Samsung NX 30mm f/2 Pancake

Samsung NX 30mm f/2 Pancake

The Samsung 30mm f/2 is the smallest lens for the Samsung NX system, yet has one of the largest apertures.

Samsung has a nice set of pancake lenses that all measure about 62x22mm and this is the smallest of them (by volume), but the 30mm has the largest aperture and is a focal length most would consider “standard”.

The lens has 5 elements in 5 groups, with a 7 bladed diaphragm, with fairly straight blades. The minimum focus distance is good at 0.25 m (9.8 inches), but the lens is very light for a large aperture standard, weighing only 85 g (3 oz).

Corrected JPEG

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Uncorrected RAW

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Comments on the Results

The lens has a pretty good sharpness profile. The lens is over-sharpened in the center straight from the camera with default JPEG settings. Corners aren’t up to the level of the center, but are still respectable through the range. They look a tad soft at f/2, but better than many lenses.

The lens has slightly visible barrel distortion of about -1% without correction, and very slight pincushion of about 0.2% with corrections.

Lateral CA is well controlled, even without corrections, having only about 1/2 pixel width at the edges and essentially no CA after corrections. Longitudinal CA is visible at f/2, but mostly disappears on stopping down (see graph photos at end of review).

Purple fringing is visible, mostly at f/2, but it isn’t bad. Average for this class of lens.

Coma and astigmatism aren’t bad, but there is some deformation of the bokeh circles in the corner wide open that disappear once stopped down.

I will update flare resistance and post some gallery shots in the next week or so.

Measured focal length is 33mm at 1:54 magnification. This makes this lens a true 50mm equivalent (1.53 * 33 = 50mm).

Pros and Cons

Bottom Line

This lens is a superb compact standard lens. The price is certainly right, and so is the performance. This lens offers a nice 2 stop improvement over the kit lens at the same focal length, and similarly good performance (or slightly better) at f/4 and up. Comparing to the 20mm f/2.8 pancake, this lens has better corner performance and a larger aperture as well as less native distortion. The only downside is this lens doesn’t have i-Function, but I imagine one will be released in the future with this function. Buy the lens on Adorama to support the site.


The gallery images are © 2011 Eric Tastad, and may only be used for personal evaluation of the lenses.