This is an honest review of the Samyang 35mm f/1.4 AS UMC, a manual focus prime lens intended for Nikon, Canon, Sony, Olympus, Pentax, Samsung, and Micro Four Thirds mounts.
While I will refer to this lens as “Samyang” in this review, remember that you can discover the very same lens under different names, for example, Bower 35mm f/1.4 and Rokinon 35mm f/1.4 in the US.
Indeed, the South-Korean lens manufacturer Samyang Optics offers its lenses to different organizations like Vivitar, Falcon, Rokinon, Walimex, Bower, and Pro-Optic, which re-package the lens and engrave their logos/add labels and sell them.
While the lens is the very same, these brands are at times sold at different value focuses as well (most likely because of differences in bundling). The lens I tried for this review is the “Samyang” rendition, apparently branded and packaged by the first maker.
The Samyang 35mm f/1.4 is designed for photographers who do not need to bother with auto-adjustment and need to get a fast aperture lens for various requirements like landscape, engineering, road, and travel photography.
At shy of $500, the lens is a great contrast with brand lenses from Nikon, Canon, and Sony that all sell their accessory of grade 35mm f/1.4 lenses at around the $1,500 value range. The Samyang 35mm f/1.4 is intended to fit both APS-C/DX and full-outline/FX sensors so that it will fit cameras like Nikon D7100 (with a comparable field of view as a 52.5mm lens) and D800.
The Samyang brand is moderately new in the DSLR lens market. The brand got known after its 24mm and 85mm lenses that were released in the 2011-2012 time period got a great deal of recommendation for their superb sharpness and performance when contrasted with the Nikon and Canon forms.
From that point forward, Samyang has been advancing its name in the photography world by delivering new deal lenses for different camera mounts, including mirrorless. For instance, the as of late declared 16mm f/2.0 lens is intended explicitly for APS-C, and Micro Four Thirds mounts, focusing on the quickly developing mirrorless market.
Is the Samyang 35mm f/1.4 a deal when contrasted with other 35mm lenses? How can it perform open and when closed down? How can it be handled? In this review, I will make a valiant effort to address these and different inquiries and show you tests from the lens, with tests against the Nikon 35mm f/1.4G, Sigma 35mm f/1.4, and Zeiss 35mm f/1.4 lenses.
Manual Focus Assist Accuracy
While the Samyang 35mm f/1.4 AS UMC is a manual focus lens, it’s an emphasis chip on the lens that speaks with the focus framework in your camera to help get the appropriate spotlight regarding your matter.
When you look through the viewfinder, you will see that the camera will disclose what direction to move the center to get a legitimate focus using the left and suitable bolts. When the camera believes that the focus is correct, it’s a circle rather than left/right bolts.
This correspondence with the lens implies that while the lens doesn’t self-adjust, it should be precisely aligned for an appropriate manual focus activity. Sadly, that is the place where I regularly discover issues with quick aperture manual focus lenses.
Numerous lenses, including the Samyang 35mm f/1.4, are frequently inappropriately adjusted, implying that you could wind up with out-of-focus pictures while believing the camera’s manual focus helps highlight. The Samyang 35mm f/1.4 I had absolutely had focus alignment issues since I could not acquire any in-focus shots when using manual focus help.
The inspiring news is, you can change and tune this conduct through the equivalent “AF Fine Tune” feature of your camera that you use to tune lenses with self-adjustability. However, this element is restricted to +20 to – 20 changes, which may not be sufficient if the lens test is seriously altered.
I firmly suggest checking manual focus precision when you initially accept your lens duplicate, so you could change; it’s a different one if required. The method for checking focus exactness is quite direct – set your camera + lens on the amount, fire up live view, zoom in to a nearby distance to your subject, then, at that point, move the focus ring until the subject is in excellent core interest.
Then, turn off live-view and attempt to half-press your screen button. If the focus pointer shows a green spot, then, at that point, you have a great idea to go with. If you see a bolt, use the AF Fine Tune feature to re-adjust the lens and try once more. If manual focus help doesn’t work past +20 or – 20, your lens is badly adjusted and should be returned or changed.
Lens Handling and Build
The Samyang 35mm f/1.4 AS USM doesn’t have a similar muscular build as the Sigma 35mm f/1.4 or the amazingly assembled all-metal Zeiss 35mm f/1.4 lenses. Its external barrel is wholly made of plastic, and the only metal part is by all accounts the lens mount.
While the external shell is plastic, I am confident the lens has a lot of metal inside since it is pretty much as important as its Nikon and Sigma partners.
Remember that while metal build is helpful for assurance and wear, fantastic plastic doesn’t expand and recoil; however, much metal does in outrageous climate conditions. So there are benefits and impediments to both.
However long the focus/zoom rings are made of metal (and other inward segments that move during AF or zoom tasks), a plastic barrel can regularly benefit the unfavorable climate, particularly handling it without gloves.
