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Samyang Experience with the XP 85mm F1.2

Roberto Savio

Photographer from Italy

So, Roberto,
how was the shooting
experience with the
Samyang XP 85mm F1.2?

I was totally surprised! Actually, the Samyang XP series was developed entirely for Canon EF mount and some XP lenses for Nikon F mount, so XP 85mm lens is optimal for Canon EF mount camera body. But XP 85mm's performance was amazing even though I was using this lens mounted on a Panasonic Lumix S1R camera body with 47.3 Megapixels with the Canon MC21 adapter.

The S1R, having the sensor stabilized on 5 axes, helped me a lot in the use of this optic entirely manual focus and without internal stabilization, especially when I shot handheld.

The Samyang XP 85mm F1.2 is very robust indeed. The build quality is very high and it has a minimal modern design. The lens itself is not very light, but the focus ring has a very long stroke and this allowed me to be very precise in choosing the focus point.

Mi ha sorpreso. Ma facciamo un passo indietro, ricordiamo che sto usando l’obiettivo montato su un corpo macchina Panasonic Lumix S1R con 47,3 Megapixel e un adattatore Canon MC21. La serie XP è stata sviluppata interamente per Canon e qualche ottica per Nikon.

La S1R, avendo il sensore stabilizzato su 5 assi, mi ha aiutato molto nell'uso di questa ottica interamente manual focus e priva di stabilizzazione interna, soprattutto quando ho scattato a mano libera.

Il Samyang 85mm f1.2 XP è davvero molto robusto. La qualità di costruzione è davvero altissima e ha un design minimal. L’ottica in sé non è leggerissima, ma la ghiera di messa a fuoco ha una corsa molto lunga e questo mi ha permesso di essere molto preciso nello scegliere il punto di messa a fuoco.

zoom
LENSES XP 85mm
F1.2
CAMERA Panasonic
Lumix S1R
DIAPHRAGM F1.2
SPEED -
ISO -
EXPOSURE -
PHOTOMETRY 85mm
BRIGHTNESS -
PHOTOMETRY -

It's a f1.2: have you had
the opportunity to test it at
a wide-open aperture?

Maybe It's not easy for you to get well-focused shots at the beginning, since this lens is a manual focus lens. But, this lens is a blast once you understand how it works and how to adjust the focus ring.
With close-up subjects, you can really focus minutely.

In portraits, you can see how the hair and part of the eyebrow are well focused, but the eye is blurred. I found that the XP 85mm F1.2 can effectively express the depth of field.

Bisogna prenderci la mano, come abbiamo detto è un Manual focus e prima di centrare esattamente il punto di messa a fuoco ci sono voluti un po' di scatti e non è stato semplicissimo. Una volta capito come funziona e di come l’anello della messa a fuoco reagisce agli incrementi, è una bomba!

Con i soggetti ravvicinati riesci davvero a mettere a fuoco al millimetro. In questo ritratto si vede benissimo come i capelli e parte del sopracciglio siano a fuoco, ma l'occhio sia già sfocato. Ho trovato che con l’85mm Samyang si ha un’estrema discrezione nel definire la profondità di campo.

Samyang says that the bokeh
and the blurred background
it gives is of a very high level,
do you agree?

It's fantastic! For real! Comparing it to much more expensive lenses,
I struggle to find big differences in yield. The bokeh of the XP 85mm is really great!

The blur is always very soft. I have to be honest, it thrilled me.
Few lenses I've tried have this feature. In the shots I took, behind the subject, the blur is very progressive, it nicely defines the depth of field requested by the photographer and highlights the subject in focus.

È spaziale! Davvero. Paragonandolo a obiettivi ben più blasonati, faccio fatica a trovare grosse differenze di resa, se paragonati anche l'enorme differenza di prezzo.

Lo sfocato risulta sempre morbidissimo. Devo essere sincero, mi ha entusiasmato. Pochi obiettivi che ho provato hanno questa caratteristica. Negli scatti che ho fatto, dietro al soggetto, lo sfocato è molto progressivo, definisce piacevolmente la profondità di campo richiesta dal fotografo ed evidenzia il soggetto a fuoco.

zoom
LENSES XP 85mm
F1.2
CAMERA Panasonic
Lumix S1R
DIAPHRAGM F1.2
SPEED -
ISO -
EXPOSURE -
PHOTOMETRY 85mm
BRIGHTNESS -
PHOTOMETRY -
zoom
LENSES XP 85mm
F1.2
CAMERA Panasonic
Lumix S1R
DIAPHRAGM -
SPEED -
ISO -
EXPOSURE -
PHOTOMETRY 85mm
BRIGHTNESS -
PHOTOMETRY -
zoom
LENSES XP 85mm
F1.2
CAMERA Panasonic
Lumix S1R
DIAPHRAGM -
SPEED -
ISO -
EXPOSURE -
PHOTOMETRY 85mm
BRIGHTNESS -
PHOTOMETRY -

In your photographic genre, the importance of colors is fundamental.
How was the XP 85mm F1.2?

With the Lumix S1R with which I shot, it has quite warm shades by default, the Samyang XP 85mm F1.2 still maintained full-color fidelity.

Especially in food photography, where colors are very important, the result obtained by shooting with this lens is surprising. Contrast is high and it is extremely sharp even at wide open.

