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The other 45mm f1.8 lens

Discussion in 'Samsung NX Forum' started by Luckypenguin, Apr 25, 2014.

  1. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin SC Hall of Famer

    Dec 24, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    Nic
    The Olympus 45mm f1.8 has developed a great reputation as an affordable, tiny, and optically high quality package as a short tele (~90mm) portrait lens for Micro 4/3, and I've been a satisfied owner of one for almost two years. Less well known is that Samsung has a 45mm f1.8 lens of their own for the NX system which on an APS-C sensor gives a seemingly odd field-of-view (for a prime lens) of a ~68mm FF lens. After very good experiences with the 20mm f2.8 and 30mm f2 NX lenses I finally decided to bite on a 2D version of the 45mm f1.8, at a cost of under $AUS200 including shipping after a $50 rebate from Samsung.

    Any fears of the focal length being neither here nor there fade away simply by putting it on the camera (an NX300 in this case) and shooting with it. The lens is not a pancake like the 20mm and 30mm primes, and while it also bigger than the Olympus 45mm it weighs almost exactly the same. Where it scores over the two pancake lenses is that it is internal focusing rather than unit focusing and so it's ultimate focusing speed is faster than those two, however it is still not Micro 4/3 fast.



    It's definitely very sharp when stopped down. In fact one thing to watch for even at a larger like aperture of f/2.8 is that it can produce light moire on fine patterns in combination with the 20mp NX300 sensor.

    13949300476_6504099679_b.
    SNX300-04200045-PR Samsung NX300 Brisbane Australia by Nic (Luckypenguin), on Flickr



    13949299576_97a943c38a_b.
    SNX300-04200046-PR Samsung NX300 Brisbane Australia by Nic (Luckypenguin), on Flickr



    13981865681_db4b289011_b.
    SNX300-04200049-PR Samsung NX300 Brisbane Australia by Nic (Luckypenguin), on Flickr



    13981864691_396f6fbf4e_b.
    SNX300-04200051-PR Samsung NX300 Brisbane Australia by Nic (Luckypenguin), on Flickr



    14002402285_bb47a52f49_b.
    SNX300-04190023-PR Samsung NX300 Glasshouse Mountains Australia by Nic (Luckypenguin), on Flickr



    It is a very useful half body portrait lens with nice smooth backgrounds when opened up (f/2.5 here)

    13999212142_0c897e7845_b.
    SNX300-04190025-PR Samsung NX300 Glasshouse Mountains Australia by Nic (Luckypenguin), on Flickr



    f/2.2

    13949298556_ac31582d29_b.
    SNX300-04200050-PR Samsung NX300 Brisbane Australia by Nic (Luckypenguin), on Flickr



    Face detection might be considered a gimmick but it does it make it very easy to hand off the camera to someone else and know that you're going to get an in-focus if somewhat touristy photo :smile: (f/2.8)

    13981839092_2a9c19f93a_b.
    SNX300-04190026-PR Samsung NX300 Glasshouse Mountains Australia by Nic (Luckypenguin), on Flickr



    An example of the aforementioned moire from the image above, visible as the colouration on the black strap and shirt material. It can just be seen on the full image if you look closely.

    SNX300-04190026-CROP_zps1ce26720.



    Works with portraits of inanimate people too

    13972419205_5a2c2866e3_b.
    SNX300-04200044-PR Samsung NX300 Brisbane Australia by Nic (Luckypenguin), on Flickr



    One of the fascinating things about Samsung lenses is that while they can be as sharp and clinical as you like they also have a lot of character to them.

    13972868874_8c0775812a_b.
    SNX300-04200042-PR Samsung NX300 Brisbane Australia by Nic (Luckypenguin), on Flickr



    13961968956_076a582a46_b.
    SNX300-04200040-PR Samsung NX300 Brisbane Australia by Nic (Luckypenguin), on Flickr



    And a couple of more images to finish with

    14005059033_368190a969_b.
    SNX300-04190028-P2R Samsung NX300 Glasshouse Mountains Australia by Nic (Luckypenguin), on Flickr



    14002854344_a7e41e0913_b.
    SNX300-04200039-PR Samsung NX300 Brisbane Australia by Nic (Luckypenguin), on Flickr



    If I was to mention a negative about this particular copy the NX 45mm f1.8 it is that at larger apertures it does seem to show slightly heavier vignetting in right hand side of the image than the left, although in terms of sharpness there appears to be no evidence of decentering.

