Samyang 35mm f/1.4 AS UMC £450, $426
A wide-angle FX-format lens that gives a more standard viewing angle on DX bodies
Despite having the joint shortest focal length of any lens on test (along with the Sigma 35mm), this Samyang is physically the longest, measuring 111mm. Even so, at 660g it is, in fact, somewhat lighter than some of the other lenses. It shares the same impressive build quality as the Samyang 85mm, along with electrical connections that enable aperture control and focus confirmation. Again, focusing is purely manual.
Another similarity with the Samyang 85mm lens is that it has an eight-blade diaphragm, whereas the other lenses in the group have nine blades. Even so, the aperture remains well rounded when stopping down from the widest setting.
The lens is mainly intended as a wide-angle optic for full-frame cameras but, with an effective focal length of 52.5mm on DX bodies, there’s also a case for using it as a fast standard prime lens on cameras like the D5300 and D7100. The only real minus point is that it’s quite big and bulky for a ‘standard’ prime.
Levels of sharpness and contrast are more impressive than with Samyang’s 85mm lens. However, when shooting from close in with a wide aperture to blur the background, defocused areas tend to lack smoothness.