Questions about the lens Samsung NX 18-200/3.5-5.6 appeared simultaneously with the rumors about roadmap of Samsung optics. To be honest: I have this lens is not very interested, because I had a brief experience with the “super-zooms” in other systems. Usually, for the sake of flexibility and convenience must be sacrificed aperture and sharpness.
I am amateur photographer, so I can choose the lenses under the influence of mood rather than considerations of quality, price and performance. I’m interested in lenses with fixed focal length, fast-zooms, but 18-200mm was not interested for me.
However, this lens was in my hands almost immediately after the start of sales, for which I am very grateful to the Moscow office of Samsung. I suggest you a my story about this lens.
Exterior – perfectly:
Correct name: Samsung NX 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 ED OIS
The lens makes a good impression. Samsung NX design is represented in full. Backlashes is not observed. iFn button located in the right place. Zoom ring turns smoothly, the effort is not needed. Ring field (it is also – iFn) rotates easily, pointing to focus manually is very convenient.
The front lens does not rotate, it is easier to use polarizing filters. Standard filter thread, 67mm.
Included – lens hood, both caps and a leatherette case.
Dimensions 7.2 x 10.55 cm, weight – 578 grams. Feels lens is a bit overweight. 18 elements in 13 groups. If it is sent down, then perhaps a spontaneous unfolding. To avoid this, use the button “lock”, which fixes the lens in the folded state.
Alignment of aperture at different focal:
- 18 – 3.5
- 24 – 4
- 30 – 4.5
- 45 – 5
- 55 – 5.6
- 100 – 6.3
No surprises. The situation is similar to other super-zooms.
Can be compared to 18-55/3.5-5.6. It looks very close:
- 18 – 3.5
- 22 – 4
- 30 – 4.5
- 40 – 5
- 45 – 5.6
Accuracy: + / – 2 mm.
Samsung holds the lens as directed on the video. And it corresponds.
Here is an example of the autofocus on the camera Samsung NX200. Taken at 720/60fps, so it’s best to go by clicking on the HD for viewing on vimeo site at full resolution:
Source video (no re-compression) can be downloaded here.
A short video, recorded in Full HD (30fps) (so do not forget to switch to HD):
No re-compression file here.
Three examples of the 18-200/3.5-5.6.
1. ’normal’ shot (50mm, f5.6)
The branches. (18mm, 3.5). In this photo you can see the chromatic aberration:
Tele – 120мм f6.3. Focus is on the man:
Made with Samsung Raw Converter and reduced to 1920 pixels on long side for the blog. Fullsize here.
At the first opportunity I’ll post something more typical, but it is clear that the chromatic aberrations is present, but have the character of “convenient” for automatic cleaning of the editors. Also notice that a wide angle work a little better than the tele- position. Advantages – the lens works well with the backlight, and has good color.
On this walk I’ve made only a few shots with the 18-200, and subsequently regretted it. The weather turned bad for the weeks, so trying to catch up, I had a simple benchmark in the room.
Compared 18-200/3.5-6.3, 50-200/4-5.6 and 18-55/3.5-5.6.
All settings are manual, images are made at the appropriate focal length and aperture. Samsung NX200, JPEG (super-fine quality, normal settings).
Please note: not at the same apertures: at opened apertures. All other – are identical. ISO100, of course. But if you want to see samples with the smaller apertures , they are in the archives, and you can make your own comparison.
18-200/3.5-6.3 against 50-200/4-5.6 (I was comparing only the center). Note: this is more than 100% scale:
Meticulous readers can download uncompressed PNG here.
18-200/3.5-6.3 against 18-55/3.5-5.6.
The lens is more interesting than I expected.
18-200 has just three target groups. First, of course – amateur video. The high multiplicity of zoom, quietness, speed autofocus, image stabilizer and a picture that is ideal for shooting in Full HD – this is a clear choice for anyone who wants to budget, but qualitatively shoot their movies.
The second target – travelers who are limited with weight and numbers of equipment. 18-200 – will be a good compromise between quality and versatility. Add the reliability and the use of filters, and we obtain the choice of the traveler.
The third target is probably the most significant: the amateurs who do not want to dive into photography to the level of “advanced”. This lens is definitely better than 18-55/3.5-5.6. Plus, it has a bonus from 55 to 200, covering the portrait and landscape need. A set of camera with this lens and with flash – carry out 90% of the claims of a man who wants to get a good result at a reasonable price. Easy and without much study of the subtleties of photography.
Bottom line: if you are in one of the three above categories, then the lens gets response “highly recommended”.