Samsung 50-200mm f/4-5.6 ED OIS Lens

      Photo Review 8

      In summary

      A standard telephoto zoom lens for NX series interchangeable lens cameras.The 50-200mm f/4-5.6 ED OIS lens offered as the second kit zoom lens with the Samsung NX10 is typical of many 50-200mm kit zooms. Just over 10 cm in length and weighing 417 grams without end caps and hood, it is built mainly from black polycarbonate and has a solid, stainless steel mounting plate with eight electronic contact points. . . [more]

      Full review


      The 50-200mm f/4-5.6 ED OIS lens offered as the second kit zoom lens with the Samsung NX10 is typical of many 50-200mm kit zooms. Just over 10 cm in length and weighing 417 grams without end caps and hood, it is built mainly from black polycarbonate and has a solid, stainless steel mounting plate with eight electronic contact points.

      Similar in size and weight to the 50-200mm kit zooms supplied with many entry- and mid-level APS-C DSLR cameras, it’s also similarly priced and has similar specifications. Optical construction consists of 17 elements in 13 groups with two ED (extra-low dispersion) elements to improve light transmission. Seven diaphragm blades close to a circular aperture.


      The Samsung 50-200mm f/4-5.6 ED OIS lens shown without end caps and lens hood.

      As with the other NX lenses, this lens is made almost entirely of black polycarbonate. Build quality is quite good for the price of this lens and the metal lens mount is reassuringly solid. A petal-shaped lens hood is supplied with this lens, along with end caps and a soft carrying pouch.

      Attached to the NX10 body, the 50-200mm lens protrudes 10 mm from the camera body when set to the 50mm position and extends a further 58 mm when zoomed in to 200mm. A narrow (around 8 mm wide) focusing ring made from ridged black plastic is located roughly 20 mm back from the front of the lens. It turns through a full 360 degrees, regardless of whether the lens is set for auto or manual focusing.
      Behind the focusing ring is the zoom ring, which is 40 mm wide and has a ridged rubber-coated grip. It turns through approximately a quarter of a turn as you move from the 50mm to the 200mm focal length. There’s no distance scale, no depth-of-field indicator and no markings for infrared focus correction.

      Etched on the trailing edge of the zoom ring are focal length settings for 50mm, 70mm, 100mm, 130mm, 150mm and 200mm. Behind them is the narrow blue band that characterises Samsung lenses. On the left side of the main barrel behind the zoom ring are two sliders; one for switching between auto and manual focusing and the other for turning the image stabiliser on and off.

      Despite its size and weight, the review lens was a comfortable fit on the NX10 body. The zoom ring moved smoothly and positive and, although the focusing ring felt a little ‘free’ it was nevertheless easy to focus manually with some degree of precision, aided by the automatic magnification of the image as the focusing ring was moved.

      All focusing and zooming movements are internal, enabling easy use of angle-critical attachments like polarisers and graduated filters. The six focal length settings marked on the lens barrel appeared to be accurate in our shooting tests. Changes in maximum apertures as focal length is increased are shown in the table below.

      Focal length setting

      Maximum aperture













      The AF system in this lens only performed well for subjects with enough contrast for the contrast-based system to use. Hunting was common with low-contrast subjects, and it was often necessary to switch to manual focusing to obtain a sharp picture.

      On the other hand, the built-in stabilisation system appeared to be quite effective. We were able to use the 200mm focal length setting at shutter speeds as slow as 1/20 second and obtain roughly 50% of sharp images in a sequence of 20 test shots.

      At their best, the resolutions measured in Photo Review’s Imatest tests were slightly better than the 18-55mm kit lens – but only for a relatively small part of the review lens’s focal length range. Best results were obtained at wider apertures, with a pronounced decline in sharpness from about f/9 on. Diffraction further reduced resolution from f/16 to f/22.

      Imatest showed this lens to have less edge softening than the 18-55mm kit lens, particularly at shorter focal lengths. The graph below shows the results of our tests.


      Lateral chromatic aberration ranged from negligible at 70mm to moderate at 150mm but was mainly in the low band for the other focal lengths. Traces of coloured fringing could be seen in shots taken with the 200mm focal length setting in contrasty outdoor lighting. In the graph below, which shows the results of our tests, the red line marks the border between negligible and low CA, while the green line separates low from moderate CA.


      Rectilinear distortion was also quite low. Slight barrel distortion, which was visible at 50mm, was resolved by 70mm. Pincushioning was negligible at longer focal lengths. Vignetting could barely be seen at wide apertures throughout the lens’s zoom range. Backlit subjects were handled well and the supplied lens hood enabled shots to be taken in quite strong contre-jour situations.

      Close-up shooting, however, was restricted by the 98 cm minimum focusing distance and only possible with the lens set to 130mm and longer. This virtually eliminated any chances of getting interesting close-ups of subjects less than 10 cm across. In addition, the tendency of the lens to hunt – and its prioritising of distances more than one metre from the front element made using autofocus for close-ups almost impossible. Bokeh at the widest aperture settings was somewhat smoother than the 18-55mm kit lens.

      Buy this lens if:
      – It’s offered with the camera body. As a kit lens, its performance is up to the standard of most entry and lower mid-level DSLRs.
      – You’re happy to shoot with wider lens apertures.
      – You require minimal vignetting.
      Don’t buy this lens if:
      – You need close focusing capabilities.
      – You’re not prepared to use manual focusing when the lens can’t focus automatically.





      Distortion at 50mm; ISO 200, 1/50 second at f/5.6.


      Distortion at 200mm; ISO 200, 1/80 second at f/5.6.


      Vignetting at 50mm; ISO 100, f/4.


      Vignetting at 200mm.; ISO 100, f/5.6.


      50mm focal length; ISO200, 1/250 second at f/9.


      200mm focal length, ISO 200, 1/200 second at f/10.


      50mm focal length; ISO 400, 1/500 second at f/4.


      200mm focal length, ISO 400, 1/350 second at f/5.6.


      200mm focal length, ISO 200, 1/160 second at f/8.


      100% crop from the above image showing slight coloured fringing.


      Flare at 50mm; ISO 200, 1/120 second at f/8.


      Flare at 200mm; ISO 200, 1/125 second at f/8.


      Bokeh at 200mm; ISO 200, 1/250 second at f/5.6.


      Stabilisation test; 200mm focal length, ISO 3200, 1/20 second at f/5.6.


      75mm focal length, ISO 100, 1/60 second at f/4.5.


      200mm focal length, ISO 400, 1/80 second at f/5.6.

      Additional image samples can be found with the review of the Samsung NX10 camera.




      Picture angle: 31.4 to 8.0 degrees
      Maximum aperture: f/4-5.6
      Minimum aperture: f/22
      Lens construction: 17 elements in 13 groups (includes 2 Extra-low dispersion lenses)
      Lens mount: Samsung NX
      Diaphragm Blades: 7 (circular aperture)
      Minimum focus: 98 cm
      Maximum magnification: Approx. 0.2x
      Filter size: 52 mm
      Dimensions (Diameter x L): 70 x 100.5 mm
      Weight: Approx. 417 grams (without hood)





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