Rokinon/Samyang 35mm f/1.4 AS UMC AE
Every photographer has hit a situation where they have the perfect shot lined up, but there just isn’t enough light to get it successfully. That is where the huge aperture f/1.4 lenses come into play, but they need to perform well at f/1.4 to really have an advantage on the zoom. Does the Samyang/Rokinon 35mm f/1.4 have what it takes?
Build and Handling
The Rokinon 35mm f/1.4 is the US market version of the Samyang 35mm f/1.4 and is designed for full frame use. It will work on DX cameras, but there are smaller cheaper alternatives for DX. The exterior of the lens is constructed mostly of quality plastics with a metal mount. The hood fits snugly and the lens cap is a nice center pinch model typical of current lenses. This is a huge improvement over the Rokinon 85mm f/1.4, which had a poor lens cap and hood. As superficial as it sounds, the red aluminum ring really adds the finishing touch to the lens.
Focus is also buttery smooth with near perfect weighting. One of the better manual focus lenses I have used. It isn’t overly sensitive and was surprisingly easy to focus bracket for my testing. It is important to note that this lens is manual focus only. Focus markings in both meters and feet and depth of field markings are a nice touch.
The lens is a 12 element, 10 group design with 2 high diffraction and 1 aspheric element which is really impressive for the class. UMC is the term Samyang uses for their multi-coating technology. This lens is no macro lens, but it does have a minimum focus of 0.3m (1 ft), allowing you to get nice and close to your subject. At minimum focus the focal length appears slightly longer than 35mm. The filter threads are pretty standard at 77mm and the lens is a rather large and heavy at 660g (23.3 oz) at 111x82mm (4.4×3.2 in).
So how does this lens perform on a full frame camera? Read more to find out.