[REVIEW] Samyang AF 85mm F1.4 F - Capture life in crystal clarity - Francesca Dani

Pubblicato il: 11 Aprile 2019

This high-resolution lens is great value as it encapsulates Samyang’s universally respected optical technology in your photographs. The brand new Samyang AF 85mm f/1.4 F is going to be announced in the spring of 2019. This lens offers faster, more accurate and also quieter autofocus performance, thanks to its AF motor. It also features weather-sealing and a AF/MF switch, which enhances usability.

The Samyang AF 85mm F1.4 F with Nikon mount has been one of the lenses that I have been most excited about: I have been longing for a suitable portrait lens for my D810 that allows me to shoot ethereal pictures with the beautiful bokeh effect. Mixing a flattering focal length with a fast design, the Samyang AF 85mm f1.4 F is a lens well-suited for portraits. Its bright f/1.4 maximum aperture enables extensive control over depth of field for selective focus, and it also excels in low-light conditions. The rounded nine-blade diaphragm contributes to a smooth and pleasing bokeh quality. AF motor delivers quick and quiet autofocus performance. An AF/MF switch is also featured for seamless switching between focusing modes – a useful feature for those like me who often shoot manual.

New Samyang AF 85mm F1.4 F: product image and design

The lens’s minimum focal length of 0.9m makes it possible to capture vivid close-up images of portraits, pets, food and objects, anytime, anywhere. Traditionally, Samyang has been known to provide highly affordable, all-manual lenses. However, some time ago they started their journey into the mainstream by releasing a number of fully AF prime lenses (see also my review of 14mm AF for Nikon Mount). During my stay in Lapland, I have had the chance of doing a beta test with the brand new AF 85mm F1.4 F during the end of our long winter season, catching every single shade of arctic light at record speed. Weather sealing protects the lens from dust and rain. This protective design enables users to capture the moment outdoors in any environment, providing the dependability that you need to keep shooting in adverse conditions. This is a very important feature for people like me who live and shoot above the arctic circle!

The 9 precisely-controlled iris blades, providing natural, circular, out-of-focus highlights at all apertures. With this smooth bokeh, achieved through various optical technologies, you can create images full of character in your portrait or subject photography.

🔸 85mm AF F1.4: you can capture every single moment at record speed...

🔸 FEATURES

- EXCEPTIONAL BOKEH: Bokeh is a term used to describe the quality of the out-of-focus areas that a lens produces.

- CRYSTAL CLEAR RESOLUTION: Take pictures with incredible sharpness and accuracy thanks to Samyang’s world-class optical technology.

- UPGRADED FAST, ACCURATE AND QUIET AUTOFOCUS: Samyang has upgraded its autofocus system, which now offers faster, more accurate and quieter performance.

- WEATHER SEALING: For stable shooting and extended lifecycle, it provides maximum protection for the lens: camera protection against dust and moisture.

- AF FOCUS: Stands for Auto Focus, which means that the lens can automatically focus through the camera.


🔸 SPECIFICATIONS + MTF CHART 

- MODEL NAME: AF 85mm F1.4
- APERTURE RANGE: F1.4 ~ 16
- ANGLE OF VIEW: 28.4° (Full Frame) 19.0° (APS-C)
- COATING: UMC
- LENSE OPTICAL: 9 elements in 7 groups
- FILTER SIZE: 77.0mm
- NUMBER OF BLADES: 9
- MOUNT: Nikon F
- AF/MF MODE SWITCH: Yes
- BLADES: 9
- MIN FOCUS:2.95 feet (0.9m)
- AF MOTOR: LSM
- WEIGHT WITHOUT LENS CAP/HOOD: 480g

* HOW TO READ A "MTF" CHART: There are two groups of data plotted on a Nikon MTF chart: Sagital and Meridonial lines. "Sagital lines" (the solid lines) represent the contrast measurements of pairs of lines that run parallel to a central diagonal line that passes through the middle of the lens from the bottom left hand corner to the top right hand corner. "Meridonial lines" (the light lines) represent line pairs also positioned along an imaginary line from the center of a lens to the edge but these line pairs are perpendicular to the diagonal line. There are two groups of test lines for each Sagital and Meridonial value: one group or line pairs at 10 lines per millimeter and a second group at 30 lines per millimeter. The lower line pairs (10 lines/mm) will generally be plotted higher on the graph than the more challenging fine resolution 30 lines/mm. In general, the higher and flatter the lines the better. Higher lines indicate better contrast (10 lines/mm) or resolution (30 lines/mm) while a flatter line shows that the optical performance is close to the same at the edge of the image compared to the center.


🔸 IMAGE QUALITY

The manufacturer claims the 85mm f/1.4 lens has “stunning resolution and bokeh” and “excellent AF performance”. The 85mm focal length is rather true to life and produces a images that are very reminiscent of your perspective with little distortion, making it ideal for fashion and beauty, lifestyle, portrait, food and pet photography. The lens delivers amazing detail on a variety of crops from portrait all the way to full body. However, its high-quality build and weather sealing makes it suitable for rougher outdoor use photography. It may well be the most versatile 85mm on the market. The optical construction comprises nine elements in seven optical groups. Anti-reflective coatings have been applied to minimize internal reflections, reducing flare and ghosting and maintaining image contrast color vibrancy.

WHAT IS THE "BOKEH" EFFECT OF THE LENS:

Bokeh comes from the Japanese word boke (ボケ), which means "blur" or "haze", or boke-aji, the "blur quality." Bokeh is pronounced BOH-Kə or BOH-kay.
Bokeh is a term used to describe the quality of the out of focus areas a lens produces. The bokeh effect varies between lenses and the effect is influenced by the quality of the lens elements used and the number of aperture blades in the lens design (more blades produce a better circle and therefore a better 'bokeh' effect). 
Bokeh is defined as “the effect of a soft out-of-focus background that you get when shooting a subject, using a fast lens, at the widest aperture, such as f/2.8 or wider.” Simply put, bokeh is the pleasing or aesthetic quality of out-of-focus blur in a photograph.

🔸 CONCLUSION:

Samyang’s AF 85mm f1.4 F represents excellent value for money for anyone who is on the lookout for a fast, reliable and weather-proof 85mm camera lens. It will be launched during spring 2019, so those who wish to shoot portraits or close-up photos while in movement should seriously consider this product . It is not a lens-based optical image stabilizer. The 85mm focal length can capture artistic types of imagery with an interesting bokeh effect. The success of a lens is often directly related to the image quality it delivers and sharpness, a combination of resolution and contrast, is the most important image quality attribute for most. This lens excels in both.

The AF 85mm F1.4 F is a medium-telephoto lens with a very bright aperture. Thanks to its compact optical design and aluminum construction, it can be contained within a small and lightweight body. 
I'm happy to say that the Samyang AF 85mm f/1.8 on my Nikon D810 delivered great results in this test.


Lens sponsored by:
www.samyanglensglobal.com

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