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