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Lens review

Samyang AF 85 mm f/1.4 FE

5 July 2019
Maciej Latałło

3. Build quality

The following chart  presents a comparison between basic parameters of different full frame 1.4/85 lenses without optical image stabilization. It's obvious the Samyang is physically the lightest and, along the Nikkor, also the smallest in this group but when it comes to its optical construction only the big and heavy Sigma is more complex. Still the Samyang features the worst minimum focusing distance of all.

In the photograph below the Samyang AF 85 mm f/1.4 FE is positioned between two 1.8/85 lenses, namely the Nikkor AF-S 85 mm f/1.8G and the Canon EF 85 mm f/1.8 USM

Samyang AF 85 mm f/1.4 FE - Build quality

The tested lens starts with a metal mount which surrounds a black, plastic 33×27 mm window with an embedded contact plate and an inscription 'Made in Korea'. Its rear element doesn't move and is 34 mm in diameter. The area close to it is properly blackened and matted. There are no visible slits through which dirt and dust could invade the interior of the lens.

Samyang AF 85 mm f/1.4 FE - Build quality

The proper body of the lens starts with a black, metal ring on which you can find a white dot, making an alignment with a camera easier. Then you see the mount marking (Full Frame E-Mount) and the diameter of filters (⌀77); soon the ring increases its diameter noticeably. On the already enlargened part there is the name of the company, parameters of the lens (AF 85/1.4 FE) and its minimum focusing distance (0.90m/2.95ft).

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Samyang AF 85 mm f/1.4 FE - Build quality

The next part is a manual focus ring, as wide as 31 mm, completely covered by fine ribbing. It is a focus-by-wire construction and its working range depends on the speed of the turning. If you turn the ring fast, running through the whole scale takes about 130 degrees. If you turn it slowly you can reach almost 170 degrees. Both these values allow you to get very precise settings.

Samyang AF 85 mm f/1.4 FE - Build quality

Further on you see a narrow, red stripe and an immobile, metal part of the casing which turns into a hood mount.

The front element of the lens is slightly convex, it doesn't move and is 57 mm in diameter. It is surrounded by a non-rotating filter thread, 77 mm in diameter.

Samyang AF 85 mm f/1.4 FE - Build quality

When it comes to optical construction you deal here with 11 elements positioned in 8 groups. One of them is made of low dispersion ED glass and four HR elements are made of glass with high refraction index. Inside you can also find a round aperture with nine diaphragm blades which can be closed down to a value of f/16.

Apart from the lens buyers get in the box: both caps, a hood and a soft pouch.

Samyang AF 85 mm f/1.4 FE - Build quality