Samyang 35mm F1.4 ‘outperforms’ Canon 35mm F1.4 L

Above: Footage shot with the Samyang 35mm F1.4 on a Canon 550D.

Buy it now – $575

Reviews have started to come in about Samyang’s promising 35mm F1.4 lens, which is a full frame lens that can be used on the 5D Mark II, APS-C and Micro Four Thirds.

Unusually for a Canon mount lens, the Canon EF version has a depth of field scale and manual aperture ring, so you can use it on a 600D and GH2 whilst being able to adjust the aperture on both even via the Micro Four Thirds adapter ring.

From Photozine.de:

Samyang continues to surprise us regarding the quality of their recently released products. The full format Samyang 35mm f/1.4 AS UMC is capable of delivering a very high quality straight from f/1.4. Stopping down boosts the contrast whereas the resolution improves to excellent results at medium aperture settings. It may be a surprising news but this is somewhat superior to the mighty Canon EF 35mm f/1.4 USM L. The Canon lens has still a certain advantage in terms of contrast at f/1.4 though. There’s a some vignetting at max. aperture but it’s not an issue anymore at smaller apertures. Distortions are generally nothing to worry about. The quality of the bokeh is a bit on the nervous side but that’s a fate that it shares with the Canon L lens actually. The amount of bokeh fringing is typical for a lens in this class.

Currently, as was the Voigtlander Nokton 25mm F0.95 upon release, the Samyang is curiously only available from their Polish distributor Foto-Tip on eBay. At the moment they have plenty available but I recommend securing one now because the price is sure to go up to match performance when quantities run low, and it’s been selling very quickly so far.

Samyang also do a 85mm F1.4 (also known as the Rokinon Digital) which is one of my favourite focal length / aperture combinations especially on the GH2 where it behaves like a super fast telephoto lens. On full frame it is more like a portrait focal length with dreamy levels of depth of field. I have found some under the retail price, you can grab those here for $299 each (in Nikon mount) and here in Canon mount for the usual price of $375. I’d go for the Nikon mount even if you have a Canon body since you can adapt it with a simple $10 adapter ring, and there are no electronic contacts or AF to worry about anyway. Like the 35mm, the 85mm has a manual aperture ring.

Source: German website Photozine.de via Sony Alpha Rumors