After some debating with my wallet, I finally bought the Samyang 85mm 1.4. There are not much review's of this lens so it was a bit of a gamble but it is reasonably priced and I got a good deal. I'm currently working with manual lenses from Leica an canon so I didn't think it would be a problem but the shallow depth of field from this lens' 1.4 apeture make's focusing on moving subject's even more difficult.
After playing with this lens for portrait's and still live subjects It was easy enough to focus with the aid of focus peaking and focus magnifier. It's harder with kids who move around a lot. What make's it harder is the lack of any communication between lens and camera. This means you have to assign A custom button to get magnified view, I don't trust the focus peaking enough for spot on focussing. If you buy the Zeiss Loxia lenses you get magnified view automatically when you turn the focusring.
It's just looks a bit stupid when your chasing your kids around the park trying to focus. So practice, practice, practice but the results are worth it.
samyang lenses are also sold under the alias, Walimex among others. Only if you go to the dutch Walimex site the lenses are named Samyang. If you go to the German Walimex site, the same lenses are named Walimex. It doesn't really matter of course. I just thought that was funny.
The lens is very sharp in the middel at 1.4 . This and the bokeh where the most important thing's for me and I wasn't disappointed.
In the corners it's a little bit less sharp at 1,4 but for portrait's it's no problem and for landscape you will use f 11, f 16 and then everything is sharp. f11 is sharper than f 16 due to diffraction. I didn't test the vignetting or the distortion but I haven't noticed any problems in those area's.
At the larger apeture settings there is obvious chromatic aberation, you can see that in the shoe shot and the tower- shots. A big purple rim that is so obvious, I had to look close at the shoe on my sons feet to see if it was maybe part of the shoe, it was not! You can also spot bokeh fringing (chromatic aberation in out of focus area's ) at larger apeture settings but thats almost all gone at f 5.6 .
Photographing into the sun get's you a compleet purple picture it seems, but get it a little bit to the side and it holds on to most of it's contrast.
My only problem with this lens is the apeture ring, It turn's to smooth. If you turn it with your eye on the viewfinder, you have no idea which apeture you are on by touch. You can't see it in the viewfinder of course because the lens has no contacts to share this information to your camera. I know the lens doesn't have contacts but if you could at least feel the clicks you can pretty much guess which apeture your in as I do with my leica M lens. Also, the lens feels solid with no wobbling but the apeture ring feels cheap.
The big seller for me is the bokeh. It's very smooth, even the out of focus highlight's are very creamy. No onion rings or hard outlines and in the middle of the picture, the bulb's are round. getting a bit cateye to the corners.
I'm sure If they put an autofocus motor in it, like the 50mm and the 24mm and maybe A stabilizer they really have a winner.
I hope this wil help you decide wether or not this lens is for you and if you have any question's,
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tricky focussing kids
My son doesn't look that sharp though.