Samsung 45mm f/1.8 Review
By Yvonne

Although the Samsung 45mm F/1.8 lens is fast and sharp, its field of vision is too small to qualify as a standard-angle or telephoto.

Samsung 45mm f/1.8 Review

Samsung 45mm f/1.8

Let's get to the bottom

Although the Samsung 45mm F/1.8 lens is fast and sharp, its field of vision is too small to qualify as a standard-angle or telephoto.

The pros

  • Inexpensive.
  • Extremely sharp.
  • Minimal distortion.
  • iFN Control button


  • An awkward focal length.
  • Focuses less closely than other lenses.
  • Hood is not reversible

Samsung 45mm F/1.8 (S$299 on the list) is fast prime lens designed for use with NX compact interchangeable lenses camera systems. This lens has a view field that's roughly the same as a 70mm lens on either a full-frame DLR or 35mm film camera. The focal length is a little too long for standard everyday lenses, but it's perfect to use in telephoto and as a portrait lens. While it's still a very sharp lens, the Samsung 30mm Pancake Lens is our Editors' choice for standard angles for small interchangeable lenses cameras.

It measures 2.5 by 1.8 inches (HD), and weighs in at 4.1 ounces. The lens' height is almost doubled when the hood made of plastic screws in it. The hood can't be reversed, which is a deviation from standard. It will increase contrast and decrease the possibility of lens flare. However, it may take up more room in your bag. The minimum focus range is 19.7 inches.

This can be a little constricting when you want to capture details. Samsung does not call this a macro lens. However, it could focus closer to the Pancake 30mm lens which can focus up to 9.8 inches. This lens almost looks identical to the Samsung 45mm F/1.8 2D/3D Lens, priced at $500. It can capture 3D photos with NX cameras of the most recent generation.

The manual position of the AF/MF toggle switch allows you to control focus using a physical ring. However, turning the knob will tell the camera how to focus electronically. It responds quickly and automatically magnifies the centre of the frame for more precise control.

This is a far better experience than the slow electronic manual focus Canon EOS M ($575.00 at Amazon) that many Canon EOS M shooters have to endure. Another control button is located on the lens that's exclusive to NX systems. This button activates the iFN, giving you instant access to your camera settings. You can change the settings by pressing the button.

Imatest was used to test the sharpness and compatibility of the Samsung NX210 with lens. This is one area that shows no signs of deterioration. It exceeds the required 1,800 lines per image height to produce sharp images at all apertures. It records 2,175 lines at f/1.8, with excellent results from edges to edges. The resolution is increased to 2,327 lines by reducing the aperture to f/2.8. At f/5.6, the highest score is 2,586 lines. The lens only records 0.3 percent distortion.

The NX210 was able to remove the chromatic aberration from JPG files that I noticed in Raw mode. It caused blue-red color fringing around the frame's edges. This was minor and Raw photographers won't have to fix it in Lightroom.

The 45mm F/1.8 lens is sharp, there's no doubt about that. However it's a strange place in Samsung's camera system. It is too long for everyday use, too small to do portraiture and doesn't focus well enough to make it a macro lens. The 45mm f/1.8 may appeal to NX photographers who purchased the NX 20mm Pancake Lens ($342.49 Amazon).

The 60mm Macro ED SSA Macro ED OIS SSS is a better choice. It's more costly and focuses closer, however it can be a lot slower. The NX 30-mm Pancake Lens is a great option for NX owners who have not yet expanded beyond standard zoom. The fast f/2 aperture and the excellent optical quality, optical price and performance earned it Editors' Choice.

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