The best 24mm lens for Canon full-frame: Could it really be a Samyang?


posted Thursday, March 13, 2014 at 6:22 AM EST


The folks over at DxOMark have just published a new 24mm full-frame lens review, and boy is it ever a doozie. After passing through DxO's in-depth testing, the Samyang 24mm f/1.4 ED AS IF UMC lens earned itself a DxOMark score of 31 -- tied for first-place among 24mm Canon-mount lenses. And it did so despite costing far less than half as much as the lens with which it shares first-place honors, Canon's EF 24mm f/1.4L II USM. But is there a catch?

Not surprisingly, the answer is yes. A few of them, actually. While it managed a tie on the overall DxOMark score, Samyang's lens has slightly lower peak sharpness. And although it has better peripheral sharpness and lower chromatic aberration wide open, DxO also comments on on its higher vignetting than that from Canon's lens.


That might not seem terribly significant, given the potential cost savings, but there's a far more important potential shortcoming for the Samyang: It lacks autofocus, or even the electronic contacts needed to communicate with the camera. If you're a fan of shooting fully manual -- and some of us certainly are -- then that's no big deal, but for many photographers the need to focus manually in particular could be a showstopper.

Which all goes to show that you can't rely on a single number to decide if a lens is good or bad -- you have to look at the overall package. More details on the DxOMark site.