The Samsung 20mm f2.8 iFn Lens, is one of three NX Series ‘Pancake’ lenses offered by Samsung. It is a very compact and lightweight lens, which offers, due to the APS-C crop factor, an equivalent angle of view as a 30mm Lens would on Full Frame (or 35mm).
Build wise, the outside is polycarbonate, which is not a concern for such a compact and lightweight Lens. It is a well built little pancake Lens, but more importantly, it does have a metal lens mount (as ALL lenses should have). Other than the iFn button and a Focus ring at the front of the lens, there’s not a great deal more to say.
Below, is a picture of the 20mm f2.8 lens mounted on my Samsung Galaxy NX camera, which from a front view, looks the business.
However, unlike the Samsung 60mm f2.8 iFn Macro Lens I reviewed recently, from the side view, the Samsung 20mm f2.8 Lens, looks a bit of a mismatch for the Galaxy NX body size. It is a very compact lens.
The Samsung 20mm f2.8 iFn Lens, isn’t quite long enough to clear the Galaxy NX Hand Grip, which is a fairly substantial camera grip, so the overall ‘look’, if such things bother you, when mounted on the Galaxy NX is a bit ‘dumpy’.
It does allow for an easier solution to hiding your Galaxy NX than the bigger lens offerings like the 18-55mm kit lens or the aforementioned 60mm f2.8, 50-200mm and the 85mm, so slipping your gear inside a jacket or bag is much easier with the 20mm lens attached.
The angle of view when mounted on the APS-C NX camera body, with the 1.5x crop factor, is equivalent of a 30mm lens on a standard 35mm or full frame body, which is a great choice for street photography or ‘Urban’ as some call it. With a fast aperture of f2.8 down to f22, the Samsung 20mm f2.8 iFn Lens caters for a huge variety of shooting options.
All images above, where taken on my iPhone 6.
Detail from this tiny little lens is very good indeed. The bokeh (or out of focus background blur) is nicely controlled throughout the aperture range as you can hopefully see below. The images used are out of camera JPEGs with no post processing.
The focus point on all the following images, was set to the F (of Faber) on my box of artist pens. First image is @f2.8. . .
A nice shallow depth of field @f2.8, will allow you to throw the background out of focus for that more ‘professional’ looking shot.
Same view (almost, it was hand held!) but at f4.0. . .
This time at f8. . .
And then again at f16. . .
And finally, the minimum aperture of f22. . .
It is difficult to tell from the images above, but on the full sized images, there is little (if any) signs of diffraction. The images are all very sharp with little in the way of detail softening or smudging as the aperture is decreased (towards the f22 end). The images all looked really good.
The bokeh is nicely controlled with a smooth or creamy ‘feel’ allowing easy isolation of your subject from it’s surroundings @f2.8 down to virtually everything in shot being sharp and clear @f22, which is often more desirable for the likes of landscapes.
What is clear, just like the other Samsung ‘Pancakes’ the 16mm and 30mm primes, the 20mm f2.8 iFn Lens is an absolute must for any NX series user, offering a light and compact design which doesn’t sacrifice on quality. The images are very sharp with great detail from the Galaxy NX’s 20.3MP sensor.
As I said at the start, if ‘looks’ are important to you, the 20mm (and the other Pancake Lenses) do look a little ‘odd’ on Samsung’s larger NX bodies, but on one of Samsung’s smaller bodies, like the excellent NX500, NX300 or NX1000 etc. looks really great, allowing easy storage of the camera and lens in a mid to large sized pocket. A take anywhere solution with minimal fuss.
Current second hand prices of the Samsung 20mm f2.8 iFn, vary from @£80 for a well used but fully functioning model, to @£150 for a pristine, boxed one with all original bits included. The majority are going for @£100-£120 without box but with both lens caps, which, for the results this lens offers, is peanuts in photographic equipment terms. If you haven’t got one yet and are using the kit lenses with your NX camera, do yourself and your camera a favour and grab one of these little lenses. You won’t regret it when you see the quality of the images you get.