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Samyang AF 35mm f/2.8 FE Review

John Riley reviews this new Samyang AF 35mm f/2.8 FE lens for Sony E mount cameras.


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Samyang 35mm F2,8 Vertical View

Samyang has an enviable range of manual focus lenses at reasonable prices and has been expanding this into the world of autofocus. The AF 14mm f/2.8 FE and AF 50mm f/1.4 FE lenses are joined here by the new AF 35mm f/2.8 FE optic, again designed for use on the Sony full frame mirrorless and crop frame mirrorless cameras. Reviewed here using the new Sony A9 full-frame body, we can see how this classic and versatile focal length performs.

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Samyang AF 35mm f/2.8 FE Handling and Features

Samyang 35mm F2,8 On Sony A9

We start our tour of the lens at the unusual bayonet fit lens hood. This is a very compact hood that fits around the 49mm filter thread and is basically also a lens cap. However, in common with a couple of similar designs from other marques, the centre of the “hood” is a small 40.5mm miniature lens cap. This is a better design than the screw thread versions seen elsewhere, in that the cap has clip fastening, which is much faster to use. Although the effective hood seems quite shallow, in practice it works very well in shielding the lens.

The only other feature on the lens is the manual focus ring, which is very much of a similar size to many classic 35mm lenses. It is electronic in operation and works smoothly. The AF of the lens is so good though that the need for manual focus is probably much reduced. AF locks on reliably and is fast and very quiet. Focusing is down to 0.35m (1.15 feet), giving a maximum magnification of 0.12x. This is around the norm for a lens of this specification.

Samyang 35mm F2,8 On Sony A9 Top View

The overall finish of the lens is excellent. It also balances very well on the Sony A9 body, making a fairly compact full frame camera, perfect for street photography and general travel. Weight is a very modest 85g.

Optical construction is 7 elements in 6 groups. There are 2 Aspheric and 1 High Refractive Index elements, plus UMC (Ultra Multi-Coating). The 7 diaphragm blades are rounded for improved bokeh.

In use, this proves to be a beautiful lens. The image is crisp and the handling so straightforward that it is refreshing to have such a simple design, without any of the “bells and whistles” that some lenses have. There is nothing to get in the way of the photography, something that may well please many involved in street photography and photojournalism.

Samyang 35mm F2,8 Rear Oblique View


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Comments


20 Mar 2019 10:48PM
The lens has one important flaw, and it's even described in the manual. Which makes it hard to understand, why NO reviewer mentions it: "Use the SteadyShot function after setting it manually. If automatic is set, the product may malfunction." This makes the lens worthless for street photography for me, because I often have to change lenses quickly.

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