Samyang 85mm F1.4 AS IF UMC E-mount lens reviews

reviews found: 1   
reviewer#45662 date: Mar-12-2021
sharpness: 5
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 5
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:Sony FE 50 F1.8
Sony FE 85 1.8
Minolta 85 1.4 G
price paid:160€ mint cdt.
positive:+probably the best price/performance lens out there overall
+sharpness.. even at F1.4
+good bokeh (as hobby photographer I would really consider it smooth and nice)
+beautiful IQ so far
+(especially) for the price.. amazing build quality
+butter smooth, well damped and large enough focus ring
+quick, manual change of aperture possible*
+beautiful old school metal build with decent rubber focus ring
negative:-size, weight.. but it's a 1.4 85 after all**
-aperture selection.. F1.4 to F2.0 F2.8 F4.. (nothing between - or at least according to the dial?)
-good amount of deep purple CA up to F2.8 (in very high contrast regions: wooden sticks on a white sky for example. still much better than 1980's standard)
-i guess no feedback to camera about focal length.. ***
comment:My first lens after FE 50 1.8 on E-Mount. I am truely impressed, that such a "cheap" lens can be built so well and can deliver such nice images.

If you show this lens and FE 85 1.8 to a person without knowledge about photography i bet he would say that the Samyang is the more expensive/"better" lens, just by judging the looks. A Sony A-Mount 50 1.8 will look like garbage compared to this one.. summed up: Beautiful lens.

**I haven't done enough testing vs FE 85 yet, but of course the Sony is easier to handle. Great AF and smaller, easier to carry.. especially after using FE 50 this 'big boy 1.4' was unusual for my small a7, but my recommendation for carrying it: Don't hold the camera on it's grip while walking, but instead on the lens instead. Much better feel and handling.

But we are not here to complain about the missing AF here? Right. MF is not as easy as with real Sony FE lenses, because you don't get the automatic MF magnification assist what felt very annoying first, but my recommendation here: Add magnification setting to a button of your choice to be able to adjust focus properly. Focus peaking is not enough in most cases on it's own. Still clumsy as buttons are awkward on a7.. but it's a7 overall. Summed up: Lovely MF.

*To photographers who are not familiar with manual aperture: Don't be afraid: It is actually better than you could ever think of.. and even faster than with my FE 50 1.8 on a7. Use aperture priority and just select the aperture of choice on the lens - this is much better than turning the camera wheel dozens of times to jump from F8 to F1.8 on FE 50 1.8, for example.

***The lens seems to communicate with camera about aperture (still not shown in file data), so the exposure is done automatically - nice. However, it does not seem to send the focal length to the camera resulting on a7 in lower light just in 1/60 shutter speed: too low for 85mm lens usually => manual ISO required. annoying. on a7III you can adjust ISO vs shutter speed and this should fix it.. too bad i don't have an a7III.

Overall a fun and great to use lens for a questionable cheap price i would say. Can be bought new for 200€. At least twice cheaper than FE 85.. but all manual - if you like that, i would suggest getting the Samyang instead or if you are on a budget. This lens should be sufficient for any hobby photographer. I would also absolutely choose this over the Minolta 85 1.4 G (and I'm a Minolta fan). Much better focus ring, much cheaper (you also don't need an adaptor - with expensive LA-EA4 it's still not convenient to use outdated AF i guess), less noticeable CA.

I heard that sample variation is quite big with Samyang/Walimex etc lenses, but for this copy.. highly recommended. Time will tell if i keep this one or FE 85.

One more thing: Maybe it's a personal thing, but i tend to shoot better and more well composed images with MF, as it is requiring more time and therefore better aim.. just shooting pew pew with AF on a lens like this is not ideal (for me at least). Think again about your photography style.

Ratings based on price/performance. Haven't noticed flare/strange distortion yet.
reviews found: 1   

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 1
  • sharpness: 5.00
  • color: 4.00
  • build: 5.00
  • distortion: 4.00
  • flare control: 5.00
  • overall: 4.60

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