Yesterday, I was running a 1-2-1 photography workshop in central London and whilst I was waiting for the delegate, I had a few minutes to try out the Fujifilm X-T2 and the Samyang 12mm f2 NCS CS Lens together.

I’m a huge fan of the Samyang 12mm f2.0 NCS CS lens on the Fuji X-Series of cameras.

You’ll know if you read my Fuji X-T2 Review that I think the camera is superb and I think it will be great for Studio, Sports and wildlife photographers.

I already know of many wedding photographers who have place pre-orders of the camera, but it remains to be seen I guess whether the X-T2 becomes a tool of choice for Street Photographers or whether they remain firmly in the X-Pro2 camp.

What do you think?  Let me know in the comments.

It was a day of transition yesterday in London, with Theresa May stepping into the shoes of David Cameron at Downing Street.  London was very busy, and Whitehall was at its most secure.

I saw on several occasions regular tourists with DSLRs being asked to stop shooting around the gates, whereas myself (using the X-T2) and everyone shooting with phones and point and shoots etc were left in peace.

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Fujifilm X-T2 and the Samyang 12mm f2 NCS CS is a really good combination.

I honestly think the Samyang 12mm f2.0 NCS CS is one that all Fuji shooters should consider getting.  Its relatively cheap but as a manual focus lens needs a little camera configuration and adapting to.

You can see a little more of how I use the lens in this post about shooting with Fujis and the 12mm.

I was only out for half an hour or so, and shot these simple snaps from the hip, nothing of note really – all manual focused at around f5.6.

I chose not to use the Vertical Power Adaptor when shooting yesterday.  I’m not interested in 11fps shooting and the additional size makes it more difficult to shoot from the hip.

Pretty much, the reason I love the Fujifilm X-T2 and the Samyang 12mm f2 NCS CS combination is that I can get really close to the subject, break my stride, and shoot.  Without worrying about auto focus or pre focusing as such I am pretty much free to run and gun with this lens (exposure considerations come into play of course).

You can get the Samyang 12mm f2.0 NCS CS lens from WEX and its only around £250.  Good lens.

  • Happy Snapping – Kevin (in my Studio in Malmesbury, at midday! listening to Sounds of the 80s Vol2)
  • Great sample shots Kevin, thanks for posting. Have you applied any distortion correction to these images? There seems to be very little distortion for such a wide lens which is great. Certainly one I’ll look in to with interest.

    • I’m applying the inbuilt lens profile in LR. It has one for the 12mm Samyang now.

  • Kevin, great review on this lens. It is pretty sharp! I am a big fan of your work!!! I love your edits as well, do you use VSCO if so which one?

    • Thanks Haniel – no VSCO involved. These are Classic Chrome, but tweaked slightly for the contrast look I’m after here.

      • that is awesome!!! thanks for your inspiration, you should make a trip to US 🙂

        • I’m actually doing a workshop in New York in November – and I’m really looking forward to it too 🙂

          • WHAT!!! where do I find this? I follow you closely! How did I miss this 🙁 Can I have some details please?

          • Check out the Workshops menu Haniel. Sadly, its sold out now, but if you signup to the mailing list you’ll get any new dates. I hope to do a Wedding PJ with Fuji workshop in the USA in 2017.

  • I’m a big fan of the Samyang 12mm F2 as well, amazing quality for the price, plus at 12mm the autofocus is not quite as important as at longer focal lengths.
    I have an X-Pro2 with X-T10 as a smaller lighter alternative, but I’m no Pro Tog so one of the biggest factors for me regarding the X-T2 is finances, it’s difficult to justify that outlay not long after getting the X-Pro2. In any case for the photography I do; street, architecture, landscape and family portraits I think the X-Pro2 is just what I need, so no plans to trade in for the X-T2, but I am looking forward to the firmware upgrade on the X-Pro2, thank you Fujifilm, your cameras just keep on giving !

    • Thanks & yes, I agree – for Street stuff, for me too, the X-Pro2 is where its at. Or the X70. Or the X100T 🙂

  • Lars M

    Kevin, I’m a bit impressed with your Samyang pictures. I know you are a jpeg shooter but I don’t know what settings you are using here. Could you please tell us your perception about colour rendition of this Samyang lens compared to Fujinon. Thanks!

    • Thanks Lars – these are Clasic Chrome but with a bit of vibrance added in LR really. I think the Samyang is a superb lens, but tbh, I’m not sure its any better (or worse) than say the Fuji 10-24 in image quality or colour.

