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Samyang V-AF 35mm T1.9 Lens Review

John Riley has been putting the Samyang V-AF 35mm T1.9 cine lens through its paces with the assistance of the Sony A7R III camera.

| Samyang V-AF 35mm T1.9 in Interchangeable Lenses

Samyang V-AF 35mm T1.9 Lens Review: Samyang V AF 35mm T1,9 On Sony A7RIII Front Oblique View | 0.4 sec | f/16.0 | 88.0 mm | ISO 100

The Samyang V-AF 35mm T1.9 Video Lens is one of a new series of matching video optics from Korean lens maker Samyang, including focal lengths of 20mm, 24mm, 35mm, 45mm and 75mm. These all share identical dimensions, weights, colour balance and other properties that are intended to unify the video experience from lens to lens. They also have the distinction of being the first range of AF video lenses. Designed for Sony FE full frame cameras and equally suitable for stills photography, these compact prime lenses look very interesting indeed. The 24mm, already reviewed, gave a good account of itself and is Recommended. Let's see how the 35mm fares, again using the 42MP Sony A7R III mirrorless camera body.



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Samyang V-AF 35mm T1.9 Handling and Features

Samyang V-AF 35mm T1.9 Lens Review: Samyang V AF 35mm T1,9 Front Oblique View | 0.3 sec | f/16.0 | 135.0 mm | ISO 100
The lens is identical to the 24mm, measuring just 72.2mm diameter and 72.1mm in length and weighing in at just 280g. This uniformity of form makes all three lenses being reviewed eminently suitable for use on drones and gimbals. There is also a unified centre of gravity, so on a drone, for example, any of the lenses fit and balance in an identical manner.

The large plastic lens cap came in for a bit of criticism with the 24mm, and it is pretty much the same on the 35mm. It does not push on slickly, but seats with quite an amount of friction and is not smooth to mount. A bit of a design fail, but it has the saving grace of being very unlikely to fall off and has a cutout on each side that reveals the focal length in large numbers. This last point is important as otherwise the lenses look and feel the same.

The front element is surrounded by a conventional 58mm filter thread and outside of that is a unique bayonet fit for future dedicated V-AF accessories, including electronic contacts in readiness for these. There is also a tally lamp that indicates the recording status when shooting video.

The rubber focusing ring has standardised gearing across all the V-AF lenses, a further example of the unified approach, and this ring can be programmed to various functions depending on the setting of the mode switch. This switch selects Mode 1, which is a focusing mode and is compatible with the usual Sony focusing options including MF and DMF, the latter being where manual focusing is active during AF operation. Mode 2 by default controls aperture. Focusing is down to 0.29m, or 0.95 feet, for a maximum magnification of 0.17x, not quite as close as the 24mm manages. There is also a focus hold button that locks AF when pressed. The actual AF performance is again excellent, being fast and accurate and also virtually silent.


Samyang V-AF 35mm T1.9 Lens Review: Samyang V AF 35mm T1,9 Rear Oblique View | 1/4 sec | f/16.0 | 115.0 mm | ISO 100

The white index mark for lens mounting doubles as a Tally Lamp, indicating video recording status. Other than the well-made, solid metal lens mount there is nothing else on the lens itself that might distract from the photography/videography.

Optical construction is 10 elements in 8 groups and the lens is designed for video resolutions up to 8K. An interesting feature of the lens is the very concave front element, something that is somewhat unusual. It suggests that edge performance might be well maintained. The diaphragm comprises 9 blades, with an eye to improving the bokeh of images. Weather sealing is also included, always a welcome, perhaps almost an essential feature.


Samyang V-AF 35mm T1.9 Lens Review: Samyang V AF 35mm T1,9 Front Element View | 0.4 sec | f/16.0 | 88.0 mm | ISO 100

This simple video lens is intended for all sorts of video shooters and content creators, as well as filmmakers. It is very straightforward to use and the uniformity with its V-AF siblings bodes well for the consistency of results without having to be too involved with colour matching in post-production. The potential is there for all content creators, but also with such a light and small form factor, for drone use and gimbals. Here the uniformity from lens to lens scores highly.

Apart from the obvious difference in field of view, the 35mm behaves in exactly the same way as the 24mm, which is the point of course. It does mean that we need to check which lens has been picked up as it is impossible to tell one from another without looking carefully. So let's indeed have a close look now at the performance and see if the 35mm is matched in technical measurements as well as in its form factor.


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