I specifically called attention to focus/zoom and moving parts since, supposing that those are made of plastic; they tend to get “tacky” in amazingly cold temperatures and might break if moved forcibly.
I shot with the Samyang 35mm f/1.4 in close frosty temperatures in February, and it functioned admirably with no issues when focusing. However, I don’t know how well the lens would do at very cold temperatures.
While I didn’t have issues with cold temperatures, it doesn’t imply that you can take this lens to forest or open it to rain and anticipate that it should perform. The lens is certainly not climate fixed, and it likely will begin to misbehave if you use it in extremely wet conditions.
The lens comes up without an elastic covering on the lens mount, which implies that dust and other debris and stray particles might wind up in your camera if you don’t keep the lens mount clean.
The lens handles and equilibriums well when connected to a camera. The focus ring was somewhat stiff from the outset but improved following half a month of use. As I would see it, one great benefit of this lens is its great 77mm filter string. When contrasted with other 35mm lenses in this review, the single lens in the collection includes a 77mm filter string.
This implies that you can use your standard isolating, ND, and filters without agonizing over purchasing more modest filters or step-up rings. As far as I might be concerned, this is a huge convenience factor when working in the field.
As should be obvious, the lens’s barrel is tall, with or without the petal-type plastic hood. Note that being manual focus lenses, the Samyang 35mm f/1.4 and the Zeiss Distagon T* 35mm f/1.4 both have aperture rings. If you notice that your camera can’t identify the lens, ensure that the aperture is set to the base aperture of f/22. Sadly, there is no aperture lock on this lens, so you may need to manage the present circumstance now and then.
Build and Ergonomics
Build quality is like the other Samyang lenses we’ve looked into. The 85mm f/1.4 lens is produced using a combination of metal and polycarbonate plastic, with a strong metal mounting plate.
In contrast to the fisheye lenses, the 85mm f/1.4 has a traditional lens cap that clasps onto the front of the lens and can be fitted with or without the provided lens hood set up. The round and hollow lens hood switches over the lens barrel.
The focusing ring starts about 22 mm behind the front of the lens. It’s around 30 mm wide with a 20 mm wide double band of furrowed elastic that begins around 5 mm behind its driving edge. The focusing ring turns quickly and is very much damped.
The measurement distance spans range from 0.2 meters up to two meters, stretching out by 0.3, 0.5, 1.0, and 3 meters to 7 meters and then bouncing from 7 meters to 15 meters before arriving at the greatness setting.
A depth of field scale is engraved on the small, stationary segment of the barrel simply behind the focusing ring. A small red band isolates it from the aperture ring, which conveys.
The aperture ring is stepped with nine f-quits, going from f/1.4 to f/22. As you turn it, it passes across 14 snap stops, which happen at 1/2 EV stretches, aside from the two ample and two smallest aperture settings, where the spans are 1 EV steps.
Inward focusing saves the length of the lens constant for all distance settings, and the front component doesn’t support, empowering essential point connections to be used. In contrast to the fisheye lenses, this lens acknowledges filters through a 72 mm measurement screw string.
We used the Olympus OM-D E-M5 camera we used for our tests, and we tracked down the ideal choice to shoot with the camera’s Aperture need (A) mode. The camera could identify changes in picture brilliance as the lens was stopped down and change openings as needed.
In exceptionally soft lighting, we thought that it was valuable to build the brilliance level of the EVF, although, under most conditions, it was easier to focus at full aperture (yet with a marginally splendid perspective regarding the matter) and then stop down. Changing the ISO setting likewise allowed some control over picture brilliance in low light levels.
Our tests showed the lens verged on collection assumptions for the 16-megapixel sensor in the OM-D E-M5 camera. The highest resolution happened in the focal point of the field at around the f/5.6 aperture setting, where edge resolution was likewise sufficient to fulfill most possible users.
Focus resolution at f/1.4 was acceptable, but the edges and corners were somewhat delicate. This isn’t an issue for representation where the premium is concentrated on the focal point of the edge, and edge relaxing can assist with coordinating photographers’ consideration there.
Both focus and edge resolution expanded consistently to a top at f/5.6, after which diffraction started to produce results.
The most convincing motivations to purchase the Samyang 85mm f/1.4 AS IF UMC M4/3 lens are its reasonable price and how it is the quickest medium-zooming lens available for M4/3 cameras.
It’s likewise the quickest medium-tele prime lens for Sony’s E-mount and Fujifilm’s X-mount cameras.
Samsung has an 85mm f/1.4 auto-adjust lens for its NX cameras, but it’s valued at AU$1,200, more than double the expense of the Samyang 85mm f/1.4 lens. That is a high cost to pay for auto-adjusting.
The main disadvantages of this lens are manual focusing and the absence of digital contacts that can be ‘read’ and used by the camera.
If you can live with these, this lens generally addresses excellent incentives for your money.