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Samyang RF 85mm F1.4 AF Review

Dustin Abbott has completed, what I think is the first in depth review of the Samyang 85mm F1.4 RF.   The Canon RF 85mm F1.2 is a great lens, but until Canon gets more economical lenses released such as the 85mm F1.8 or even their own 85mm F1.4, lenses like the Samyang will be very important to the RF system.

Dustin has many fantastic images and a good description of the lens and what he finds on his website.

Pros;

  • Beautiful build with moderate weight
  • Weather sealing improves flexibility
  • Dual linear motors makes focus smooth, fairly quiet, and fast enough in most situations
  • Video AF is very stable
  • Excellent center sharpness and good edge sharpness at wide apertures
  • Very sharp and high contrast across the frame when stopped down
  • Aberrations exist but in small, non-destructive amounts
  • Beautiful bokeh and rendering
  • Eye AF works fantastic
  • Vastly improved manual focus ring and focus action
  • Great price to performance ratio

Cons;

  • Autofocus can refuse to focus on close objects initially with all points active
  • Somewhat flare prone
  • Fairly heavy vignette
  • No Canon Lens Aberration Correction support

Conclusions;

The release of the Samyang RF 85mm F1.4 AF is very, very welcome on Canon’s new full frame mirrorless platform.  I gave the Canon RF 85mm F1.2L a fairly rave 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 godsend.  It gives them a quality build (yet reasonable weight), good autofocus performance (with excellent Eye AF results), and image quality that is, essentially, near perfect for portrait work.


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