Samyang AF 85mm f/1.4 EF - Review / Test Report - Sample Images & Verdict
Lens Reviews - Canon EOS (Full Format)

Sample Images

Make Canon
Model Canon EOS 5DS R
ISO Speed 400
Focal Length 85.0mm
Aperture: f/4.0
Exposure 1/800s
Make Canon
Model Canon EOS 5DS R
ISO Speed 400
Focal Length 85.0mm
Aperture: f/4.0
Exposure 1/1250s
Make Canon
Model Canon EOS 5DS R
ISO Speed 400
Focal Length 85.0mm
Aperture: f/2.5
Exposure 1/2000s
Make Canon
Model Canon EOS 5DS R
ISO Speed 400
Focal Length 85.0mm
Aperture: f/1.4
Exposure 1/500s
Make Canon
Model Canon EOS 5DS R
ISO Speed 400
Focal Length 85.0mm
Aperture: f/1.4
Exposure 1/4000s
Make Canon
Model Canon EOS 5DS R
ISO Speed 400
Focal Length 85.0mm
Aperture: f/1.4
Exposure 1/320s
Make Canon
Model Canon EOS 5DS R
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 85.0mm
Aperture: f/5.6
Exposure 1/1000s
Make Canon
Model Canon EOS 5DS R
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 85.0mm
Aperture: f/2.0
Exposure 1/1600s
Make Canon
Model Canon EOS 5DS R
ISO Speed 640
Focal Length 85.0mm
Aperture: f/2.8
Exposure 1/160s
Make Canon
Model Canon EOS 5DS R
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 85.0mm
Aperture: f/5.6
Exposure 1/1600s
Make Canon
Model Canon EOS 5DS R
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 85.0mm
Aperture: f/8.0
Exposure 1/250s
Make Canon
Model Canon EOS 5DS R
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 85.0mm
Aperture: f/8.0
Exposure 1/640s
Make Canon
Model Canon EOS 5DS R
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 85.0mm
Aperture: f/1.4
Exposure 1/8000s
Make Canon
Model Canon EOS 5DS R
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 85.0mm
Aperture: f/2.8
Exposure 1/200s
Make Canon
Model Canon EOS 5DS R
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 85.0mm
Aperture: f/6.3
Exposure 1/320s
Make Canon
Model Canon EOS 5DS R
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 85.0mm
Aperture: f/1.4
Exposure 1/4000s

Competition

The Samyang AF 85mm f/1.4 EF does mostly compete with the Sigma 85mm f/1.4 DG HSM ART as well as the Tamron SP 85mm f/1.8 Di VC USD. The comparison below illustrates the rather dramatic advantage in size over these two lenses. Performance-wise, the Samyang isn't quite in the same league though - at least when taking the whole focus range into account.

Visual comparison courtesy of camerasize.com.

Verdict

Size matters ... as we all know ... but it shouldn't be everything really and the Samyang AF 85mm f/1.4 EF sacrifices an even quality distribution across its focus range for compactness. That doesn't mean that it is a bad lens in real life. Even at shorter focus distances, the center quality is usually good enough if you stay at least a bit away from its minimum focus distance and the mediocre borders don't really matter all that much here anyway. Near infinity focus, the sharpness is actually very high across the field (stopped down). Lateral CAs aren't overly impressive with higher than desirable aberrations from f/2.8 onward. Image distortions are usually not noticeable. There's some heavy light falloff at f/1.4 but that's nothing unusual for an ultra-large aperture lens. The bokeh is not without issues. While the sheer capability of producing a shallow depth-of-field is impressive, there is a bit too much smearing in the focus transition zone. Out-of-focus highlights are nicely rendered though.

Samyang did a good job with respect to the construction quality of the lens. They used decent quality materials albeit they stay a tad below the level provided by the more established players. The weather sealing is certainly commendable albeit it is unclear whether it's more than just about the mount gasket. The AF speed is high. The focus calibration was way off in our sample though. As mentioned, the primary value proposition is the compact size and low weight of the lens - nothing in this lens class close really.

The Samyang AF 85mm f/1.4 EF is certainly an interesting lens also regarding its comparatively low pricing but in terms of image quality, it is inferior compared to its competitors. Maybe the next incarnation of this lens will feature a floating system for close focus correction which could overcome the mentioned weak spots. After all, the world is full of high-performance lenses in "brick" format but there are just a few manufacturers focusing on more compact alternatives.

Optical Quality at 50 megapixels: to
Optical Quality at 21 megapixels:
Mechanical Quality:
Price/Performance:
      
   What does this mean ?