PRODUCT REVIEW

MF 85mm F1.4 RF

Samyang´s new lenses for RF Mount... the MF 85mm f1.4 Johannes Trabola 2019-03-20

Samyang's new lenses for RF Mount... the MF 85mm f1.4

Background of the review

After my first experience with the Canon EOS R the lens choice seems to be too heavy to travel with... 
The combo of Canon's great EF 85_L-IS monster and the even heavier Milvus 15mm f2.8 let me ask Samyang: will you come up with something light being designed for Canon's RF mount? The reply was astonishing: Yes we do, we checked your profile on social media: would you like to review the lenses. 
Since I like to test glass -you always learn from it- I agreed. I took quite a bit and some communication with German customs I finally got the lenses from Samyang, the 85mm f1.4 as well as the 14mm f2.8. 





My first reaction: disappointment

My first reaction was disappointment. These lenses do not looks being originally designed for mirrorless cameras. 
I just looks like a simple mechanical adapter - and even worse- without any EXIF chip build in. Therefore no exif data transferred,  no focusing aid (an awesome tool on the EOS-R!!!) and no focusing wide open and automatic aperture closing. I communicated with Samyang, the replied properly and asked to give it a try. So i did. And please read to the end!
So I made some first tests at home which were astonishing and later I took them on a little trip to South of France to shoot with them there, too.
But let's start with a topic which is important for these kind of lenses:


Manual focusing on the EOS-R without communication to the lens

or: where mirrorless cameras are shining...

Today many people believe that autofocus is essentiell. Well having autofocus can be helpful, but can be annoying, too. I skipped my Sigma 85mm f1.4 because of Autofocus inconsistency. it is no fun if a lens while open doesn't deliver sharp images where it should be sharp. And honestly: on a DSLR shooting manually through the viewfinder without focus confirmation and special focusing screen build in the camera? No fun at all... 

But the EOS R has one feature build in which makes it easy to focus: focus peaking. It was the first time I had to use it exclusively to work with this feature. I was astonished how well it works. The accuracy range was really comparable to autofocus (!)...
The other advantage of focusing with manual focusing lens is the possibility to use the 5x or 10x magnification in the viewfinder. This methods gives you the highest level of focusing accuracy. But in low light you will suffer from the noise in the viewfinder as well...
Generally spoken after using mirrorless cameras since almost 10 years now this type of cameras is much more suited for manual focusing than anything else. Mirrorless cameras - and especially the implementation of Canon - Is really joy to shoot manual focusing lenses. This opens opportunities especially on the budget side - but using lenses like the Milvus or Otus from Zeiss also in the very high end site...


The lens

Build quality

The lens is build pretty properly, it has a metal design for all optics and the mount to the camera, the lens hood and the structure holding the lensed are from solid plastic.

  

LEFT : The lens without the lens hood.   RIGHT : And here the lens in its full size...



The focus throw is around 110º and feels very well damped. This not much, on the other side the minimum focusing distance is only 110cm instead of 85cm for the other 85mm's I own.

Just for fun I measured minimum focal distance... The result:

Samyang 112 cm
Canon 83cm
Milvus 82cm

Remark Samyang told me that the lens I have tested is a beta-lens. Samyang will change the minimum focal distance to 1 m. This will be a bit better... 
Personally I would like to have it even shorter that 85mm - I would love to have it at a magnification of 0.3....

The aperture range goes from f 1.4 to f22 (yes, the other ones stop @ f16. 
The aperture stops are typically half stop, bit between f22 and f16 as well as f2 and f1.4 you have only 1 stop.
What is nice - and an improvement over my former Samyang lenses that they have an indicator for depth of field.
This is handsome and I guess it comes with no extra costs in manufacturing- just another mask for marking....


 

What amount of glass...

Surprisingly: the lens comes with weather sealing. 
The upper lens cap is good it is easy to grip, even with mounted lens hood.

