Lens review

Samyang AF 50 mm f/1.4 FE

7 November 2016
Szymon Starczewski

3. Build quality

The following chart presents a comparison between the parameters of the tested lens and those of other contemporary 50 mm f/1.4 devices . Even several years ago you would deal here with double Gauss systems comprised of 6-7 elements. Modern instruments are far more complicated, consisting of even 12-13 elements. Both Samyangs, the one designed for reflex cameras and the one for mirrorless cameras, are situated in the middle of the group, featuring 9 elements. Still the autofocus model is optically more complex, having as many as 8 element groups.

Both Samyangs are physically smaller and lighter than other 1.4/50 models presented in our chart but still they remain distinctly heavier and bigger than older 50 mm constructions – just look at the photo below where the Sony 1.4/50 mirror lens is actually the smallest.

Samyang AF 50 mm f/1.4 FE - Build quality

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When you buy a mirrorless camera and enjoy its compact physical dimensions you still should remember you will have to attach a lens to it – not necessarily a small and handy lens that is.

The tested lens starts with a metal mount surrounding a plastic, black window as big as 33×26 mm. Lens contacts are set inside the window along an inscription Made in Korea. A rear element is immobile and 32 mm in diameter. The area around it is properly blackened and matted; additionally there are no slits through which dirt could invade the interior of the lens.

Samyang AF 50 mm f/1.4 FE - Build quality

The proper body of the lens begins with a black, metal ring which diameter increases quickly as you move away from the mount. On it you can see a white dot, making an alignment with a camera easier, the mount type (Full Frame E-Mount) and a filter diameter (⌀67). On the already enlarged part there is also given the name and parameters of the lens (AF 50/1.4 FE) and the minimum focusing distance (0.45m/1.47ft).

Samyang AF 50 mm f/1.4 FE - Build quality

A manual focus ring, 30 mm wide and completely covered by fine ribs, is another part of the lens. It is a focus-by-wire construction and the working range depends on the speed of turning. When you go fast you need an angle of about 180 degrees to go through the whole distance scale; when you go slow the range might amount to almost 360 degrees. Both values allow you very precise settings.

Further on there is a red stripe and a metal part of the casing which doesn’t move and turns smoothly into a hood mount.

The front element of the lens is slightly convex, 52 mm in diameter, surrounded by a non-rotating filter thread, 67 mm in diameter.

Samyang AF 50 mm f/1.4 FE - Build quality

When it comes to optical construction you deal here with 9 elements positioned in 8 groups. There are as many as three aspherical elements among them. Inside you can also find a circular aperture with nine blades which can be closed down to f/16 at the maximum. The producer boasts of using Ultra Multi Coatings which are supposed to eliminate flares and ensure good performance against bright light.

Buyers get both caps, a hood and a soft pouch for the lens in the box.

Samyang AF 50 mm f/1.4 FE - Build quality