ĐÁNH GIÁ SAMYANG 85MM F1.4

At the beginning of this year I was delighted when Samyang released the Samyang AF 14milimet F2.8 lens in an RF mount. It was an autofocusing lens (and one that autofocuses very well on the Canon EOS R that I tested it on) & also had a beautiful, weather sealed build. To this point there have sầu been very, very few autofocusing third party options on the Canon RF mount, though it has become clear that Canon is fully committed to developing for the platsize. I expressed hope that this was the beginning of Samyang delivering a number of their excellent recent autofocusing lenses designed for Sony FE onto lớn the new Canon RF platsize, & that appears to be the case. I’m delighted lớn see one of my favorite Samyang lenses (the AF 85mm F1.4) now come khổng lồ Canon RF, where it delivers a MUCH less expensive alternative to lớn the excellent (but incredibly expensive) Canon RF 85milimet F1.2L lens (my reviews here). Despite being less than a third of the price, the Samyang RF85 (as we’ll điện thoại tư vấn it for brevity) delivers a beautiful optical performance và is a very welcome addition lớn the Canon RF ecosystem.

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The Canon RF 85mm F1.2L is a truly amazing lens, but at $2700 USD, it is also out of the reach of most photographers. Often Canon helps fill that gap with a less-expensive F1.8 lens, but to lớn date that has not yet happened on the RF mount. There are a variety of 85milimet lenses that can be adapted successfully to the mount, but that does require the use of an adapter. A reasonably priced alternative is obviously extremely welcome, as the EOS R family of cameras are great portrait options, and the RF85 mounted on my EOS R made for a lovely portrait combination.


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While I’m familiar with the Sony FE version of the lens, Samyang has made a few tweaks khổng lồ the lens to help it work on Canon RF. In this reviews, we will explore the strengths and weaknesses of the RF85 and deliver a final verdict on it.



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Thanks to Samyang Global for providing me a review copy of the lens. I’m doing the Reviews on a Canon EOS R camera body toàn thân.

Samyang RF85 Build and Handling

While there are obviously a lot of shared aspects of the build & design with the existing Sony FE version, I did note a number of changes when comparing both versions of the lens. First of all, Samyang has adapted a different finish lớn the barrel lớn better match the aesthetic of RF lenses. It is less shiny, with a slightly more matte finish. That, combined with the red ring that Samyang long ago copied from Canon, makes for a very nice fit and a handsome combination with one of Canon’s full frame mirrorless bodies.



You’ll note from the photo beneath that the FE version (on the right) is a tiny bit longer than the RF version. The Sony version is 99.5milimet (3.92″) while the Canon RF version is 97.5mm. This is most likely due lớn a slight difference in the “flange distance”, or the proper distance from the sensor khổng lồ achieve sầu focus that is typically chất lượng to each camera system. The RF mount is also considerably wider than the Sony FE mount, so you’ll see that the barrel thiết kế near the lens mount is different lớn accommodate the kiến thiết differences between the two mounts. You can also the minor difference in finish with the two lenses side by side.


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The overall diameter of both lenses is identical at 88milimet (3.46″) và both have sầu a 77mm front filter thread.


What’s interesting is that Samyang clearly determined after the release of the Sony FE version of the lens that a more substantial lens hood was warranted, so, while the new RF version of the lens is slightly shorter than the Sony version, it actually looks considerably longer with the lens hood attached.


Also welcome is the inclusion of an AF/MF switch on the barrel (which didn’t exist in the FE version), which makes switching between these two approaches lớn focus simple & intuitive sầu.


The focus ring itself is wide và tightly ribbed. While this (like other autofocusing mirrorless lenses) is a “focus-by-wire” design, the emulation of manual focus isn’t bad here. The focus ring has fairly good damping, turns smoothly and consistently, & Canon’s “Focus Guide” and color overlays make it easy lớn achieve sầu proper focus…though I suspect few people will spkết thúc much time manually focusing this lens.

Like the Sony version, Samyang has included a weather sealed thiết kế here, complete with a thiông xã gasket at the lens mount (as always, the rubber gasket on Canon mount lenses is much thicker than those found on Sony lenses) và two other seal points inside the lens (either side of the ring).


What isn’t present is any equivalent of Canon’s control ring that is built into the native sầu Canon RF lenses.

