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Samyang MF 85mm f/1.8 ED UMC CS Review - Performance

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Samyang MF 85mm f/1.8 ED UMC CS Performance

Central sharpness is excellent at f/1.8, outstanding at f/2.8 and f/4 and excellent from f/5.6 to f/11. It is still very good at f/16 and only at f/22 does diffraction really start to bite and the lens softens.

The edges are excellent from f/1.8 to f/5.6, very good at f/8 and f/11 and soft at f/16 and f/22. Basically, the lens can be used with total confidence from f/1.8 to f/11 and results will be critically sharp from centre to edge.
 

Samyang MF 85mm f/1.8 ED UMC CS 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 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 A5100 using Imatest.


CA (Chromatic Aberration) is virtually banished at the centre of the frame. The edges do show some CA, but many subjects will not need further correction. If required, software correction is possible.
 

Samyang MF 85mm f/1.8 ED UMC CS 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 A5100 using Imatest.

 

Telephoto lenses tend to show barrel distortion and this is no exception. However, it measures a very low +0.49% barrel distortion, which is unlikely to be an issue. If it is, then further correction can be made in software.

No doubt assisted by the very deep lens hood, flare is not a problem.

Bokeh is the quality of the out of focus areas in an image and here is smooth and very complimentary to portraits in particular, with an absolutely gorgeous, creamy gradation.

Looking at vignetting, at f/1.8 the corners are some -1.6 stops darker than the centre of the field. This reduces to -0.7 stops at f/2.8, -0.4 stops at f/4 and then further to -0.3 stop-s at f/16 and beyond. This will hardly be noticed in most shots.


Samyang MF 85mm f/1.8 ED UMC CS Sample Photos

 

Samyang MF 85mm f/1.8 ED UMC CS Aperture range

 


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