The Samyang 85mm T1.5 is a budget full-frame cine lens for video works. If you are transitioning from still lenses for video works like me to cine lenses, you may need to consider the Samyang Cine lenses.
Cine lenses can be very expensive but they are the best options for film production and video works. Using cine lenses opens your creative potential to a whole new level. I mean something much amazing.
Check out the Helios 44-2 58mm f2 vintage lens review
Today I will be reviewing the Samyang 85mm AS IF USM II. I will be reviewing
- The technical specifications,
- The performance,
- And what videographers are saying about it.
For the record, I am not paid to review this product and my intention is to help anyone interested in buying a budget cine lens make the right decisions. So let’s get started.
Specification – Samyang 85mm T1.5
The Samyang 85mm T1.5 is a semi-manual telephoto lens with 8 aperture blades which gives an octagon bokeh shape. Like every other cine lens, Samyang 85mm comes with a focus gear ring which makes it easy to pull focus or mount follow focus ring.
The Samyang 85mm is built with outstanding Hybrid aspherical lens(H-ASP) optical function and this helps minimise chromatic aberration and gives consistent image quality and contrast from the centre to the corner of your lens when it’s fully opened up.
The T1.5 allows you to open up your lens wide, this helps in low light and shallow depth of field. Comparing cine lenses with still lenses the T-stops are more consistent than the f-stop when changing lenses on set.
Its build quality is good, not very heavy and the mount is strong. I personally love the smooth focus and aperture rings.
Now let’s talk about the performance of the Samyang 85mm T1.5
I recently bought this lens but I have done some text to see its performance, I use it on my Blackmagic Pocket Cinema 6k pro and my Sony A7S II. To a very large extent, I have some good things to say about the Samyang 85mm T1.5
The image quality this lens produces is excellent and cinematic. You have decent colour tones and natural contrast which makes your footage look pleasing. With the help of outstanding optical function, you get consistent image quality throughout the whole coverage of the lens.
Cine lenses are known for their softness and this is one of the characteristics cine lenses bring to your production. This does not mean that the lens does not produce sharp images,
When I put the lens to text I discovered that the lens produces a sharp image from the centre to corners even when I completely opened up my aperture to T1.5 and stopped down to T4 increasing the sharpness of my footage.
The lens produces nice octagon-like bokeh and a very clean shallow depth of field at T1.5. Though this is not the greatest bokeh I have seen but not the worst either.
Low Light: Low light performance is a function of camera sensitivity to light and a fast lens. (Complete this)
It performs great in low light, and the large aperture helps the lens open wide to enable more light to your camera sensor. So like every other lens with a big aperture, the Samyang 85mm performs when in low light.
Operating Samyang 85mm T1.5
The lens is easy to use, it is very easy to pull focus and it has very little breathing when pulling focus. The chromatic aberration is minimal on your footage unlike the Nikon 85mm F1.8 G lens.
Overall I will rate the performance of the lens 70-75% because I discovered this lens has some turn-offs.
The Samyang 85mm minimum focusing distance is 3.6ft. compared to the Nikon 85mm f1.8 which is 2.62ft. What this implies is that with the Nikon, you can’t closer to your subject than you can with the Samyang. This is not really a big deal being a semi-telephoto lens but if you are used to the Nikon, you will notice that immediately.
The Bokeh performance: I personally prefer the Samyang 35mm VDSLR mark 2 and Helios 44-2 f2 bokeh performance. These two lenses produce very smooth and lovely bokeh. It doesn’t mean the 85mm bokeh is bad, I think it’s a thing of preference.
The Samyang 85mm T1.5 is a great cine lens for video work. It is affordable and performs well for the price. If you are considering buying an affordable cine lens, the Samyang 85mm will be a good choice for you.
If you are looking for a sharp lens with great image quality at around a £300 price point, then this lens will be a good choice for you.