That point aside, however, the lens is very nicely built. The lens hood does not have sầu a lochồng, but bayonets into lớn place with precision & a definite “click”. What’s also true is that this lens is significantly smaller and lighter than competing lenses. It is about 20mm shorter than the Canon RF 85milimet F1.2L và weighs half as much.


This diagram also shows the Sigma 85mm F1.4 ART, though that lens would require an adapter as there isn’t a native RF mount version of the lens.

With the lens hood in place, this is a substantial lens, but the unique grip và ergonomics of the EOS R I paired it with made it an easy match.


The RF85 has 9 rounded aperture blades that does a fairly good job of retaining a circular shape when the aperture closes down, though by F2.8 in my series here you can see the nine bladed shape a bit. You’ll also note that there is the typical geometric deformation towards the edges of the frame at F1.4 & F2, though the circular shapes are fairly consistent across the frame by F2.8:


The RF85 can focus as close as 0.9 meters (2.95 feet), but has a rather poor 0.11x magnification. This is on the low side for an 85milimet lens, though not by much. The 85mm lenses I’ve sầu tested have sầu ranged from 0.11-0.14x (the Canon 85L is 0.12x, for reference), so this is never a strength for them. Here’s what MFD looks like:


The cthua up performance is pretty good, fortunately, with good contrast và sharpness. This isn’t going to serve sầu as a substitute for a macro lens, however.

It’s worth noting that the lens properly communicates all EXIF information and properly identifies in post processing software (Samyang RF 85mm F1.4). What isn’t supported (at least by the time of this review) is Canon’s Lens Aberration Correction, as the camera shows no data available for the lens. Normally I wouldn’t be surprised by this, but the RF 14mm F2.8 did receive sầu in-camera corrections. Perhaps a future firmware update will correct this, though it is worth noting that Samyang requires their Lens Station to lớn apply firmware updates to their lenses, and at the time of this nhận xét the RF version is not widely available in North America.

All in all, however, there’s little to criticize here. This is a nicely made lens that has reasonable form size & weight for a large aperture 85milimet prime.

Samyang RF85 Autofocus Performance

Samyang has made tremendous strides in their autofocus performance in the past few years, và that’s true here. They’ve employed a “DLSM” focus system here (Dual Linear Sonic Motor) where focus motors on either side of the moving element propel focus baông xã and forth.


While autofocus isn’t quite as fast or silent as the RF 14mm F2.8, this isn’t unexpected. The nature of the focal length và maximum aperture of the 14mm lens means that the elements are smaller & require less torque khổng lồ drive them. An 85milimet F1.4 lens has a LOT of glass inside, and those larger, heavier elements are harder to lớn move sầu with tốc độ và silence. Focus speed is fast in either “One Shot” or “Servo” modes when making smaller changes, và only a bit slower when making major focus changes. There’s a light “clicking” noise when focusing that is audible but faint. I would say that focus noise and tốc độ is roughly similar khổng lồ the Canon RF 85mm F1.2L.

Focus accuracy has generally been very good, with fine objects being picked out easily & accurately by the focus system. I did periodically encounter the focus quirk that I also saw with the Canon 85L lens, & that was sometimes the focus system was reluctant to grab a foreground object with all points active.


I could overcome that either by choosing a different focus mode (a smaller zone, focus point, or cluster) or by touching the screen khổng lồ create a smaller focus area…which typically will solve sầu the problem.


The fact that I saw something similar with Canon’s own 85milimet lens makes me think this might have sầu more khổng lồ vị with the focus system in the camera than the lens itself.

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I had outstanding focus results when shooting portraits. Eye AF worked perfectly, & grabs on quickly & stays locked there. This makes shooting portraits so easy (and fun), & I had amazing results even though I largely shot at F1.4. Here’s a few examples:


That makes the RF85 a great portrait option if your budget doesn’t stretch to lớn the extremely expensive Canon RF 85mm F1.2L.

I’ve also used the lens quite often for shooting video clip episodes, &, while the focal length becomes very long (due to the 1.7x crop factor of the EOS R while shooting 4K đoạn phim, I’ve sầu actually had extremely good detection of my face & stable Clip AF performance…great news! I presume this lens will be even more useful once the highly anticipated Canon EOS R5 arrives.