The lens is pretty compact and lightweight:

Samyang MF 85mm f1.4:                   728 g 
Canon EF 85mm f1.4 EF L IS USM:    1177 g
Zeiss Milvus 85mm f1.4                   1484 g

All lenses I measured with hood and both lens caps. The EF mount lenses were measured including the RF to EF control ring adapter.
What can make you thinking: The EOS R incl the Samyang MF 85mm f1.4 weights 1390g. This is less than the Zeiss Milvus alone....
There are really no complains about build quality: it is a pretty well made lens!


Image quality

Image quality is a topic which comes with a lot of aspects. An 85mm f1.4 should have a at least decent sharpness in the center at f1.4. It should have a buttery smooth bokeh, not too much color fringing and at the end not soo sensitive against lens flare....
To test some of these topics I let this lens compete with 2 strong competitors (definitely not in the price point): The Canon EF 85mm f1.4 L IS USM and the Zeiss Milvus 85mm f1.4

Sharpness

What do you expect from a low cost lens. Not too much, or?
The first comparison starts with some photos taken at different settings. First an overview o the scene:


The photo shows the pretty famous Stuttgart railway station. You can see the construction  work in the center of the scene.
The camera stood on a sturdy tripod. I have chosen 10s delay time for shutter release.
The photos you see below are taken at f 1.4 and f 5.6. You can identify the different lenses according to the name of the lens

The Canon lens speaks clear text
The Milvus is shown as EOS R 85mm - but it indicates the the f stop at least.

The  photos are screenshots taken left, in the middle and on the right side of the image.There is a little bit of inconsistency in the images because during the course of the photo shoot - they switched off the lights in the construction area.
The photos are 100% screenshots taken in lightroom.


Lethes start with the Samyang vs Zeiss Milvus. The color rendering of both lenses is pretty similar. But the Samyang is definetly softer...


Now the comparison to the Canon. First of all: The Canon is a bit shorter in focal length why the picture details are a little bit different. Due to my taste the difference is a bit less - or in other words: the Milvus shows a bit better performance...


On the left side on the bottom of the tower additionally the Samyang shows more color fringing (chromatic aberrations).


In the comparison between the Samy and the Canon The Canon shows a bit more chromatic aberrations than the Milvus....


In the center of the frame please look at the "LBBW" signs: the Milvus is here really strong..


In the center of the frame we do have the similar impression. For my taste the Samyang has some weakness in terms of lens flare. But for my taste this is acceptable, especially at the price point of the lens.


At f 5.6 the lenses are getting pretty close to each other. 


In this image the lights in the construction area is still on. What you clearly see is that the Milvus has 9 blades vs 8 blades on the Samyang.  
But in terms of sharpness. the lenses are really close!


At f 5.6 color fringing is still there, but well controlled. 


And again - for my taste the Milvus has a little edge over the Canon...




Bokeh
My first photo I took with this lens was the following:


Nothing special. at shortest distance (Which is 1.1 m and not really exciting, I would prefer 85cm...) 
But you see a decent sharpness and a buttery smooth bokeh!!! Well: this looks promising.
But it is going to get better...


This is a shot of a little sculpture on the balcony. 
I used the same setup a bit early for the 35mm shootout (where the Milvus 35mm f1.4 has blown me away.
With these lenses: In detail you see a little bit less sharpness, but the color rendering and the contrast are pretty similar between Milvus and Samyang.
The Canon has softer bokehballs, But all three lenses: in terms of bokeh: the they are all great!!!


Lens flare
One topic these lenses are not that great is news flare...
I shot some samples handheld


This is f 1.4. For my taste it is ok, I would call it personallity


This shot is f11


But at f22 is gets extrem, quite a lot of artifacts and reflections in the lens...
For me: this is good to know, and normally nobody shoots like that.... 


Real world shooting experience 

After shooting with this lens quite a bit I am pretty excited. This lens is a stunning performer. I took both lenses on a short trip to the Cote d'Azur. And I gave it a try - just the 2 lenses on a short trip to the small city of Cogolin, close to St. Tropez at the Cote d'Azur...
The results should speak for themselves. My first shots I took in the blue hour in the village and on the next morning there was a reportage type of shooting  at the Saturday market. When I had my images ready just when some clouds came up and the very beautiful morning light was gone...


A street in the old town of a typical village in the south of France... 



