Samyang 35mm F1.4 AS UMC
(Reviewer: Michael Sng, Text: Editor AL)
Image: Shot by Samyang 35mm F1.4 (1/40, ISO100, F5.6) Photo by Michael Sng.
26th September 2015, Singapore – Following my last article on the Samyang 85mm F1.4, today I am going to write about the super popular Samyang 35mm F1.4 AS UMC. Designed and manufactured as a full frame lens, the Samyang 35mm F1.4 is not just another “cheap alternative” when compared to the pricey equivalents from other brands. Why so?
First & foremost, the lens offers razor sharp images even when open up to the widest aperture at F1.4, and the image are “+ 1” contrasty making it a perfect street photography lens, or low light night-walkabout lens, or for that wide angle portrait that you will always wanted to do. And the above, was just based on what I usually do, the possibility is endless though.
The Samyang 35mm F1.4 AS UMC is not small for a start, 110mm x 83mm is NOT small, but comes with a very manageable weight of about 700gm, just perfect for hand-held shooting and it will not give you arm sores after using. Made from the same solid alloy for the barrel, the built is study and feels like it can take some serious abuse though. The optics are not spared from any attention, the glass is arranged in 12 elements in 10 groups including aspherical glass among the elements (that explains the “AS” in the lens name) and the front element is Multi-coated for colour corrections and protection against dusts and grease (that again explains the “UMC” on the lens name).
As usual, if you found your way here looking for technical reviews of the Samyang 35mm F1.4 AS UMC, maybe you should look elsewhere, we are more interested how the final images produced by this lens. On our invitation, we invited a Street Photographer Mr. Michael Sng (Better known as Mike Syn on cyberspace) to take the Samyang 35mm F1.4 AS UMC out for a walk. Let’s hear what he has to say about this lens.
“When the Editor AL invited me to try the Samyang 35mm F1.4 AS UMC, I was thrilled. This is a lens that many had talked about especially among my street-photography friends. I took the lens out for a walk and tried shooting it on my Sony a7 series camera. As the Samyang 35mm F1.4 was designed and made as a manual focus lens, I decided to use the focus-peaking AF mode on my Sony with this lens. The focusing ring on the Samyang 35mm was super smooth and well ratio-ed so in fact it was so easy to use that I almost forgot that this was a manual-focusing lens. I got my subject in focus really quickly and surprisingly this was much easier than I thought”
“I found out later that the Samyang 35mm F1.4 was shipped with a flower-shape hood that was included in the box which is nice. I also like the minimum focusing distance, it starts focusing from about 1 feet away and I can use it for some decent close-up shots too. The Samyang 35mm was conceived as an 8-bladder (Aperture) and it gives a pretty bokeh which is creamy and smooth, a bonus to me as I can use this on my occasional wide angle image of people. It literally “pops” my subject with its well-controlled depth of field at its widest. If I had not been honest, many of my friends would have thought that I had done my shots using other expensive lenses.”
“The Samyang 35mm F1.4 accepts 77mm front screw-on filters which is very much an universal size and I can use a whole load of filters on it for landscape shots and the front does not turn during focusing this makes the use of circular polarizer filter a joy to use.”
“Personally, what I like about the Samyang 35mm F1.4 was the ease of use, easy focusing, nice creamy bokeh and its wide aperture. Given the asking price, I am shocked that I am getting superior images from this lens! After this review, I am going to buy 1 for myself and I will recommend the Samyang 35mm F1.4 to anyone who can live without the auto-focus and need a standard wide lens with a large aperture. This is the lens to buy!”
From what we have read from Michael’s user experience of the Samyang 35mm F1.4 AS UMC, and after scrutinizing the photos that he shot, I am certain that many of you out there who had tried this lens will agree with Michael. There are some websites out there who even claimed that the Samyang 35mm F1.4 is sharper than their proprietary 35mm F1.4 which I am not surprised at all. From my personal experience as a commercial photographer, we know that AF cannot be trusted 100% especially in low light or in situations that has a combination of both lighted and non-lighted scenes. This becomes even more critical when a shooting a subject that is much smaller.
In conclusion, get the 35mm F1.4 AS UMC and save yourself tons of money while getting excellent images out of it.
The Samyang 35mm F1,4 is shipped in various mounts – Canon EF, Canon M, Nikon AE (F), Pentax K, Sony A-mount, Sony E-mount, FujiFilm X, Samsung NX, Four Thirds and Micro Four Thirds.
Get your Samyang 35mm F1.4 AS UMC here.
About Samyang Singapore
Samyang DSLR lenses are exclusively distributed by Alan Photo Trading – a photography retailer and photography equipment distributor for many brands in Singapore. Alan Photo had been serving the local photography community since 1987 and they are one of the top 5 camera retailers in Singapore. A firm believer in honest deals & long term customer relationships, the brand operates on integrity and customer satisfaction. Today, Alan Photo is one of the most recognizable & respected retailers/ distributor for photographic equipment in Singapore. Follow Alan Photo on their Facebook here or visit their website here.
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