Hands on With the Samyang AF 85mm F1.4 FE II Updated fast portrait telephoto lens

Samyang had just introduced the new Samyang AF 85mm F1.4 FE II lens which is a new and improved fast portrait telephoto lens with some important differences compared to the previous 85mm f/1.4 designed for Sony FE cameras.

In the above video by Samyang itself photographer Jay Gilmour talks about his experience using the new lens as a portrait photographer.

Samyang AF 85mm F1.4 FE II main features

Samyang has been on a roll recently with the introduction of several new and updated lenses including the AF 35mm f/1.4 FE II announced back in March and the fantastic AF 135mm f/1.8 FE which we recently tested (there is also an updated 50mm f/1.4 and new APS-C lenses among other lenses).

So what is new on the AF 85mm F1.4 FE II? According to Samyang, there are 5 main changes compared to the previous version:

  1. Smaller size and lighter weight (509g vs 568g).
  2. Excellent resolution and creamy bokeh from F1.4 fast lens (this will of course need to be tested).
  3. Quieter, faster, and more accurate AF performance with linear STM motor (compared to the Ultrasonic Dual Linear motor of the previous generation).
  4. Professional control & upgraded reliability (custom switch and Focus hold button added).
  5. Improved breathing – the new model had reduced breathing for better video shooting.

While there is the same number of optical elements and groups, Samyang did make some optical changes to the new lens and so we should expect some changes in optical quality.

The Samyang AF 85mm F1.4 FE II

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Samyang AF 85mm F1.4 FE II specs

Here are the specs for the updated Samyang AF 85mm F1.4 FE II:

  • 85mm f/1.4 FF lens.
  • The lens has 11 elements in 8 groups (including 4 HR, and 1 ED element).
  • Linear STM AF motor.
  • Dust and water-resistant.
  • Min focus distance – 85cm (1:8.3 magnification).
  • 9 rounded blades aperture.
  • 72 mm filter.
  • Length – 99.5mm / 3.9in.
  • Weight – 509g / 18.0oz.
  • Mounts – Sony E.

Price and availability

When it comes to pricing, the lens will be available soon for just under $800.

Hands-on from around the web

So far there are very few hands-on review videos of the new lens around the web – here are the ones that we found so far:

Pav SZ on the Samyang AF 85mm F1.4 FE II:

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Alyssa & Peter Zalabai on the Samyang AF 85mm F1.4 FE II:

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HR Images on the new lens

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If you don’t want to miss any new photography products be sure to check out our product photography section on our photo gear channel.

Iddo Genuth
Iddo Genuth is the founder and chief editor of LensVid.com. He has been a technology reporter working for international publications since the late 1990's and covering photography since 2009. Iddo is also a co-founder of a production company specializing in commercial food and product visual content.

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