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03-01-2011, 08:46 AM   #61
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The fast f1,4 35mm lenses from Canon and Nikon have great results on APS-C according to tests. Having FA35 I was looking at them with envy, wanting the additional depth control as well. But I'm too lazy to focus manually.

03-01-2011, 09:39 AM   #62
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QuoteQuote:
Laurentiu Cristofor: As far as Samyang is concerned, they don't build AF because it would make their lenses costlier (more than $50) and they know very well they're not a recognized brand yet so they try to offer IQ at the lowest price possible - that means eliminating the extra features like AF/IS that only make the lens build more complex and expensive to produce and service - just read the interview on lenstip where the question of AF is asked.

As far as I am concerned, I'm glad to see MF lenses in production. I don't like AF, because focusing rings are crappier and you get one more failure point. Check lensrentals.com - the majority of lens failures is due to failure of AF, IS, or zooming mechanism. Best lens to have to last you a lifetime? A MF prime!
Agreed, but feel, like others, $500 is too steep for MF glass with glass like Fa 43 available, & because, as you say, Samyang is "not a recognized brand yet" --unless this lens turns out to be a classic.
03-01-2011, 01:59 PM   #63
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jewelltrail Quote
Agreed, but feel, like others, $500 is too steep for MF glass with glass like Fa 43 available, & because, as you say, Samyang is "not a recognized brand yet" --unless this lens turns out to be a classic.
A few months back I read comments in another forum where people were concerned that if this lens was very inexpensive they would avoid it, since there'd be no way to make a 35mm f/1.4 full frame lens with 12 elements in 10 groups, two high refraction elements, and one aspherical and make it super inexpensive.

I personally see no reason to judge it's value until a) objective test results are in and b) it goes into full production and distribution at the end of this month and we get a sense of what the typical street price will actually be like. In the meantime, I patiently will wait and ignore the rampant conjecture.
03-01-2011, 02:17 PM   #64
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QuoteOriginally posted by nater Quote
I personally see no reason to judge it's value until a) objective test results are in and b) it goes into full production and distribution at the end of this month and we get a sense of what the typical street price will actually be like. In the meantime, I patiently will wait and ignore the rampant conjecture.
good point

03-01-2011, 06:03 PM   #65
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Personally, I'm curious if they'll follow up with their long fast lens and tilt/shift lens rumors they've been starting.
03-02-2011, 01:32 AM   #66
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QuoteOriginally posted by nater Quote
A few months back I read comments in another forum where people were concerned that if this lens was very inexpensive they would avoid it, since there'd be no way to make a 35mm f/1.4 full frame lens with 12 elements in 10 groups, two high refraction elements, and one aspherical and make it super inexpensive.

I personally see no reason to judge it's value until a) objective test results are in and b) it goes into full production and distribution at the end of this month and we get a sense of what the typical street price will actually be like. In the meantime, I patiently will wait and ignore the rampant conjecture.

Samyang is a new player in this game. Most important for them, is to establish a reputation for quality, then they can jack prices. This is how it works in business: first you get the reputation--then you get the money. This exchange reminds me of one of the Godfather scenes, in which Al Pacino explains the courting rules of America, to one of his Sicilian comrades: "This is America, first you get the money, then you get the girl."

I'm curious if you read the last 9 words of my post--the one you quote?
03-02-2011, 07:16 AM   #67
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I really wish they'd get behind the autofocus bandwagon. I would have bought their 85/1.4 if it was AF.
03-02-2011, 08:04 AM   #68
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i guess doing a AF lense for some "rookie" brand is too risky. Moreover, it's hard for any AF to be good at f1.4, the DOF is very tiny.

In one hand, it's cheaper and quite good, but without AF, on the other hand, it could had some AF but unsellable if it would have been a bad AF or something like that.

I guess they choose to sell something, instead of selling nothing !

03-02-2011, 09:16 AM   #69
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QuoteOriginally posted by Clinton Quote
I really wish they'd get behind the autofocus bandwagon. I would have bought their 85/1.4 if it was AF.
They're a new company. They want to draw in customers. The only way to do that is provide a good quality at a low price. Look at how Hyundai has steadily gained market share by starting small. Now they have a $60k luxury sedan. Same thing. Coming out of the gates with AF is going to raise costs substantially, and is a foolish business move.
03-02-2011, 10:27 AM - 2 Likes   #70
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QuoteOriginally posted by aurele Quote
i guess doing a AF lense for some "rookie" brand is too risky. Moreover, it's hard for any AF to be good at f1.4, the DOF is very tiny.

