Samyang 35mm F2.8 AF FE E-mount lens reviews

reviews found: 6   
reviewer#45670 date: Mar-22-2021
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 4
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 own this lens
compared to:Samyang 12mm f2 MF
Samyang 18mm & 24mm f2.8 AF primes
Sony 50mm f1.8 FE
Sony 28-70mm FE OSS (the kit one)
Sony 16mm f2.8 & PZ16-50mm
Sony 16-50PZ
Sony 18-55mm & 55-210mm E lenses.
Meike 35mm f1.7 MF
Newer 32mm f1.6 MF
MF lenses in 28, 35, 50mm
All the A-mount SAM DT lenses
Lots of other A-mount lenses.
price paid:£189 UKP s/h
positive:Compact and lightweight lens
Amazingly sharp even at full aperture even on A7Rii
Very little distortion & CA (corrections on)
Useful lens on FF and APS-C
Useful case
negative:Lots of focus breathing means image shivers during AF
Lens cap can fall off (the other reason I've marked down the build)
No lens hood (except the silly cap)
Some coma on edges, though not usually obvious.
comment:I have three of the small Samyang AF FE primes, the 18mm, 24mm, and 35mm f2.8, respectively new, ex-demo and s/h. I wanted inexpensive compact primes in the most useful FL on both the A7Rii and on the Nex-6, which were useable wide open without terrible corners and had a quick and reliable AF.
First impressions of the lenses are good with a solid feel, small carry-case and interesting lens hoods/caps, though they don’t seem to locate very firmly and can fall off.
Second impressions are not as favourable as although the AF is both fast and accurate, it is nowhere near as well-behaved as the Sony DT lenses on A-mount. On this lens at least, the A7Rii seems to ignore PDAF in AF-S mode and the lens always does a cycle of focus away/focus the other way/focus back. On the Samyang f2.8 primes this is particularly annoying because (a) it takes longer than (some of) the native E & FE lenses, (b) the change in focus is more noticeable, and especially (c) because the Samyang has very marked focus breathing, so the angle of view changes disconcertingly while they are focusing. So I'd recommend sticking to AF-C where focussing is faster and the shivering less noticeable.
I also note the lenses flicker in brightness occasionally while focussing. But once focussed, all three are very sharp in the centre wide open and pretty sharp in the corners too, certainly better than any of the other E-mount lenses I’ve used and pretty much on par with the excellent A-mount Sony DT primes at f2.8. I haven't noticed any significant de-centring on my copy.
Having said that, on the 35mm the AF is better and more reliable than the 50mm f1.8 FE with latest rev 3 firmware; I think most of the issues I've seen with AF on E-mount are a a result of losing the dedicated off-sensor PF of A-mount cameras, which is a pity. They've made the best of it, but on-sensor PDAF definitely is not as effective at detecting the direction of focus error, and only ultra-fast in-lens motors are fast enough to conceal this (most of the time). Wide-aperture lenses (which produce bigger circles with focus error) seem to be worse than the small-aperture lit zooms.
The Samyang 35mm is extremely sharp over most of the FF frame wide open, even at 100% crops on the 42Mp A7Rii; at f2.8 the edges and corners are still sharp, and although they lose some contrast and look slightly muddy by comparison, edges here are still better at f2.8 than many other lenses (A- and E-mount) at f8. Corners are a little dark at f2.8 even with corrections on, though this goes by f5.6 where the corners are very sharp.
Interestingly, the 35mm shows a lot more detail on the A7Rii’s APS-C crop than the Nex-6, even though the latter’s 16Mp is only a little less than the Rii’s 18Mp crop. This is judging by ‘fine’ jpegs in camera on both, and is doubtless affected by the Rii’s lack of an AA filter. But clearly the lenses are well up to showing this difference even at f2.8.
On either camera the Samyang 35mm f2.8 is small enough to let the camera sit flat against my chest without being so small it looks weird, and looks pretty good there, though the small front element looks a bit lost (but not as sad as the 30mm A-mount macro!)
I like the 35mm on FF, as it covers a more natural view angle than 50mm lenses where I’m always having to step back, but when there is too much sky or ground in the view then either the APS-C crop or the 16:9 crop (or both) cure this and give me a view close to 50mm. On the Nex-6 the lens is an alternative to the Meike 35mm f1.7 MF when I want AF.
Sun causes noticeable veiling glare even just out of the picture, so a hand is needed to stop that. On winter nights lights near the left and right edges of the frame show significant coma (spikes pointing toward the centre) but this is only obvious on magnification).

As expected the lens is slightly less sharp near the pleasantly-short MFD, but usually good enough to show fine detail in nature close-ups, and heavy cropping is possible with care. Bokeh is fairly smooth most of the time and some experimentation with aperture can usually produce a satisfactory result.
It’s really nice to have a lens I can use at any aperture and not have to worry about poor corners, though I usually set f5.6-8 for challenging cityscapes.
So, I'd certainly recommend this lens as an 'easy choice' prime for the cost-conscious FE and E-mount user and if (like me) you use both sensor sizes it's pretty good on either.
reviewer#45656 date: Mar-6-2021
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
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:Minolta 17-35 (A mount)
Minolta 24-85 (A mount)
Tamron 28-75 (A mount)
Sony 28-70
price paid:170 € (used, as new)
positive:Weight
Size
Sharpness
Price
Colours
Case
Did I mention weight?
negative:Nothing
comment:Absolutely impressive lens. You can't ask for more for the price.

