Samyang AF 85mm f/1.4
Samyang brings its latest ultra-wide aperture autofocus prime lens to Canon’s full-frame EF mount.
Can it beat the stiff competition?
FOLLOWING ITS recent success with a line of autofocus lenses for the Sony system, Samyang has continued branching out into Canon’s EF mount, with the AF 85mm f/1.4 EF. This latest release is a more budget-friendly answer to both Canon’s own and Sigma’s Art versions, promising an ultrawide aperture, excellent build quality and the all-important autofocus compatibility.
After previously testing the 14mm f/2.8, which really impressed us, we were eager to try out this telephoto offering to see if it could manage to keep the momentum going.
The construction here feels very robust. It uses a tough plastic design that allows for a lighter final product, unlike some of the earlier lenses which utilised metal. It features UMC (Ultra Multi Coating) to reduce flare and ghosting, and is built up of nine elements in seven groups, including one aspherical element. Finally, Samyang has included weather sealing, which is a welcome touch in any lens, and really helps to make this feel as though it’s built to last.
The 77mm filter thread diameter, which houses the beautiful large front element, gives this lens a reassuringly bulky look. Plus, at 72mm long, it’s incredibly well balanced in-hand, feeling more ergonomically-minded than Sigma’s massive – but excellent – 85mm f/1.4 Art lens. The body looks sleek, though omits any unnecessary bells and whistles. You’ll find a red ring, to denote the Samyang lineage, a focus ring and manual to autofocus switch, but little else.
The biggest question you’re asking right now should be ‘how’s the autofocus?’. Since Samyang is relatively new to the game, it’s a fair question, and one that can be met with a resoundingly positive answer. We paired it with a Canon 6D MKII, and found focusing on subjects was impressively quick and accurate. We used this lens at a recent Scottish wedding, and were amazed at how well it was keeping up with the revellers as they
Above You can toggle between manual and autofocus thanks to a simple switch on the side of the barrel.
Right 85mm is a popular focal length for portraits, allowing you to easily throw the background out of focus.