Samyang has revealed a new addition to its ‘Tiny Series’ of compact, affordable primes for Sony full-frame mirrorless cameras. This latest optic introduces a new Custom Mode function designed for astrophotography, albeit one that’ll sound strangely familiar to photographers who’ve used manual-focus primes before. By clicking its Focus Hold button, the lens can be set to infinity focus to give the sharpest possible starscapes. The precise focus position can be calibrated to match your specific camera body, with an LED indicator lighting up red or green to indicate whether the focus is correct.
In other respects, we’re looking at a compact, lightweight and well-priced f/1.8 prime, which strikes a welcome middle ground between the various E-mount 24mm f/2.8 optics currently available and Sony’s larger and much more expensive FE 24mm F1.4 GM. Its optical design includes 11 elements in 7 groups, of which two are aspherical, two made from extra-low dispersion (ED) glass, and three from high refractive-index (HR) glass, to minimise optical aberrations. In keeping with the astro theme, Samyang says it’s minimised coma and spherical aberration in order to render stars as pin-points right across the frame.
Other features include a 9-bladed aperture diaphragm that promises attractive bokeh at large apertures, along with 18-point sunstars when stopped down. A stepper motor is employed for fast, quiet autofocus with subjects as close as 19cm. The lens is said to be sealed against dust, light rain and snow, and accepts 58mm filters. All this comes in a barrel that’s 65mm in diameter, 71.5mm in length and weighs just 230g.
The Samyang AF 24mm F1.8 FE is due to be available in early May for £459.99.