[NX10, 20mm F2.8] How is the convenience of i-Function lenses?
Recently, mirrorless cameras are popular in the digital camera market, because they been able to reduce the size of the camera while still keeping the performance of a DSLR.
These mirrorless cameras are the best with a small pancake lens. That’s why I’m going to take a closer look at the Samsung 20mm F2.8 i-Function Pancake lens released with the NX100. (It can also be used on the NX5 and NX10 with firmware updates.)
The lens is 20mm and aperture is F2.8-F22. The unique feature is the i-Function which controls the body through the lens.
This is the Samsung 20mm F2.8 pancake lens in the above picture. It is 62.2×24.5mm and weighs 89g with the lens cap.
On the back side of the cap, the Samsung logo is engraved and it can be connected to the mount of the NX camera.
Opening up the body cap, Samsung brand and i-Function are engraved on the lens. Aperture, angle, and filter caliber are also shown. The aperture of the lens is a circular type.
Looking at the back, the mount is made of metal and through 8 connection points, it’s connected to the Samsung mirrorless camera. Because the mount is made of metal, I think it’s quite endurable.
Looking at the side of the Samsung 20mm F2.8 pancake lens, aperture, angle, and filter caliber are displayed. On the number 20, a scenery icon is printed and it shows the purpose of this lens. For your information, a scenery and portrait icon are printed on the 20-50mm standard zoom lens.
The most unique feature of the Samsung 20mm F2.8 pancake lens is the i-Function. This function allows users to adjust various setting values such as aperture, shutter speed, and exposure on the lens.
Looking at the bottom of the Samsung 20mm F2.8 pancake lens, it’s made in Korea. CE mark is also printed and CE mark is the mark showing that it has passed the mandatory safety test for the European market.
I mounted this Samsung 20mm F2.8 pancake lens on my Samsung NX10. The pancake lens fits quite well.
The Samsung 20mm F2.8 pancake lens is quite small, so when setting the focus, the barrel protrudes. It’s like the above picture, but not that much. The barrel is not rotational, so CPL filter can be used without a problem.
Looking at it mounted, the i-Fn button on the lens was on the upper left side of the lens. That’s why it was a little inconvenient to use it with the NX10, because the NX10 has a built-in flash. The location of the button should have been closer to the release button for more convenience.
In order to use the i-Function, users can rotate the focus ring while having the i-Fn button pushed. The best advantage of the i-Fn button is that users can change the setting by using their left hand without changing the framing while shooting.
The NX100 has the i-Function. However, the NX10 doesn’t have this, so the firmware has to be updated. Users can download the 1.2 version from the Samsung Digital Imaging site.
After downloading the firmware, copy the NX10.BIN file to the root folder of your SD card and update the firmware on the NX10 body. You’d better charge the battery fully for this. The main feature of this firmware upgrade is the i-Function and faster AF speed by improving the AF algorithm.
The V1.2 allows users to use the newly released GPS module. Mounting the GPS module, the above menu is activated and the location information is automatically inserted on the picture.
Updating the firmware, like the NX100, the i-Function in the 20mm F2.8 and 20-50mm lens can be used.
Looking at the options of the i-Function, WB and ISO value can be turned on / off. If there are a lot of options, the i-Fn button should be pushed a lot, so by turning some functions off, users can use the i-Function more quickly.
The other advantage of the i-Function is faster setting with the left hand while shooting. It took a little time to get used, but I think it’s quite useful.
It’s very simple to use the i-Function. Pushing the i-Fn button, settings such as aperture, shutter speed, exposure, WB, and ISO can be changed and by using the focus ring, the values are adjustable.
This is the operation movie of the i-Function in the Samsung NX10. After changing values, it’s applied in real time. It seemed very useful to change the setting while still keeping the desired framing.
The aperture is not that great. Checking the background, in F2.8 it did not blur out the background that much in 1M distance on a pull up bar. In F22, the background was also quite vivid.
The Samsung 20mm F2.8 pancake lens has a 0.17m of focal length. This distance is from the sensor, so semi-Macro shooting is available. Especially, in Macro mode, the background blurring effect depends on the aperture.
100% crop of the center 100% crop of the right side
Let’s take a look at the sharpness of the Samsung 20mm F2.8 pancake lens. The camera was used on a tripod. The left is 100% crop of the center and the right is 100% crop of the right side. The center part has good details. The corner has good details from F5.6
Because the Samsung 20mm F2.8 pancake lens has a circular aperture, it seems there’s shouldn’t be any sunstars, but actually, there were sunstars. From F11 or 14, it shows sunstars noticeably, so users need to adjust it.
The aperture is a circular type so the stars were more rounded then normal but still very noticeable. .
We’ve been reviewing the Samsung 20mm F2.8 pancake lens supporting the i-Function. As a second pancake lens of the NX series, the Samsung 20mm F2.8 pancake lens is better for landscape, because it takes wider angle shots than the 30mm F2.0 lens. However, the F2.8 and flair were a little unsatisfactory.
The interesting feature of the Samsung 20mm F2.8 pancake lens is the i-Function. It’s a unique concept that controls the body through the lens. A left hand was just used to adjust the angle or for MF, but by using the i-Function, it allows your left hand to adjust aperture, shutter speed, WB, and ISO more conveniently, and the adjusted values are applied in real time, so users can keep the direction of the camera on the subject.
From now, there will be many picture taken by the 20mm F2.8 pancake lens.