Samyang 85 mm lens review
The Samyang 85 mm is an extraordinary lens which 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 which are 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 which 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!
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.
The take on the design by its creators have 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 and focus which fastens up lens change as iris motors and follow focus units don’t have to be re-positioned and the 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, as well as for Canon, Fuji, Samsung, and Sony mirrorless cameras. It is not optically stabilized, but it’s a common feature in 85mm prime lenses.
It also comes with a reversible lens hood and its lens barrel is constructed from very good quality plastic. Its build feels similar to the material used in expensive 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 measure 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 which 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.
Additionally, there are no click stops, thus users can adjust the diaphragm gradually 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, thus during the shoot, the focus puller can sit on either side of the camera
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 when it comes to 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 very good as we tested it sharpness by pairing it with the 36-megapixel Nikon – see on eBay. 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.
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?
• 1× Samyang 85mm T1.5 VDSLRII Cine Lens for Sony E-Mount
• 1× Lens Pouch
• 1× Front and Rear Lens Caps
• 1× Removable Lens Hood
• 1× 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 at 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 definitely become our favorite affordable 85mm lens, as it gives both crisper images and sharp focus in a much more reasonable price than other brands.
So don’t miss the opportunity to get your hands on this beauty – see on eBay – to make your photography adventures much more versatile.