Con la Lumix S1R con la quale ho scattato, ha tonalità abbastanza calde di default, il Samyang XP 85mm f1.2 ha mantenuto comunque la fedeltà dei colori appieno.

Specialmente nella food photography, dove i colori sono importantissimi, il risultato che si ottiene scattando con questo obiettivo è sorprendente. Il contrasto è elevato ed è estremamente nitido, anche a tutta apertura.

Do you see food photography as a form of artistic expression?
What are the differences between this type of photography and that of food intended for books and/or cookbooks?

Mainly, in terms of language, the big difference is that editorial photography is mainly descriptive, while fine art photography generally aims to excite and represent the artist's artistic style.

The purpose of editorial photography is to support a text, in the case of food with a mise en place and specific styling. In theory, the image is valid - as in the case of advertising photography - when it could even be substituted for text.

The goal of my "fine art" projects for the food sector, although the subjects are almost always real dishes served at the table, is to make food photography recognized as a photographic genre that is an expression of contemporary art and not just production activities of commercial images accompanying a recipe.

In my fine art shots, I aim to combine aesthetics, ethics, and narration, with an essential and evocative composition of the chef's gastronomic vision and, more generally, of the food design developed upstream of the shooting.

Principalmente, a livello di linguaggio la grande differenza è che la fotografia editoriale è prevalentemente descrittiva, mentre la fotografia fine art in genere punta a emozionare e a rappresentare lo stile artistico dell’autore.

Lo scopo della fotografia editoriale è quello di supportare un testo, nel caso del food con una mise en place e uno styling specifico. In teoria, l’immagine è valida - come nel caso della fotografia pubblicitaria - quando potrebbe addirittura essere sostituita al testo.

L’obiettivo dei miei progetti “fine art” per il settore food, benché i soggetti siano quasi sempre veri piatti serviti al tavolo, è quello far riconoscere la food photography in quanto genere fotografico espressione dell’arte contemporanea e non solo attività per la produzione di immagini commerciali a corredo di una ricetta.

Nei mie scatti fine art punto ad unire estetica, etica e narrazione, con una composizione essenziale ed evocativa della vision gastronomica dello chef e, più in generale, del food design sviluppato a monte dello shooting.

zoom
LENSES XP 85mm
F1.2
CAMERA Panasonic
Lumix S1R
DIAPHRAGM -
SPEED -
ISO -
EXPOSURE -
PHOTOMETRY 85mm
BRIGHTNESS -
PHOTOMETRY -
zoom
LENSES XP 85mm
F1.2
CAMERA Panasonic
Lumix S1R
DIAPHRAGM F1.2
SPEED -
ISO -
EXPOSURE -
PHOTOMETRY 85mm
BRIGHTNESS -
PHOTOMETRY -

I understand
that you have experienced
the Samyang XP 85mm
very well, so…
and not just in the studio!

In fact, the initial idea was to use the Samyang XP 85mm exclusively in the studio, but I could not miss the chance to have the outdoor shootings with this lens, so I took the XP 85mm F1.2 lens with me around for a couple of weeks, without ever missing an outdoor shooting opportunity. The experience was very satisfied all the time, which only the "right" photographic tool can give you.

When I then tested it in some still life shots, having cleared all possible weight and size limits, I was able to appreciate its performance even with flashlights, as well as the excellent performance in defining the depth of field I mentioned before.

In fact, to me, the "P" of the acronym XP stands for "Premium"!

In effetti l’idea iniziale era quella di usare il Samyang XP 85mm esclusivamente in studio, ma non ho resistito e l’ho portato con me in giro per un paio di settimane, senza mai mancare un’occasione di scatto outdoor, traendone sempre la medesima sensazione di appagamento che solo il “giusto” attrezzo fotografico ti sa dare.

Quando poi l’ho testato in alcuni scatti still life, azzerati tutti i possibili limiti di peso e dimensioni, ho potuto apprezzarne la resa anche con luci flash, oltre che la già citata estrema discrezionalità nel definire la profondità di campo.

La “P” della sigla XP, sta per “Premium”… in effetti per me lo è stato! ;)

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Samyang’s Guide to Achieving the Optimal Angle of View

The perfect spacing and distance are always necessary when shooting all kinds of subjects, including people, to give them a proper relationship with the beautiful space around them. So, what’s the exact distance that helps you best appreciate a work of art, or a photo?

The correct answer is the diagonal length of the full frame of a subject.

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표준화각 자료 이미지

The best standpoint from which to appreciate the full view of a subject is the distance of the diagonal length of the subject frame. This wider angle is superior to standing closer at a 50 degree angle to get a more detailed view. This notion of an ideal distance or view point is also applicable in the world of photography.

For still images, keeping a distance equal to the diagonal length of the full image surface is recommended. The full frame sensor of a digital camera is 36 x 24mm and the diagonal length is 43.26mm so any distance close to this number is nearer to the ideal than the currently accepted industry standard of 50mm.

Back when film cameras were common, 45mm was the industry standard and this continued as reflex cameras needed extra space to fit a mirror. However, as mirrorless cameras become more popular again, there has been a need to return to this industry standard…which is the impetus for the Samyang AF 45mm F1.8 FE. With less distortion than a 35mm lens and wider angles than a 55mm lens, the Samyang AF 45mm F1.8 FE is a perfect lens for portraits, landscapes, architecture photography, and pictures of pets.

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