Samyang has served up a fast and affordable short telephoto prime with autofocus for Canon users. Michael Topham takes a closer look
Samyang AF 85mm f/1.4 EF review: Features
Being an EF lens, the Samyang AF 85mm f/1.4 EF is fully compatible with Canon full-frame DSLRs as well as those that employ an APS-C size sensor. Coupled to the later, or any Canon mirrorless cameras via the EF-EOS M mount adapter, it becomes a practical and creative telephoto prime lens that’s equivalent to 136mm. For the purpose of this review it was paired predominantly with the Canon EOS 5DS R.
The main appeal of the lens is its fast maximum aperture, which will attract portrait, wedding and low-light photographers who’d like to isolate subjects from their surroundings and create blurred backgrounds with attractive bokeh. It gathers half a stop more light than Canon’s old, but still readily available, EF 85mm f/1.8 USM (£414), and unlike most of its competition, it’s extremely light for its size.
The construction is formed of 9 elements in 7 groups, with one hybrid aspherical lens element. It has nine aperture blades and is equipped with Samyang’s Dual type LSM (Linear Supersonic Motor), which is claimed to deliver a fast, accurate and quiet autofocus performance. Samyang has also applied its Ultra Multi-Coating (UMC) to the front element to eliminate the affects of lens are and ghosting when shooting towards the light.
Other technical information not yet mentioned include its 0.90m minimum focusing distance and 77mm lter thread at the front. This is the same size as you’ll find on Canon’s EF 85mm f/1.4L IS USM lens, but smaller than Sigma’s 85mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art, which accepts lters and adapters of the 86mm variety.