    While not completely surprising give that this lens has an "easier" field-of-view to design to, it does manage to pull off the feat of being technically better than the already excellent 30mm f2 pancake. There are some wonderful lenses available for mirrorless cameras and you can chalk this up as another one.
     
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  2. wt21

    wt21 SC Hall of Famer

    Aug 15, 2010
    Sharp!!!
     
    • Like Like x 1
  3. Indeed sharp
     
    • Like Like x 1
  4. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin SC Hall of Famer

    Dec 24, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    Nic
    The NX 45mm f1.8 in between it's Olympus namesake and the NX 30mm f2 pancake

    IMG_6853_zps91e5a989.
     
  5. qhs232

    qhs232 SC Regular

    196
    Oct 6, 2013
    Metro Detroit
    Gary
    Great photos Nic, thanks for sharing. Interestingly I was considering purchasing the 45mm for awhile and just received it last week, so your review and examples are very timely. I purchased this lens hood to save some space in my bag, instead of using the one that came with the camera. http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/11148-REG/B_W_65069586_43mm_Screw_In_Folding_Rubber.html
     
    • Like Like x 1
  6. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    Very nice Nic. It's probably not a focal length I'd choose, but I initially said that about the Olympus 75mm too and I've owned that for a couple of years now. And you're certainly using it well!

    Samsung is doing some really nice and interesting stuff. I'm pretty invested in Fuji (who is also doing some very good stuff), but I'm always keeping my eye on Samsung...

    -Ray
     
    • Like Like x 1
  7. Woody112704

    Woody112704 SC Top Veteran

    579
    Nov 7, 2013
    Iowa
    Jared
    Love seeing what you do with the Samsung. They are very intriguing cameras and I have to agree with their lenses do seem to be superb. I just wish they would focus less on the gimmicky android section of the cameras and put more work into their real cameras.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  8. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin SC Hall of Famer

    Dec 24, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    Nic
    Hey Gary,

    It sounds like you went through the same "should I, shouldn't I?" process that I did over purchasing the 45mm. Your comment about the included hood is also familiar to me because I haven't used it yet since so far with the 45mm I have had limited space to carry it. I also don't have hoods for my 20mm and 30mm pancakes because the only option for them is also screw-in hoods but since they are unit-focusing lenses the hood is just added mass that the autofocus motor has to push. I am usually quite anal about using hoods but the Samsung lenses seem to do quite well without them. I really do wish though that there was greater consistency amongst mirrorless ILC lenses to use bayonet mounted reversible hoods rather than the wide variety of hood styles that currently exist between the various brands.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  9. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin SC Hall of Famer

    Dec 24, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    Nic
    Thanks Ray,

    The focal length of this lens did raise some question marks over how I might use it, but there is no such thing as an unusable focal length.

    I'm content to keep my Samsung kit quite minimal at the moment but even just the NX300, 20mm, 30mm, and 45mm it is an extremely high IQ combination for an outlay of under $1000 (noting that my 20mm and 30mm lenses were purchased second hand).
     
  10. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin SC Hall of Famer

    Dec 24, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    Nic
    Thanks Jared,

    The NX lenses (the ones I've used anyway) are indeed very impressive optically and especially considering their size and weight. While it's not a big concern for me because I like my minimal "NX300 plus a few primes" kit, their zoom lens range doesn't really grab me as yet.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  11. Brian style

    Brian style SC Regular

    127
    Jan 3, 2014
    The 45 is on my list to get, along with the 12-24. I WISHED Samsung would do something closer to the standard 85mm FL for portraits though. Not necessarily 56 1.2 like Fuji did, but I'd love a 60 1.4 or 1.8, something like that. Still waiting on the NX1 and the 50-150 2.8 (the 16-50 2-2.8 still has me drooling to get a look at!).
     
