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: Autofocus
Samyang is still rather new to the idea of incorporating AF into its lenses. AF acquisition is fairly brisk thanks to the inclusion of the Dual type LSM; however its lock-on speed isn’t as hasty as the Canon EF 85mm f/1.4L.
Carrying out several focusing tests and swapping between different lenses made me aware of an odd AF phenomenon, where if you leave the camera switched on, remove the lens and then reattach it, it refuses to autofocus again until the AF point is highlighted using the AF point selection button and the shutter is half pressed. One way to get around this was to make sure the camera is switched off between changing lenses – this isn’t exactly ideal for the wedding and portrait photographers the lens is aimed at, who swap lenses frequently and work quickly. Since testing the lens, I’ve been told this issue will be rectified by new firmware, which will be added to all lenses before shipments are made.
While the focus motor isn’t entirely silent, its high-pitched whirring is unlikely to be intrusive when used outdoors. Focus accuracy was satisfactory during real-world testing, but with such a fine margin for error and a fast fall off in focus at very wide apertures, you’ll want to pay careful attention to your focusing technique, particularly when photographing small subjects against complex backgrounds.