Real World Weddings with Samyang Tiny F1.8 Lenses
The good folks over at Samyang have been kind enough to send me the AF 35mm F1.8 FE and the AF 75mm F1.8 FE
I have been using them for a while now, making sample images for them - but decided to put them through their paces at a real world wedding. This has been tricky due to lockdown, however I had a double wedding weekend coming up, one in Devon, on a beach in October, the other in Cambridge so traveling light was a must.
The Combo + The Size
For the past 7 years I have mainly been shooting my weddings on the superb combo of 35mm on one hip and 85mm on the other. I love prime lenses and the look they give. I really love shooting at 1.4 to get that creamy bokeh. The one downside is that they are pretty big and I moved to mirrorless to get compact and light. So when Samyang brought out the 35 1.8 tiny but All-Around and the 75 1.8 tiny but Absolute I was very excited. The first thing you notice is the size, they are so compact, light too! I love this as it makes me even more discrete when shooting. If like me when you see stats etc it washes over you I have included a photo of them next to each other on my hand. Thats how small they are!
With lenses this small and with the price they are, you would expect there to be some compromise on build quality. However this isn’t the case, they are built to last. The one downside is the lack of weather sealing on the 75. However they both stood up well with 70mph gusts of wind, sea spray and rain - so It’s not too much of an issue. The 35 is weather sealed and performs beautifully. Each have a custom mode switch on the side. The control ring is electronic and is as smooth as butter. The mode switch selects the function of the ring and Mode 1 makes it function as a focusing ring, but only when the camera is set on DMF (Direct Manual Focus, for MF tweaks whilst in AF) or M (Manual Focus). Mode 2 makes it an aperture ring and it is always useful to have this option for those who prefer to shoot like this. For me I’m stuck in my ways and use the dial on my camera. The aperture and focus is so very quiet, perfect for the wedding ceremony, combine this with the silent shooting on the a7iii and you’re basically in full ninja wedding photographer mode.
As I mentioned before, this awesome wedding was in Devon, October 31st with crazy wind and rain on the beach and very little light. It was a pretty dark day which made for some great moody skies. Both the 75 and the 35 had no issues what so ever with focusing in such low light. I shot at f1.8 most of the day as this was an elopement, so no family formals. The focus was bang on never really missing a beat. The only times I tweaked it was when I was going for those big wide shots. But even then the 35 was hitting the sweet spot most of the time.
These lenses are great. They are a welcome addition to my bag and now come with me to every wedding. I still mainly shoot with the AF 35mm F1.4 FE and AF 85mm F1.4 FE as being a wedding photographer in the UK you need all the light you can get. But for days when I need to move quickly and pack light the AF 35mm F1.8 FE fe and the 75 f.18 fe are perfect. If you travel a lot, or just want to make your bag lighter but still get that great quality to your images, these lenses will not let you down!