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Samyang unveils new prime AF 35mm F1.4 FE II lens for Sony mirrorless cameras

Samyang AF 35mm F1.4 FE II new lens unveiled
(Image credit: Samyang Optics / Holdan)

Samyang has launched an updated AF 35mm F1.4 FE lens, that is optimized for portraits, landscapes, and shooting video. Sold under the Rokinon brand in North America, the key innovations on this second-generation Samyang lens include the Focus Hold button and Custom Switch.

Faster autofocus is another desirable feature of this lens, with a precise and quiet performance that promises to be sharp and clear from corner-to-corner. Enhanced operations of this lens allow for reliability and refined beautiful bokeh. 

• Read more: Best Samyang lenses  (opens in new tab)

Samyang lenses have built a reputation for the affordable manual-focus range of  prime lenses, available in a wide variety of mount options for different brand  cameras. But the Korean manufacturer has been launching more and more autofocus models designed to offer a low-cost alternative to  Sony's own G Master series or Zeiss professional lenses. 

David Fidler, from UK distributors Holdan, shared that: “We’re very excited about the new AF 35mm F1.4 FE II lens and what it will deliver to our photo and video markets. It’s a combination of innovative technology, stunning contrast, amazing sharpness and refined bokeh.”

(Image credit: Samyang / Holdan)
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The key features of this new lens in comparison to its predecessor, the Samyang AF 35mm F1.4 FE (opens in new tab), are its optimization for not only photography but video too, by minimizing vibrations and noise while tracking a subject accurately and quickly. The AF during video operates more smoothly and is much quieter. 

The newly added Focus Hold Button and Custom Switch mean that the lens will lock its focusing distance to allow users to assign functions such as Eye AF in the camera settings. The custom switch can be set to allow for silent adjustments of aperture. 

The f/1.4 maximum aperture of this lens makes it easier to capture clear images in low light, even when shooting handheld. A nine-blade circular aperture design enhances capability for stunningly beautiful bokeh background. Smooth bokeh can be used to make subjects stand out in images with deep dimensional impact. The minimum focal distance of the lens is just 29cm (0.95ft), making it incredibly versatile.

This announcement of the new AF 35mm F1.4 FE II lens now means that both of the 50mm and 35mm lenses within Samyang's F1.4 FE line-up have had upgraded replacement models launched. With its more modern design and four-area weather sealing to protect the lens from light rain, snow or dust, also featured is a micro-patterned rubber focus ring that is supposedly much more pleasant to operate.

(Image credit: Samyang Optics / Holdan)
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The two ASP (aspherical) elements of this lens can supposedly deliver stunning contrast and amazing resolution, paired with Samyang's advanced coating technology that maintains superb image clarity, even when shooting in challenging lighting conditions. Corner-to-corner sharpness is boasted in the specifications for this upgraded lens and is supposedly maintained even at maximum aperture, making optical performance consistent at all available exposure settings. 

Samyang’s Linear Stepping Motor (STM) provides high-thrust efficiency that is needed for fast, precise, and quiet auto-focus and tracking, thus maximizing the advantages of Sony E-Mount cameras. STM is likely to satisfy both photographers and videographers with its quieter and more accurate control over the focusing lens groups.

More functions will be added to the lens via future firmware updates, suggests Samyang. 

The Samyang branded version of the lens is available for preorder at B&H for $799 (opens in new tab) in the States, and for £636 at Wex Photo in the UK;  the Rokinon badged edition is available for preorder at B&H (opens in new tab) for the same $799 price tag.

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Beth Nicholls
Staff Writer

A staff writer for Digital Camera World, Beth has an extensive background in various elements of technology with five years of experience working as a tester and sales assistant for CeX. After completing a degree in Music Journalism, followed by obtaining a Master's degree in Photography awarded by the University of Brighton, she spends her time outside of DCW as a freelance photographer specialising in live music events and band press shots under the alias 'bethshootsbands'.