Samyang AF 85mm f/1.4 FE Review - Verdict

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Samyang Af 85mm F1,4 On Sony A7III Front View
 

Value For Money

The Samyang AF 85mm f/1.4 FE lens is priced at £599. For comparison, let's have a look at other 85mm lenses to get a feel for the pricing and the various available options for Sony FE mount full frame camera bodies.

And also, in manual focus:

For more options have a look at the Top 21 Best Samyang Lenses, or have a look at the Top 29 Best Sony E / FE Mount Lenses.

 

Samyang AF 85mm f/1.4 FE Verdict

The Samyang AF 85mm f/1.4 FE is a lovely lens to use, from the moment we look at the images on the screen or through the viewfinder. Selective depth of field makes manual focusing a breeze, subjects sing out against a beautifully diffused background. The Samyang is also gloriously smooth in operation, totally unobtrusive and a real photographer's lens, where the camera becomes an extension of the photographer and does not intrude on the subject. The price is also very attractive, so Samyang fully deserves the accolade of Editor's Choice.

Samyang AF 85mm f/1.4 FE Pros

  • Excellent, even sharpness
  • Very low central CA
  • Modest vignetting
  • Minimal distortion
  • Fast, bright f/1.4 aperture
  • Fast and accurate AF
  • Excellent manufacturing quality
  • Very fair price
  • Weather sealing

Samyang AF 85mm f/1.4 FE Cons

  • Some edge CA
  • Closer focusing would be a bonus

Features4/5
Handling5/5
Performance5/5
Value5/5
Overall Verdict

Own this lens? Let us know what you think of it in the EQDB.


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Comments


29 Mar 2019 6:28PM
Why did you choose the 24MP Sony Alpha 7 III for this review whilst you used the 42MP Sony Alpha 7R II for the Sony FE 85mm f/1.8 and 85mm f/1.4 G Master, hence making any comparison impossible?
29 Mar 2019 6:42PM
It's a matter of availablility rather than choice, but the good news is that an A7R III suddenly became available, a bit late in the day but I've just completed another set of Imatest results and hopefully Josh can add those results in the near future.
I was just going to comment about using the A7RIII, but I see you responded to it. Thanks a lot for the review, and I can't wait to see the results with the A7RIII! That Samyang lens seems promising.
30 Mar 2019 4:30AM
85mm a focal length that will be mostly used for portrait and people buy f1.4 for the background blur and bokeh, why do we get mostly landscape shots in the gallery examples? Sad
30 Mar 2019 9:26AM
We aim for a mix of subject matter, with a checklist that makes sure that various requirements are looked at. So, portraits, architecture, close up, flare test, CA test, bokeh shots, texture shots, landscapes and many more are all covered. 85mm lenses are used for portraits in particular, but also excel at other medium range telephoto applications. An added bonus with this lens is that it's razor sharp wide open as well as stopped down.
I have an original A7 would the lens AF work well with this old camera?
3 Apr 2019 10:31AM
Within the limitations of the performance of the A7 system there's no obvious reason why it wouldn't work, but to be sure then it would need to be tried. Visiting a Samyang stockist or an exhibition would be the best way to be sure. Unless, that is, someone on here has the combination and has tried it?
Thank you
3 Apr 2019 11:13AM

Quote:It's a matter of availablility rather than choice, but the good news is that an A7R III suddenly became available, a bit late in the day but I've just completed another set of Imatest results and hopefully Josh can add those results in the near future.

Thank you for adding the Alpha 7R III MTF and CA charts.
3 Apr 2019 4:52PM

Quote:I have an original A7 would the lens AF work well with this old camera?



Tested OK on two antiques - NEX-3 and A7.
Thank you, I like to call my A7 vintage 😂😂
Wow, impressive results with the A7RIII! Thanks for adding them. That lens is so tempting! I'd love to see a bokeh comparison with the 85mm GM.
Hello, I just got the 85mm 1.4 FE. The IQ is great, but on my A7II the AF wide open is quite slow, even with firmware 3 (camera and lens). Closing a f2.8 makes the AF much quicker. Is that something you are saw ?
Thanks
Arachneon - I also got mine yesterday, and on my A7RIII, AF was spotty until I turned it to continuous AF only, then it worked well. In that mode, it works smoothly, but before that I could definitely tell it is a third party lens. I'm glad I could find a better setting. It's also not as quiet as other Sony lenses, but otherwise it's a very good lens! I hope you find a focus mode that works better for you.
Thanks Jonathan. But even with AF-C it is quite slow wide open. As it is much snappier at f2.8, I suppose the issue comes from the algorithm/processor, not from the AF itself. Maybe this is why it works better with the A7RIII.
Yes, that is a possibility. And the A7RIII does have a more recent AF. I remember when I had an A6000, then an A7R. They worked alright with native lenses, but were terrible with AF adapters. Third party native Sigmas worked okay on them tho. But not as well as Sony lenses.
24 Jun 2019 11:08AM
Hi, I just switched to the A7III and I can confirm the AF is much snappier than with the A7II.
Good to know! Enjoy the new camera and the snappier focus!

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