This shot was just around the corner. It was very windy... what you can imagine because of the flare of the blanket in the foreground....
On the other side this little place is beautifully lightened and the lens shows here  really decent performance...


On the next morning I went to the market place in front of the "Marie", Lord Mayors house...


This little caravan was offering an excellent espresso. Always good to start with...  What amazed me is the dynamic range of the EOS R: the interior as jpg is pretty black...


I did a couple of shots for that was the market has to offer, like vegetable


Or fresh seafood...


Clothes of course - very typic for the mediterranean markets...


The way how  the stuff is presented is important, too. 
And again: whatch the amazing bokeh!!!


And finally the people on the market...
When the sun disappears I was pretty hungry and I went to my favorite bakery for breakfast...


Warm and fresh baguette from the best bakery on the planet... I am not joking.
The shot is pretty perfectly framed.... and the bokeh gives the rest...


Clemence, the young lady in the shop... nice and charming....


And amazing food for breakfast...


My last shot of the balcony... and again the lovely bokeh...


The real world shooting experience was the point which got me. The lens worked much batter than I thought. You can say as well The support the EOS-R gives you for this type of lens is amazing- even if the lens has no communication with the camera...
By the way: all shots at the market were f1.4. For me the sharpness is amazing...


Verdict: Excitement

After first mixed feelings: I am pretty excited about the lens. In terms of the results you get from this lens: it is just wow!!! Very decent images, excellent image quality - if you know how to use the lens. And in terms of useability (nice buttery manual focusing) and weather sealing it is really remarkable.

For whom is this lens for?

It is made for owners of the R-Mount cameras - but the EF version will show similar results.
Everybody who likes a lightweight high performance lens.
When to take the RF Mount version instead of the EF mount? This is a very good question. For my taste: if you have decided to got with the R-Mount and/or you do discontinue with EF Mount: go for it. It is lighter and easier to handle.
It is more a lens for enthusiasts, for people who like to shoot manual focus.
But manual focus is so much fun to use on the Canon mirrorless cameras....
But the lens has a bit of weaknesses too:
It is not native RF: I guess a lens designed for the 54mm bajonett diameter and the short flange distance can be even smaller and lighter
I miss an EXIF chip - this would be even better
The minimum focal distance: the 1.1m minimum focal distance is a sad thing. There announcement to bring this value down to 1 m will make it a bit better. I would prefer it much shorter, even shorter than the usual 85 mm...
Not a real weakness but a wish to the designers @ Samyang: instead of a color mark please but something you can feel that you can mount the lens on the body without looking at it....
But if I look at the lens at a glance:  I give the lens a highly recommended!!!


Miscellaneous 

All Photos werde taken with the EOS R and the Samyang MF 85mm f1.4
Only the product shots were taken with the EOS 5DMkIV with the EF 100mm f2.8 L Macro IS USM.
The sample photos of the lens - and a couple more - you find here.
There is also a link toe the image quality comparison
Please have fun and enjoy.


Disclaimer
I got the lenses from Samyang for testing for free. 
There is no money involved. Therefore this is my honest opinion about this lens....



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森养最佳标准画角提案解析

从人与人之间的关系乃至为了营造美丽的空间而布置装饰品时都需要保持适当的距离。那么,为了更好地欣赏美术或摄影作品,我们应该保持多少距离?

答案是相当于“作品框架对角线的长度”的距离。

표준화각 자료 이미지
표준화각 자료 이미지

为了将作品完整地纳入视野并予欣赏,保持相当于作品对角线的距离为宜。如果距离过近,将大于人眼可集中精力的50°视角而无法取的良好的欣赏效果。

为了最佳欣赏效果与最佳视角而保持理想距离也适用于摄影技术。在拍摄静止画像的摄影技术中,将等于摄像面对角线长度的焦距镜头定义为标准镜头。数码相机的全帧传感器尺寸为36x24毫米,其对角线距离约为43.26毫米,标准镜头应为多少毫米以下的最理想答案可以称为“接近43.26毫米的数据”,而难以断定是至今被视作标准镜头代名词的“50毫米”。

以往与胶片对角线长度相仿的45mm画角镜头较为常见,随着SLR相机大获成功,为了保留可容纳反射镜的空间,50mm被视作标准镜头。但是,最近随着无反相机底边大幅放大, 鉴于无反相机法兰距短的特点,需要将标准镜头的画角以45mm再度予以解释,由此开始研发AF 45mm F1.8 FE。 与35mm画角镜头相比,三阳的AF 45mm F1.8 FE将畸变现象降至最低,且比55mm画角拍摄范围宽,为人物、风景、建筑物及宠物等各种主题摄影呈献令人满意的效果。

什么是预设光圈功能?

