Samyang is a reputable lens manufacturer known for their well-built manual focus lenses that produced sharp images. Samyang have really hit the market with their 4 latest AF lenses for the Sony e mount system. Thanks to Samyang for giving me the opportunity to test out these lenses and do real world reviews for photographers who are looking at purchasing these lens. Showing how well they perform in a real working environment especially with paid work. In this blog i will be talking to you about 2 of their AF lenses and on their performance in a real world paid environment, the 35mm f1.4 & 50mm f1.4.
I have recently shot a christening, my choice for gear was the Sony a7sii + Samyang 35mm f1.4 AF & the Sony a7riii + Samyang 50mm f1.4 AF. With both these lenses, the 35mm f1.4 has a faster AF compared to the 50mm f1.4 but in saying that Samyang have released a lens station to update the firmware for the 50mm f1.4 to improve the AF. With the christening i haven’t had the chance to get the lens station to update the 50mm firmware.
Lens Station – https://www.samyanglensglobal.com/product/detail.do?SQ=64 –
Both these lenses are the lenses i always select for my christenings due to the aperture as been at f1.4 for low light, performing really well on both a7sii & a7riii. The AF is definitely faster on the a7riii. The 35mm i have always paired it with my sony a7sii due to the high ISO, reason behind the 35mm is that i can get some wide angle shots as well as some close up shots. I have never needed anything wider than a 35mm during my christenings i shoot. The 50mm i choose to pair with my a7riii which is a perfect focal length especially if the room is small that i don’t need anything long and i can get some nice tight shots with the 50mm. Now that the R3 can asign a custom button to switch to crop mode made things a lot easier for me that if i need that extra reach i can quickly switch to crop mode making my 50mm into an 85mm equivalent.
Now for the best part, the autofocus! Both lenses performed outstanding well during my christening without any delays or any issues what so ever. The AF keeping up to my pace and nailing every shot i want to capture. Both lenses can use the Eye-AF function for sony cameras which is one of their most loved features nailing the eyes in focus making it sharp.
The 50mm is a great focal length especially if you haven’t got to much room to work with, but having it on the a7riii if i did need that extra reach instead of changing lenses i have one of my custom buttons set to crop mode giving that extra reach making it to an 85mm equivalent.
One reason i love shooting with a 35mm is that it gives me that wide angle shots adding a bit of a different perspective to what a 50mm can do. The 35mm captures just enough in frame capturing special moments. I found with the 35mm due to that perspective it captures it allows you to capture the energy which shows in the images below. With this lens the AF kept up really well been able to keep up allowing me to freeze time and capture these moments.
Even though the 50mm has a slower AF to the 35mm on the a7riii it kept up really well without delays allowing me to capture split second moments. With the below shot i had finished capturing some detail shots as i turned around the mother picked up her son and started to play with him i picked up my R3 with 50mm and focus locked on and capturing this memorable shot.
During the church i don’t intend to use flash at all. I will always take advantage of the f1.4 aperture of the lens and balance it with high ISO. Using both lenses at f1.4 the AF performed really well keeping up to what i need it to do been able to capture the images i want.
Even though the AF on the 50mm is a bit slower than the 35mm, it still kept up giving me the chance to capture special moments for the parents. With this shot below the 50mm was not close enough for me and i was not able to get any closer to the child due to the requirements of the church, so i decided to switch to crop mode again giving me that extra reach and been able to capture this shot.
Both these lens due to the f1.4 gives me that stunning bokeh and separation between my subject and background, making these lens great for capturing detail shots.
One thing i am looking forward to is to update the firmware for the 50mm to improve on the AF. I have been happy with the 50mm so far without any issues, with the firmware the AF will be a lot faster. Once i get my hands on the Lens station and update the firmware i will do another review specifically on that. But overall performance on the 35mm & 50mm AF lenses performed outstandingly well. Autofocus is fast and accurate for both lenses and especially with the eye-af. I have used both lenses in numerous events, christenings, weddings and not once have i been disappointed with the image quality and performance. The 35mm & 50mm lens works really well as a combo capturing these images for my clients.
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