The Samyang AF 35mm F1.8 FE is the third 35mm that the brand has released in a short time for Sony’s mirrorless, full-frame cameras. This 35mm F1.8 is larger and brighter than the F2.8 pancake and smaller and lighter than the bright F1.4 version. It fills a gap in the range and, with its good specifications and competitive price, is perhaps the most attractive of the three. And it is also weatherproof.
Click on the lens for specifications, prices and test results.
TEST RESULTS Samyang AF 35mm F1.8 FE:
The Samyang AF 35mm F1.8 FE is an attractive lens for documentary and street photography with a competitive price.
Lenses with a focal length of 35 mm are quite popular. That’s because you can use them for many kinds of photography. They are wide-angled on a full-frame camera, but miss that real wide-angle effect that you get with a 28mm or 24mm. This allows you to photograph people just fine without distortion of faces, as long as you do not get too close. At the same time, you can get quite a bit of the background in the picture, so that you can give a good impression of the environment of the subject. This makes 35mm lenses ideal for street and documentary photography. It is therefore not surprising that many brands offer multiple lenses with this focal point. That is also the case with Samyang.
The Samyang AF 35mm F1.8 FE is no less than the third lens that Samyang has brought to the market in a short time for Sony’s mirrorless cameras. The first lens was the ultra-compact and ultra-light (70g) Samyang AF 35mm F2.8 FE. Then came the bright but much larger Samyang AF 35 mm F1.4 FE. The Samyang AF 35mm F1.8 FE fits exactly between them. Bigger and heavier than the F2.8, lighter and smaller than the F1.4. The price also fits nicely between the two. The lens is also a good option for owners of an APS-C camera who are considering switching to full frame in the future. On APS-C, a 35mm offers a field of view that corresponds to that of a 50mm, 52.5mm to be precise, on full frame. Then this lens works like a still reasonably bright standard lens.
The Samyang AF 35mm F1.8 FE is a good option for photographers who want to keep the weight and dimensions of their equipment within limits or who want to photograph discreetly on the street. It is clearly larger than the F2.8 pancake 35mm from Samyang, but allows almost one and a half stops more light to pass through. That’s nice if you want to shoot in low light and also ensures better background blur than the F2.8 version. At the same time, it is a lot smaller and more modest than the 35mm F1.4. The difference in brightness between F1.4 and F1.8 is only 2/3rd stop. This is much smaller than the difference between the Samyang AF 35mm F1.8 FE and the F2.8 FE. You could say that the F1.8 offers the best of both: a decent brightness for a modest weight.
The Samyang AF 35mm F1.8 FE is also fitted with gaskets, both in the lens and at the rear. This is a novelty for Samyang lenses, and this is thus the first Samyang that you can also use with some confidence in poor weather conditions. As an extra, there is also a programmable button on it that we have seen before on the AF 75mm F1.8 FE. Together with this 75mm, the 35mm is a very nice kit with which you can handle a lot of subjects.
With its specifications, the Samyang AF 35mm F1.8 FE is a direct competitor of the almost twice as expensive Sony FE 35mm F1.8. That is a great lens, but in terms of possibilities, the Samyang offers almost the same. Both are weatherproof. The Sony has an AF-hold button and a switch to change between autofocus and manual focus. The Samyang has a programmable button with which you can set the focus ring, for example, as an aperture ring. Ultimately, the test of image quality and focus will have to show whether the Sony is more than worth its higher price, or whether you are better off going for the Samyang for less money.
The AF lenses from Samyang are generally already recognizable from some distance, and this Samyang AF 35mm F1.8 FE is no exception. The fairly smooth, sleek exterior with finely ribbed focus ring and red ring on the front are typical of the brand. The lens is fitted with gaskets, both inside and outside on the mount, and that is new for Samyang. It is something that we hope to see on more lenses from this brand. Sony cameras are more resistant to moisture almost every generation, and it is a pity if you then have lenses that partially break that seal.
The Samyang has about the same diameter as the Sony FE 35 mm F1.8 but is slightly shorter and also slightly lighter than the Sony. It has a nine-blade aperture and an optical design that consists of 10 elements in 8 groups. Two elements are made of HR glass, and two elements are aspherical.
The Samyang AF 35mm F1.8 FE uses a linear STM stepper motor for focusing. We are curious whether Samyang has made progress again in the autofocus area, because this was still a point at which Samyang performed slightly less than Sony’s comparable lenses, especially with the 35mm lenses.
We have not yet been able to test the lens ourselves. Of course, we will do so as soon as we have a copy in our lab.
Samyang AF 35mm F1.8 FE
|field of view (diag)||63°6’|
|sensor format||full frame|
|min. setting distance||29 cm|
|dimensions (dxl)||65 – 63 mm|
|list price||€ 399.00|
ConclusiON REVIEW Samyang AF 35mm F1.8 FE oN Sony A7R III
As soon as we have a copy in our test lab, we will publish a full review.
The Samyang AF 35mm F1.8 FE is expected to be available starting .. The official list price is €399.00. As a Benelux distributor, Transcontinenta offers an extended warranty of 5 years for Samyang lenses. To make use of this, a new Samyang lens must be purchased from one of the approved Samyang Benelux dealers and registered online via transcontinenta.nl/garantie within 4 weeks of purchase.