On this review photographer, Christopher Frost looks at the new Samyang XP 50mm f/1.2 which is the third Samyang XP lens.
The XP series is Samyang’s high end (manual focus) lens line which includes the Samyang XP 14mm f/2.4 lens and the Samyang XP 85mm f/1.2 (Frost tested both actually) released in late 2016.
The new Samyang XP 50mm f/1.2 was only very recently announced (just before CP+ 2018) and this is the first full review of the lens that we know of.
According to Frost the lens is huge and heavy but very well built (although not weather sealed). The image quality across the frame even wide open at f/1.2 and on a 42MP sensor (A7RII adapted) is exceptional (with a slight increase in sharpness and contrast at f/2 and f/2.8). It does have a little bit of purple fringing but nothing too severe.
On the less positive side – on a full frame camera the corners are a bit dark at f/1.2 (which is probably to be expected but it fixes itself at f/2 and above), what is a bit strange is that this lens seems to have a barrel distortion (not that common on 50mm lenses). It’s handling of flare and its bokeh seems to be only average.
This lens tries to compete with the Zeiss Otus 55mm and although we didn’t test them side by side we still suspect that the Otus is better all-around but it is also over 3 times as expensive. Do note that the Samyang XP 50mm f/1.2 is currently available only for Canon EF mount (no Nikon F-mount at this stage) for a price of just under $1200.