  • Hi Kevin many thanks for coming back to me, by the way I forgot to say how much I liked your photos ! Really shows what you can do with wide on the street. I take your point about the X100, X70 and totally agree, and I would really like to have one of those, but for me it’s a lower cost alternative to use the lenses I already have, especially the smaller ones like the XF18 & XF35F2, on a relatively small and low cost body like the X-T10, I have to say many of my best street shots were taken with the X-T10.

    • Yup, totally agree – I do still like my XT10 too. The size for what it delivers is incredible.

  • Jaco van Lith

    Do buy a Fujinon 10 – 24 mm and see the diference ! With the Samyang you kill all the profits of your Fuji X-Pro2 .
    Do you want to go back in time, to the pre sixties? I do not hope so !

    • I do have the 10-24 Jaco, but for this type of shooting I will always zone focus so an AF based lens is irrelevant. I prefer to use primes wherever I can.

  • Brian Boyce

    I must admit I held off on the X Pro2 upgrade to wait on the XT2 announcement. I love my X-Pro1 but I do like the size and clarity of the XT1s evf and the tilt screen on the XT2 and extended exposure compensation along with lots of little enhancements and of course the new sensor are all making me think Id prefer the XT2 even for street.

  • Rob

    Surely you mean Whitehall, not Whitechapel? But I love the pictures – especially the disembodied pair of legs in front of the National Gallery.

    • Yes, of course – Whitehall…. thanks for spotting & fixed 🙂

  • Hi Kevin,

    To answer your question at the top of the page I focus on street, documentary and travel and I’ve only ever been interested in the X-T cameras. I may have tried the X-Pro2 when it came out, but I can tell you right away that the lack of a tilting LCD is a deal breaker for me. I also value the EVF for its real-time ability to preview my scene and exposure, so the OVF doesn’t attract me as much as it probably should. I pre-ordered the X-T2 right away, and I’m really looking forward to the next-gen enhancements now in an X-T body style.

    On a side note – I also own the Rokinon / Samyang 12mm and love that lens. I did some similar street shooting with it in Montreal and it’s monstrously wide in some cases. 🙂

    Great post!

  • Hey Kevin, thanks for your X-T2 preview !
    Can you share your thoughs about the shutter sound one the camera ? Is that the same as the X-Pro2 ?

    Thanks a lot

    • Actually its more like the X-T1 in my opinion. Just faster 🙂

  • I m not a pixel peeper but from my results, when stopped down a couple of stops it s a really sharp lens and even wide open atit s really useable and at this aperture makes for a great lens to use in dimly lit conditions.

  • Joe

    Dig it! I have the Rokinon version. Do you know if there’s any difference between the two? I love how sharp this lens is. I’m using it with an X-Pro2 for now, but I have an X-T2 on order.

    • Pretty sure they are the same – just rebranded.

  • Stephen

    Hi Kev, i have my samyang 12mm f2.0 when i use my Fuji xe 2. Now i just buy xt2 and why the lens doesnt work. I cant even make a shutter with this lense. Is it compatible still?

    • It will work fine. You’ll need to make sure “Shoot without Lens” is set in the menu.

  • Kevin, I set the settings to Manual on my XT2 but what else do I need to set on the menu?

    • Hi, Jerry – you need to set the camera to shoot without lens. That’s it. Have fun.

  • John

    Hi Kevin,

    thank you for putting the Samyang lens on my radar. How do you think it fares when compared tomthe Fuji XF 14mm F2.8. ?

    Cheers and thanks for all the freely shared information.

    John

    • I really don’t use my 14mm Fuji lens. It’s one of the ones that I probably shouldn’t have bought as I just don’t use it.

  • Britta Schröder

    Hi, thx for your writing. I am from germany and have bought now the xt2 for weddings and xt1 as second camera. i have order the samyang now, because i thougt that the 10-24 4f could not be so great at church. what do you think? would i be fast with the focus-peaking? or is the 10-24 the better way for wedding? all my objekts: 1-24, 12mm, 24mm 1.4, 30mm 2.0, 56mm 1.2 and the kit 18-55. what would be the best combination at wich camera in church while wedding-ceremonie? 1000 thx al lot!!! Brittany

  • Karl

    Hi Kev, did you just put it on infinity focus? I’ve just bought this lens for my XT1 and I find that infinity covers just about most situations. I try to shoot around 5.6 to 11.

    • I wasn’t at infinity, but it is hard to miss with this lens especially anything more than a few meters away.