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01-02-2017, 01:00 PM   #1
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Samyang 135mm vs Sigma 85mm f1.4

For portraiture on the Pentax K1 I've been using the Sigma 85mm f1.4.

But I'm tempted by the apparent sharpness of the 135mm f2 and the slightly more telephoto perspective.

I figure that the sharpness and lack of distortion of the 135mm will be more versatile, and really, it's just something to enjoy to get the most out of the K1 sensor.

Samyang 135mm f/2 ED UMC Lens Compared to the Sigma 85mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM Lens

Do you have any experience of either?

01-02-2017, 01:24 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by English-Photographer Quote
Do you have any experience of either?
I've used the Samyang 135 f2 on the K1 , found it to be sharp wide open. And manual focus wasn't a big deal in live view. I sold it to help fund other lenses, and avoid redundancy with the DFA70-200, otherwise I'd have kept it. Optically, it is very good for its price; it render a tiny bit toward yellow, perhaps similar to the sigma glass, but eventually white balance tweak will correct it, depending on appreciation from the photographer, as some prefer slightly warm rendering for portraits. On my copy of the 135 , the focus ring was smooth but slow to move, but it became more fluid after using it a lot.
01-02-2017, 07:13 PM   #3
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While others may shoot this comment down, I think color rendering is important aspect of a lens. I remember the Samyang 85mm 1.4 I used to own and I hated its yellow cast it added to the color rendering. If I were you and interested in a 135mm, I would start looking for the Pentax F-135mm 2.8 Or a FA-135mm 2.8. You will gain AF and the glass from that era is wonderful!

I own the F-100mm macro and It is now my favorite lens, so much so I purchased a F-50mm 1.7. I love the SMC and color rendering of this generation. In the FA world, things changed slightly.

Keep in mind, I own current DA*, SMC limited, and HD limited lenses, but the SMC from the F and FA days is currently my favorite.


SMC Pentax-FA 135mm F2.8 [IF] Reviews - FA Prime Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database
SMC Pentax-F 135mm F2.8 [IF] Reviews - F Prime Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database
01-02-2017, 08:10 PM   #4
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Samyang 135mm f2 is a great lens, comparable to Zeiss APO Sonnar 135mm f2 (Samyang 135 mm f/2.0 ED UMC review - Summary - LensTip.com)
The only and very important inconvenient : manual focus, especially with its super thin DOF, if you can live with it then go for it

01-02-2017, 08:46 PM   #5
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I own the Rokinon 135mm F2 (same as Samyang-rebranded). I use it for close headshots and portrait work. It is a great lens. As I've said in other posts, the color transmission of this lens is very different that the Pentax 77mm F1.8 I also use. However, I believe if you use a color balance device like the Passport Photo color checker you should be able to get the original accurate colors of the scene. I have yet to order this color checker but, from my studio work, it is pretty obvious that I need to use this with every lens I use in the studio to get the same color for every shot.
01-02-2017, 09:29 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by dfp771 Quote
the color transmission of this lens is very different that the Pentax 77mm F1.8
a very interesting observation, could you please upload 2 photo shot by these 2 lens ? I'm very curious about this difference in color rendering
01-03-2017, 04:47 AM   #7
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I'd assume the Samyang is sharper than the Pentax?
01-03-2017, 07:29 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by English-Photographer Quote
I'd assume the Samyang is sharper than the Pentax?


The Samyang is sharper than just about anything.

I have it for Nikon. Amazing lens but Nikon do not make manual focusing easy. They do have focus confirmation, that is it. I'd love to be able to use it with "catch in focus." I think that would solve some issues. As well as focus peaking, but I think an EVF is really needed for best benefits there.

01-03-2017, 07:37 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by English-Photographer Quote
I'd assume the Samyang is sharper than the Pentax?
The Samyang 123/2 is one of the ten sharpest lenses you can buy in stores for any amount of money for any system from any maker. No Nikon, Canon, Sony, Zeiss, Pentax lens by any relevant margin exceeds its optical performance.