In one hand, it's cheaper and quite good, but without AF, on the other hand, it could had some AF but unsellable if it would have been a bad AF or something like that.

I guess they choose to sell something, instead of selling nothing !
I think the problem with AF is one of R&D costs and the fact that some (all?) camera makers have proprietary AF algorithms, in many cases protected by patents. For instance, here's the situation with Canon EF:

"Third-party lenses compatible with EOS electronics are manufactured by Sigma, Tamron, Tokina, and Carl Zeiss. The manufacturers of these lenses have reverse engineered the electronics of the EF lens mount. The use of these lenses is not supported by Canon. Sometimes compatibility problems arise, as no third party has access to Canon's specifications for camera-body communication. These compatibility issues mostly occur when using a newer body with an older third-party lens. Over time, most of these issues have been resolved by the major third-party brands. Nevertheless, it is not accurate to call these lenses EF mount, as that term is reserved by Canon for its own lenses exclusively"

I've come across lots of talk in other forums on the internet about people having to send their Canon Sigma lenses back in to Sigma, more so in years past, to have them re-chipped for compatibility fixes with the latest Canon bodies. (I think it's those third-party lens reverse engineered AF protocol compatibility issues which has to some extent led a lot of review sites to try to include a review of a given lens's AF capability.)

I think it's also fascinating that for Sigma's SA mount bodies, when they chose their AF protocol, they chose to use the reverse-engineered Canon EF mount signaling and protocol, rather than come up with their own... while perhaps just a cost-cutting measure, I also imagine having to create a body that speaks the protocol perhaps helped Sigma to improve the implementation in their lenses as well by understanding it as a system better.

I get the impression Nikon's AF protocol is similar, and has to be reverse engineered. On top of that, Nikon doesn't put screw-drive AF motors in their low-end bodies which means anyone buying a low-end Nikon body only gets AF if they buy a lens with an in-lens AF motor. (Note that all Canon EF mount lenses have to have in-lens motors, and there is no such thing as an in-body motor for Canon since their mount does away with any mechanical motor connection completely.)

Even when the intellectual property is no longer covered by patents because they've expired, I don't think Nikon/Canon/etc. give out documentation to their AF systems to third parties, so if you are a third party lens maker and want to make AF lenses, it is not a trivial thing to do for many reasons... and if you do try, you need to have a repair network in place so that you can potentially take lenses back in the future for re-chipping if/when new bodies come out that don't work well with existing lenses.

Think about what Samyang has to deal with just in regards to making manual lenses:

1. Different register (flange) distances
2. Different bayonet mount diameters
3. Different bayonet lug designs

Their Pentax lenses have the advantage of auto-aperture, which fortunately for Samyang is pretty simple to implement in KA mount. Now if Samyang wanted to develop an AF lens and sell it for as many mounts as they currently sell their manual focus lenses, they'd have to:

1. Reverse engineer the Canon AF system, develop a compatible in-lens motor
2. Reverse engineer the Nikon AF system, develop a compatible in-lens motor if you want to target the low-end Nikon bodies as well as the mid/high-end bodies
3. Reverse engineer the Minolta/Sony AF system
4. Reverse engineer the Pentax AF system

Those four steps require a lot of R&D, especially if you're starting from scratch and have no help from any of the camera body makers, which I assume is where Samyang would be starting from. They'd probably need someone to come in with a lot of money and be willing to invest in the long-term with the company to make something like that happen, and I imagine it would take a lot of resources and personnel to pull off, and would make their lenses more expensive, likely having to go head-to-head with Sigma and Tamron... at that point, why would someone buy a Samyang lens (or whatever re-brand) over a Sigma or Tamron? There are already people who shy away from long-established third-party brands like Sigma and Tamron over first-party like Pentax, and if Samyang can't seriously undercut Sigma and Tamron on price or consistently coming out with unique or better products, I don't see them making market headway.

Right now Samyang is in a pretty good position - they're making solid products in a price segment that doesn't have a lot of competitors. I'd call it the modern value manual focus lens category. Voigtlander (Cosina) is above them, but no longer makes their lenses in Pentax mount, Zeiss is yet further above them and similar situation, and with the rising popularity of Pentax cameras the used market has seen supply dry up and prices rise to the point where new lenses from Samyang are not just competitive but in many cases better values.

