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Review of the Samyang 100mm 2.8 Macro Lens

There’s no doubt that photography is a lot more accessible for most people today. But there are still be some genres that can make it harder. Macro photography is one of those. One of the important bits of gear that people generally want is a macro lens, but they are often too expensive, especially if you aren’t sure you want to do it. However, there is now one that is affordable for most people. Enter the Samyang 100mm 2.8 macro lens, at $549 for most mounts, you may want to have a look.

The Samyang 100mm 2.8 macro lens gives people with a small budget a lens that will allow them to do almost everything they need to get those great close-up shots. Samyang lenses are gaining in popularity and are getting better all the time.

Taking it out of the box

One of the first things you notice about this lens when you take it out of the box is the weight. You may have heard that heavy lenses are a sign of quality, it usually means there is more metal in them than plastic. It is unknown whether or not it is true for this lens, but it does appear to be good quality. Compared to the Nikon 105mm 2.8 Micro Lens (at $897), it is similar in weight.

What camera is it available for?

You can get the Samyang 100mm 2.8 macro lens for a number of different camera brands; Canon, Nikon, Sony, Fuji, and Olympus. Really, any camera that has interchangeable lenses. It is available for DSLRs and mirrorless cameras. It is a full-frame lens, so if you have a cropped sensor you will get a longer focal length.

Review of the Samyang 100mm 2.8 Macro Lens

This macro image was taken the Samyang 100mm 2.8 Macro Lens on a Nikon Camera.

Aperture range

The aperture range starts at with f/2.8 as the largest and goes to f/32 which gives you a shallow depth of field. With some cameras the aperture can be changed on the camera, however, there are others that you will have to change the aperture the old-fashioned way and use the ring on the lens. The aperture will work in-camera for all Nikon Cameras, but for most Canons, you have to change the aperture on the lens.

Samyang 100mm 2.8 macro lens

Flower photographed using an aperture of f/14.

Samyang 100mm 2.8 macro lens

The same flower using an aperture of f/2.8.


It has 1:1 magnification (size the object is reproduced on the sensor), which means it shows you everything in real life size and is a true macro lens. As you move closer to objects you will get the same view that you would get with your own eyes.

Manual focus

The lens needs to be manually focused, which for many might be a deal breaker. But since most people who do macro photography tell you to put your lens on manual focus anyway, it would seem a small thing not to have.

It may be hard to get used to it after depending on autofocus for so long. But once you start using the lens, it doesn’t take long to get the hang of it. When shooting this way you can get much closer to your subjects, which is why a lot of photographers use their macro lenses on manual focus.

If you focus so it will let you get very close to your subject (at the minimum focusing distance for the lens) you can just move in and out until you get the object in focus. Then put your camera on continuous shooting and do a small burst of a few images and you are bound to get one that is in focus. The beauty of digital photography is that you can waste images. There is nothing worse than getting home to find that a lot of your images aren’t usable. You should take as many as you can to increase your luck.

Samyang 100mm 2.8 macro lens

Using the manual focus and photographing a visitor to the garden.


This Samyang lens does not have any image stabilization or vibration reduction. If you depend on this you may have a problem. However, putting the camera and lens on a tripod can help you get more stability. A monopod is also good for the same reason.

Samyang 100mm 2.8 macro lens

Using the lens with the manual focus to capture images in the garden.


It is not an expensive option and with Amazon selling it for $549 it is a good price for a macro lens. The quality is there and if you are looking for a cheaper lens than what the more well-known brands offer, then the Samyang 100mm 2.8 macro lens could be perfect for you.

It is easy to use, although it’s important to remember that because you are working very close to your subject for macro photography you are using a very shallow depth of field. In simple terms, this means you can’t take photos of a flower at f/2.8 or you will find very little in focus. It is something I did when I first started. I was surprised at how little was sharp, then I was told that I should be using apertures of greater than f/14 or so. My images were much better after that.

Samyang 100mm 2.8 macro lens

Use the lens as a normal prime lens as well to take photos of scenes.

Summing up

Overall, the Samyang 100mm 2.8 macro lens is a good lens. If you like macro photography, but can’t afford some of the others, then this is a great alternative. It is easy to use and the images you get are fantastic. There will be some aspects that you will need to get used to, but once you have tried it out and used it a bit you will start getting some incredible images.

The Samyang Macro 100mm 2.8 Lens

The Samyang Macro 100mm 2.8 Lens. Image courtesy Samyang.

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Leanne Cole
Leanne Cole

graduated from the VCA with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Melbourne, Australia. She has since been working as a practicing artist and teaching people how to be Fine Art Photographers. She also teaches long exposure photography and runs workshops around Melbourne. Click here to download her 10 tips for Long Exposure Photography in the City. You can find her on her website.

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