Samyang AF 35mm f/1.4 FE Review

December 19, 2017 | Mark Goldstein | |

Conclusion

The new Samyang AF 35mm f/1.4 FE is a very fast and relatively affordable classic 35mm lens for Sony full-frame mirrorless cameras that's a viable alternative to the much more expensive Sony Zeiss Distagon T* FE 35mm F1.4 ZA optic.

Sharpness is acceptable when shooting wide-open at f/1.4, very good at f/2 and outstanding from f/2.8 onwards, although the edges aren't quite as sharp as the centre, with f/4-f/11 producing the sharpest results. As with the Samyang AF 50mm f/1.4 lens that we've tested previously, there is lots of evidence of chromatic aberrations plus vignetting at wide-open apertures, admittedly something that other fast lenses also suffer from.

The build quality is excellent, with the metal lens mount and housing adding to the high-quality feel, and Samyang have also included a very good petal-shaped lens hood. Auto-focusing was acceptably quick on the A7R II that we tested the lens with, although the AF mechanism is pretty noisy, so it's not great for video use.

The asking price of the Samyang AF 35mm f/1.4 FE is certainly very competitive given the cost of its main rival, especially when you consider that the Samyang's image quality is not that far behind the Sony. If you don't need the f/1.4 maximum aperture, then the Samyang AF 35mm f/2.8 FE and Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* FE 35mm F2.8 ZA are much more compact options.

4.5 stars

Ratings (out of 5)
Design 4
Features 4
Ease-of-use 4
Image quality 4.5
Value for money 4.5