Samyang 85mm f/1.4 IF
Filter Size: 72mm
Samyang 85mm f/1.4
IF on the Nikon D700
should be browsed first. This review is just applicable to the lens and
its' performance on the Sony NEX-5N.
Mounted onto an APS-C sized sensor camera, the Samyang 85mm
suddenly becomes a 120mm f/1.4. For my taste, perhaps the perfect
portrait lens when combined with the wonderful focus peaking of the
Sony NEX-5N. In some ways better than an auto-focus lens, because with
the razor thin depth of field it's common for AF lenses to hit focus in
front of the eyes. Since eyes are the highest contrast part of the
face, this combo should be perfect for nailing focus on the eyes while
shooting at a large aperture. Should be.
The Samyang 85mm f/1.4 is noted for having very
contrast, a benefit while shooting portraits. Unfortunately the
contrast is so low that in any kind of soft lighting the focus peaking
never works on a human face at f/1.4 or even f/2. This makes focusing
very tough, especially for subjects that move small amounts like
people. Which is truly a shame, because wide open the $275 Samyang 85mm
f/1.4 rivals the $1,400 Nikkor 135mm f/2 DC for sharpness.
Sony NEX-5N, Samyang 85mm f/1.4 @ 1/320 f/1.4 ISO 200
mix of plastic
metal. Could use a better lens hood, it has to be aligned perfectly to
attach. Would be nice if it could focus closer.
- Not much to
handle, the AF ring
is too stiff for my taste, but it does have a nice long throw.
- Nearly as good optically as the expensive
f/1.4 portrait lenses.
- Far and away
the best value for a new portrait lens.
the price, the optical
and build quality is staggering. The lack of contrast makes focusing on
something like the Sony NEX-5N too tough to rely on.
for kayaking: 4/10 - it's just not something
to use on the river a whole lot, unless you live somewhere absurdly
dark. Plus on an APS-C sensor it's a bit long for what you're probably
shooting in low light work.
Almost the perfect portrait lens for my taste of focal
a cropped camera. I'd probably love it on a D7000 but unfortunately the
lack of contrast hits it hard. Without focus peaking it takes too long
to achieve accurate focus, and by then the person you are photographing
has probably shifted an inch, throwing your focus off.
85mm f/1.4 on the Sony NEX-5N without the lens hood attached.