Samyang XP 35mm f/1.2 Hands on Lens Review How does this wide angle 35mm XP lens from Samyang performs?

In this video, photographer, Christopher Frost, takes a look at another lens from the high-end manual focus DSLR line of lenses by Samayng – the XP 35mm f/1.2 – the fifth in this series and also the fastest wide-angle.

As you can expect from a FF f/1.2 DSLR lens it is pretty big and heavy at around 1.1KG/2.4lbs and is no less than 117mm/4.6″ long. The lens has 12 elements in 10 groups including 2 aspherical elements, 3 high refractive index elements, and 1 extra-low dispersion elements.

The build quality is very good and the focus ring is grooved unlike other XP lenses which use a rubberized ring (Frost states that the grooved one is not as fun to use), there is also no weather sealing on the back of the lens for some reason. The lens cap also doesn’t seem to sit very securely which is annoying – especially for such a high-end lens. The hood is fairly deep and secures much better though.

On the A7RII with an adaptor at the center wide-open resolution is good but contrast isn’t and there is a little CA. The corners are darker but sharpness is very good. At f/1.4 contrast in the center is much better and the corners also look pretty good. At the center at f/2 the center is excellent and at the corners, it is excellent from f/2.8.

On a relatively high megapixel, APS-C like the Canon M6 (32MP) camera the center is sharp wide open but with a LOT of CA and the corners are pretty decent but a bit soft.  at f/2.8 everything looks very nice. To be honest this is not an APS-C lens although you can use it in a pinch.

The lens does exhibit some barrel distortion, darkening in the corners is visible wide open and is gone by f/2.8 or so. The lens focus distance is relatively close at 34cm with 1:5.8 macro magnification. Wide-open it isn’t super sharp but at f/1.4 sharpness and contrast, it is much better. Flare handling isn’t great so use a hood.

This lens seems to be available at the moment only for Canon EF but since this is a manual only lens you can adapt it for (almost) any mount with the right adaptor.

Samyang’s XP line is the highest the manufacturer has (at least when it comes to DSLR cameras) and as for pricing, this is also one of the most expensive stills lenses the company sells if not the most expensive at this time for around $1420.

You can find many more previews and reviews on our Photography review section here on LensVid and you can find more of Frost’s videos here on LensVid.

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