Samsung NX 45mm f/1.8 2D IF on NX20

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).

Optical Performance

SAM_2143_45 mm_0.3 sec at f - 5.6_YBR52_18_multi_cpp
Please click on the tab you want to view. Only 1 tab may be active at a time. MTF, Distortion, and Lat CA data acquired using Imatest

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

Bottom Line

I could argue that the focal length isn’t weird, it measures in at nearly 48mm, if you use a full frame, it is about 70mm, which is the end/start point of most zoom lenses (24-70 and 70-200), so just consider it a 50mm class lens that is slightly wide. I know I can’t change your mind on the focal length, but I think the lens performance can.

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.

Samsung 45mm f/1.8 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.

The gallery images are © 2013 Eric Tastad, and may only be used for personal evaluation of the lenses. Click the play button and click “visit gallery” in the upper right to download full size images.


  1. admin says:

    Sorry about the picture of the lens itself, changing one of my systems and realized I sold all my strobes that work on my NX300 🙂 I will try to take a better picture later.

  2. Geoff says:

    Nice review Eric.
    For the first of the Longitudinal CA tabs, did you mean to label it f/1.8 instead of f/1.4 ?

  3. admin says:

    yep 🙂 Forget to update those sometimes. Thanks.

  4. chokdee says:

    I think the af speed is not so fast,a little slower than the 30 2.0 pancake with firmware V1.21 .
    And it is ok when on nx300,but if on nx11,the f2.0 is null,can only use f2.2 near f1.8

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  6. robbinsbox says:

    nice appraisal. compact, light, can imagine the focal length being rather useful.