Amazing Resolution Amazing Background Expression Amazing AF 135mm F1.8 FE
Over a year ago, I was able to get a hold of Samyang MF 135mm F2 which I was already impressed about, the only downside is that it’s a manual focus, don’t get me wrong, I have no trouble using MF lenses, it's just, most of my subjects are children. With kids, manual focusing is very challenging since children are unpredictable and love to wander which makes me rely on the AF capabilities of a lens. So finally, Samyang released their AF 135mm F1.8, and honestly, I have been waiting for this since my review of the MF 135mm F2.
Now, I have been blessed to be chosen as one of the first few people to try this lens before its release, and trust me, it was quite difficult to keep the amazing photos I’ve taken with it to myself. I was so full of excitement that the very first day it arrived, I went out to shoot straightaway.
Right off the bat, it has jaw-dropping artistic bokeh. The superb shallow depth of field emphasizes your subject in the photograph with the background being blurred into a mixture of colours to complement. The best thing about its amazing bokeh is that when I shoot in areas where the busy background is technically part of the story of my photo, my subject is well separated from it allowing the viewers to look at the subject as the highlight of the image and everything else blends in harmony.
At first, I thought it was going to be a heavy lens since it’s a telephoto but surprisingly, its lightweight and well-balanced, making it easy for handling. We even took it with us during our hike in Snowdonia, a place field with a magical forest and breathtaking view. And while I was reviewing my images on my camera, I thought the sharpness I see is due to the good resolution of my Sony A7RIIIa but when I got home to see it on my computer, it does deliver sharp RAW images, especially when shooting in the right lighting condition.
This lens renders a warm colour tone which I like as it makes the skin looks better in general and easier to edit in post and that’s just one characteristic of Samyang that I personally love about. You can check the behind the scene on my YouTube.
Winter in the UK is the only season that gives us that cold atmosphere, and I’m not talking about temperature alone. Most of the trees have lost their leaves, the skies are overcast for days on end and there are fewer people in the park and nature reserves. This makes forests interesting for shoots which is mainly my favourite place to go to. There are not many activities to do outside and no blooming flowers to keep our eyes busy.
On days like this, taking children portraits take a bit much more creativity to make it fun and so fast autofocus is something I heavily rely on because my typical session can feel like playtime for my little subjects that they enjoy as well as myself. Samyang AF 135mm F1.8 autofocus has performed well on my photoshoots and even shown it on our preview review of this lens on our YouTube channel.
Next is taking this lens out in the city centre to take portraits of professional models. One thing about me is that I like to be at a good distance from my subject so I can effectively communicate my ideas with them such as the poses and directions I want to achieve. But with a 135mm focal length, this is somewhat impossible unless you are doing very close-up portraits. At full body shots, you will need to stand at quite a distance to compose this shot.
One thing to worry about when taking portraits in this kind of setting is people walking past on your shots and well, people in general that go about their business. Thankfully, this does not pose any problem for Samyang AF 135mm F1.8 due to its amazing background separation. I also find it quite refreshing as my model can freely move about without my interruption and going into their personal space.
Another thing that I really have to mention is its impressive control of chromatic aberration, now that’s a pain to remove especially when they occur on areas such as jewelleries, shiny and sharp contrasty edges. There’s just so much a de-fringing tool can do and it can take a whole lot of HSL tweaking to perfectly rid of them. When I discovered this superb ability, I was blown away to say the least.
And I must say, this lens’s modern design looks beautiful and professional like its stunning silver ring in the middle and catch the glimpse of Samyang’s signature red ring just hiding behind the front glass.
Built with a custom switch to change the aperture ring to focusing, a focus hold button which is very useful for Astrophotographers, and a focus limiter that limits the focus into a range. The focus ring has a soft feel texturized rubber, and it goes all around without limit. Small details are also thought of in its design such as the rubberized tip of the lens hood to prevent it from slipping when putting it down the lens first. On the inner part of the lens hood has a matte coating to combat light reflections which is great for astrophotography. The LED light that indicates infinity focus is also used as a mark when attaching the lens on a camera body, now that one is pretty cool.
Right at this moment, I am obsessed with this lens! From its stunning design to the quality images it renders will surely make anyone love using this as much as I do.