Lens review

Samyang AF 50 mm f/1.4 FE II

5 August 2023
Maciej Latałło

3. Build quality

The following chart presents a comparison between basic parameters of the new Samyang AF 50 mm f/1.4 FE II, its predecessor, and other 1.4/50 class instruments designed for full frame mirrorless cameras.

The new Samyang, even if optically more complex than its predecessor, loses when stacked up against its rivals that feature from two to three elements more. The Samyang is the lightest device in this group for a change, and one of the smallest. Additionally, it offers the shortest minimum focusing distance.

In the photo below the Samyang AF 50 mm f/1.4 FE II is positioned between the Voigtlander Apo-Lanthar 2/50 and the reflex camera Canon EF 50 mm f/1.4 USM.

Samyang AF 50 mm f/1.4 FE II - Build quality

The tested lens starts with a metal mount that surrounds contacts and a 32×26 mm frame made of plastic with an inscription 'MADE IN KOREA'. Inside this frame you find a rear element, 31 mm in diameter, that is hidden about 0.5 cm deep. From this side everything looks as it should: properly blackened and sealed.

Samyang AF 50 mm f/1.4 FE II - Build quality

The proper body of the lens starts with a black, plastic ring on which you can find a white dot, making an alignment with a camera easier, plus the mount marking, the filter diameter, amounting to 72 mm, and information that the lens was produced in South Korea.

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Then the ring increases its diameter noticeably and on that enlargened part you see an inscription 'AF 50/1.4 FE II', the logo of the producer, the minimum focusing distance (0.4m/1.31ft) and two switches. The first of them, M1/M2, allows you to program specific positions, e.g. AF/MF, and the last one, a round focus lock button, blocks the lens at a given focusing distance. Additionally, it can be alloted other functions, like Eye AF, from the camera menu.

Samyang AF 50 mm f/1.4 FE II - Build quality

A big manual focus ring, as wide as 28 mm, is the next part of the lens. It's covered by fine, rubber ribbing and it is a focus-by-wire construction. Running through the whole distance needs a turn through an angle of 360 degrees, a very high value, allowing you very precise settings.

Samyang AF 50 mm f/1.4 FE II - Build quality

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

The front element doesn't move, and is 41 mm in diameter. It is surrounded by a ribbed ring and a non-rotating filter thread, 72 mm in diameter.

Samyang AF 50 mm f/1.4 FE II - Build quality

When it comes to the optical construction you deal here with 11 elements positioned in 8 groups – two elements more than in case of the predecessor. The producers weren't skimpy with special elements either – inside you can find one element made of low dispersion ED glass, three elements with high refraction index, and two aspherical elements as well. There is also a round aperture with nine blades that can be closed down to a value of f/16 at the maximum.

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

Samyang AF 50 mm f/1.4 FE II - Build quality