Lens review

Samyang AF 135 mm f/1.8 FE

12 September 2022
Maciej Latałło

3. Build quality

The following chart presents a comparison between the Samyang A 135 mm f/1.8 FE and other full frame 135 mm lenses which apertures range from f/1.8 to f/2.0. As you see, the Samyang, along with the Sony, features the shortest minimum focusing distance and the highest number of aperture blades. Apart from that, its optics is very complicated, a trait shared with the Sony and the Sigma, and its filter diameter is rather big. When it comes to physical dimensions the Samyang AF 135 mm f/1.8 FE is the longest in this group and also the lightest.

In the photo below the Samyang AF 135 mm f/1.8 FE is positioned between the Nikkor AF-S 85 mm f/1.8G and the Voigtlander Apo Lanthar 2/50.

Samyang AF 135 mm f/1.8 FE - Build quality

The tested lens starts with a metal mount that surrounds contacts and a black frame made of plastics as big as 35×26 mm. Inside this frame you can find a rear element, hidden about 1 cm deep. Its diameter amounts to 36 mm and it doesn't move. From this side everything looks properly blackened and sealed – so far so good.

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Samyang AF 135 mm f/1.8 FE - Build quality

The proper body of the lens starts with a plastic ring on which you can find a white dot, making an alignment with a camera easier, mount type, filter diameter, amounting here to 82 mm, and information that the lens was made in Korea.

Then the ring increases its diameter significantly and on that enlargened part you see an inscription 'AF 135/1.8 FE', the logo of the producer, information about the minimum focusing distance (0.69m/2.26ft), and three switches. The first of them is a focus range limiter, offering you three options: FULL, 0.69–2 m and from 1.5 meters to infinity. The next switch allows you to program specific positions e.g. AF/MF, and the last button is a focus hold that blocks the lens at a given focusing distance. Additionally, you can customize it by allotting it other functions, e.g. Eye AF, via the camera menu.

Samyang AF 135 mm f/1.8 FE - Build quality

A big manual focus ring, as wide as 4 cm, is the next part of the lens. It's a focus-by-wire mechanism and its surface is covered by fine ribbing. The focus throw depends on the speed of your turning – when you move it fast it takes a bit over 180 degrees, when you move it slower you can reach even 330 degrees. Both these values allow you very precise settings.

Then you find a short part of the barrel that ends with a hood mount.

Samyang AF 135 mm f/1.8 FE - Build quality

The front element doesn't move and is 71 mm in diameter. It is surrounded by a ribbed tube, about 1 cm high, and a non-rotating filter thread, 82 mm in diameter.

Samyang AF 135 mm f/1.8 FE - Build quality

When it comes to optical construction you deal here with 13 elements positioned in 11 groups. The producers weren't skimpy when it comes to special elements – the optical system of the Samyang features three low dispersion ED glass elements, two with a high refraction index, and one aspherical element as well. Inside, you can also find a round aperture with 11 blades that can be closed down to a value of f/22 at the maximum.

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

Samyang AF 135 mm f/1.8 FE - Build quality