Samyang/Rokinon 35mm f/1.4 AS UMC AE review

The manual-focus Samyang/Rokinon 35mm f/1.4 AS UMC is a good choice for street photography and more besides

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

Digital Camera World Verdict

With a solid construction and refined handling, this full-frame compatible manual-focus lens combines a classic 35mm focal length with a fast f/1.4 aperture. Overall performance and image quality are impressive, although sharpness drops off noticeably at the widest aperture. It’s available in a typically wide variety of mount options for a Samyang manual-focus lens, although the Canon EF and Nikon F mount editions are the only ones to feature any electronics for communication with the camera body.


  • +

    Classic field of view on full-frame cameras

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    Smooth and precise manual focusing

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    Very sharp at most apertures


  • -

    No electronics in most mount options

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    Lacks autofocus

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    Not weather-sealed

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Very similar to the Samyang/Rokinon 24mm from the same stable, the 35mm f/1.4 AS UMC offers a classic field of view that’s often the top choice for street photography. Moreover, manual focusing with a depth of field scale that enables zone focusing is also often preferred, as it enables you to set up the focus distance in advance and shoot from the hip, instantly reacting to situations as they unfold. However, the Canon EF and Nikon F mount versions with an ‘AE’ suffix have more to offer than the editions for other 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.