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A Review of the Incredibly Versatile Samyang AF 35-150mm f/2-2.8 Lens

The Samyang AF 35-150mm f/2-2.8 offers a hugely versatile range of focal lengths in tandem with particularly wide maximum apertures, all at an impressively affordable price, making it attractive for wedding, events, sports, and portrait photographers. How does it perform in practice? This excellent video review takes a look at the sort of performance and image quality you can expect from it in usage. 

Coming to you from Christopher Frost, this great video review takes a look at the Samyang AF 35-150mm f/2-2.8 lens. With a particularly useful focal length range that covers many of the most commonly used options paired with an especially wide set of maximum apertures, the 35-150mm f/2-2.8 offers an almost unmatched level of convenience that can replace three or four lenses. On top of that, at just $1,299, it is far more affordable than even one of those lenses would be from a first-party manufacturer. Beyond that, the Samyang offers support for Sony's advanced autofocus features, nine diaphragm blades for smoother bokeh, three customizable mode switches, and a weather-sealed design. Perhaps the only major drawback is the bulk, but that is to be expected considering how many lenses it is replacing. Check out the video above for Frost's full thoughts. 

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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Extremely useful lens for those who do not do close-up work.

For those whose primary use for a lens in this range is close-up shooting of small objects, beware that it has unusually poor close-up capabilities, at just 0.18x magnification. MFD is a very long 13".

MFD is exactly the same as the Tamron. Given that these are the only two lenses of this range and brightness in existence and you can't point to a similar lens that does better, there's nothing "unusually poor" about it.

I meant compared to other zoom lenses that are anywhere in the 4x and beyond zoom range.

The Sony 24-240mm is 0.27x magnification

The Tamron 28-200m is 0.32x magnification

The Sony 24-105mm is 0.31x magnification

The Sony 18-200mm is 0.35x magnification (for APS-C)

So we see that there are indeed other lenses with a wide zoom range that offer much better magnification. For some of us, zoom range and magnification matter a LOT, but aperture doesn't matter much at all. I was just pointing out that this would not be a useful lens for those who want a big versatile zoom range that is also able to get in really close to little subjects. For those who couldn't care less about shooting wide apertures, there are much better options to cover their needs.

"So we see that there are indeed other lenses with a wide zoom range that offer much better magnification."
But not this combination of wide zoom range AND wide aperture. Apples to oranges.
Still, your point is not wrong: this is not a lens for quasi-macro buffs, and event shooters may need something else for close-up décor shots.

I finally bought this lens about a week ago. It's still on sale for $1099. Will be doing a first shoot with it this afternoon. I'm all giddy like a little girl. :D

First impressions, holy mackerel, it is freakin' heavy. lol. And, the lens creep is real, 'yo.

For the longest time, I've always shot with two bodies and mostly natural light. But, as of late, I've been shooting OCF a lot and it can be a hassle to constantly adjust settings on two bodies and two triggers. For now, I'm going to give one body one trigger and one lens a go.

That's great that this lens can cover what you used to need two lenses for.

I also used to have to have two bodies with me, but got a lens about a year ago that covered everything, so now I can just carry one body/lens, and I agree it's a game changer.

I'm interested to know what you're shooting with it. Do you ever take shots that take advantage of the wide apertures, or are you always stopping down a few stops?

--- "I'm interested to know what you're shooting with it."

I'll be shooting the same stuff I have in my portfolio.

--- "Do you ever take shots that take advantage of the wide apertures, or are you always stopping down a few stops?"

Funny enough, back in the day, I used to be about bokehlicious. If I had a f1.4/f1.8, I would only only shoot at those apertures. Nowadays, I like having some (or a lot) of background/surrounding details...and, subject skin details, and wardrobe details.

With that said, if I were to shoot in low light with no flash, or if the creamy soft background had some aesthetic benefit, I would shoot wide open.

--- "I'll be shooting the same stuff I have in my portfolio" ---

Oh, I see that you shoot humans who are posing for you.

Now that I see the types of images that you shoot, and the subject matter, it makes sense why this lens is so useful to you, and why you may want a wide aperture at times, and why it doesn't bother you or limit you that the lens can't focus very close up. For what you are shooting it seems like an excellent focal length range with no significant limitations on its usefulness.

Now I understand why you are all giddy like a little girl.

I wish there was a lens out there that fit my needs so well that I could feel giddy like a little girl, too. A 35-150mm f4 with autofocus and 0.50x magnification would have me very giddy! And it wouldn't be difficult or expensive to make; probably much easier and cheaper than this 35-150mm that the article is about.

Pulled the trigger on the Samyang when it came out in Europe and was on sale from a retailer for 1099€. Did a couple of sessions so far (On-location Boudoir, Portrait and Studio) with this lens and I don't regret it at all.