Samyang 35mm f/1.4 AS UMC AE review

Built-in electronics enable a more refined operating experience for this manual-focus lens

Samyang 35mm f/1.4 AS UMC
(Image: © Future)

Digital Camera World Verdict

A buttery-smooth manual focus lens, the Samyang 35mm f/1.4 AS UMC AE for Canon is a great street and general-purpose lens. Though it’s manual focus only, its electronic contacts allow you to make use of the viewfinder to check and fine-tune your focusing. It’s a big and bulky lens, more so than you’d expect from a 35mm perhaps, but it’s robust and durable with a solid feel, and aside from anything else, it’s just downright enjoyable to use.


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    Smooth manual focusing action

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    Focus distance scale

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    Useful electronic contacts


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    No weather sealing

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There are many Samyang lenses available in Canon-mount but, apart from the recent 14mm, all are purely manual-focus. 

That’s not necessarily a drawback for street photography, as manual-focus lenses tend to have a long rotational travel in their focus rings, and a fluid feel to their movement. The Samyang 35mm f/1.4 AS UMC AE is typical in this respect, and features a focus scale with depth of field markings for apertures of f/2.8, f/5.6, f/11, f/16 and f/22.

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Matthew Richards

Matthew Richards is a photographer and journalist who has spent years using and reviewing all manner of photo gear. He is Digital Camera World's principal lens reviewer – and has tested more primes and zooms than most people have had hot dinners! 

His expertise with equipment doesn’t end there, though. He is also an encyclopedia  when it comes to all manner of cameras, camera holsters and bags, flashguns, tripods and heads, printers, papers and inks, and just about anything imaging-related. 

In an earlier life he was a broadcast engineer at the BBC, as well as a former editor of PC Guide.