在预设光圈功能中,光圈可以像”控制环操作音消除(De-click)镜头“一样丝滑驱动,为视频拍摄提供支持。

富士相机的设计根据最小曝光量(F-stop)控制光圈,当相机控制光圈时,会依靠短暂闪烁来调节曝光。而AF 75mm F1.8 X不会向机身传送光圈信息,这种刻意的“预设光圈功能”无需闪烁就可让平滑的曝光调节变为可能。只需控制光圈就可以使ISO和快门速度适应不同的曝光环境,因此即使采用1/2 F-stop也依然可以调节曝光。

有哪些预设光圈功能的使用建议?

预设光圈功能仅能在视频拍摄模式下运行。 建议在f/1.8光圈和A、M曝光模式下使用该功能。有关“预设光圈功能”的使用建议请参考上表。

* 预设光圈功能的使用方法

1) 设置相机机身
      AF模式 → 视频拍摄模式(“A”或“M”模式)→ 光圈值固定在f/1.8
(2) AF 75mm F1.8 X镜头设置
      将“自定义开关”切换为“模式2(M2)”
(3) 使用对焦环调整预设光圈

Dolly shot是什么?介绍摄影办法

[Dolly Shot是什么?]

一般利用带轮子的车,根据调整相机变焦的速度前后移动拍摄的技术。这导致被摄体和背景的倍率差异,从而将梦幻效应记录在视频中。

[简单用手持拍Dolly shot的方法]

Tip.如果移动距离长,相机可能会晃动,请在35~100mm区间拍摄。
1.距离被摄体约1.5~2m左右。
2.将自定义开关切换到MF和Mode3后,将视角设定在100mm左右。
3.通过调节对焦环聚焦被摄物,然后将光圈设置为F8~16。
4.利用上身和手臂,将相机靠近被摄体,将变焦操作慢慢向左(广角方向)转动。
5. 完成Dolly shot!
※在与拍摄对象更远的距离拍摄时,使用卡丁车或万向稳定器等,可以更稳定地进行拍摄。

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1D X
1Ds Mark Ⅲ
1Ds
5DsR
5Ds
5D Mark Ⅳ
5D Mark Ⅲ
6D Mark Ⅱ
6D
DSLR / APS-H
1D Mark Ⅲ
1D
Mirrorless / APS-C
M6
M5
M10
M3
M2
DSLR / APS-S
7D Mark Ⅱ
7D
80D
70D
60D
30D
D60
D30
77D (9000D)
760D (8000D / Rebel T6s)
1300D (Kiss X80 / Rebel T6)
1200D (Kiss X70 / Rebel T5)
200D (Kiss X9 / Rebel SL2)
800D (Kiss X9i / Rebel T7i)
700D (Kiss X9i / Rebel T7i)
100D (Kiss X7 / Rebel SL1)
650D (Kiss X6i / Rebel T4i)
600D (Kiss X5 / Rebel T3i)
550D (Kiss X4 / Rebel T2i)
500D (Kiss X3 / Rebel T1i)
1000D (Kiss F / Rebel XS)
450D (Kiss X2 / Rebel X냐)
DSLR / Full Frame
D850
D5
D810A
D4S
D810
D750
Df
D610
D4
D800
D800E
D600
D3s
D3x
D700
D3
DSLR / APS-C
D7500
D3400
D500
D5600
D7200
D5500
D3300
D7100
D5300
D5200
D7000
D300s
D300
DSLR / Full Frame
Z6
Z7
D810A
D4S
D750
D810A
DSLR / APS-C
D7200
D500
D3300
D5500
D5600
D3400
D7500

* Cameras released within 5 years from 2019 are tested.

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