner of image.This lens is the best partner for your outdoor photography with the enhanced features.

 

Enhanced User Experience

 

Weather sealing protects the lens from dust, light rain and snow, AF-MF coverting switch enables you to capture the fine details and rear filter holder at the mount also gives you the choices of images you can create.

 

 


 

 

Initial thoughts  

I received this lens before it was announced and was asked to take images for Samyang’s global release, you may have already seen some of my Astro photography and hands on images from this lens on Samyang’s website and social media so I have had a good chance to test it in a variety of situations, but first lets talk about build, looks, operation etc.

 

My copy arrived in a plain white box typical of a lens not yet announced so unfortunately I can’t comment on retail packaging or what may be included when the lens hits the shelves.

 

On opening the box I was happy to see this wasn’t simply an adapted version of their EF mount lens, like the MF 14mm f2.8 RF but rather a lens designed for Canon’s RF mount.

 

The lens is built very similar to Samyang’s other auto focus lenses, metal body, modern design that looks great on modern cameras like the Canon EOS R, metal focus ring, metal lens mount, plastic hood (permanently attached) and the Samyang red ring around the body.

 

The lens is nice and compact, smaller in diameter to the EF mount 14mm f2.8, it mounts nicely on the EOS R’s RF mount.

 

Looking closer at the lens I noticed a weather sealing gasket around the mount and a rear gel filter holder, nice! While on the subject of filters I can confirm that this lens accepts Haida filters 150mm holder for the MF Samyang 14mm f2.8, so anyone moving to Canon’s full frame mirrorless can hang onto their holder if they purchase this lens, I’d imaging it would also be similar for other brand holders.

 

 

Again like all Samyang’s auto focus lenses, this lens is focus by wire.

 

 







Lets get into it

As mentioned earlier I was sent this lens before the official announcement from Samyang to capture images for their global marketing and release of the lens, the deadline was tight but I got super lucky with clear skies on the first night. I spent most of the night shooting with the lens wide open, single images, images for stacking etc etc to get a good feel for how it performed when shooting the night sky.

 

Coma. Samyang’s previous auto focus lenses have been great performers for shooting the stars and this new AF 14mm f2.8 RF is no different, all looks pretty good, but there is slight coma in extreme corners (batwing) you need to pixel peep to really notice. There is a little purple fringing that is easily removed in post, no big deal.

 

Sharpness. The images are sharp, but not quite as edge to edge sharp as Samyang’s XP14mm f2.4 or AF 14mm f2.8 EF, not many lenses are. I’d put this new lens on par with the AF 14mm f2.8 FE (Sony mount) from Samyang, looking at specs I’d assume they are actually the same or or very similar lenses.

 

Focussing. For astrophotography you generally use manual focus, this lens works as intended on the Canon EOS R. I did shoot with auto focus but I will leave that for later in the review.

 

Vignetting. There is some vignetting wide open, you could correct this but I leave it in my nightscapes to help draw focus to my subject.

 

Here are some images from the first night using the lens.

 

 

Above, Canon EOS R, Samyang AF 14mm f2.8 RF. Settings – 8 x images stacked for noise reduction all at 14mm, f2.8, 20sec, iso 6400. Lit by lumecubes right and left.

 

 

 

Above, Canon EOS R, Samyang AF 14mm f2.8 RF. Settings – 12 x images stacked for noise reduction all at 14mm, f2.8, 20sec, iso 6400. Lit by lumecube from left.

 

 

Above, Canon EOS R, Samyang AF 14mm f2.8 RF. Settings – multiple images stacked for noise reduction all at 14mm, f2.8, 20sec, iso 6400. Lit by lumecube from right.

 


 

Above, Canon EOS R, Samyang AF 14mm f2.8 RF. Settings – multiple images stacked for noise reduction all at 14mm, f2.8, 20sec, iso 6400. Lit by lumecube from right.

 

 


 

Above, Canon EOS R, Samyang AF 14mm f2.8 RF. Settings – multiple images stacked for noise reduction all at 14mm, f2.8, 20sec, iso 6400. Lit by lumecube from right.

 

Hope you enjoyed the above images, these are all stacked for noise reduction using Starry landscape stacker. Reason I mention this is so you are aware they are post processed for noise reduction along with star reduction. This is my standard post processing method for nightscapes.

 

Here are some images with minimal post processing.

 

 

 


 

Above – Canon EOS R, Samyang 14mm f2.8 RF. Settings 14mm, f2.8, 20sec, iso 6400

Lit by lumecube air, left.

 

 

Above – Canon EOS R, Samyang 14mm f2.8 RF. Settings 14mm, f2.8, 20sec, iso 6400

 

Lit by lumecube air, left.

 


 

Above – Canon EOS R, Samyang 14mm f2.8 RF. Settings 14mm, f2.8, 20sec, iso 6400

 

Lit by lumecube air right, lumecube left.

