Samyang 35mm f/1.4 ED AS UMC Lens Review

Samyang 35mm f/1.4 ED AS UMC Handling and features

£380 is peanuts for any lens with a maximum aperture of f/1.4, but even so, Samyang haven't scrimped on the build quality of this lens. High quality plastics with a lightly textured finish have been used for much of the lens barrel, with a metallic red ring placed just after the aperture ring, denoting this is one of Samyang's premium lenses. The lens has a good weight to it, but isn't overly heavy and it balances perfectly on the Nikon D700 used for testing.

The smooth manual focusing ring is a pleasure to use, with damping that is neither too stiff, not too light. Those who shoot video on a DSLR and tend to use manual focus, may find this lens ideal due to its very good manual focusing action and ability to isolate a subject through shallow depth of field. Closest focus is 30cm, which should be ideal for shooting in cramped environments or even for the occasional close up, where the wide angle will allow your subject to be placed in its surroundings. Focusing is performed by moving the rear group of elements, so the lens doesn't change length and the 77mm filter thread does not rotate, which is ideal for use with polarising and graduated filters.

A metering chip with electronic contacts is included on the version tested, so matrix metering is supported on all Nikon cameras. The lens has to be set at f/22 to operate normally on modern Nikon cameras, but no lock is provided to hold the aperture in this position. No such issues should be encountered with the basic version, as no metering information is transferred to the camera.

A useful and clear hyperfocal distance scale is included, and a hard stop is provided for infinity focus, which should suit those who wish to use this lens for astronomical photography. A lightweight plastic hood is provided with the lens, which fits snugly on the provided bayonet fitting. Unfortunately the rotation of the bayonet fitting is in the same direction as the lens needs to be turned to remove it from Nikon cameras, which often results in the hood coming loose when changing lenses.

Samyang 35mm Lens

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