Samyang has been relatively quiet in recent years, but the company’s recent spate of lens launches has seen some very interesting offerings. Our initial impressions are that these lenses are generally well made, and offer very impressive optical quality at a staggeringly affordable price.

The Samyang 35mm f/1.4 AS UMC is the company’s most expensive lens to date, but at a street price of around £320 it is only about 25% of the price of a comparable optic from the likes of Canon, Nikon and Sony. This means that the Samyang model is around £1,000 cheaper than its rivals.

Samyang’s 35mm f/1.4 optic is a full-frame model, but it will work equally well on APS-C-format cameras giving roughly a 55mm field of view, depending on the mount. The lens is available in Nikon F, Canon EF, Pentax KAF, Sony Alpha, Samsung NX and four thirds mounts, the latter providing a 70mm focal length. Full-frame users will appreciate the 35mm focal length as a solid all-round lens that is typically associated with reportage, while APS-C-format users may see this as an ideal portrait optic.

However, one of the biggest downsides is something that afflicts all current Samyang lenses: it is manual focus only. While this may not appeal to all photographers, what will is the high optical quality.

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