Samyang 35mm f/1.4 AS UMC

September 16, 2010 | Zoltan Arva-Toth | Lenses | 14 Comments | |
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The Samyang 35mm f/1.4 AS UMC is a bright wide-angle lens for manual-focus enthusiasts. Constructed of 12 optical elements arranged in 10 groups (including one aspherical and two highly refractive elements), the Samyang 35mm f/1.4 AS UMC uses a system of floating lens elements in order to preserve high image quality even at the lens’ close focus point of 30cm. The new 35mm lens from Samyang will be available in Canon EF, Four Thirds, Nikon F, Pentax, Samsung NX and Sony fit. The price has not yet been revealed.

Samyang Press Release

Samyang 35mm F1.4 AS UMC – bright lens suitable for any occasion

Samyang Optics presents new, exceptionally bright and semi wide-angle manual lens - Samyang 35 mm F1.4 AS UMC

Sophisticated optics of Samyang 35mm F1.4 UMC has been constructed upon twelve elements arranged in ten groups. The lens comes with two lenses made of the glass with high refraction factor, which reduces its weight and dimensions. Moreover, one aspherical lens minimizes the risk of chromatic aberration. Owing to the high-quality multi-layer coatings, our lens provides high contrast and faithful color imaging. Samyang 35mm f/1.4 AS UMC uses the system of the so called “floating” lenses allowing to preserve high image quality with minimum focusing distance.

Samyang 35mm F1.4 AS UMC was constructed to fit most popular reflexive cameras with small sensors. 35mm focal length has universal applications. When attached to the small sensor camera, the lens will act as bright, wide-angle lens perfect for landscape and reporting shooting. The same lens mounted on the camera with APS-C sensor, will become a popular, multitask 50mm lens. In case of cameras with 3:4 system, Samyang 35mm F1.4 AS UMC will turn into a short, bright portrait lens with 70mm focal length equivalent.

Samyang 35mm F1.4 AS UMC has been designed with great care for the smallest details and perfect style. This applies both to optics and workmanship, which place the lens among the best photographic products worldwide.

Samyang 35mm F1.4 AS UMC is to feature mount for the following systems: Canon, 4:3, Nikon, Pentax, Samsung NX and Sony Alpha. All information concerning the date of release and price will be available at the end of September.

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#1 Alex

I can't find a reason why someone would want to buy a manual (only) lens. Any auto-focus lens today can be set to manual whenever required.

And the aperture can be set in Camera. So what's the deal with a manual lens? Is it very much cheaper than a similar quality lens with auto-focus? Or is there something else?

1:01 pm - Thursday, September 16, 2010

#2 Brian

Price. The Samyang 85mm f/1.4 is around $250, whereas the new Nikon 85mm f/1.4 AF-S is $1700. Also, believe it or not, some people still use old manual film cameras, which cannot be used with newer autofocus lenses because they don't have manual aperture control.

3:09 pm - Thursday, September 16, 2010

#3 Johnny Kiron

Alex: "I can't find a reason why someone would want to buy a manual (only) lens. "

Maybe because its much cheaper Alex, maybe because some people actually PEREFER to focus manually.

Kudos to Samyang!

4:22 pm - Thursday, September 16, 2010

#4 Alex


I am one of these people who actually PREFER to focus manually. But I do not think that removing the motor from a lens (the actual auto-focus being done by the camera and not the lens), will divide it's price by almost 7.

I do not know the $1700 lens mentioned by Brian, but I sure it's a much better lens than this $250 lens from Samyang. I'm not saying this Samyang lens is bad, I'm only saying that if Nikon were to release a manual version of their 85mm f1.4 AF-S, it would not sell for $250. There must be more difference between these 2 lenses than just the auto-focus motor and electronics.

The point I was trying to make is that if, for the same quality/brand, a manual lens is not dramatically cheaper, I would still add the little extra money and buy the auto-focus lens, just for these occasions where auto turns out to be more convenient than manual. Therefore, there must be another reason, besides the price, why people would buy manual lens.


your point about older film cameras not having an auto-focus mode and not letting you set the aperture in camera actually answers my question. If your camera cannot auto-focus, then you might as well save the money (even if little) and spend it on something else. And if you can't set the aperture in camera either, then a manual lens is the only solution.