While I can fantasize about inexpensive autofocus Samyang lenses (and maybe they'll surprise me and pull a rabbit out of a hat someday in that regard), I have a hard time envisioning it becoming a practical reality from a business perspective.
03-02-2011, 01:28 PM   #71
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@nater,
Excellent analysis, and I hit your rep on that. And it's not as if Samyang Optics was a new or small firm. They've been churning out glass for nearly 40 years. I have some 25-year-old Samyang lenses badged as Sears and Albinar that are quite decent. Their newer output is labeled as Vivitar, Rokinon, Bower, Pro-Optic. Hmm, I wonder if my older Rokinon primes are Samyang. [/me checks database] No, those are Japanese. I wonder who made them?

Anyway, it seems that Samyang upped their output and visibility after their 2004 merger with Japanese CCTV optics maker Seikou. They're still a small player compared to the Big Guys, but by careful niche targeting, they've certainly achieved name recognition. Fast 8-14-35-85 primes, big mirrors and long primes, a long zoom, all in many mounts. What next, beyond rumoured fast-long and tilt-shift?

And that question evalulates to: In what niches can fast manual glass compete with current offerings from the Big Guys? Or: What applications don't require AF? And the answers are: ultrawide / fisheye, landscape, portrait, macro, ultralong. Samyang has all those covered except for landscape and macro. So, I hereby predicts: Samyang will (sometime) announce their 22/2 landscape lens, and a 120/2 macro. Something like that. Find a niche and fill it.
03-02-2011, 08:35 PM   #72
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When Samyang will start making AF lenses, the discussion will change from "why I should pay so much for a MF lens" to "why I should pay so much for an AF lens from Samyang vs one from Sigma/Tamron", spiced up with comments about how the AF system of Samyang lenses is not competitive.
03-02-2011, 10:01 PM   #73
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I have no interest in Samyang AF glass. When I spend in the $500 range for MF glass, it is not to Samyang I look.
Samyang's future competition is not from producers of new MF glass; rather, their competition comes from all the awesome MF glass of years past, which still mounts on Pentax bodies, and which is plentiful.

Last edited by Jewelltrail; 03-02-2011 at 10:32 PM.
03-02-2011, 11:55 PM   #74
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QuoteOriginally posted by Laurentiu Cristofor Quote
When Samyang will start making AF lenses, the discussion will change from "why I should pay so much for a MF lens" to "why I should pay so much for an AF lens from Samyang vs one from Sigma/Tamron", spiced up with comments about how the AF system of Samyang lenses is not competitive.
actually there are a few considerations that would influence the price of an AF Samyang.

1.> price of equivalent AF wide lens (28mm-35mm) - except for the FA31, Pentax and Sigma lenses are price from $50-$200 (kitlens), Sigma 28/1.8 ($150-$250), FA28/2.8 ($200), Pentax 35/2.4 ($200), FA35 ($350), DA35/2.8 ($450), Sigma 30/1.4 ($500), and fast wide zooms ($400-$600).


2.> the cost of building an AF Samyang - is it really expensive to research and develop an AF system? and the manufacturing cost?

3.> if the Samyang AF system is based on the existing AF system of other brands - meaning, that the Samyang AF system is not really unique but has blueprints used from others. again, I wonder how much it would cost them but for certain it won't be as expensive on trying to experiment on something new and unique.

4.> Full-frame compatibility - the only competition that Samyang has with regards to this are the FA28/2.8, FA35, FA31, DA35/2.4, and Sigma 28/1.8.

5.> feature - the Sigma 30 has HSM.

6.> the Samyang 35 must prove itself to be better than the others - IQ would play a significant role on the pricing. if it is not better than the Sigmas or Pentax, then it would end up as an expensive underachieving lens.

the point here is that Samyang, eventhough it is trying to target a niche market should be pricing their lenses strategically in a way that does not make it much money for less capability or less money for less capability. this is the burden that every new player in the lens manufacturing market undergoes. I would say go cheap first and build your reputation before going overboard. build your market or atleast gain a substantial number of fans before pushing the red button.

as far as pricing for a Samyang AF 35/1.4 goes, $400-$450 would be generally acceptable as long as it's performance is great overall. for anyone who needs a fast 35mm lens, this is a great price for a niche market that is building. if it turns out to be really a marvelous lens, they could bump up their prices for $550. my only complaint is, I don't need an excellent fast 35. what I need is an excellent fast 28mm. if Samyang could build one a whole lot better than the existing Sigma 28 and Sigma 30, I would gladly pay for $600 off the bat. that would give the FA31 some serious competition.
03-02-2011, 11:59 PM   #75
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