I was in the market for a wide-angle prime lens on my Sony A6000 for quite some time now but I never really gotten around to decide what lens to buy. But after doing a lot of research on Youtube, I finally made my choice and bought the Samyang 12mm F2.0 NCS CS. Actually, the Sigma 16mm f/1.4 DC DN Auto Focus Contemporary Lens was my first choice. The lens is newer, faster at f/1.4 but it is also a little bit more expensive.

But what influenced me to buy the Samyang 12mm F2.0 is its focal length. I’m a wide-angle junkie who loves taking photos of heritage buildings, beach scenes and sweeping images of nature and there are so many instances that the 16mm of my kit lens left me frustrated.

In this post, I am not going to focus on the technical details of the lens, instead I will share my experience and sample photos taken by the Samyang 12mm F2.0 . If you want to go technical here’s a link to a fairly extensive review at Petapixel as Rokinon 12mm F2.0

Here are a few things you need to know about the Samyang 12mm F2.0

  1. This is a manual focus lens only. Hence, there is a slight learning curve when you use this one. It’s a good thing that mirrorless cameras have focus peaking which makes it a lot easier to focus on your subjects.
  2. If you shoot objects with a bright background chromatic aberration or purple fringing can appear often especially at wide open. But this can easily be removed in lightroom.
  3. The lens is sharp even at wide open and it gets better as you stop it down.
  4. For an ultra wide lens, you seldom get bokeh, but when you get very close to your subject and shoot wide open, you’ll get some nice blurry background.
  5. The colors and contrast you get from this lens are beautiful.

I have not really explored the full capability of the lens since its been with me for only 2 weeks. Based on the reviews, this is great for slow exposures and astro phtography. Will try that in the coming weeks.

So how do I use this lens?

For dark interiors, I use it wide open at F2.0. For outdoors on a sunny day, I use F/8 up to F/12. I will probably use a variable ND filter on bright conditions.

I use infinity focus practically most off the time but when there are moments that I want to get a closer capture of an object, then I set the focus ring at .2.

Will I recommend this to you?

If you can live with manual focus, then I highly recommend this to you. It offers great value for money with sharp, nice contrasty images and a wider view.

Here are unprocessed photos I took with the lens.