Lens review

Samyang 35 mm f/1.2 ED AS UMC CS

26 November 2018
Arkadiusz Olech

3. Build quality

There are a lot of 30-35 mm lenses designed for smaller APS-C sensors so we didn’t have any problems with composing the following chart . Still most of instruments of that type are as fast as f/1.4–1.8 with the exception of the Samyang and the Mitakon. Because of its aperture fastness the Samyang is physically bigger and heavier than its rivals but if you compare it to some full frame 50 mm devices these dimensions seem to be completely acceptable. Still, compared to its direct rivals, the Samyang lags behind with its minimum focusing distance.

In the photo below the Samyang 35 mm f/1.2 ED AS UMC CS is positioned between the Samyang 85 mm f/1.8 ED UMC CS and the Sigma C 30 mm f/1.4 DN.

Samyang 35 mm f/1.2 ED AS UMC CS - Build quality

The tested lens starts with a silver, metal mount without contacts. It means no information concerning focal length and aperture values is shared with a camera. On the silver ring, going round the mount, you can find the serial number and a red dot, making an alignment with a camera easier. A rear element is 22 mm in diameter and moves very slightly. Around it you see black, well matted rings. Still the fact that the inner part of the mount is shiny and not properly blackened, makes us a bit worried.

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Samyang 35 mm f/1.2 ED AS UMC CS - Build quality

The shiny, silvery ring, the first feature of the lens’s barrel, turns into a narrow, black and immobile part and then an aperture ring, 9 mm wide, with most of its surface is covered by ribbing. It is properly damped and allows you to change the aperture in 1/2 EV increments.

Then you see a red, metal stripe which doesn’t move and another one, black and immobile too. Next, there is a manual focus ring as wide as 30 mm, with a distance scale, expressed in feet and meters, and an inscription “MADE IN KOREA”. The ring moves smoothly and is properly damped but running through the whole distance range needs a turn through and angle of about 120 degrees. It’s a value a bit too low for a good quality manual lens. Unfortunately the producer didn’t decide to include any depth of field scale on the barrel – in the case of a manual lens it is a very strange and definitely wrong decision…

Samyang 35 mm f/1.2 ED AS UMC CS - Build quality

Further on you see an immobile part of the barrel, 17 mm wide, which turns smoothly into a hood mount.

The front element is 34 mm in diameter, surrounded by inscriptions with the name and parameters of the lens and a non-rotating filter thread, 62 mm in diameter. The front element is mobile and positioned the deepest inside the barrel when you set the distance scale at infinity.

Samyang 35 mm f/1.2 ED AS UMC CS - Build quality

When it comes to optical construction you deal here with 9 elements positioned in 7 groups. There are 2 aspherical and 1 ED (Extra Low Dispersion) elements in this formulation. Inside you can also find a round aperture with nine blades which can be closed down to a value of f/16.

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

Samyang 35 mm f/1.2 ED AS UMC CS - Build quality