Samyang MF 85mm F1.8 ED UMC CS: a portrait prime for mirrorless cameras

Samyang MF 85mm F1.8 ED UMC CS

Samyang is launching a new portrait prime which is designed to work on a wide range of non-full-frame mirrorless cameras. The Samyang MF 85mm F1.8 ED UMC CS will be available in the following four mounts from September:
• Fujifilm X
• Canon M
• Micro Four Thirds (MFT, for Olympus, Blackmagic and Panasonic cameras)
• Sony E-mount (APS-C cameras)

The lens will also be available as the Rokinon Digital Photo 85mm F1.8 Compact Prime in North America.

 The short telephoto focal length and wide maximum aperture of f/1.8 make this the perfect choice for portrait, wedding and portrait photographers. The lens does not feature autofocus or image stabilisation, and is designed to be focussed manually by the photographer.

MF 85mm F1.8 ED UMC CS

MF 85mm F1.8 ED UMC CS

The lens weighs just over 340g and measures 80mm long (without the supplied lens caps or lens hood). It is constructed with 9 lens elements in 7 groups. A high-refractive and an extra-low dispersion element, along with Ultra Multi-Coating (UMC) are said to  help minimise chromatic aberrations and deliver clear, vibrant images. "This lens is ideal for portraits, with beautiful bokeh from its floating-element system", says the press release.

Samyang MF 85mm F1.8 ED UMC CS specifications

Optical construction

Optical construction

Focal length: 85mm
Effective focal length: 135mm (APS-C); 170mm (MFT)
Maximum aperture: f1.8
Minimum aperture: f22
Minimum focus:  0.65m
Maximum magnification: 0.17x
Autofocus: No
Image stabilisation: No
Construction: 9 elements in 7 groups
Diaphragme: 9 blades
Filter size: 62mm

Samyang MF 85mm F1.8 ED UMC CS price and release date

Samyang MF 85mm F1.8 ED UMC CS

Samyang MF 85mm F1.8 ED UMC CS

Samyang expects the new lens to be available from September, and has set a suggested retail price £319.99 in the UK, and €399 in Europe. It will be sold under the Rokinon label in North America for $399. 

Read more: three lenses every portrait photographer should consider

Read more: 23 things you should check when buying a new lens

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Chris George

Chris George has worked on Digital Camera World since its launch in 2017. He has been writing about photography, mobile phones, video making and technology for over 30 years – and has edited numerous magazines including PhotoPlus, N-Photo, Digital Camera, Video Camera, and Professional Photography. 

His first serious camera was the iconic Olympus OM10, with which he won the title of Young Photographer of the Year - long before the advent of autofocus and memory cards. Today he uses a Nikon D800, a Fujifilm X-T1, a Sony A7, and his iPhone 11 Pro.

He has written about technology for countless publications and websites including The Sunday Times Magazine, The Daily Telegraph, Dorling Kindersley, What Cellphone, T3 and Techradar.