Gear Tech

Samyang shoots for the stars with the new AF 24mm

New prime lens for Sony full-frame cameras includes ‘optimised features for astrophotography’...

Samyang has pulled the covers off its latest lens and the AF 24mm F1.8 FE should spike the interest of Sony photographers who like turning their sights on the night sky. Built for full-frame Sony E-mount mirrorless cameras the lens includes what Samyang calls ‘optimised features for astrophotography’.

The new lens is part of Samyang’s ‘Tiny But F1.8 Series’ line-up and the name is well chosen as the new measures only 71mm in length while tipping the scales at just 230g, meaning it won’t take up much room in your kit bag and will be suitable for travel photographers who are looking to cut down on weight.

Featuring an ‘11 elements in 8 groups’ design, the lens includes 7 special elements – 2 ASP, 3 HR, 2 ED) and also offers a 9-bladed iris design, which is sure to result in attractive bokeh when the lens is used at its maximum aperture of f/1.8.

But what of these special features for astrophotography? Well, Samyang explains that the AF 24mm F1.8 FE  features ‘an new function called “Custom Mode”, with an “LED indicator” for astrophotography. The “Custom Mode” can be operated through the newly-designed Focus Hold button. This function allows you to automatically move the focus directly to infinity, by clicking the button when entering the Custom Mode. Since the factory default value may differ very slightly on each camera body, this is a convenient function that allows you to tune, save and use the precise infinity focus value, according to your own camera body.’ 

Image by Howard Burrows / Samyang

‘If the focus value set through the LED indicator does not match, it will be shown with a red LED. If you then click the button, your focus value will automatically adjust to the saved value, changing the LED to green. For astrophotography enthusiasts, this is an extremely useful function for those who need to spend long periods in darkness, with confidence that their lens is set at infinity.’

The versatile focal length also makes the lens suitable for architecture photography. Image by Reinold Aryee / Samyang.

The new Custom Mode feature combined with the sharp detail and maximum f/1.8 aperture should make this lens a wise selection when shooting starry nights or even aurora skies. Other features include a close focusing distance of just 19cm and a filter thread size of 58mm.

A minimum focusing distance of 19cm further extends the opportunities possible with this lens. Image by Nic Taylor / Samyang.

The Samyang AF 24mm F1.8 FE is expected to start shipping in early May and the lens will carry a value-for-money price-tag of around £460.

A fast aperture of f/1.8 will help photographers create a shallow depth of field. Image by Nic Taylor / Samyang.