The Samyang 135/2 makes the new $2,200 Nikon 105/1.4 look a meh glass when it comes to optical performance as it outperforms it wide open when comparing to the Nikon stopped down a full stop (!).
Samyang: http://www.lenstip.com/upload3/4300_roz.png
Nikon: http://www.lenstip.com/upload2/170508_roz.png

Better also than all the Sigma Arts 35 and 50:
35: http://www.lenstip.com/upload3/3767_roz.jpg
50: http://www.lenstip.com/upload3/4053_roz.jpg

It is superb.
01-03-2017, 10:10 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by beholder3 Quote
The Samyang 123/2 is one of the ten sharpest lenses you can buy in stores for any amount of money for any system from any maker. No Nikon, Canon, Sony, Zeiss, Pentax lens by any relevant margin exceeds its optical performance.

The Samyang 135/2 makes the new $2,200 Nikon 105/1.4 look a meh glass when it comes to optical performance as it outperforms it wide open when comparing to the Nikon stopped down a full stop (!).
Samyang: http://www.lenstip.com/upload3/4300_roz.png
Nikon: http://www.lenstip.com/upload2/170508_roz.png

Better also than all the Sigma Arts 35 and 50:
35: http://www.lenstip.com/upload3/3767_roz.jpg
50: http://www.lenstip.com/upload3/4053_roz.jpg

It is superb.
I agree...I had it paired to my D810 and it was superb. With a K-1 and focus peaking+magnification, it is a no-brainer.
I also think it is a wonderful focal length on a full frame camera. On a APS-C camera it is a bit long for my taste.
01-03-2017, 11:08 AM - 1 Like   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by redcat Quote
a very interesting observation, could you please upload 2 photo shot by these 2 lens ? I'm very curious about this difference in color rendering
OK. I uploaded two photos to my website. You can see these here:
Lens color shift - Images | David F Parker Photography
Both photos are studio shots taken under the same lighting, same model. The F-stop setting was slightly different (F8 vs F9) and the T-stop is different for each lens so I adjusted the exposure in lightroom to give a "normal" histogram for both images. (both were under-exposed- I shoot in manual mode and my images are usually under-exposed). Both images were set to a white balance temperature of 4000K. No other processing was done. The images were exported from Lightroom with a Jpg setting of 90%.
01-03-2017, 07:36 PM - 1 Like   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by dfp771 Quote
OK. I uploaded two photos to my website. You can see these here: Lens color shift - Images | David F Parker Photography Both photos are studio shots taken under the same lighting, same model. The F-stop setting was slightly different (F8 vs F9) and the T-stop is different for each lens so I adjusted the exposure in lightroom to give a "normal" histogram for both images. (both were under-exposed- I shoot in manual mode and my images are usually under-exposed). Both images were set to a white balance temperature of 4000K. No other processing was done. The images were exported from Lightroom with a Jpg setting of 90%.
excellent ! thanks a lot for sharing this the Rokinon seems more vibrant, a touch warmer, both are nice though
01-04-2017, 03:08 AM   #13
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Thanks for the comparison. Which do you prefer?
01-04-2017, 10:15 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by English-Photographer Quote
Thanks for the comparison. Which do you prefer?
Both are excellent lenses. The Rokinon is great for tight headshots. I've used it on location for 3/4 length shots. The Pentax is great for head & shoulder shots or intimate head shots. With the AF on the Pentax it is easier to keep up with a model moving through her repertoire of poses or catching a shot between poses. The Rokinon requires more work to focus precisely but, being 135mm, gives a more flattering perspective. At 6 ft and F8, the Rokinon Depth of field is only 3 inches! I've done location shots @ F4 with lovely bokeh with the Rokinon but I prefer to have everything on the face sharp (from nose to ears) and at F4 or F5.6 I don't achieve this unless I'm pretty far from the subject... I've used the Pentax at wedding receptions taking shots of the bride & groom dancing on a dimly lit dance floor @ F1.8, 1/400, ISO 6400 and got some great shots with beautiful bokeh.

---------- Post added 01-04-17 at 09:20 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by redcat Quote
excellent ! thanks a lot for sharing this the Rokinon seems more vibrant, a touch warmer, both are nice though
Redcat, I looked at your website. You do some good work, nice, sharp, clear photos. Good job!
01-04-2017, 12:42 PM - 1 Like   #15
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Excellent info, especially with the dof info. Looking forward to receiving this 135mm even if it's a want rather than a need!
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