 

The above three images are all single shots processed in Lightroom.

 

Next up some 100% crops with no post processing. Images were simply cropped in photoshop and converted to jpeg in Lightroom. My method for the crop is to zoom in to 100% in photoshop and crop that portion. Hopefully this gives you a true idea of performance. 

 



Above full unedited image, no post processing.



Above – Centre crop


Above – Top left corner crop


 

Above – Top right corner crop

 

 

As you can see from the above images the lens performs well as far as coma is concerned, there is coma in the extreme corners, is it a problem? No its pretty minimal and we are only really noticing it because of the 100% crop. The performance here is pretty damn good.

 

So this lens is going to be fantastic for Canon full frame mirrorless users when it comes to nightscape, milky-way and low light photography, it performs well and there really isn’t much competition at the moment, its going to be popular! But how does it perform during the day?

 

I’m not going to go to far into that here on Nightscape Photographer, it’s a bit off topic. I will write a seperate review in the future over on my new site www.danielgangur.com If you would like to be alerted to that future review, head over and subscribe. But I did take the lens away on a trip to Tasmania recently, here’s a few shots from that trip.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



 

Yep the lens performs pretty good during the day too, it’s sharp, straight lines are pretty straight. The Auto focus system works as it should and is accurate, keep an eye out for that future review.

Conclusion
The Samyang AF 14mm f2.8 RF is a great option for Canon full frame mirrorless camera users, it is sharp, has good coma performance and distortion seems well controlled.

It is a unique lens in that it is the first Auto focus 14mm built for the Canon RF mount and only third party Auto focus lens at present for this mount.

Given the above the Samyang AF 14mm f2.8 RF will be a popular lens with photographers using Canons full frame mirrorless system. Do I recommend it? Short answer yes, it is a great option for nightscape photography for Canon full frame mirrorless users.

Price here in Australia will be $1149 and will be available at the end of this month (November).





 

 

Samyang’s Guide to Achieving the Optimal Angle of View

The perfect spacing and distance are always necessary when shooting all kinds of subjects, including people, to give them a proper relationship with the beautiful space around them. So, what’s the exact distance that helps you best appreciate a work of art, or a photo?

The correct answer is the diagonal length of the full frame of a subject.

표준화각 자료 이미지
표준화각 자료 이미지

The best standpoint from which to appreciate the full view of a subject is the distance of the diagonal length of the subject frame. This wider angle is superior to standing closer at a 50 degree angle to get a more detailed view. This notion of an ideal distance or view point is also applicable in the world of photography.

For still images, keeping a distance equal to the diagonal length of the full image surface is recommended. The full frame sensor of a digital camera is 36 x 24mm and the diagonal length is 43.26mm so any distance close to this number is nearer to the ideal than the currently accepted industry standard of 50mm.

Back when film cameras were common, 45mm was the industry standard and this continued as reflex cameras needed extra space to fit a mirror. However, as mirrorless cameras become more popular again, there has been a need to return to this industry standard…which is the impetus for the Samyang AF 45mm F1.8 FE. With less distortion than a 35mm lens and wider angles than a 55mm lens, the Samyang AF 45mm F1.8 FE is a perfect lens for portraits, landscapes, architecture photography, and pictures of pets.

DSLR / Full Frame
1D X Mark Ⅱ
1D X
1Ds Mark Ⅲ
1Ds
5DsR
5Ds
5D Mark Ⅳ
5D Mark Ⅲ
6D Mark Ⅱ
6D
DSLR / APS-H
1D Mark Ⅲ
1D
Mirrorless / APS-C
M6
M5
M10
M3
M2
DSLR / APS-S
7D Mark Ⅱ
7D
80D
70D
60D
30D
D60
D30
77D (9000D)
760D (8000D / Rebel T6s)
1300D (Kiss X80 / Rebel T6)
1200D (Kiss X70 / Rebel T5)
200D (Kiss X9 / Rebel SL2)
800D (Kiss X9i / Rebel T7i)
700D (Kiss X9i / Rebel T7i)
100D (Kiss X7 / Rebel SL1)
650D (Kiss X6i / Rebel T4i)
600D (Kiss X5 / Rebel T3i)
550D (Kiss X4 / Rebel T2i)
500D (Kiss X3 / Rebel T1i)
1000D (Kiss F / Rebel XS)
450D (Kiss X2 / Rebel X냐)
DSLR / Full Frame
D850
D5
D810A
D4S
D810
D750
Df
D610
D4
D800
D800E
D600
D3s
D3x
D700
D3
DSLR / APS-C
D7500
D3400
D500
D5600
D7200
D5500
D3300
D7100
D5300
D5200
D7000
D300s
D300
DSLR / Full Frame
Z6
Z7
D810A
D4S
D750
D810A
DSLR / APS-C
D7200
D500
D3300
D5500
D5600
D3400
D7500

* Cameras released within 5 years from 2019 are tested.

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