Saturday, February 11, 2012

The big silly showdown: Samyang 24/1.4 ED AS IF UMC vs. ZEISS CP.2 25/T2.9



I do not usually do lens comparison tests. I do not have the time, the nerves and the necessary scientific equipment. But being a big fan of both Zeiss (of course) and Samyang glass (or Rokinon, as it is also called) I decided to do it. Just this time. Just for the sake of it. Just for fun.

I got the newest Samyang 24/1.4 ED AS IF UMC (what a mouthful) as the first photographer in Slovenia from my friends at FOTO-KLIK.si, the distributors for this part of Europe, who are promising "the best possible price for the lens in all of European Union" (check out their promise - selling the Canon version for 520 euros !!!).

I wanted to make it particularly silly, so I put it up against my Zeiss Compact Prime CP.2 25/T2.9 wide open. I did just two comparison shots with Samyang - wide open and stopped down to f/2.8 to match the T-stop of the Zeiss lens.

The results are surprising. At f/1.4 the Samyang is of course softer than Zeiss wide open, but we all knew that one. Still, the 1.4 f-stop of Samyang resolves details nicely and looks quite amazing, even at the corners, apart from the odd greenish chromatic aberration here and there (not seen on these pictures), which is perfectly fixable. Where the Samyang really shines is closed two stops down, at f/2.8. It is *almost* on par with Zeiss wide open (which has a T-stop of 2.9), the latter being just a tiny bit sharper and more "3D-ish" in detail resolving than Samyang. For the price of that monster, it better be though!

So if you are looking for the perfect lens for video with great bokeh, look no further. With the price tag which should be about six times lower than Zeiss, this newest member of Samyang family is a top notch performer. Bear in mind that this is not a scientific test though, just a quick silly comparison. For your relevant field of work you should run these tests yourself!

(Unfortunately I could not manage to upload my 2500px wide photos to Blogger to show the details as it automatically resizes them to 1600px wide).


All photos from 16-bit RAW files, shot with Canon 1Ds MkIII, no post-processing, just a slight vignetting fix on both lenses (about the same) in post. All rights reserved.