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Are Samyang Lenses Good Alternatives to More Expensive Options?

A decade ago, Samyang lenses were known for being sharp, affordable, and manual focus only, but in recent years, the company has expanded their offerings to start including autofocus in many options while still maintaining reasonable prices and impressive image quality. So, how do they compete with current options? This great video overview takes you through four options: the 35mm f/1.4 AF II, the AF 50mm f/1.4 FE IIAF 85mm f/1.4 FE II, and AF 135mm f/1.8 FE.

Coming to you from Dustin Abbott, this awesome video review takes a look at the Samyang 35mm f/1.4 AF IIAF 50mm f/1.4 FE IIAF 85mm f/1.4 FE II, and AF 135mm f/1.8 FE lenses. It has been quite impressive to see how far Samyang has come, and they are certainly fantastic alternatives for many users, often at half or even a third of the price of first-party options. I think it can be easy to spend a lot of time pixel-peeping and comparing options, but when it comes down to it, the majority of the time, clients really will not care or even notice such minute differences, making Samyang's options worth a good look. Check out the video above for the full rundown from Abbott.

Alex Cooke's picture

Alex Cooke is a Cleveland-based portrait, events, and landscape photographer. He holds an M.S. in Applied Mathematics and a doctorate in Music Composition. He is also an avid equestrian.

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I have a 14 mm 2.8, I use it in my Z7. Amazing performance 😍

I have that lens in E-Mount for my A7III and A7rIII and love it as well.
Major bang for the buck!

Image quality, yes. If you need fast and reliable autofocus with tracking (sports or other fast action) then no.

I respect Dustin Abbott and his reviews very much! But I have many of the processing programs out there and even some of the Sony lenses do not have lens correction. Lr has the most and many for a lot of unchipped lenses. Example one of the first Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 (unchipped) has bad mustache on the left side and elongated stars, I did several long nights capturing the MW with it in '15's early months and it took a year plus to get a lens correction even from Lr and the Rokinons site correction never worked. This of course was back in '15 and '16 but C1 still does not.
Today though the new Sony FE PZ 16-35mm f/4 only Lr has the LC and yet ON1 Photo Raw, C1 and Dxo's is all messed up.
The LC issue is never brought up in reviews ever and you can go through Sony's editing program but the after tiff or raw can not even be edited in Lr for further editing.
Also reviewers show the almighty chart for focus and sharpness but the best test is just a shot or stars, at the Photopills spot stars suggested accurate shutter speed to reduce elongated stars of camera used and mm used to test a lens.
In that regard I jumped on the new (at the time) Sigma 14mm f/1.8 before ever hearing about the Sony and all reviewers even the best astro reviews were saying outstanding lens. But looking at their images they were using f/2.8 or more. I found f/4 or more had to be used to rid elongated stars and distortions even for suggested SS's. Yes maybe a bad lens but you spend a night out in the cold night and nothing can be used. But when Sony's 14mm f/1.8 came out it was great but again it took sometime for even Lr to get it out.
I am not a pro full of editing tricks just a hobbyist and lenses hard the most pain. Bottom line is yes a lens maybe inexpensive (cheap as all say) but you get what you pay for, for a lens is forever.
Real eye opener in '14 I used my Canon FD film lenses and all had great outputs and sharp on my A7s while saving for Sony or I should say the camera makers lenses to come out, better luck that way.
The image I took with the Sony FE 16-35mm f/4 in '15, the Sony E 10-18mm f/4 APS-C lens but 12mm in full frame later '15, 12mm was only a sparkle in a maker's eye till '17, New FE PZ 16-35mm f/4, Sony FE 14mm f/1.8 sharp both near and far you can make out the ships at sea and also show clarity at night wide open is different than daytime, no reviewer says anything about that subject.