Samyang 100mm f/2.8 ED UMC Macro £360, $530

NPhoto - - Gear Zone -

It’s a mostly man­ual af­fair

Whereas the Tok­ina lens on test won’t aut­o­fo­cus on some Nikon bod­ies, the Samyang can’t aut­o­fo­cus on any. It’s a purely man­ual fo­cus lens but, on the plus side, the fo­cus ring is pre­cise and has a de­light­fully fluid feel to its ro­ta­tion.

Avail­able in var­i­ous mount op­tions, the Nikon-fit edi­tion is the best of the bunch, as it has built-in elec­tron­ics. This en­ables ex­po­sure in­for­ma­tion to be com­mu­ni­cated with the cam­era, so you can shoot in pro­gram, shut­ter-pri­or­ity and aper­ture-pri­or­ity modes as well as man­ual mode. The fo­cus­ing aid lamps in the viewfinder are also en­abled.

The lens is nicely en­gi­neered and feels ro­bust. Fo­cus­ing is fully in­ter­nal, and qual­ity glass in­cludes one ED (Ex­tra-low Dis­per­sion) el­e­ment and one HR (High Re­frac­tive) el­e­ment.

Per­for­mance

Out­right lev­els of sharp­ness through­out most of the aper­ture range are a lit­tle less im­pres­sive than from other lenses in the group, but are com­par­a­tively ex­cel­lent when shoot­ing wideopen at f/2.8. That’s gen­er­ally of lit­tle ben­e­fit for macro shoot­ing.

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