PRODUCT REVIEW

MF 85mm F1.4 Z

The high-quality performance of the lens is all apparent when you look at the images it can produce. Chris Dalton 2019-04-24
Samyang Lens Reviews - Chris Dalton

MF 85mm F1.4 Z



In a similar look to the new 14mm Z lens from Samyang, the 85mm is a very solid build fashioned primarily from metal. Overall it has a fairly reasonable weight due to its metal construction and is a good size despite the in-built Nikon Z-mount adapter fixed to the rear. 

This 85mm lens feels very hard-wearing and is weather sealable, making it a well built lens to own. It has a flat front element with sizeable removable hood, and helpfully allows for 72mm filters to attach to the front.

The rubber focus ring is laid into the metal lens, is pleasing to the touch, and very smooth to manipulate. The smallest focus adjustments can be made simply with the slightest of controlled turns.
Bevelled notches in the metal aperture ring allow for quick and easy changes of aperture from f1.4 up to f22.

The lens build as a whole is built to last, and I think looks very attractive - especially alongside the Nikon Z body of a similar colour style and functional aesthetic.


Image Quality

Focusing

As with the Samyang MF 14mm, the key issue for me before trying out this lens was the manual focus and how well it would work. In practice it proved slightly tougher to achieve than expected but overall I was impressed.

The key benefit of using a Nikon Z6 or Z7 mirrorless body with this manual lens is the focus peaking system. Combined with the MF 85mm I could nearly always tell which areas of the scene were in focus and which weren’t. Coloured focus peaking on screen allows me to quickly and clearly check where the true focus of the lens is. If it isn’t initially clear on the screen or electronic viewfinder, then I can electronically zoom in using the side buttons and make minor rotations of the aperture ring to find the perfect focus. 


 

 

The slight struggle I found with the MF 85mm F1.4 Z lens is the combination of its long focal length and shallowest depth of field. For portrait work especially, it can prove slightly tricky to find focus especially if you have limited time to take a photo. Tweaks to the aperture ring have to be very small in order to get a perfect focus on the subjects eyes, especially if you are doing full length photos where the focus peaking may not pick them up. However, once you take time to nail the focus, the images are a dream!


Picture Quality

The images are very sharp, providing crisp details when zoomed in. I personally can't see any drop off in quality away from the centre of the frame and there’s negligible distortion and vignetting at this focal length. 

Utilising the higher apertures and in the right environmental conditions, the lens gives a clean 8-pointed lens flare. In my opinion it looks great and provides a slick look for night time photography especially. Low light photography works fantastically here, especially as the lens is able to open out to f1.4.

One of the most impressive aspects of this lens is the beautiful creamy bokeh which I’d put on a par with many top 85mm lenses. For portraits or urban photography the depth of field is fantastic and gives a magical sense of perspective and bokeh.

I am genuinely really impressed with the quality of images taken with this lens, and love seeing the results in camera!




Nikon Z6 Compatibility 

Using the Nikon Z6 with this lens generally works well. However, there is limited talking between the lens and body. The Z6 doesn’t recognise the aperture or focal length in camera and therefore they are not shown in the exif data. There is also no in-lens stabilisation, but the low-light capabilities and stabilisation performance of the Z6 (or Z7) outweigh that issue for me. 


Conclusion

As a whole, I am very impressed with the Samyang MF 85mm F1.4 Z. The high-quality performance of the lens is all apparent when you look at the images it can produce. Yes there can be some testing moments finding focus at its lowest aperture but perfect manual focusing is very possible to achieve, particularly with the focus peaking capabilities of the Nikon Z series cameras. 



The lens is very well built and produces dreamy images with lots of bokeh - as good as many of the 
more expensive lenses out there. I’ll certainly be using it for portrait work all the time now!







Chris Dalton  
@chrisjdalton  




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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.

DSLR / Full Frame
1D X Mark Ⅱ
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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