Samyang 35mm f/1.4 AS UMC

Available in a range of mounts, and both Four Thirds and Samsung NX versions, the Samyang 35mm f/1.4 AS UMC is an attractive lens for CSC users wanting a fast prime.

Samyang 35mm f/1.4 AS UMC

Samyang 35mm f/1.4 AS UMC

Samyang’s 35mm f/1.4 AS USM features a fast f/1.4 maximum aperture that’s two-thirds of a stop faster than an f/1.8. This wider opening lets more light in, and is ideal for using faster shutter speeds in low-light situations or producing slightly more blur behind subjects.

Produced in a range of different mounts including Canon, Nikon, Pentax and Sony, it’s also available in either FourThirds or Samsung NX versions, so caters well for CSC users who want to shoot with an ultra-fast prime. Like all of the optics currently in Samyang’s range, though, this lens is manual focus (MF) only, so this is part of the deal that you have to understand and accept up front.

Just ahead of the variable aperture ring is a well-rubberised focus ring, and this is easily located from behind the camera thanks to its large profile. It has a beautifully refined and fluid motion over a quarter turn with the focus distance markings clearly labelled on the barrel.

Its weight of 660g makes it more suited to larger D-SLRs than budget models, but despite its size and weight, it feels exquisite in the hand and seems more expensive than the price suggests. Optically, the lens construction is 12 elements in 10 groups with 1 aspherical lens to reduce chromatic aberrations.

There’s a large 77mm filter thread at the front and the minimum focusing distance enables you to work as closely as 30cm. A petal lens hood is included with the lens to provide effective shading of the front element in bright conditions.


This review was first published in the September 2011 issue of Digital Photo - download back issues here.