Samsung NX 45mm f/1.8 2D IF on NX20
Some people will call a 45mm a weird focal length on APS-C. It isn’t: Here is why.
This is a typical sized 45mm f/1.8 (about the same as similar adapted SLR lens), with a nicely constructed metal body and manual focus switch. The mount is metal and so is the front ring. The filter threads and focus ring are plastic, but overall the lens has a very nice feel to it. I have seen at least one review refer to this lens as cheap, but it is just light weight, build quality is very nice. About the same build quality as the 16mm f/2.4, just larger overall.
The lens is internal focus, so the front element is fixed. Samsung also included a manual focus switch on the lens. This is preferable to menu diving to engage manual mode. The internal focus helps make the auto focus quicker as it doesn’t have as much to move. Samsung was nice enough to include a hood, which is getting rarer these days. Unfortunately the design of the smaller Samsung lenses means it is a threaded hood that isn’t reversible.
The lens uses standard 43mm filters, and has a nice 9 curved bladed aperture for smooth out of focus highlights. It is a modern lens design with 7 elements in 6 groups, and minimum focus is average at 0.45 m (17.72 inches), for 0.13x magnification. Weight is very light at 115 g (4.06 oz).
Comments on the Results
Sharpness improves a lot from f/1.8 to f/2.8, but resolution is good at all settings. This means a little contrast boost if shooting wide open might be desirable in some situations.
Distortion is minor at about 0.5% barrel. It is a non issue for the most part with this lens, pretty typical for a 50mm class lens.
Lateral CA is noticeable, and worse than average for the class. Longitudinal CA is pretty noticeable, but probably average for this class of lens. This means some purple fringing and color halos. I notice them worse in the foreground out of focus areas (which are usually not desirable anyway).
Flare performance is respectable for the class. It is going to be better than most older 50mm class lenses, and similar to other current 50mm lenses. Shooting directly into the sun you will get some purple aperture ghosts and blobs.
I measured the focal length to be 48mm at 1:53 magnification.
Focus Speed on NX300
|Press to Shot||Refocus||Min to Focus||Inf to Focus|
|EV 7.6||291 ms||614 ms||311 ms|
Pros and Cons
- Resolution from f/1.8, corners by f/2.8
- Sharpness by f/2.8, corners by f/4
- Fast focus for class
- Smooth bokeh
- CA (both longitudinal and lateral)
- Hood design
The lens is amazingly good. The bokeh is buttery smooth, with few issues (corners wide open are a bit busy), the lens focuses quick and precisely, and the build quality is very good. The only issue might be deciding if you need both this and the 30mm and 60mm The focal length is noticeably tighter than the 30, and for practical purposes it is a 50mm class lens.
I love buying my lenses from BH Photo, they are a great source for Samsung gear in the US. They regularly stock the lenses, and if they don’t have it they can usually get it within a few weeks.
NX300 photos are from Lightroom 5 Beta 1, and NX20 from LR4.4. I added some sharpening to photos.