Samyang AF 135mm f/1.8 FE Lens Review : “Excellent at a Very Reasonable Price”

Samyang (branded Rokinon in US) AF 135mm f/1.8 FE Lens ($999 at B&H) is a medium-length telephoto prime lens designed for full-frame Sony E-mount mirrorless cameras for portraiture, landscapes and astrophotography.

Sony Alpha Blog posted its Samyang AF 135mm f/1.8 FE lens review and says “Excellent lens at a very reasonable price”. They also claim that this is a little better than the Sony FE 135mm f1.8 GM. Below are some excerpts from the review :

  • The Sony has a little edge in term of Bokeh ball when aperture is closed down but it is not a big difference.
  • The Sony does better for sports for people, objects in fast motion as the Samyang can loose track of the subject more easily than the Sony. The Samyang is also limited to 8fps whereas the Sony can reach up to 30 fps with Sony A1
  • The rendering of the Sony GM is also more gentle and subtle for skin tones with a little bit less micro contrast , the Samyang is a bit more punchy/crispy in term of rendering. On this criteria it is a matter of personal taste

Highly recommend

  • Outstanding sharpness on the entire frame as of F1.8
  • Excellent contrast
  • Very Good AF for static subject or linear movements
  • Smooth background blur
  • Excellent color rendition
  • Very good Bokeh balls
  • Focusing ring that can become Clickless aperture ring
  • Very good ergonomics
  • Reasonnable price (950 euros)
  • Light (can even be used on gimbal)
  • Very Good build quality
  • Moderate vignetting
  • Very good min focusing distance
  • Very good resistance to flare
  • Very low CA
  • Low distortion

Average

  • Size (but in line with other 135mm F1.8)
  • A little bit too sharp & contrasty for portraits for the taste of some people
  • Drains battery fast
  • Bokeh balls as of F4 no more circular
  • AF limited yo 8fps (only Sony can reach 20/30 fps)

Cons

  • AF in burst mode (for sports) not as efficient as the Sony GM for subjects changing directions

you can read the full review here.

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