Samyang 35mm F1.2 ED AS UMC CS E-mount lens review by QuietOC

reviewer#44216 date: Jan-26-2019
sharpness: 5
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.6
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 have experience with this lens
compared to:Sigma 30 F1.4 DC DN C & EX DC
Pentax 30 F2.8
Sigma 30 F2.8 DN Art
Sony DT 30 F2.8 Macro SAM
Neewer 32 F1.6
Zeiss Touit 32 F1.8
Neewer 35 F1.2
Sony FE 35 F1.4 Distagon
Sony A 35 F1.4 G
Fotasy 35 F1.6 APS-C & Mini
Kaxinda 35 F1.7
Sony E 35 F1.8 OSS
Sony DT 35 F1.8 SAM
Minolta AF 35 F2
Rokinon AF FE 35 F2.8
Minolta MC 35 F2.8
Vivitar 35 F2.8
Minolta Rokkor 40 F1.7
Konica AR 40 F1.8
Sony FE 40 F2.5 G
Canon EF 40 F2.8 STM
Pentax-M 40 F2.8
Pentax-DA 40 F2.8 XS
Pentax-FA 43 F1.9 Limited
price paid:239 USD (new)
positive:Sharp wide-open
Zero distortion
Sony control directions
Covers full-frame corners at small apertures
negative:Size and Weight
Warm color cast
No electrical connection
Not as bright as Sigma 30 F1.4 DC DN C
comment:I didn't intend to buy another APS-C normal prime, but this seemed like a good deal on possibly the best 35 mm lens ever. It was over twice the price of the Neewer 35mm F1.2. This lens and the matching 50 F1.2 are constructed more carefully than the AF FE lenses. The silver finish is a decent match to my A6000. "MADE IN KOREA"

The APS-C images from this lens are similar to full-frame capture from a 55 mm F1.8. This lens is somewhat larger and heavier than the Sony FE Sonnar 55 F1.8.

This lens is twice the length of the Neewer 35mm F1.2 and feels very substantial. The Neewer is sharper wide-open in the center but has much less contrast. The Neewer has a good amount of focus plane curvature while the Rokinon has none. Surprisingly, the Rokinon mostly cover full-frame except for the extreme corners wide-open, but the optical quality falls off quickly on the left and right sides outside of the APS-C crop.

With little hype or fanfare Samyang has released a entire series of these fast, optically excellent manual primes for mirrorless sub full-frame cameras: 12/2, 21/1.4, 35/1.2, 50/1.2, 85/1.8. For whatever reason only the 12 F2 gets much attention.

If the main criteria is low light performance the Sigma 30 F1.4 DC DN C is a better choice. The smaller, cheaper, lighter Neewer 35 F1.2 matches the current rangefinder style bodies. The Fotasy 35 F1.6 remains a remarkable, inexpensive prime. The Zeiss Touit has the best image quality of the AF options and decent focusing but lacks stabilization.

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 1
  • sharpness: 5.00
  • color: 4.00
  • build: 5.00
  • distortion: 5.00
  • flare control: 4.00
  • overall: 4.60 - Home of the alpha system photographer
In memory of Cameron Hill - brettania