Samyang 85 mm T1.5 VDSLR II view

Samyang 85 mm lens review

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The Samyang 85 mm is an extraordinary lens that utilizes a multi-layer coating process to produces consistent color rendition. The lens is perfectly compatible with Sony E-Mount and offers industry-standard iris rings and geared focus similar to other high-end lenses in the market.

It has all the common features of Cine lenses but also has some additional perks. It has the focus and aperture scales marked on both sides of the lens as it aids focus pullers who need them both. This 85mm lens also produces a 28.3° angle-of-view if combined with a 35mm SLR or a full-frame sensor camera.

Moreover, it produces sharply defined images that have minimum chromatic aberrations and distortion. It also provides a minimum focus distance of 3’6,” which is exceptional.

Additionally, the removable lens hood that comes with it is also really beneficial as it gives flare protection if working without a matte box. There is much more this lens has to offer, so read along.

Let us look at the features of this 85 mm T1.5 VDSLR II by Samyang in detail so that you can fully understand the working of this amazing lens!

Samyang 85 mm review

The Samyang 85mm T1.5 VDSLR II is proof that users don’t have to break the bank to purchase a wide-aperture 85mm prime lens. This makes it a favorite of portrait photographers and serves that purpose well on both APS-C and full-frame cameras.

Samyang 85 mm T1.5 VDSLR II

Its creators’ take on the design has resulted in some softness at t/1.5 but provides crisp images when stopped down. The overall built offers a mechanical and tactile feel when adjusting focus and makes it very sturdy and strong. The design is also geared perfectly for focus pulling systems.

It comes with an ultra multi-coat, which minimizes flare and ghosting, and it has been color-matched to a standard as well. It also has industry-standard gearing for aperture rings. Focus, which fastens up lens change as iris motors and follow focus units, doesn’t have to be re-positioned de-clicked aperture ring leads to smooth iris pulls.

Regardless of the brand name, it has the same barrel style and optics as the high-end lenses. Secondly, it is compatible with every major camera system, including Canon, Nikon, Sony SLRs, Pentax, and Canon, Fuji, Samsung, and Sony mirrorless cameras. It is not optically stabilized, but it’s a common feature in 85mm prime lenses.

Reversible lens hood

It also comes with a reversible lens hood, and its lens barrel is constructed from excellent quality plastic. Its build feels similar to the material used for inexpensive Nikon lenses, and the feel of the metal barrel is also top-notch.

The design of this lens in this Samyang’s VDSLR series is for cinema use. That is why its maximum aperture is measured in t-stops instead of more common f-stops. This measures the actual light transmitted through the glass. The design is also classic and easy to hold and use.

Moreover, it has a geared focus ring that allows users to use an accessory knob for pulling focus. It functions smoothly and provides a long throw, which enables precise adjustment of focus. The aperture diaphragm also has an eight-blade design, which gives a circular form as it is stopped down.

Samyang 85 mm T1.5 VDSLR II connexion

Additionally, there are no click stops. Thus, users can gradually adjust the diaphragm, which is a big plus as now the amount of incoming light and depth of field can be changed when recording video. Also, the aperture and distance scales are printed on both sides, and thus during the shoot, the focus puller can sit on either side of the camera.

Better for image quality

The lens focuses to 3.28 feet, which is normal for an f/1.4 85mm. It is behind some other expensive lenses in terms of close focus, but the Samyang is better for image quality. It is a good trade-off as for a little more focus, you have to pay a lot more.

The image quality is also excellent as we tested its sharpness by pairing it with the 36-megapixel Nikon. The results were excellent on both the 16-megapixel sensor and 24-megapixel sensor but noticeably soft in a 36-megapixel image.

There is some chromatic aberration at f/1.4, which is a visible color fringing in high-contrast areas of the frame, but the all-around quality is good. The sharpness dramatically improves to 2,590 lines.

The performance is even from edge to edge with an even more steady improvement as you stoop down further. The best thing is that this Samyang shows no distortion, and the illumination is also fairly even from corner to corner at narrower apertures.

There might be some noticeable dimming at the edges, but it’s not dramatic and can be reduced with editing.

Samyang 85 mm specifications:

  • Focal Length: 85mm
  • Format: Full Frame
  • Lens Mount: Sony E
  • Max T-Stop: T1.5
  • Min T-Stop: T22/
  • Full Frame: 28.3°
  • Diagonal Angle of View: Super 35: 19.1°
  • Min Focus Distance from Image Plane: 106.7 cm / 42″
  • Iris Blades: 8
  • Optical Design: 9 Elements in 7 Groups
  • Length: 100.7 mm / 3.97″
  • Weight: 605.0 g / 21.3 oz.

What’s in the box?

  • Samyang 85mm T1.5 VDSLRII Cine Lens for Sony E-Mount
  • Lens Pouch
  • Front and Rear Lens Caps
  • Removable Lens Hood
  • Limited 1-Year Warranty


  • It fits perfectly
  • Very less cost.
  • Focusing is smooth
  • Aperture control is solid.
  • Easy to use
  • It shows no distortion.


  • It has a minimum focusing distance of 1.1 meters.
  • Some noticeable dimming at the edges
  • Some chromatic aberration


So, all in all, it is a solid value for money as it costs way less than its competitors and offers practically the same features. That is why this has become our favorite affordable 85mm lens, as it gives both crisper images and sharp focus at a much more reasonable price than other brands.

So don’t miss the opportunity to get your hands on this beauty <- Affiliate Link 🙂 to make your photography adventures much more versatile.

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