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Shooting Portraits and Landscapes with the New AF 50mm F1.4 FE II

Alyssa Zalabai

Photographer from England

zoom
LENSES AF 50mm
F1.4 FE II
CAMERA SONY
ILCE-7RM3A
DIAPHRAGM F1.4
SPEED 1/500 sec
ISO 100
EXPOSURE Manual
PHOTOMETRY 50mm
BRIGHTNESS -
PHOTOMETRY -

When I opened my Photography business, the very first Samyang lens I owned was the Samyang AF 50mm F1.4 which I use mainly for newborn and family portraits. A 50mm focal length is indeed a popular first prime lens for many people such as myself as it’s great for many types of photography such as portraiture and landscape.

Now, Samyang has released a new and much better 50mm, the Samyang AF 50mm F1.4 FE II which got me excited as their previous 50mm established what kind of photos I want to take and have followed through my style even to this day. To demonstrate the diversity of this lens, me and my husband, Peter, teamed up for a review to showcase its strength since we both do different photography genres… two birds with one stone as the saying goes.

From a Portraits Photographer View

On top of the list is using it for portraits. I didn’t think of it much as I have mentioned, I did use the previous Samyang 50mm and so my expectations are based on that experience. But I was utterly amazed as to how this lens has performed and I’m going to list them as I go through.

zoom
LENSES AF 50mm
F1.4 FE II
CAMERA SONY
ILCE-7M4
DIAPHRAGM F1.4
SPEED 1/2000 sec
ISO 200
EXPOSURE Aperture
priority
PHOTOMETRY 50mm
BRIGHTNESS -
PHOTOMETRY Multi
segment

Build Quality

The build quality of this lens has a premium feel and is much lighter and compact compared to the first one, a perfect representation of a nifty fifty. The focus grip is texturized rubber which turns smoothly when focusing and it has the Samyang signature custom switch which allows you to change the focus ring to an aperture ring. In a field test,
I love that is lightweight as I’m always on the move when shooting portraits.

zoom
zoom
LENSES AF 50mm
F1.4 FE II
CAMERA SONY
ILCE-7RM3A
DIAPHRAGM F1.4
SPEED 1/3200 sec
ISO 100
EXPOSURE Manual
PHOTOMETRY 50mm
BRIGHTNESS -
PHOTOMETRY -
zoom
LENSES AF 50mm
F1.4 FE II
CAMERA SONY
ILCE-7RM3A
DIAPHRAGM F1.4
SPEED 1/3200 sec
ISO 100
EXPOSURE Manual
PHOTOMETRY 50mm
BRIGHTNESS -
PHOTOMETRY -

Autofocus Performance

The AF ability is superb! I used the Sony A7RIIIa with it and I have no issues with eye AF apart from a heavily backlit situation which is going to be the same for many lenses out there. Now, Samyang added a special glass for this lens, making its bokeh smooth and creamy which I live for! The first few snaps I did kind of reminded me of the bokeh of the
Samyang AF 85mm on close-up shots. Even at full body shots, it retains a good subject separation which still focuses on your subject and does not get lost together with the surrounding. At heavily backlit situation, it retains its contrast and has a well-controlled lens flare.

zoom
LENSES AF 50mm
F1.4 FE II
CAMERA SONY
ILCE-7RM3A
DIAPHRAGM F1.4
SPEED 1/500 sec
ISO 100
EXPOSURE Manual
PHOTOMETRY 50mm
BRIGHTNESS -
PHOTOMETRY -

This lens is great for portrait photography as you can create different types of images with just one lens. It’s very enjoying to use from its lightweight, well-balanced on camera down to its sharpness and amazing bokeh will surely tickle your creativity.

From a Landscapes Photographer View

As I’ve mentioned, Samyang AF 50mm F1.4 FE II is a versatile lens which you can also use for landscape photography. Now this is when the weight is much more important because in our trip to Snowdonia, we had to hike for 8hrs around Lyn Idwal Circular in Gwynedd, Wales. It’s a massive mountain terrain, perfect for nature trips, birdwatching and well of course, Landscape photography. The stunning open sky overlooking the huge mountains and breathtaking views of the lake, it’s a playground for people like my husband, Peter who adores landscape photos.

zoom
LENSES AF 50mm
F1.4 FE II
CAMERA SONY
ILCE-7RM3A
DIAPHRAGM F6.3
SPEED 1/50 sec
ISO 100
EXPOSURE Aperture
priority
PHOTOMETRY 50mm
BRIGHTNESS -
PHOTOMETRY -
zoom
LENSES AF 50mm
F1.4 FE II
CAMERA SONY
ILCE-7RM3A
DIAPHRAGM F8
SPEED 1/160 sec
ISO 100
EXPOSURE Aperture
priority
PHOTOMETRY 50mm
BRIGHTNESS -
PHOTOMETRY -

50mm Focal Length with High Resolution

Using this focal length for landscape photos will make you focus only on the important areas, forcing you to be creative in your composition. It’s also perfect to use this lens in panorama especially when you find yourself in a situation when it’s a bit too tight in space. Stitching images together can create an amazing wide-angle shot with a much better resolution compared to a single image taken with a wide-angle lens.

zoom
LENSES AF 50mm
F1.4 FE II
CAMERA SONY
ILCE-7RM3A
DIAPHRAGM F1.4
SPEED 1/500 sec
ISO 100
EXPOSURE Manual
PHOTOMETRY 50mm
BRIGHTNESS -
PHOTOMETRY -

Its compact size does make a huge difference when you go on long travels especially when you are also carrying other gears in your bag. There is no doubt that this lens brings a whole package that allows you to take different genres of photography with only a single lens and come home with crispy sharp images.

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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.

표준화각 자료 이미지
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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