The Samyang 85mm f1.4 is a manual focus prime lens, designed to give exceptional results at wide apertures. At f1.4 great images can be obtained, which is perfect for portraiture and low light shooting, particularly when mounted on a full frame DSLRs.
The Samyang 85mm is also suited to cropped sensors, including APS-C / DX sensors, when used on a cropped sensors it gives approximately 127mm focal length equivalent, or 135mm focal length equivalent prime lens on Canon cropped sensor DSLRs. Coupled with the fast f1.4 aperture gives an excellent portrait lens for tighter head shots or working from a distance with cropped sensor cameras, or for shooting in various low light conditions.
The bokeh (the character of the out-of-focus blur) is a primary concern for professionals choosing an ultra large aperture lens for shallow depth-of-field photography. The Samyang 85mm f1.4 lens design offers excellent bokeh quality of out-of-focus highlights when used near wide open such as at f/1.4 and f/2. Independent tests and users confirm the Samyang's beautiful bokeh character, surpassing lenses 4 times the price.
The lens optical construction comprises of 9 lenses divided into 7 optical groups with one aspheric lens element. The Samyang 85mm is designed with internal focusing (IF) meaning the lens does not increase in size when focusing. A further positive aspect to internal focusing is that the lens is much less likely to get dust inside, as opposed to external focusing (or zooming) lenses which can suck in dirt during use. The 8 bladed aperture design aids a great bokeh character at near wide open apertures.
The Samyang 85mm f/1.4 IF MC features Multi-coated lenses which aid the very high level of light transmission, and added resistance to flare and ghosting. It features a good sized manual focus ring and is perfectly adapted to most photographic applications (exclusive of sports or fast moving subjects) where manual focus is not an issue. Accurate for focus critical situations can be achieved through use of focusing in live view mode, available to most newer camera models. In practice users including professional photographers have found manual focus of the Samyang 85mm not to be an issue, even shooting at f1.4 with a very shallow depth of field in low light scenarios with static and slow moving subjects accurate focus can be achieved giving excellent results thought the image on full frame cameras.
There are also increasing numbers of users using DSLRs for filming and High Definition (HD) video and manual focus lenses allows the user to alter focus during filming. Many of the Samyang lenses (primarily for Canon EOS Mount, although some other mounts are possible) can also be specially ordered with uncoupled (de-clicked) manual aperture if the primary use of the lens if for video / film making where smooth changing the aperture is required during recording.
For general photography the standard coupled aperture is generally preferred to avoid accidental change of the aperture during photographic sessions or whilst focusing.
The Samyang 85mm f1.4 lens should be a serious consideration to all professional or amateur photographers requiring a fast prime lens, regardless of budget. When the low cost of the lens is considered it should not be overlooked for amateur use, or as a primary or secondary lens for professionals wanting a dedicated, high performing f/1.4 portrait lens.
- Manual focusing