PRODUCT REVIEW

SAMYANG AF 45mm F1.8 FE SONY E-MOUNT

This is an in-depth review of the Samyang AF 45mm F1.8 FE prime lens. Mirco Zancanella 2019-05-14
SAMYANG AF 45mm F1.8 FE SONY E-MOUNT


General aspects and image quality

This is an in-depth review of the Samyang AF 45mm F1.8 FE  prime lens. 


The Samyang AF 45mm F1.8 FE is a consumer-grade lens for photographers who seek a normal distance prime lens with quality optics at an affordable price. Its large aperture of f/1.8 is great for low-light photography and the shallow depth of field helps isolate subjects from the background.

I’m an everyday user of the Sigma art 50 f1.4 and I have to say that the Samyang AF 45mm F1.8 FE does not cut a poor figure next to it. Obviously they are lenses from different market segments so the quality of the Sigma art is unavoidably better but, as mentioned, the quality of the Samyang AF 45mm F1.8 FE is also really good.

In my opinion, a 45mm is much better than a 50mm. It is more versatile, more interesting and lets you be more creative when composing different pictures.





 

 

 

Lens features 

Main Features:

Good sharpness;
Low weight;
Nice autofocus;
Lovely sunstar.


Technical Specifications:

Mount Type: Sony e-mount
Focal Length: 45mm
Maximum Aperture: f/1.8
Minimum Aperture: f/22
Format: FX/35mm
Lens Elements: 7
Lens Groups: 6
Diaphragm Blades: 9 
Autofocus: Yes
Minimum Focus Distance: 0.45m 
Filter Size: 49mm
Dimensions: 56.1mm
Weight: 162g



Lens Handling and Build

Similar to the recently introduced Samyang AF 85mm F1.4 FE prime lens, the Samyang AF 45mm F1.8 FE has a solid build, with a plastic exterior and a metal mount. Compared to the Sigma art lens, I have to say that “dimensions count”. The Samyang AF 45mm F1.8 FE is really small and light.





Due to its dimensions, the Samyang AF 45mm F1.4 FE is highly suited for street photos and videos on a gimbal or other stabilizers (even the smallest and cheapest will stabilize your camera with a Samyang AF 45mm f/1.8 mounted on it).
(HERE YOU CAN PUT A VIDEO)



Autofocus Performance and Accuracy

The Samyang AF 45mm F1.8 FE autofocuses as fast as the more expensive Sigma art 50 f1.4. When I first mounted both lenses on two different camera bodies and went from infinity to close focus and back, I was pleasantly surprised to see the Samyang AF 45mm F1.8 FE autofocus feature. 

Next, I performed a series of tests both indoors and outdoors to see how accurate the autofocus on the Samyang AF 45mm F1.8 FE is versus the Sigma art 50 f1.4: same results. Even under very dim lighting conditions, both lenses had no issues achieiving correct focus on dark subjects, which is a good thing. So, performance and accuracy are really good on the Samyang AF 45mm F1.8 FE.






Conclusions

I was quite surprised to see such results in my tests: the Samyang AF 45mm F1.8 FE is light and small so I didn’t expect such an amazing result. I can only assume that the performance is this good due to the quality of the elements in the lens, but I am sure other lens design factors also contribute. 

I really enjoyed shooting with this lens in outdoor environments and it performed great even in challenging light. Its AF performance is impressive and the lens delivers accurate results when mounted both on top of the mirrorless like Sony a7iii or Sony a7rii and on entry-level like Sony a6300. 

The bokeh looks like a cat eye. It’s a bit nervous but really enjoyable at sight at maximum aperture. Colors and contrast are also very good; I could not see any difference when compared to the Sony 55mm f1.8. Due to its light weight and relatively small size (when compared to zoom lenses and longer primes), the Samyang AF 45mm F1.8 FE works great on any mirrorless. The lens is great for portraits, street, events, wedding photography and FX or DX cameras.

When compared to other 50mm lenses currently available on the market, the Samyang AF 45mm F1.8 FE definitely has the highest price-performance ratio. 

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