    • Like Like x 1
  12. Matt Everglade

    Matt Everglade SC Regular

    110
    Mar 5, 2014
    Germany
    Nice shots. I love to see Brisbane gain. :)

    I love the lens together with the 12-24mm for my landscape photos. That's a really great combination.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  13. Woody112704

    Woody112704 SC Top Veteran

    579
    Nov 7, 2013
    Iowa
    Jared
    Is the 85mm they sell too long for you? That would be one of the first lenses I would get if I got one of the NX cameras.
     
  14. Brian style

    Brian style SC Regular

    127
    Jan 3, 2014
    It is too long for anything but head shots for the way I shoot. I have an 85 1.8, on my Canon crops that's pretty much the only thing I use it for are 1)head and shoulder portraits, and 2) candids at a distance. Anything else and you're in another room or have to yell for your model to hear you LOL.
    My Tamron 28-75 is my preferred FL for portraits (although it is good, it isn't special glass) so a prime in the 55-65mm range would be sweet!

    I've found that for fast glass I don't mind extra size/weight. After renting the Sigma 18-35 which I thought would turn me off because it is pretty heavy and SEVEN INCHES long, putting it on my SL1 it wasn't bad at all. The SL1 weighs next to nothing so it's like putting a digital back on a lens ;) I'll happily take the size/weight of 62 1.4 from Samsung :) If Samsung wants to be taken seriously by the more serious photogs (like they say they do) they need some faster quality primes to go with the fast zooms their planning/putting out. Like the 16-50: they have a compact powerzoom version for the consumer wanting light and small, and a larger faster more serious zoom for more serious photogs.
     
  15. Woody112704

    Woody112704 SC Top Veteran

    579
    Nov 7, 2013
    Iowa
    Jared
    Too bad Sigma isn't planning on adding Samsung mounts to their lenses as of yet. That new 50 would be a tad shorter than you mentioned but man from what I've seen that thing is spectacular.
     
  16. Brian style

    Brian style SC Regular

    127
    Jan 3, 2014
    Samsung offers some lenses for the (former) NEX system, that's the closest they have to Samsung. They make m4/3 lenses but that's a smaller sensor. Samsung unfortunately just isn't taken seriously enough to be considered worth while to bother with for Tamron/Tokina/Sigma :(. Samyang have some lenses but being manual focus, they don't have to do as much for a Samsung mount.

    I would really love to see some 1.4 primes. Heck, even if they do some odd stuff like Pentax (ie 43 1.9). Pentax proves you can make small form factor, fast glass. (Never used Pentax personally).
     
  17. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin SC Hall of Famer

    Dec 24, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    Nic
    If the Sigma 60/2.8 had been available in the NX mount I might have bought one a while back because I am used to the 28/50/90 (equiv) progression of primes from my Micro 4/3 kit, but then I never would have purchased the 45/1.8.
     
  18. qhs232

    qhs232 SC Regular

    196
    Oct 6, 2013
    Metro Detroit
    Gary
    I had the same Micro 4/3 range of primes when I had the EM-5/EPL5, which worked out quite well. Currently I'm going to try using the GR for 28/35mm and use the 45mm on the NX300 for a small kit…of course the 30mm is also enticing and can be mixed and matched in :smile:
     
  19. Woody112704

    Woody112704 SC Top Veteran

    579
    Nov 7, 2013
    Iowa
    Jared
    Yea, but I was more thinking of that new beautiful 50mm Sigma just released. I agree with you about Pentax too. They seem like they make some great glass.
     
  20. Brian style

    Brian style SC Regular

    127
    Jan 3, 2014
    I love the 60mm for its FL, but it is a macro lens so the focus isn't going to be as fast, and the 2.8 isn't as sweet as a 1.4 or 1.8 for portraits ;)