The AF 24-70mm F2.8 FE is Samyang’s first crack at a zoom lens, and it does not disappoint. I took the lens out to Sefton Park, Liverpool paired with a Sony A7S II, an Atomos Ninja V attached with a Kondor Blue trigger handle, all pictured above. Below I have shared my thoughts with some stills from the day. Please note these images have been left relatively unedited to show the straight-out-of-camera lens quality.
The beauty of any 24-70mm is the all-around ability they have, my goal was to put the lens through its paces at all focal length to push this theory.
Starting off with the AF that is backed up with a linear STM motor which truly gives quick and accurate focus every time. I played with a mix of quick-moving subjects such as these pigeons who as anyone knows twitch and move continuously, especially when foods are involved. I had no issue capturing subjects in focus and quickly every shot.
The 24-70 range paired with the minimum focus distance meant I could easily adapt whilst on my park stroll. Illustrated here with a close-up flower shot that was improved even more with the gentle bokeh from the 9 circular aperture blades.
A side note to keep things honest, the 24-70mm from Samyang is heavy when in hand however once on the camera body with or without the top handle I generally didn’t find the weight inconvenient or notice it to be much heavier than the average lens.
Another bonus of the lens for me is the weather sealing, which if you live in England is a must being around 10 minutes from the rain at any time. It did start to gently rain whilst I was out and the fact that a lens at this price was weather sealed was a big reassurance.
Though this blog only features stills I did practice some video with the lens and the AF came back in again to amaze me. In video mode, the AF still works quickly and impressively quiet, not so necessary in a park scenario but beneficial at weddings and events. I also appreciated the option of the custom switch, when shooting video it allowed me to change to manual focus quickly when I wanted that control. The lens is also optimised for the Samyang Cine kit where needed allowing for additions like focus gears which makes the par focal ability of the lens even more useful.
Overall, I was more than impressed with this lens paired with the price it’s the only option in my opinion for the hobbyist to at least semi-pro Sony shooters looking for a 24-70mm. My favourite takeaway has to be the AF’s speed which will be a huge benefit in all photo and video environments.
Though the weight may be noticeable for photo-only shooters who aren’t used to a heavier set up, I honestly feel this is something everyone can adapt to and taking into consideration all the other features and quality of the lens it’s well worth it.
The 24-70mm and a wider range of the Samyang lenses will be with me at the Cambridge Photography Show Saturday 8th October so please come and see this and the other lenses for yourselves.
Written and photographed by
Technical Product Specialist at Holdan/Product & Lifestyle Photography