Samyang 85mm f/1.4 AS IF UMC Lens Review

Samyang 85mm f/1.4 AS IF UMC Handling and features

Even with the bargain basement price of £240, Samyang have managed to put together a lens that feels very well screwed together, thanks to the use of high quality plastics and a metal lens mount. A gold strip around the rubberised focusing ring finished the look of the lens off nicely. Weighing 513g, this lens isn't overly heavy for an 85mm f/1.4 and it balances nicely on the Nikon D700 used for testing.

The manual focusing ring on this lens is peculiarly tight, needing quite a bit of force to move. This can make applying fine adjustments a pain, especially if you're in a hurry. Closest focus is one metre, which is fine for most portraits, but can be a little limiting for general use. The lens takes 72mm filters and as focusing is performed internally, the lens doesn't extend and the filter thread doesn't rotate, which makes this lens 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.

There is no hyperfocal distance scale, or hard infinity stop, which is unusual for a lens like this, which uses no low dispersion glass in its optical design.

Samyang 85mm f/1.4

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