Samyang AF 85mm f/1.4 review

Fast, yet relatively affordable, the Samyang AF 85mm f/1.4 prime lens won't weigh you down

Samyang AF 85mm f/1.4 review
(Image: © Matthew Richards)

Digital Camera World Verdict

It might not be the sharpest tool in the box but, when it comes to portrait lenses, how much do you really want to focus attention on the signs of premature aging? The Samyang AF 85mm f1.4 is perfectly sharp enough to capture the finer points of portraiture, while delivering a soft and creamy bokeh and a smooth transition between focused and defocused areas. And it’s refreshingly compact, lightweight and affordable compared with its competitors.


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    Quite compact and lightweight

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    Relatively inexpensive

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    Good image quality


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    No optical stabilizer

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    No full-time manual focus

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Magic numbers for portraiture with a full-frame camera are often regarded as 85mm and 1.4, which is why the Samyang AF 85mm f/1.4 is likely to be such a crowd pleaser. Also sold as the Rokinon 85mm F1.4 AF in some territories, this winning combination enables you to shoot from a comfortable distance without crowding the person you’re photographing, while also making a really shallow depth of field possible. 

However, if you thought that all modern 85mm f/1.4 lenses were big, heavy and expensive, this new Samyang will make you think again. As with the company’s Samyang AF 14mm f/2.8 autofocus lens, the Samyang AF 85mm f/1.4 is available in Canon EF or Nikon F mount options, and has a different design to Samyang’s earlier 85mm f/1.4 autofocus lens for Sony E-mount cameras.

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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.