Samyang 85mm f/1.4 IF MC £310, $300

Here’s a prime lens that won’t make your left hand feel left out – you’ll need it to fo­cus man­u­ally!

NPhoto - - Test Team -

Un­like all the Nikon and Sigma lenses on test, both Samyang mod­els lack aut­o­fo­cus, so fo­cus­ing is a strictly man­ual af­fair. This is typ­i­cal of Samyang lenses. Samyang’s Nikon-fit lenses tend to be more high-tech than the firm’s vari­ants for other makes of cam­era. Key Nikon-fit lens en­hance­ments in­clude elec­tronic con­nec­tions that en­able con­trol of the aper­ture di­rect from the cam­era, rather than from an aper­ture ring on the lens, plus ac­tu­a­tion of the fo­cus con­fir­ma­tion lamp in the cam­era viewfinder.

The lack of aut­o­fo­cus aside, build qual­ity is im­pres­sive for such a rea­son­ably priced lens. The fo­cus ring is won­der­fully smooth and pre­cise in op­er­a­tion, and a joy to use. Phys­i­cally, the Samyang is a lit­tle smaller and lighter in weight than the com­pet­ing Nikon and Sigma 85mm lenses on test, and it has a smaller 72mm fil­ter thread.


The fo­cal length is ideal for por­trai­ture on an FX body, in which the qual­ity of de­fo­cused ar­eas is gen­er­ally im­pres­sive. How­ever, we found that high­lights tend to take on green ha­los when us­ing the very widest aper­ture. As with the Nikon 50mm f/1.4 lens, out­right sharp­ness could be bet­ter.

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