Michael Topham samples Samyang’s latest manual-focus prime lens, which is designed with today’s mirrorless users in mind
Samyang 21mm f/1.4 ED AS UMC CS review: Features
Whereas the Samyang 50mm f/1.2 ED AS UMC CS conceals an optical construction of nine elements in seven groups, this wider 21mm f/1.4 lens features an arrangement of eight elements in seven groups.
It has a nine-blade aperture to ensure out-of-focus points of light (or bokeh) are rendered circular, and the ED and AS abbreviations in its name reveal it benefits from an extra-low dispersion lens and as many as three aspherical lenses to minimise colour aberrations and ensure high contrast across the frame at all apertures. On top of this, Samyang has implemented its ultra multi coating (UMC) technology to abolish any effects of flare and ghosting.
The key difference between this optic and other lenses for mirrorless cameras is that it is manual focus only and features no optical stabilisation. There are no metal contacts at the rear of the mount to form an electronic connection between the camera and lens, either, meaning the Exif data recorded by the camera won’t offer any information about the focal length or aperture used.
Those who regularly use filters will appreciate the internal focusing system that prevents the front element from extending or rotating when the manual-focus ring is rotated. Users who plan to screw in filters or adapter rings can do so via the lens’s 58mm filter thread. Another key point to note is the lens’s ability to focus within 28cm of a subject when working closely.