Samyang Optics has recently announced two new lenses the Samyang MF 85mm f1.4 RF and Samyang MF 14mm f2.8 RF, these are manual lenses made for the new Canon RF mount found on Canon’s new full frame cameras the EOS R and RP. This review is is for the MF 85mm f1.4 RF lens but you can find my review for the MF 14mm f2.8 here.
The MF 85mm f1.4 is one of Samyang’s first RF lens mount lenses and one of the very first third party lenses available for the new Canon RF mount mirrorless cameras, great to see a third party giving us some options as there are very few native RF mount lenses available.
Looking at specs It looks like the MF 85mm f1.4 RF is the same design optically as the previous EF mount version of this lens, I believe the specs are identical apart from the weight. What we do see is a whole new body, most of the lens is made of metal rather than the plastic that the previous lenses are made of, the build quality is a big step up and it looks and feels great. We also get a weather sealing gasket around the lens mount.
|Model Name||MF 85mm F1.4 RF|
|Aperture Range||F1.4 ~ 22|
|Optical Construction||9 Elements in 7 Groups (H-ASP 1)|
|Minimum Focusing Distance||1.1m (3.6ft)|
|Magnification Ratio||x 0.09|
|Angle Of View – Full Frame||28.3˚|
My first thought’s
On opening the white box that Samyang Optics like to send their un-released lenses in I was quite surprised to find this new higher quality metal build and new more modern look to the lens, I expected it to be the old lens with an adapter bolted to the mount, this is half true, Samyang have effectively bolted an adapter to the old lens but have also changed the whole look and body design, it looks great and feels more solid than the previous EF model.
After the initial wow this is more interesting than I expected I noticed the aperture ring was also metal, on turning it it felt fantastic to use. The focus ring is also metal with a rubber grip and is very smooth to use, think old film era lens, a little more of a look and I noticed there’s also a weather sealing gasket around the mount.
So first impressions, this lens looks great and matches the modern design of the new Canon mirrorless cameras well and it’s fantastic to see this step up in quality, more of this please Samyang!
More modern lens design, looks good mounted to the R.
New aperture ring and weather sealing gasket around the lens mount.
The new Samyang MF 85mm f1.4 RF is smooth to focus and the aperture is smooth with a positive click. Although the lens is manual focus it is really quick and easy to focus on the Canon EOS R with its focus peaking and focus zoom functions, I had no problem getting focus on the areas I wanted even at wide open apertures.
The original Samyang MF 85mm f1.4 has been a favourite with portrait photographers and I can see why if it performs the same as this RF version. The images from this lens are just razor sharp and have a nice look to them, I love this lens and will be using it a lot.
Here are some image samples, I will start with an image of a busker on Melbourne’s streets followed by a 100% crop.
Busker, check out Lucky Moore Music here
Catherine at f1.4
Old jar in abandoned shed at f1.4
Harley Davidson, Traralgon at f1.4
federation Square, Melbourne at f2
Hosier Lane bikes, Melbourne at f2
Couple at Hosier lane, although I asked if I could use this image I wish I had of grabbed their details. Anyone know this couple from Boston? Let me know if you do!
Street artist Hosier Lane, Melbourne at f2
As you can see the lens is a pretty decent performer and is as sharp as they come, I think most will be pretty happy with its performance.
The Samyang MF 85mm f1.4 RF is a great addition to Samyang’s line up of lenses, it is great to see a third party manufacturer supporting the Canon RF mount and giving us some more options, I’m sure given the reputation of the original Samyang 85mm f1.4 and performance of this new RF lens it will be pretty popular. Images are sharp, contrasty, have a nice look to them and the new build quality is great. Personally I like this lens and it will be staying in my kit.
Samyang Australia expects availability end of April with pricing of around $629 AUD.
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