Samyang AF 35-150mm f/2-2.8 review

A very useful focal range combined with a fast aperture speed makes the AF 35-150mm f/2.0-2.8 zoom hugely versatile, but limber up, it’s a beefy lens too

Samyang AF 35-150mm f/2-2.8
(Image: © Future)

Digital Camera World Verdict

There’s no shying away from the size and weight of Samyang’s AF 35-150mm zoom, but there’s plenty of reward for effort here too. The zooming range covers all those focal lengths that we now consider ‘classical’ because they have proven universally useful. Importantly, the f/2.0-2.8 maximum aperture range means that you aren’t sacrificing a whole lot of speed compared to using primes, especially at the telephoto end. And, of course, carrying a set of fast primes would be a much heavier load… Samyang backs up with a solid optical performance and excellent affordability which makes the value-for-money proposition hard to ignore too


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    Combines several popular primes in one zoom

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    Fast maximum aperture


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    It's big & heavy - making it unsuitable for smaller Sony E-mount bodies

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    No image stabilization

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Thanks to the design freedoms afforded by the mirrorless camera configuration, we are becoming accustomed to seeing more exotic lenses, especially zooms. The shorter flange back distance and, in many cases, wider throat of the mirrorless camera mounts provide more scope for optimizing lens performance without requiring complex and expensive optical constructions. And optical correction for distortion and optical aberrations can be assisted by in-camera corrections, so lens designers are generally becoming more adventurous. 

Samyang’s AF 35-150mm f/2.0-2.8 FE is both ‘everyday’ and exotic. Also available under the Rokinon range, the focal range initially looks to be quite conservative until you appreciate that it spans a whole bunch of classic focal lengths – 35mm, 50mm, 90mm (for photographers, 85mm for video-makers), 135mm and 150mm – with, of course, all points in between. It’s a lot more versatile that you might initially think, made more so by the fast maximum aperture range of f/2.0 to f/2.8 which is advantageous for low-light shooting as well for using selective focusing via the shallow depth-of-field, especially at the shorter focal lengths. The ‘FE’ designation in the model number indicates that the mount is for Sony’s full-frame Alpha series bodies, but now that Samyang has joined the L Mount Alliance, it’s not unreasonable to expect a version in this fitting will arrive at some point. 

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Paul Burrows

Paul has been writing about cameras, photography and photographers for 40 years. He joined Australian Camera as an editorial assistant in 1982, subsequently becoming the magazine’s technical editor, and has been editor since 1998. He is also the editor of sister publication ProPhoto, a position he has held since 1989. In 2011, Paul was made an Honorary Fellow of the Institute Of Australian Photography (AIPP) in recognition of his long-term contribution to the Australian photo industry. Outside of his magazine work, he is the editor of the Contemporary Photographers: Australia series of monographs which document the lives of Australia’s most important photographers.