Samyang 135mm F2 ED UMC A-mount lens review by Vitruvius

reviewer#29651 date: Aug-9-2016
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.8
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony 16-50mm f2.8 SSM
Sony 11-18mm DT
Sigma 70-200mm f2.8 APO DG EX HSM
Minolta 80-200mm f2.8 APO HS
price paid:635 CDN (new)
positive:S H A R P !!!! NO FLARE! NO CA! NO distortion!
Works well with focus peaking.
negative:No AF!!!!
Needs a chip for IBIS on A77ii or Sony needs to update firmware for A77ii so you can enter lens manually.
comment:Have only had it a few days and took out for some test shots last night. Absolutely amazing IQ! I hate saying this because it will just make the price go up. Would be even better with a Minolta screw drive AF built in. Only reason I gave the build rating a 4 is because for the size and cost of the lens there is no reason they couldn't add a basic AF.

Update - 2017-10-01
I lost my A77ii and bought an A7R. This lens is even more spectacular on the A7R. Absolutely blows my mind. Sorry, I have never owned exotic $2000+ glass to compare but it out-resolves the 36MP full frame sensor with ease which is more than I need. I shoot mostly dusk and night architectural shots on a tripod. Which is why the A7R is also a good match. I would not recommend using this lens or camera for hand held shooting. I have tried and it is a disappointment from what I know it can do on a tripod. That goes for both the lens and camera.
I would love to give it all 5 points to represent how much I LOVE this lens but the lens hood and aperture clicks are pretty poor. Everything else is great including smooth focus.
The most frustrating aspect of this lens is that after I have seen the results from this lens, every other lens I own is a disappointment and a waste of space in my bag (except the Rokinon 14mm f2.8 ED-AS-IF-USD and Bower 85mm f1.4 which are almost as good). So I am constantly trying to figure out how to position myself to get the shot with this lens instead of using a different lens.

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 4
  • sharpness: 5.00
  • color: 4.50
  • build: 4.50
  • distortion: 5.00
  • flare control: 4.50
  • overall: 4.70 - Home of the alpha system photographer
In memory of Cameron Hill - brettania