Wow. What a great APS-C lens. Quite a beast, screaming “quality” all over, Samsung’s new 16-50mm F2-2.8 S ED OIS. It’s Samsung’s first “premium” S series lens, extremely bright and incorporating an “Ultra Precise Stepping Motor.” Make no mistake, Samsung ups the ante with this standard zoom offering greater “precision, high quality materials and value control.” Serious photographers, listen up.
Myself not a fan of zoom glass, this one attracts my attention. This new premium lens with the “S” designation has a metal body and includes weather and dust sealing. Samsung calls it the brightest 3x zoom on the market and promises photographers its first premium “S” series will give “no less than superior optical technology to meet their photography needs”:
This lens features an Ultra Precise Stepping Motor (UPSM), improved from the conventional Stepping Motor (SM) that is 3x more precise in its ability to control and focus on subjects. Coupled with its optical image stabilizer and combination of three aspherical (ASP) lenses, two extra low dispersion (ED) lenses and two Extreme High Refractive (XHR) lenses, the 16-50mm F2-2.8 S ED OIS has the ability to take a steady shot and produce an exceptional photo with ultimate clarity and detail. The combination of these advanced elements work together to enhance the results from the lens. The ASP lenses reduce and nearly eliminate spherical aberration, whereas the ED elements reduce chromatic aberration and the XHR allows for a more compact and light lens.
If you’re in the market for a serious new camera, this lens certainly looks like a decent all-rounder and deserves consideration. Samsung hopes to attract the attention of serious photographers with this first serious, hulking S glass. To me it looks a bit like Sony’s Carl Zeiss lenses. But they’re not splash and dust proof. This versatile standard zoom is designed to deliver quality results even in extreme, harsh conditions.
In the course of this year, expect Sammy to expand the S series and roll out more serious glass. All photographers need is a decent ecosystem of lenses — something that’s not really Samsung’s strength yet. The Koreans haven’t announced pricing and availability of the 16-50mm F2-2.8 yet, but long ignored and belittled, Samsung’s certainly a mirrorless force to reckon with.
Might well be that over time the S series pulls photographers away from other brands. In the end, photography is a lot about quality optics.
For more information visit Samsung.