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Customer reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
64
4.7 out of 5 stars
Style: Nikon|Change
Price:£299.99+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime


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on 30 June 2017
Great bokeh. Lovely lens. MANUAL FOCUS.
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on 3 April 2015
Very well made lens, very sharpand would recommend.
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on 28 November 2015
Fantastic image quality as you would expect from Samyang and I picked this up new for £160 so exceptional value for money. I use it on my a6000, so I have not tried it as a full frame lens.

This is my second lens from them and the Sony cameras make them very easy to use with focus peaking. The other lens I have is the 12mm, which is solid, but this 85 is BIG and HEAVY. Don't get me wrong, it is built like a tank and everything feels very well made, but it is so heavy that I do not take it out as much as I would like. It is actually heavier than the old school nikon 85mm I have. I think this lens, the 12mm and the kit 16-50 complement each other quite nicely. If Samyang made a compact lens in the 17-20mm range for Sony I would dump the kit lens as the Samyangs all seem to be superb.

Taking shots at f1.4 is a little challenging as the depth of field is so narrow (part of this lens' charm), but stop it down a bit and it is much more forgiving. Wide open the quality is pretty good, but zooming in you will see a bit of improvement from stopping down to f2.8 anyway.

Perfect for portraits and slow moving subjects, but be aware of the weight if you were planning on lugging this around.

If you found this helpful, please click on the 'Helpful' button. See my other reviews for similar good value photo products.
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on 21 February 2016
Has become fixed to the front of my X-E1 as if glued on. It took a little while to get used to as it as manual focus only and the temptation to shoot at f1.4 is at first overwhelming so with a narrow dof and relying on my manual focussing skills I missed focus on a hell of a lot of shots. Get direct strong sunlight on a white subject and expect a lot of purple fringing, but that's easily corrected in Lightroom. Don't point the thing at bright objects harshly lit and you'll start getting lovely results. There is a crispness to the results but a certain delicate softness which is what makes it such a great portrait lens. A little large on my small Fuji body but with practise I'm nailing the focus more and more often and the results are wonderful. Oh and the bokeh - to die for!
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on 4 March 2017
I paid just over £279 for it from Amazon "warehouse deals" and it was in perfect condition. I wanted a fast 85mm prime lens for my Sony Alpha A6000. Whilst this Samyang at F1.4 looked like great value on paper, what initially put me off was the lack of auto-focus. But the choices of fast 85 mm auto-focus primes for the Sony E mount are limited. I did consider seriously:

- the Sony G Master (£1,500) - was I going to pay a premium of over £1,200 just for auto-focus? I don't think so...
- the Carl Zeiss Batis (£978) - still pricey, and only F1.8...
- the Sigma A mount (£750) with the £120 Sony adapter - an £870 compromise? Naah...
- and even the Canon EF (£340 F1.8) plus £70 Fotodiox adapter - it just didn't work for me.

Whilst these are without doubt great lenses in their own right, the Samyang 85mm is a sharp, quality built lens at incredible value. And what's more, I'm finding that the A6000's focus peaking is amazing (never used it before) and it very often feels like it has the advantage over auto-focus in terms of control. The only thing I would point out is that, compared with the image shown on Amazon, the version for the E mount has a built in adapter (or rather extension?) that makes the lens a bit longer than for the Canon/Nikon mounts - which does make sense if you think about the relative difference in diameter. But this in not a problem for me, and actually gives good clearance between the lens and the A6000's grip.
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on 9 March 2016
This is a rare thing indeed. It is both cheap (relatively) and awesome. Build quality is excellent, picture quality almost as good as it gets and it is a joy to use.

**NOTE: This review is based on my Pentax mount version. I'm not sure if it works in Aperture Priority mode on all makes, or if the focus confirmation works for all makes.**

This is one of those rare lenses that proves to be relatively cheap, but also very very good. I have the Falcon version but it comes in many different brand names including Samyang and Vivitar.

First thing to note is that on a Pentax mount it works in aperture priority (Av) mode, so you can set the aperture with the camera dial (you can on my K5 anyway). This is handy as the aperture dial itself is tricky to get to as its very small and recessed. The focus method is manual on these, but it is very smooth and not at all lose, so you are confident the barrel stays where it was put. Additionally I get focus confirmation in the viewfinder with this lens which is useful (the little red dot confirming the subject is in focus).

