Samyang 85/1.4

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by ruslan, Jun 8, 2011.

  1. Please, explain me this. Does this lens have auto diaphragm, i.e. the camera measures at open aperture and it closes automaticaly when it shoots (like it was with FM-3a and AI or D lenses or with AI lenses on, say, F100), or the photographer has to close it manually? Which of exposure modes work with bodies like D700, D7000, D300s and the Samyang 85mm on? On official site of Samyang I haven't found the explanation. Regards.
  2. I think it's open aperture but not completely sure.
  3. There are at least 4 vital camera/flash/software operating functions that define incredible accuracy and consistency of pictures that depend on precise distance information provided by the lens to the camera.
    Perhaps most of 3rd party lens vendors for Nikon cameras, notably Zeiss, do not provide distance information.
    See if Samyang has it ?, but for the price of it, and optical quality, it is a good lens for many.
  4. Has anybody used it?
  5. Good luck focusing the lens @f1.4 manually on a DX:) Even on a FX, it's tough...
  6. The new version actually acts like AI-P. (Or at least, it's supposed to - the one I ordered had knackered electronics, behaving like AI-s, and I'm still awaiting a replacement.) That means it works exactly like an AF lens, except that it doesn't autofocus - you can control the aperture with the camera, use program mode and shutter priority, etc. At least that's what I'm told it's supposed to do; since my sample was broken it's hard to confirm. It definitely had a working aperture lever, though.

    I believe there's an older version which doesn't have electronics, but still has an aperture lever. Effectively it's AI-s; you have to set the aperture on the lens, but the camera will stop down for you (you focus and meter with an open aperture). The Canon version (reviewed by photozone) has no electonic aperture handling, so you have to stop it down manually to shoot, in the style of Nikon lenses without aperture levers (which includes my Kiev tilt/shift - and, in fact, the Nikon tilt/shifts if you don't have a PC-E capable camera), but I think all Nikon mount versions have levers.

    The test images I took before sending it back were reasonably sharp at the edges, the bokeh was smooth, and the LoCA wasn't as bad as I expected. If you're prepared to put up with manual focus I still think it's a good and cheap alternative to the Nikkors. I notice that DxO knows about this lens. F/1.4 shouldn't be too hard if you have a body with three-way in-focus indicators, like the F5/D3/D700 - or live view, of course.
  7. "Good luck focusing" Actually manual focus is easy as the focus confirmation dot works. If you are using a camera with live view (and a tripod). live view magnification makes manual focusing extremely easy and accurate.
  8. Elliot, are you aware of this behaviour? I haven`t used the Samyang lens, but time later, I checked my D300 and still show the very same issue (notice that the original "test" was done with a D200).
    It makes me think that the RF aid is not the ultimate solution for that harder to focus situations.
  9. It's tough focusing a 85mm f1.4 wide open manually. If you think that isn't the case, all power to you, Elliot.
  10. Leslie - I have very limited experience trying to focus the Samyang, but it didn't seem to be giving me any trouble. I believe the D700 and other cameras with a three-LED focus indicator tend to be more precise than the single-dot focus confirmation that the D300 provides, so I suspect it's camera dependent; I only have an F5 and D700, so I can't confirm that. I had weird and wonderful schemes for flashing focus points at different rates to indicate whether and how far they were in front of or behind the focal plane (this is really because I'm missing the Canon feature where turning on all the AF sensors causes each to light in turn as you manual focus past them), but I'll live with what I've got combined with live view. The range finder bar graph introduced on the D60 is even more helpful, although I'm not sure which other cameras have it (I'll feel silly if the D700 does).

    I don't know whether the accuracy of the "in focus" dot adjusts according to aperture. I'd certainly like to be able to adjust the "in focus?" sensitivity of the trap focus mechanism to allow for DoF from different apertures.

    Other than holding the camera steady enough to allow for the depth of field from a wide aperture, I don't see why live view should have any trouble with an f/1.4 lens. It's either in focus or not, after all. The Samyang, being a true manual focus design, has quite a lot of travel in the focus ring, so accurate manual focus doesn't require such precise manipulation as most AF lenses. (The same is true for my 135mm f/2.8 AI - the biggest problem is the time it takes to get from near to far and back. I'm not used to taking my hand off the lens and adjusting my grip on the focus ring, because it has to move so far.)

    I may revise that opinion when my replacement 85mm turns up and I try using it in anger.
  11. The OP lists the D700, D7000, D300s bodies. All of these have live view which makes manual focus a breeze .
    Leslie, you are correct that it focusing an 85mm f1.4 lens requires extra attention but it isn't impossible or difficult to do on a stationery subject under controlled conditions, which is where I suspect someone would use such a lens.
    Jose, interesting test. And very, very interesting results. Thanks for the link. I wonder if Nikon's new models have the same issue (D7000, D5100).
  12. Never said impossible, just tough especially with moving targets. For the price, the Samyang should be great, if you don't need the AF. I would buy it if I didn't already have both a AF and a MF 85mm f1.4.
    I can focus much faster with the AF than the MF even with katz eye screen and confirmation dot light in the VF.
  13. Leslie - in that case, I'm certainly not going to argue. (Chasing a moving subject even with a 135mm f/2.8 AI is hard enough - that's one reason I got an F/2 DC.)

