Samyang 50mm F1.4 AF FE E-mount lens review by colonel

reviewer#32728 date: Dec-6-2016
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.7
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 55mm: As sharp as the 55mm in centre at f2, sides not quite as sharp but still good. Bulkier. Photo has more character. 50mm better for walk around - more uses.
Leica 50mm f2 R: Sharper then the Leica. Samyang is better all round - note the Leica is a good lens so this is an achievement. Bokeh on Leica more ethereal.
price paid:
positive:Very well built. Fast focus. Sharp wide own, sharper at f2, tack in centre at f2.8, sides catch up through f8. Warm and contrasty colours well balanced on A7ii. Very good value.
negative:Focus is very quiet but slight whine may make videoers use MF. Nice focus ring. I like aperture rings but seems to be minority these days.
comment:This lens is fantastic, really. Negatives are normally given by comparison to much more expensive lenses. In the UK the Samyang is £449 and the Sony 55mm is £715 but I would still get the Samyang as 50mm is more versatile and f1.4 is very useful for both low light and artistic purposes.
Really a lovely lens. If you want to pay 3x and carry 50% more weight and need tack f1.4 you need the Sony 50mm f1.4. Even treating the Samyang as an f2 lens it is good value. Saying that it is sharp enough at f1.4 in the centre and weight combination is better for walk about. I team this with Sony 28mm and Leica 135mm f2.8 R for kit. Later I will get Sony 90mm macro and Samyang 14mm AF when it comes out, based on the strength of this glass.

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 4
  • sharpness: 4.38
  • color: 4.50
  • build: 4.50
  • distortion: 4.75
  • flare control: 4.75
  • overall: 4.58 - Home of the alpha system photographer
In memory of Cameron Hill - brettania