Samyang lenses

 

Samyang lenses

Last update:01/07/2014

There are rumors about Samyang makes AF lenses in the future. Up to now (June 2014) all Samyang lenses are manual focus, manual aperture lenses (with separate aperture ring). These lenses are available in multiple mounts see at the table at the bottom of the page.
samyang lenses

Samyang lens table

Samyang now makes lenses for multiple cameras systems. If you confused which lens Samyang lenses can be used for which cameras system the table below helps to clear up. This can change Samyang can make lenses for more mount, this is the state of June 2014.

Legend – Samyang lenses

ED – Exra low dispersion glass, like UD in Canon or ED in Nikon
UMC – Ultra multi-coating against flare and ghosts
AS – Glass aspherical element
IF – Internal focusing
Tilt shift – this lenses helps to make straight lines for architecture or landscape photography.
Mirror lens – little different than normal lenses more like telescopes, optical quality is not so high,
but more compact design
Fisheyes – Ultra wide angle lens with strongly distorted edges

Name Mounts Size Weight Compatible Filter size
Samyang 7.5mm Panasonic, Olympus 48.3x60mm 190g Micro Four Thirds None
Samyang 8mm f/2.8 fisheye Canon M, Sony E,
Fuji X, Samsung NX
57-64.8x60mm 280-290g Aps-C None
Samyang 8mm f/3.5 fisheye Canon EOS, Canon M, Nikon F
Sony alfa and E mount,
Pentax K, Fuji X, Samsung NX
Four Thirds, Micro Four Thirds,
Nikon AE
74.8-103.2x75mm 411-516g Aps-C None
Samyang 10mm f/2.8 Canon EOS, Canon M, Nikon F
Sony alfa and E mount,
Pentax K, Fuji X, Samsung NX
Four Thirds, Micro Four Thirds,
103.6-130.9x87mm 580-620g Aps-C None
Samyang 12mm f/2 Canon M, Sony E
Fuji X, Micro Four Thirds
Samsung NX
51.6-59.1×72.5mm 235-260g Aps-C 67mm
Samyang 14mm f/2.8 Canon Nikon Pentax Sony
Micro 4/3 Fuji Samsung
93.6-122.4 530-575g Full frame None
Samyang 16mm f/2 Canon, Nikon, Sony, Pentax,
Fuji, Micro Four Thirds, Samsung
86.9-115.7/83mm 570-615g Aps-C 77mm

Samyang 24mm f/1.4

Canon, Nikon, Sony, Pentax,
Fuji, Micro Four Thirds, Samsung
95-123.8x83mm 565-630g Full frame 77mm

Samyang 24mm f/3.5 Tilt shift

Canon, Nikon, Sony, Pentax,
Fuji, Micro Four Thirds, Samsung
109-136/86mm 646-745g Full frame 82mm
Samyang 35mm f/1.4 Canon, Nikon, Sony, Pentax,
Fuji, Micro Four Thirds, Samsung
109-137.8×83 690-780g Full frame 77mm
Samyang 85mm f/1.4 Canon, Nikon, Sony, Pentax,
Fuji, Micro Four Thirds, Samsung
72.2-101/78mm 510-610g Full frame 72mm
Samyang 300mm mirror f/6.3 Canon, Nikon, Sony, Pentax,
Fuji, Micro Four Thirds, Samsung
73.6-81.4×64.5mm 311-318g Aps-C 25,5mm (rear)
Introduction – Samyang lenses

I long before decided to check Samyang lenses because of their unique characteristics. I don’t really understand what are the drawbacks and positives of this lenses and I decided to check some of them in reality. I spoke about the following lenses:

8/3.5
14/2.8
24/1.4
35/1.4
85/1.4

What common about theses lenses ? They have the following characteristics:

  • prime lenses
  • manual focusing
  • relatively moderate price
  • high picture quality
  • good built quality
  • good brightness

I checked them on Canon mount. Some of this lenses got very positive reviews this draws my attention. What to expect here ? In exchange of the lower price and good picture quality we loose autofocus and electrical connection with the camera.

Autofocus:

This lenses has not the autofocus function. What does it mean practically? Hard to photograph anything that is moving. I don’t say is impossible, but lot more difficult. For example kids, animals, pets, etc. I don’t think is hard to photograph a not so speedy boat for example. As I see this is not a big problem with wide lenses, and can be much bigger problem with longer lenses. Samyang also has some longer mirror and manual focus lenses, here the problem even bigger. For example if we set up the 8/3.5mm fisheye on a 30D to 1.1 m and f5.6 then everything is going to be in focus from 0.39m to infinity. The focusing problem with the fish-eye only occurs in shorter distances. The situation is not so easy with a telephoto, if we want to use the lens light gathering and bokeh qualities. Lets say we use the same setup 30D and a 85mm lens at f2 with a distance of 4m. In that case the depth of field is 16 cm. If we miss a little we can have a useless (out of focus) shot. If we use this lenses for fun perhaps we can accept that because of the lens good brigthness, sharpness and perhaps lower price.

No electrical connection:

Good news metering works with canon cameras, but not so easy to set up the correct aperture, I needed to adjust frequently, perhaps more with the wide lenses. Cannot check Exif data in computer, no pixel-peeping, just guess which aperture, shutter speed etc. Bad news for pixel peepers.

No auto aperture

There is one exception of what I wrote below, the Samyang 35mm f/1.4 reported to have auto aperture function with Canon camera bodies. Other lenses are manual.
In auto aperture lenses, for example Canon lenses, we always look through the open lens through the viewfinder. The camera only close the iris when we make the shot. In manual lenses we must close the iris not the camera automatically.  If we want to make a photograph at f5.6, we manually close the iris to f5.6. To close the iris manually is not  a big thing, but in dark conditions hard to focus through the darker viewfinder, perhaps first focusing, after closing down the aperture, and make the shot. In better light conditions it is not a problem.

Built quality:

According to my perception the built quality of this lenses are perfect, not to heavy, strong, and very nice manual focus operation. I wish all my canon lenses would built that way. When I say perfect doesn’t mean to drop down on the concrete. Perhaps some Canon survive that, I don’t know with the Samyang.

Optical qualities:

Here the most interesting qualities for me sharpness, contrast and colours. Wide open the f1.4 lenses not so contrasty. Resolution/sharpness is very fine more of this lenses if we stop down a little. Overall optical qualities are very good. I see no cromatic aberration any of this lenses. The colours are fine but not so good as canon L-s.

Focal length:

For Full frame 35 mm can be used as a one walkaround lens solution, 24 mm for APs-C. The 8 and 14mm lenses are good for Full frame and APS-C as well, according to me these are the best value lenses in the Samyang line-up. The 85 mm is a good focal length for portraits on APS-C.

Bottom-line:

Very welcome addition this new, more affordable, high quality lenses to Dsrl and mirrorless photography. Perhaps not for everyone, because lack of autofocus can be a problem for some.

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