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Lens review

Samyang AF 35 mm f/2.8 FE

6 December 2017
Maciej Latałło

3. Build quality

Traditionally, we start this chapter by presenting a comparison between the basic parameters of the tested lens and the parameters of other full frame instruments with a similar focal length and aperture; usually we do it in a form of a chart. The idea behind lenses of this type is directly connected to their physical dimensions. In return for quite average f/2.5-2.8 apertures you get small dimensions and low weight. The Samyang AF 35 mm f/2.8 FE is clearly a part of that scenario; its weight, amounting to just 85 grams, looks especially impressive. When a courier brought me the parcel with the tested lens my first impression was that, most probably, somebody had forgotten to put the lens inside the box, sending me just a bit of bubble wrap… You don’t have to be a genius to guess why: plastics seems to be the main material used in the body of this lens. Such a low weight, mind you, is combined with optically the most complex construction of all devices in that group.

In the following photo the Samyang AF 35 mm f/2.8 FE is positioned next to the Sony FE 50 mm f/1.8 and the Fujinon XF 35 mm f/1.4R.

Samyang AF 35 mm f/2.8 FE - Build quality

The bayonet mount of the tested lens is made of metal, not plastic; it surrounds contacts and a rear element, 19 mm in diameter. Around that element goes a plastic part, well-matted and black, ribbed in places, with an inscription MADE IN KOREA. Near the rear element you won’t notice any slits through which you would be able to glimpse electronic components inside.

Samyang AF 35 mm f/2.8 FE - Build quality

A smooth, black ring with parameters of the lens (AF 35/2.8 FE), the name of the producer and a white dot to make an alignment with a camera easier, is the first part of the proper body. It doesn’t move.

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Further on you see a manual focus ring, 14 mm wide, completely covered by fine ribbing. It is a focus-by-wire construction, allowing you very precise settings; even if you turn the ring pretty quickly, covering the whole distance scale takes a turn through an angle of almost 180 degrees. As the lens is equipped with contacts, it can communicate with the body so it is also possible to use the focus peaking function in an enlarged image. The ring doesn’t feature either a distance scale (although that scale appears in the viewfinder in the MF mode) or a depth of field scale.

Samyang AF 35 mm f/2.8 FE - Build quality

Two immobile rings constitute two other parts of the lens. One of them is metallic red, the second one is black, covered by fine ribs.

The front element of the lens doesn’t move as well; it is only 14 mm in diameter, surrounded by an immobile filter thread, 49 mm in diameter, and an inscription stating the parameters of the lens.

Samyang AF 35 mm f/2.8 FE - Build quality

When it comes to the optical construction you deal here with 7 elements positioned in 6 groups. Two of them are aspherical and one is made of glass with high refraction index (HR). Inside, you also find an aperture with seven blades which can be closed down to a value of f/22 at the maximum.

Buyers get both caps and a very stylish, hard case in the box.

Samyang AF 35 mm f/2.8 FE - Build quality