5:26 pm - Thursday, September 16, 2010

#5 Gene

From the reviews I've read, Samyang's 85mm f/1.4 is a very good lens - much better in both optics and build quality than one might expect from the price tag. Obviously the price disparity isn't accounted for purely by the lack of electronics; I'm sure the company has a much lower cost structure and margin than the Japanese giants. Since AF can be pretty iffy in very low light photography which is what I want a super fast lens like this for, the lack thereof doesn't particularly bother me. Be nice if the diaphragm were automatic so that the viewfinder stays bright, but oh well. Really looking forward to this lens.

4:03 am - Friday, September 17, 2010

#6 Toomas Kadarpik

samyang works as A in pentax this means manual focus but auto aperture and I can see aperture value in EXIF as well. For wide 14 mm 2.8 we can get superb photos in aps-c with very little price. I do not understand why they do not put screwdrive AF into the lenses ? You can use focus confirmation sensors or focus catch with those lenses as well.

9:04 pm - Friday, September 17, 2010

#7 nonoob

the only reason canon and nikon cost more is because noobs keep buying the gear at inflated prices, no enabling AF does not cost $1k or 50% of $1k to implement duh noob

6:35 am - Sunday, October 10, 2010

#8 Randolph Knackstedt

Manual is cheaper. Also, auto focus does not always focus on what you want to focus on (low light), so manual focus can be more precise and give you more control. Manual involves and engages the photographer more than auto.

10:11 am - Tuesday, November 2, 2010

#9 lee Teo

Actually in 35mm range , Manual focus or auto focus, i think not really important.
I more prefer on the quality and sharpness result, anyone can give some result for this lens?

3:24 pm - Wednesday, March 23, 2011

#10 rizky

it is interesting when all company produce AF lense while Samyang produce a manual one... then the question is why??

i have several reasons:
1. samyang produce a 35mm f1.4 lense and it is a very good and usable lens while other company also produce 35mm f1.4 too but more expensive. i think Samyang's marketing strategy is to aim people who want to try a proffessional lens on a reasonable price.
2. Why manual?, from most of my photographer friends, they said that they dont believe AF will focus on a spot they wanted to. Well AF works fine on some event. but most photographer prefer manual focus....a good photo is not always to get detail and focused image right?
3.all i want to know is how well this lens compared to other brand..

7:25 am - Friday, May 6, 2011

#11 Phil

Alex. Autofocus is a tool to use as and when it is needed, very often manual focus is more useful, more accurate and more reliable. Even on the high end pro spec lenses the autofocus isn't clever enough to focus exactly on what you want to focus on and even if it was it likely isn't quick enough to keep up with events. I think the switch to manual focusing is like switching from full auto to full manual shooting mode. It is a big scary step but once you have got the hang of it there is no going back. Honest.

8:11 pm - Friday, May 13, 2011

#12 ronin

The reason why manual focus is getting used more now is because of video in DSLRs. You can not with any Nikon or canon focus in video mode. Most video guys only use manual focus anyways.

4:32 pm - Sunday, May 15, 2011

#13 Jon

"There must be more difference between these 2 lenses than just the auto-focus motor and electronics."

I'm sure brand has alot to do with it but I suspect that the size issue is also a big factor.

Compair say this new 35mm 1.4 with the Canon L version, from the early reviews both seem to have similar performance but the Samyang is longer, wider and heavier dispite not having any electronics/motors or from the sound of it heavier build. That extra space probabley makes it easier to achieve similar performance to Canon more cheaply.

As far as the lack of autofocus goes I think you need to consider what this lens seems to have been designed for and how its likely to be used. The days when most ammature users had a prime lens as there general purpose one are long gone, these days a lens like this will either be used by experts who don't mind manual focusing or as a specialist large appature lens. If your dealing with a shallow depth of field then standard point and click autofocusing isnt going to be very worthwhile much of the time anyway.

1:13 am - Wednesday, July 6, 2011

#14 Dave Grant

Alex: "I can't find a reason why someone would want to buy a manual (only) lens. "

Video, video, video, auto focus when in video mode looks pants and most video guys use a follow focus. The focus ring on this lens looks good for the job.

5:27 pm - Tuesday, September 13, 2011