It is an amazing lens. Everything is perfect: weight, size, price, colors ... and above all its sharpness. More than this, it comes with a nice and cute case.

Good job, Samyang! Chapeau!
reviewer#44503 date: Apr-29-2020
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.3
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:Many Minolta lenses via adapter.
price paid:£150
positive:Size, very small and light.
negative:Focus by wire.
comment:Unlike the data provided mine focuses down to 30cm, so max. magnification slightly greater.
Sharp in centre and over most of frame when closed up a bit.
reviewer#44499 date: Apr-21-2020
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 5
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:Sigma A mount 35mm f1.4 Art, SAL24f2Z, SAL50f14Z, SAL50f1.4, Minolta 50mm f1.7, Minolta28mm f2.8
price paid:$170 USD
positive:Everything about this lens has been wonderful when the price paid, size and performance are compared.
negative:Very pasticky, the hood is a gimmick
comment:Others have reported centering issues with this lens; no me. I am happy with the price paid. A good cure for GAS for not much money. The images obtained are close to my Sigma 35mm f1.4 Art in the centre......so no complaints here.
reviewer#44174 date: Nov-17-2018
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.2
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 used to own this lens
compared to:Rokinon AF FE 24 F2.8
Sigma 30 F1.4 DC DN C & EX DC
Sigma 30 F2.8 DN Art
Sony DT 30 F2.8 Macro SAM
Neewer 32 F1.6
Zeiss 32 F1.8 Touit
Rokinon 35 F1.2
Neewer 35 F1.2
Fotasy 35 F1.6 APS-C & Mini
Kaxinda 35 F1.7
Tamron SP 35 F1.8 USD
Minolta MD 35 F1.8
Sony E 35 F1.8 OSS
Sony DT 35 F1.8 SAM
Yongnuo EF 35 F2
7Artisans 35 F2
Minolta AF 35 F2 & RS
Tamron 35 F2.8 OSD M1:2
Sony FE 35 F2.8 Sonnar
Minolta MC 35 F2.8
Vivitar 35 F2.8
Minolta 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
price paid:212 USD (used)
positive:Tiny, light, and inexpensive
Full hybrid AF support
Clamshell case and hood included
Lens Compensation
negative:Misalignment/variation
Some focusing noise
Dock required for firmware updates
comment:A new looking copy with original retail packaging but with an aftermarket rear lens cap. It has been steadily discounted as low as $175 recently at one of the major New York retailers. The Tamron has also been discounted to $200 recently.

It is actually smaller than the APS-C Sigma 30 F2.8 DN primes with less distortion and slightly better CA control. The larger Tamron has even better CA control and is even sharper at the edges. The older slightly larger and heavier Sony ZA performs worse in the corners.

Autofocus works well, similar to the APS-C Sigma but without the phase-detect being limited to just the center. It performed so well that I decided to pick up an A7II to use it on instead of trying the expensive Sony 24 F1.8 ZA Sonnar.

It has a small amount of barrel distortion. There is a minor alignment issue that becomes more noticeable stopped down that causes the right side of the image not to sharpen as much as the left side.

For being the smallest full-frame AF lens it works well overall. I might try another copy, but I don't so much mind the bulk and worse AF of the sealed Tamron.
reviewer#44143 date: Oct-8-2018
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.5
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:Minolta 35mm F2 RS (a-mount)
kitlens 28-70 f4-5.6 (fe-mount)
price paid:250 (2nd)
positive:Small
good AF in normal light conditions (i didn't use it inside dark rooms yet).
good overall sharpness
very low weight
full frame
very affordable
49mm thread
doesn't feel cheap
there's a box included to keep the lenses clean at transport
firmware updates are possible (with the specific usb-adapter)
a handy lens-case is included
negative:only f2.8
tiny hood - not to say the first time it looks a bit weird.
no built in Stabilisation
don't loose the lens cap - it's very small 42mm)
less vulnerable than the 24mm for flare but still something too look out for.
comment:It's a tiny well made lens that's affordable - this one may be what you're looking for.
These lenses fit into your pocket - ideal companion on an a7.
Ideal for traveling/hiking and in-city-use.
I'm thinking of searching a better lens hood. It's too tiny to my taste and a better hood may be better to protect against flares.
I just got this lens - so i'll try to update this review (e.g. tests with the a6000)- these are first impressions.
flare is ok, but there is better available (more expensive 35mm)
compared to the 24mmf2.8 Samyang brother/sister-lens this one is overall sharper.
Distortion seems to be ok - lineair at least (i've got some extra tests to do).
2nd update of this review: after some usage in real photographical conditions (not test shots).
The flare resistance is better than the 24mm f2.8 Samyang AF (it deserves more than 4, but no 5).
The sharpness isn't bad at all - not to say sharp on the 24mpix-sensor A7II. The 35mm f2 Minolta may be a little bit sharper but it won't be so much.
I'm happy with the colors too.
Flare resistance is not perfect - but not as bad as the older lenses. More or less comparable with previous generation lenses from other manufacturers. So when avoiding direct sunlight into the glass - it'll work well.
AF in Low light (focus on A77 f2.8 @ 1600 iso) is fine.
We did an upgrade to firmware v3 after this real life shooting event - and next post will be about the results (it's also needed to tune the opening of the diafragm and if needed you can adapte the AF - only in 8 steps (-4 to +4).
reviews found: 6   

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 6
  • sharpness: 4.67
  • color: 4.83
  • build: 4.33
  • distortion: 4.83
  • flare control: 4.17
  • overall: 4.57

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