I don’t really have sầu any major criticisms here. The RF85 performed well in all the various scenarquả táo I put it in, và has become an easy lens to reach for even for casual shots.


Put simply, I’ve sầu reached for my EOS R more often since this lens arrived on my doorstep. While I would love sầu to lớn own the Canon 85L, its price is prohibitive ($3500 + tax here in Canada!), so I’m enjoying having a chất lượng 85milimet lens with good autofocus available…and one that I can afford.

Samyang RF85 Image Quality

Samyang has delivered a lens with an optical formula high on special elements, including four HR (High Refraction) và one ED (Extra Low Dispersion) in the total of 11 elements in 8 groups. This results in a very strong performance optically. Here’s a look at the optical formula and MTF charts.


The challenge with portrait lenses is that if they are too sharp và contrasty, skin looks a bit “plasticky”. Without enough sharpness và contrast, however, one feels lượt thích they have to stop the lens down to lớn get rid of haze or chromatic aberrations, which kind of defeats the purpose of buying a large aperture prime lens lớn begin with. The AF85 hits the sweet spot, though, with very nice wide open sharpness và downright wicked sharpness by F2.8. It doesn’t suffer from pronounced chromatic aberrations or hazy textures, & the overall rendering and bokeh is very nice. Here’s a real-world example at F1.4.


Pretty nice stuff there!

Let’s first take a look at some of the basic optical issues like vignette and distortion.


What we see is a negligible amount of pincushion distortion. The “corrected” version has a -1 value plugged in, but it is hardly necessary. Vignette is another story, however. I slid both sliders khổng lồ the extremes (+100 and midpoint moved all the way lớn the left) to lớn correct the vignette. A lot of this lifts by F2 & is almost all gone by F2.8. Just for reference – the vignette is about identical to lớn that seen on the Tamron SP. 85mm F1.8 VC (a logical comparison point in terms of price) & is about 25% heavier than what is seen on the Canon RF 85mm F1.2L (at F1.2) & between 40-50% heavier than the Canon when it is stopped down to F1.4. So while it is not unusually heavy on the Samyang RF85, this is definitely an optical vulnerability for the lens. For portrait work, however, I preferred the uncorrected vignette which is linear in nature and is flattering.


I bởi vì like the additional light on the subject, but I would prefer lớn add that directly and not chiến bại the spotlighting of the subject. Something more like this:


Your preferences may vary, of course, but I wanted khổng lồ highlight the issue.

There are mild amounts of LoCa (Longitudinal Chromatic Aberrations) visible at F1.4, và contrast is good but not Otus màn chơi.


Center sharpness is very good at F1.4 with edge performance at good levels. Contrast is also good (but again, not at Apochromatic levels, which might a good thing depending on your perspective).

For some perspective sầu, here’s hope the lens compares to lớn the incredibly expensive Canon RF 85mm F1.2L (both lenses at F1.4) at center, midpoint, & corner:


What’s interesting is that while I think the Canon shows better levels of contrast across the frame, there is little discernible difference in resolution. I would favor the Canon overall, but I would certainly see where people might question whether that is 300% better (the Canon costs 3x as much).

How about against a more reasonably priced competitor? The Tamron SP 85milimet F1.8 VC (which easily converts lớn RF via the EF khổng lồ RF adapter) has a pro-cấp độ build, image stabilization, và a comparable price ($749 USD at present, while the Samyang is listing at $699 USD). Here’s a look at how they compare (at F2) across the frame:


This one is pretty cthua trận, but I see a definitely Samyang advantage in the center of frame, while I perceive a slight resolution advantage for Samyang but arguably a bit more contrast for the Tamron across the rest of the frame.

Bottom line: the modern lens market is very, very competitive. It is rare that a bad lens optically gets released, and any of these modern lenses would blow away the top 85mm lenses from a decade ago in terms of raw resolution và contrast.

