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Samyang 85/1.5 experience
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2018 10:40 am    Post subject: Samyang 85/1.5 experience Reply with quote

I was really curious to see how a new 250 € 85/1.5 could perform. Turned out I had to buy 4 copies before finding one with decently aligned elements! The first copy was so bad that the best sharpness was achieved next to the extreme left border. I suppose that saving a lot on QC is one of the methods used by Samyang to sell its lenses for so cheap. Finally, I got a good copy (albeit not perfect) and I have to say that's a very good lens, considering its price tag. It's very usable already WO (at least on a Super35 sensor) and even from a mechanic standpoint it seems decent. OOF rendition is buttery (although since 2.8 you can easily spot the iris' optagonal shape) and flare/ghosting resistance is top notch. I have one concern, though: the focusing ring it's kind of smooth and nicely dampened, but its rotation is not even. What's weird is that the points where the rotation gets harder are not always the same, just like it happens with some old lenses with semi-exhausted or clotted lubrificants. I wonder if anyone else had a similar experience with this lens. Side note: in the cine version, the diaphgram ring can easily be moved without noticing; it should have been dampened at least a bit.
I forgot: CA can be are a nightmare if you shoot at wide apertures in bright, hi contrast situations.

I tested this lens against the Zeiss Milvus 85/1.4 and as expected there was no competition, expecially WO, but considering its price, the Samyang, if you get a good copy, it's definitely a bargain; still, I wouldn't bet on its lifespan, while I'm quite sure the Milvus will be in great shape even 20 years from now.