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Samyang AF 35mm f/1.8 FE Lens Review - Performance

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Samyang AF 35mm f/1.8 FE Performance

0.3 sec | f/16.0 | 68.0 mm | ISO 100
 

 

The central sharpness is excellent from f/1.8 all the way through to f/11 and still very good at f/16 and f/22.

The edges are good at f/1.8 and f/2, snapping in at f/2.8 and being excellent from there to f/11. Sharpness is still very good at f/16, but only fair at f/22.

It is impressive and I think we can work with that; in summary, the sharpness can be considered as excellent almost everywhere in the range of apertures. A great result.

Samyang AF 35mm f/1.8 FE MTF Charts

How to read our MTF charts

The blue column represents readings from the centre of the picture frame at the various apertures and the green is from the edges.

The scale on the left side is an indication of actual image resolution and sharpness as LW/PH and is described in detail above. The taller the column, the better the lens performance.

For this review, the lens was tested on a Sony A7R III using Imatest. Want to know more about how we review lenses?

 

CA (Chromatic Aberration) is very much under control centrally. At the edges, things go awry somewhat and fringing can be seen on images that have content that shows it up, such as branches against a bright sky. However, this is with camera corrections switched off, so the answer lies in software, either in-camera or in post.

 

Samyang AF 35mm f/1.8 FE Chromatic Aberration Charts

How to read our CA charts

Chromatic aberration (CA) is the lens' inability to focus on the sensor or film all colours of visible light at the same point. Severe chromatic aberration gives a noticeable fringing or a halo effect around sharp edges within the picture. It can be cured in software.

Apochromatic lenses have special lens elements (aspheric, extra-low dispersion etc) to minimize the problem, hence they usually cost more.

For this review, the lens was tested on a Sony A7R IIIusing Imatest.

 

Barrel distortion is present at -1.62%, not unexpected in a 35mm lens and correctable in software if required.

Bokeh, the smooth gradation of the out of focus areas in an image, is not quite as gorgeous as a telephoto lens might be, but nonetheless very pleasant. Putting the background out of focus is more difficult anyway with wider lenses as there tends to be more depth of field.

Flare is virtually non-existent and even in the most challenging situations there is no obvious loss of contrast, nor are there any artefacts.

Vignetting, also correctable in software if required, is quite obvious wide open, steadily reducing as we stop down. However, the corner darkening at wider apertures could be quite useful, giving an appealing look to images where the central subject matter is enhanced.

 

Aperture Vignetting
f/1.8 -2.5 stops
f/2 -1.7
f/2.8 -1.7
f/4 -1.6
f/5.6 -1.3
f/8 -1.1
f/11 -1.1
f/16 -1.1
f/22 -1.1


Samyang AF 35mm f/1.8 FE Sample Photos

 

Samyang AF 35mm f/1.8 FE Aperture range

You can view additional images in the Equipment Database, where you can add your own review, photos and product ratings.


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Comments


OGee 4
23 Sep 2020 5:47PM
Thanks for the informative review. This Samyang or a used Sony FE 1.8/35mm for a few quid more? Thoughts?!
25 Sep 2020 7:41PM
Thanks for the review, as always one of the first (if not the first) to be published.
How it compares to the Samyang f1.4? Do you think the f1.4 it's worth the extraq size and weight over the f1.8 (and 100Ä more where I live)?
25 Sep 2020 8:46PM
@OGee - I haven't reviewed the Sony lens so can't really comment on that.

@MarcM - The cost difference is for 1/3 stop and the weight and bulk increase needs to be offset against that. It really depends on whether the individual needs the extra speed and that justifies the extra cost and bulk. I know what I would do, but that's not really saying anything about what your own requirements are. These things are such a personal choice.
25 Sep 2020 10:38PM
Thanks for your reply.
Well, if the image quality is about the same overall (specially bokeh quality), then i would have no doubt, i would go for the f1.8. I don't care for the 1/3 of stop difference. Thing is I don't want to trade too much image quality to go lighter... On the other hand, I'm assuming the autofocus is better in the f1. 8, am I correct?

I recently bought the Samyang 35mm F1.4, and I'm reasonably happy with it, but I still can return it and buy the new f1.8 if it's the better option.
26 Sep 2020 12:34AM
@MarcM - I doubt that you will see much difference in image quality between the two lenses nor do I think there's much difference in AF between the two. They are both generally excellent. Hope that helps you decide!

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