Lens review

Samyang AF 35 mm f/1.8 FE

7 May 2021
Maciej Latałło

3. Build quality

The following chart presents a comparison between basic properties of 35 mm full frame lenses designed for mirrorless cameras with aperture fastness of f/1.8-2.0. You can notice at once that the Samyang is physically the lightest instrument here and believe me, you can really feel it when you take it into your hand, especially after handling the Sigma C 2/35. Additionally, the Samyang lags behind its rivals when it comes to the minimum focusing distance which in its case is the longest.

In the photo below the Samyang AF 35 mm f/1.8 FE is positioned between two other full frame 35 mm instruments, namely the Canon EF 35 mm f/2 USM IS and the Sigma A 35 mm f/1.4 DG HSM.

Samyang AF 35 mm f/1.8 FE - Build quality

The mount of the tested lens is made of metal; around it you can find contacts and a rear element, 25 mm in diameter. That element is put inside a slightly accented frame that doesn't interfere with the field of the lens. The small frame is surrounded by black, well-matted plastic with an inscription 'MADE IN KOREA'. You can't find any slits close to the rear element so it is impossible to glimpse electronic parts inside. From this side, the instrument seems to be completely sealed.

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Samyang AF 35 mm f/1.8 FE - Build quality

An immobile, black, smooth, plastic ring is the first part of the proper barrel. On the ring you can find the parameters of the lens (AF 35/1.8 FE), the name of the producer, another piece of info about the lens being produced in Korea, and a white dot, making an alignment with a camera easier.

Samyang AF 35 mm f/1.8 FE - Build quality

On the left side of the inscription with parameters, looking from the top, you can also locate a CUSTOM MODE 1 and MODE 2 switch. It allows you to change the manual focus ring function as the ring can also be used to control aperture values. Producers point out the fact that new software versions might add other functions to that switch in the future.

Samyang AF 35 mm f/1.8 FE - Build quality

Further on, you see a manual focus ring, 17 mm wide, completely covered by fine ribbing. It's a focus-by-wire construction that allows you very precise settings; even if you turn it quite quickly, its focus throw still amounts to an angle of about 220 degrees. As the lens is equipped with contacts, it communicates with a camera body so you might profit from the focus peaking function on an automatically enlarged image. Still the ring doesn't have any distance scale (even though you can find it on the camera display when you are working in the MF mode) or DOF scale.

Samyang AF 35 mm f/1.8 FE - Build quality

Next you see a narrow, shiny ring, metallic red, and the lens ends with another narrow, plastic ring and a hood mount. The front element remains immobile, it is 29 mm in diameter and surrounded by a non-rotating filter thread, 58 mm in diamenter, along with an inscription stating the parameters of the lens.

Samyang AF 35 mm f/1.8 FE - Build quality

When it comes to optical construction you deal here with 10 elements positioned in 8 groups. Among them you can find two HR elements made of glass with high refraction index, and two aspherical elements. Inside, you can also find an aperture with nine diaphragm blades that can be closed down to a value of f/22 at the maximum.The producers also boast of anti-reflection UMC coating.

Buyers get in the box with the lens: both caps, a hood, and a stylish hard case. Taking into account the price of the lens its accessory kit is quite rich; we especially appreciate that hard case, very shapely and sturdy. Currently many producers don't bother with adding any case even to much more expensive lenses. Instead they often include a soft pouch which is more like a handkerchief and is not able to protect the instrument at all. In this area Samyang definitely sticks out in a positive way among its rivals.

Samyang AF 35 mm f/1.8 FE - Build quality