ZEP Review - Samsung NX 30mm f2.0 Pancake Lens
It should come as no big shock to anyone that has even remotely glanced at a word I've said over the last few months that I'm absolutely in love with the Samsung NX1100. I recommend the NX system to just about anyone looking to break into photography based on a few reasons, which I outlined in my review.
The one thing I had qualms with, however, was the kit lens that came with the camera. I made mention that it wasn't the fastest, and when compared to the Canon L glass that I'm used to using, it was a tiny bit depressing that I couldn't get more out of that lens.
Enter the Samsung 30mm f2.0 Pancake Lens
Screwing this lens into my NX1100 completely changed the way I look at the camera. What started out as a fun little project camera has evolved into something that could legitimately become something I would use for client work. To say that the Samsung 30mm lens is a game-changer would be an understatement.
So what makes this lens so great? Read on for my thoughts on the lens, and a breakdown of the pros and cons!
Form factor will probably be the first thing you'll notice about the 30mm Pancake lens. Hell, it's practically in the name that this lens is going to be small and light. Clocking in at a whopping 2.9 ounces, you hardly even realize that this lens is on your camera, especially coming from the much heavier kit lens. The 2.4 inch depth turns an already small camera into one that will rival the size of most point & shoots. Easy to slip into a jacket pocket, a purse, or a laptop bag, your "cute little guy" can easily become the camera that you'll never be without, but probably forget you have (and that's a good thing).
How's the image quality? You be the judge...
The depth of field on this lens is absolutely amazing. The images are crisp and clear, and the quality of the glass they've packed into such a tiny form factor rivals a lot of the bigger names on the market. Samsung seems to really be making a push to get behind their NX glass and make a quality product, and the 30mm is no exception. Images taken straight out of the camera have amazing color and contrast, and it takes a lot of willpower to not edit anything in the images!
Another thing that I'm truly impressed with is the focus speed. This lens is fast, and it does a great job focus in just about any lighting situation. I was even able to get it to focus on our dog, who is completely black from head to toe.
I'm not really even sure why I need to mention this, but as with just about everything else in the NX line, Samsung has figured out a way to give you a lot of image quality in a completely affordable price. At the time of this writing, the white version of the lens is $259, and the black version of the lens is $229. Compared to something like the Sigma 30mm, it's around half of the price.
Is there anything wrong with this lens?!
If I had to pick anything, I would have to say that I'm a little disappointed in the lack of the iFunction button that is found on some of the other NX lenses. The kit lens comes with one, and while it's really just a novelty for most, it has come in handy quite a few times, and not having the button really makes a difference.
Another feature noticeably missing from this lens is OIS (optical image stabilization). Samsung seems to be putting it in a lot of lenses, but if I had to wager a guess, I would imagine that the sheer smallness of this lens prevent them from adding the mechanics to provide stability. That being said, the lens is fast enough and wide-open enough that stability never really becomes an issue, so the lack of OIS is moot, at best.
If you're going to wander down the Samsung NX path, then this lens is a real no-brainer. It's light, fast, and packs an absolute knock-out punch. The price is really tough to beat, and if you're not in the market to spend the money on Samsung's OIS, this lens should be fast enough to compensate.
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