    Out of interest, since I'm not really in a position to try it until I get a replacement Samyang, I don't suppose trap focus (AF activation = AF-ON only, AF-C priority = focus) is likely to work? I know it doesn't apply to AI lenses, and does work with AF-lenses; I have a feeling I tried it on my 500mm f/4 AI-P and I had no luck. It's possible that the Samyang is configured differently. Getting the focus close and having the shot happen when the AF sensor claims to be in focus might help.

    I should have thought to try that this morning, when I was busy manual-focussing a macro lens on an engagement right. To be honest, I've no idea why it shouldn't work even for AI lenses, but I believe it doesn't. (I believe Canon got rid of trap focus with their newer bodies as well - it was one thing that made me interested in a 1D series when I was otherwise lusting after a 5D. Ah, those Eos days...)
  14. agree with leslie that a moving target isn't the best application for a MF 1.4 lens, even with a FF camera. have to admit i'm curious about the samyang though.
  15. Thanks for the explaination. Regards.
  16. Do not worry about the lack of the Nikon "D function".
    There are at least 4 vital camera/flash/software operating functions that define incredible accuracy and consistency of pictures that depend on precise distance information provided by the lens to the camera.​
    This is true only if you define 4 as being equal to zero. Seriously. Lots of people who actually know something about photography have done enough comparisons between D and non-D Nikkors to conclude that it's pretty much the most useless gimmick ever devised.
  17. It's useful for certain flash metering situations. Certainly not necessary though. The above quote looks like it was lifted from marketing brochures...
  18. First things first: The Samyang 85mm f/1.4 is available in two versions. Version (1) is an auto diaphram lens that behaves exactly like an AiS Nikkor. The apertures range from f/1.4 to f/22 with half-stop detents from f/2 to f/16. It's manual focus, but has an Internal Focus system. In other words the lens doesn't extend when focused and the front does not rotate. The direction of focus is the same as MF Nikkors and nearest focus is 1 metre. It takes 72mm filters and will fit to almost any Nikon F mount camera ever made. The lens will operate in Aperture priority and Manual modes only with the D700 and similar cameras. Trying to use the camera in Program mode will revert to Aperture priority operation and the "P" symbol will blink on the camera LCD. Lens data has to be entered manually into the camera menu. The aperture must be set by using a rotating ring on the lens and the aperture cannot be controlled from the camera body.
    Version (2) is as above except that the lens has a built-in CPU and electrical contacts which tell the camera the maximum aperture and focal length of the lens automatically. This version is still a manual focus lens, but will allow Shutter and Program modes to be used (I believe, but can't confirm this). Version (2) is slightly more expensive than version (1) - about 25% more.
    I've just finished fairly extensive testing of my sample of version (1). The lens is optically extremely good; better than my 85mm f/2 AiS Nikkor, and as good as my 105mm f/1.8 AiS Nikkor at near distances. It has a very flat field and excellent corner definition. Colour rendering is neutral and contrast is good. Bokeh, to me, appears fairly good to neutral. The overall impression is of a very "painterly" rendering. The one slight failing is that focus shifts very slightly on stopping down and the focus confirmation is a bit out with my D700. This might be a one-off issue with my particular camera and lens, although the focus confirmation with other MF lenses is usually very accurate. Trying to focus this lens by eye is problematic if you want to use it wide open, simply because the depth-of-field is razor thin. At f/2.8 and smaller apertures the Samyang delivers astonishingly sharp pictures right across the frame.
    Remember this is based on a sample of one lens used on a Full-frame 12.1 Mp camera. YMMV.
  19. The above quote looks like it was lifted from marketing brochures...​
    I don't think so. Nikon's a pretty class act: I've never seen that level of bogus, overinflated claims in their own literature.I'm pretty sure he makes that stuff up all by himself.
  20. The Samyang (in my case Rokinon) lens is very, very good. I use it on a D2x, but the viewfinder has a DK17M magnifier on it. If I don't use it for a while, I have to practice with it for a bit before I'm comfortable with it. Once I get settled with it, I can focus it wide open without using the focus dot in the viewfinder. I found that my particular lens focuses at the far side of the confirmation dot, and it works better if I start long, and focus to the short side. Using this technique, I can shoot with an acceptable number of sharp photos. I also have a Nikon 85 f1.4, and even with autofocus, it misses sometimes due to movement or sketchy AF target. All told, the Rokinon gives me a lens I can take out without having to worry about theft or abuse when I am knocking around.
  21. I read earlier somehere, I think flickr, that a guy was taking shots of his dogs running around and he was able to get sharp pictures focusing manually. Is this realistic with this lens (im talking about any of the sam/rok/bow/ variants with the new focus chip)
    Will be taking swimming photos. I know it would be tought at the onset to get used to accurate focus technique, but wouldnt it be worth it for iq/dof effects?

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