The picture quality is simply stunning, and the bokeh is to die for - many call this lens the bokeh monster. Simply go and flickr to see what I mean. It does take a little getting used to, as at 1.4 the depth of field is tiny, but once you do it's a joy. I shoot mostly with it stopped down a little, but when I've needed to use the full aperture I was still happy with the results. All of my best portraits have been taken with this lens. It also gives amazing quality feel to video, as the same narrow depth of field is transferred to the video format. I found I could change the aperture whilst the video was shooting too.

Simply amazing value for money, you would spend 3 times for a pentax version, which is marginally better, but no where near 3 x times better. Buy one, you will not regret it!

**TOP TIP FOR PENTAX USERS** : Not sure if you have this feature on Nikon or Canon, but in the menu system on a Pentax (custom item 25 on K5/K3) you can activate a function called "catch-in focus". This effectively turns a manual focus lens into an auto focus lens, sort of. Pop on the lens, activate catch-in focus in your custom menu, and set the camera body to AFS. The next time you press and hold the shutter release it will only fire once the subject has come into focus. Now clearly this is not as handy as full auto focus, but in some situations it is actually more useful. Imagine you are trying to capture a shot of someone running towards you. It is hard sometimes for an auto focus system to catch the subject in time, so sometimes I set my focal point and fire a burst as the subject runs through it. Using catch-in focus I don't have to, I simply press and hold and the camera takes the shot when the subject is in focus.
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on 7 February 2014
If you enjoy the challenge of manual focusing, this lens is spectacular -both in terms of price and the competition (ie Nikon 85mm). I had the AF Nikon and this to directly compare. The choice was so easy. This lens is sharp, solidly constructed and takes wonderfully sharp and crisp images. I did need to use the fine tune facility in my d300 to get it spot on, but that took around 10 mins and was so well worth it.

I love manual focusing now, as it makes me think about and compose my images with care. I am getting more keepers and avoiding filling up my hard drive with hundreds of so-so pics. One thing with this lens to bear in mind is the relatively long minimum focus range. Not a problem really, just something to consider depending on the type of pics you want to take.

PS: if you are considering ordering a grey import to save a few quid as I did.....This is my second copy of this lens, the first was not calibrated correctly and -unlike the 8mm fisheye -it's not an easy fix. I would recommend purchasing here, or at another supplier, where you can return and exchange the lens easily. The calibration is not always spot on from the factory, something Samyang are known for. That said, get a good one and you've got yourself a stunning lens.
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on 22 November 2011
**NOTE: This review is based on my Pentax mount version. I'm not sure if it works in Aperture Priority mode on all makes, or if the focus confirmation works for all makes.**

This is one of those rare lenses that proves to be relatively cheap, but also very very good. I have the Falcon version but it comes in many different brand names including Samyang and Vivitar.

First thing to note is that on a Pentax mount it works in aperture priority (Av) mode, so you can set the aperture with the camera dial (you can on my K5 anyway). This is handy as the aperture dial itself is tricky to get to as its very small and recessed. The focus method is manual on these, but it is very smooth and not at all lose, so you are confident the barrel stays where it was put. Additionally I get focus confirmation in the viewfinder with this lens which is useful (the little red dot confirming the subject is in focus).

The picture quality is simply stunning, and the bokeh is to die for - many call this lens the bokeh monster. Simply go and flickr to see what I mean. It does take a little getting used to, as at 1.4 the depth of field is tiny, but once you do it's a joy. All of my best portraits have been taken with this lens. It also gives amazing quality feel to video, as the same narrow depth of field is transferred to the video format. I found I could change the aperture whilst the video was shooting too.

Simply amazing value for money, you would spend 3 times for a pentax version, which is marginally better, but no where near 3 x times better. Buy one, you will not regret it!
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on 21 October 2012
Every time I use this lens the results leave me speechless.There is a misterious mix of sharpness and softness to the images with loads of details and beautiful,deep colours which gives 3D and a sort of silkiness feel to the objects. I have also been using 3 Nikon lenses but this Samyang blows them all away making them redundant.The main advantages over other lenses:
-sharpness
-colour
-lack of distortion
-lack of chromatic aberration
-bokeh smoothness
-fun to use due to MF only :)
-low price

Considering these, this lens is unbeatable and highly recommended.
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on 31 October 2016
Reassuring build quality. Marginally soft wide open like any f1.4 lens, however it's negligible and at f2.8 it's excellent both centre and edge. IQ overall is very good and this lens is great fun and can produce satisfying results. Definitely not a walkabout lens as a tripod is generally a necessity. Price-wise this is a bargain.
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