By F2.8 the contrast và resolution across the frame is fantastic. You can see the increase in both here:


You can see that the crop from the left side from this handheld landscape image at F2.8 looks very good:


I noted previously that some may prefer a slightly lower contrast look và not to have sầu all aberrations perfectly corrected. My experience is that many lenses that have sầu all aberrations corrected unfortunately thua kém something in the process. They are very sharp and have very high contrast, but their overall rendering và bokeh is often busier and less “magical”. People will sometimes use terms like “clinical” to lớn describe such lenses; they laông chồng character. I personally feel lượt thích Samyang has struông xã a nice balance with the RF85; it has plenty of sharpness và contrast, but also has “soul” as well. The rendering is beautiful, the bokeh is lovely, & images from the lens are very pleasing. Here are some examples:


Occasionally I will see the slighted bit of “busyness” in some transition areas, but my overall impression from the lens is that the bokeh is very nice. This is going lớn make for an extremely nice portrait lens. Here’s a full length F1.4 portrait:


Very nice. The RF system has desperately needed an affordable portrait option, & it has definitely arrived.


There is one other flaw khổng lồ be discussed, one that is fairly comtháng to wide aperture medium telephokhổng lồ lenses: flare resistance. It is rare that prime lenses with huge amounts of glass are able to lớn thoroughly resist the effects of bright light, & the Samyang RF85 is no exception. I got a variety of different flare artifacts when shooting into the sun, though I didn’t see anything unusually bad here.


The good news with telephokhổng lồ glass is that it is fairly easy to lớn avoid pointing them inkhổng lồ direct sun because of the more narrow angle of view. Furthermore, if you position it properly, these aberrations can be used lớn artistic effect. I would summarize this performance as being fairly typical but certain not impressive.

All in all, there is a lot lớn commend the Samyang RF85 for optically & relatively little khổng lồ criticize it for. I’m definitely a tín đồ of what I see here. If you would lượt thích to lớn see more images from the lens, kiểm tra out the image gallery hereas I believe the images speak for themselves.

Conclusion

The release of the Samyang RF 85milimet F1.4 AF is very, very welcome on Canon’s new full frame mirrorless platkhung. I gave the Canon RF 85mm F1.2L a fairly rave sầu Review while also acknowledging that it’s price ($2700 USD) places it out of the range of the vast majority of photographers. For those interested in portrait photography, but without incredibly deep pockets, the Samyang RF85 ($700) is a godsover. It gives them a chất lượng build (yet reasonable weight), good autofocus performance (with excellent Eye AF results), and image quality that is, essentially, near perfect for portrait work.


The RF85 is quite sharp from F1.4 on, & while there is fairly strong vignette, I’m fairly partial to lớn the wide open performance of the lens:


The danh sách of shortcomings is fairly brief, with the typical wide aperture short telephokhổng lồ traits of vignette và flare being the chief optical complaints. The autofocus performance is roughly on par with what I saw from the Canon 85L lens, which is lớn say very good but not as quiet, smooth, or fast as the very best that I’ve sầu seen. I also wish the lens had tư vấn of Canon’s Lens Aberration Corrections (lượt thích the 14milimet F2.8), but hopefully that will come via firmware in the future. That’s about as much as I can come up with, as overall I think the lens is a wonderful addition lớn the RF catalog and a lens I plan lớn add to my own Canon RF kit.


While lenses lượt thích this are certainly a threat khổng lồ the more expensive sầu first buổi tiệc ngọt options, they also serve sầu khổng lồ make the platkhung more accessible and help sell cameras. Canon needs third tiệc nhỏ lenses lượt thích this lớn convince people khổng lồ move sầu either from DSLRs khổng lồ mirrorless or from competing mirrorless systems khổng lồ their own. The Samyang (Rokinon) RF 85milimet F1.4 AF is a pretty compelling reason khổng lồ vì chưng so.

Pros:

Beautiful build with moderate weightWeather sealing improves flexibilityDual linear motors makes focus smooth, fairly quiet, and fast enough in most situationsVideo AF is very stableExcellent center sharpness và good edge sharpness at wide aperturesVery sharp & high contrast across the frame when stopped downAberrations exist but in small, non-destructive amountsBeautiful bokeh and renderingEye AF works fantasticVastly improved manual focus ring & focus actionGreat price to performance ratio

Cons:

Autofocus can refuse to lớn focus on cthảm bại objects initially with all points activeSomewhat flare proneFairly heavy vignetteNo Canon Lens Aberration Correction support

Purchase the Samyang RF 85milimet F1.4 AF
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