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02-24-2016, 02:30 PM   #1
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Samyang 85mm F1.4

Hello every one,

I have just purchased my first Samyang 85mm because I read so much good about its quality and of course the good price. Unfortunately I got somehow disappointed. I have not been able to take a sharp picture with this lens yet. I have tried to adjust my k-5 in the custom menu point "27. Using Aperture Ring".

But is there any thing else I can do about it?

Thank you all in advance.

02-24-2016, 03:01 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by hamidamin Quote
Hello every one,

I have just purchased my first Samyang 85mm because I read so much good about its quality and of course the good price. Unfortunately I got somehow disappointed. I have not been able to take a sharp picture with this lens yet. I have tried to adjust my k-5 in the custom menu point "27. Using Aperture Ring".

But is there any thing else I can do about it?

Thank you all in advance.
The Samyang 85mm is an A-type lens. Set the aperture ring to "A" and use P, Av, Tv, or M mode as you would normally.

It's up to you to focus correctly, since it's a manual focus lens after all. If you're having trouble focusing hand-held, make use of the camera's AF confirmation and stop the lens down to increase DOF.

When on a tripod, use live view to magnify the image and verify that the focus is correct.

Hope these tips help!

Adam
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02-24-2016, 03:20 PM   #3
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The main difficulty with that lens is focusing it correctly. I think this has been mentioned in many threads about it. Modern DSLR viewfinders are small and the focusing screens are optimized for relatively slow aperture lenses (not f1.4, but more like f2.4+), because their priority is AF, not MF. If you put that lens onto an old film SLR it will stun you.
Anyway, on the lens, there is an aperture ring (with f numbers), press the little button and lock it into A (letter A instead of the numbers). Leave it there forever.
Now you can use P and Av and other modes normally. This should settle any problems with metering. You can select Av mode and choose something like f8, and you should be able to get decent photos.
Focusing is another matter. The lens is manual focus only. For that, you can try live view (with focus peaking, if your camera has it). You can try things like Catch in Focus (CiF, aka focus trapping; does not work in live view). Finally, you can try buying and installing a custom focusing screen, one optimized for fast manual focus lenses. There are numerous threads about these things.

If you want to test whether your lens is broken or not, you can just put it in front of a newspaper (appx 1.3m distance; must be more than 1m to focus at all), hopefully in good daylight, choose Av mode, ISO 100, f5.6, 2 sec timer. Take a series of photos until you catch the focus right in the middle of the newspaper. You can try other apertures, especially f2, f1.4. How is the image quality? Because with this lens, image quality is rarely a problem. More often its user error and misfocusing.
02-24-2016, 03:28 PM   #4
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I have the 85mm and its a dog to focus at wide apertures.

My go-to technique is live view, focus peaking on, highlight notification on (this causes the focus peaking to 'glow' and flash as the camera interprets the sparkles as a blown highlight).

If you're trying to focus close up and wide open, it should be noted the actual plane of focus is literally sliver thin - we're talking millimeters at best. On the flip side, Samyang lenses also have an annoying trait of allowing you to focus way past infinity - you can't just crank the lens and shoot as you can most manual focus enses, you have to back a few notches to get things back where they belong.

When everything works though, the lens is magic. I have both it and its 35mm cousin (I prefer the 35mm, but thats only because it lends itself better to my shooting style).

EDIT: Just noticed you have a K-5, I don't think that has the focus peaking. Your best bet would be live view, zoom in as much as you can in the LCD and shoot that way.

02-24-2016, 03:49 PM - 1 Like   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Sagitta Quote
I have the 85mm and its a dog to focus at wide apertures.

My go-to technique is live view, focus peaking on, highlight notification on (this causes the focus peaking to 'glow' and flash as the camera interprets the sparkles as a blown highlight).

If you're trying to focus close up and wide open, it should be noted the actual plane of focus is literally sliver thin - we're talking millimeters at best. On the flip side, Samyang lenses also have an annoying trait of allowing you to focus way past infinity - you can't just crank the lens and shoot as you can most manual focus enses, you have to back a few notches to get things back where they belong.

When everything works though, the lens is magic. I have both it and its 35mm cousin (I prefer the 35mm, but thats only because it lends itself better to my shooting style).

EDIT: Just noticed you have a K-5, I don't think that has the focus peaking. Your best bet would be live view, zoom in as much as you can in the LCD and shoot that way.
Also with Live view, if you press the Info button, it magnifies the Live view (probably most of you know this, but it was new to me !!). It makes focusing a lot easier.
02-24-2016, 05:15 PM   #6
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Hamidamin, manual focus is a skill. Start at f8, go wider and wider.


+1 to Na Horuk's suggestion of Live View with focus peaking in cameras newer than your K-5, with my personal caveat that focus peaking on every camera I've used is too optimistic in a bright situation or virtually invisible in a low contrast one.


+1 also to Ohaya's suggestion of magnified view.


The ultimate for me (I have several fast lenses, including your Samyang 85mm) was putting a split-prism focus screen into my K-30. Much faster and more accurate to focus than any EVF, but the company I sourced it from no longer exists.



Last edited by clackers; 02-24-2016 at 05:23 PM.
02-24-2016, 07:01 PM - 1 Like   #7
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I have had the Samyang 85/1.8 for a very long time, but my favourite shots are with my K10D with a split image focusing screen installed. MF is an art and it is necessary to use every tool available. I have never sold any of my bodies as I upgrade, hence while I use a K7 and K5 as my prime bodies, I have my K10 and *istD fitted with split image fines for manual focus

There is nothing wrong with ten mp camera that is the. k10d

Check out a 100% crop


From this image

Last edited by Lowell Goudge; 02-24-2016 at 07:11 PM.
02-24-2016, 10:31 PM   #8
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The lens is sharp enough wide open and can compare to really expensive glass at f/4. Focusing wide open is really, really difficult due to the shallow DoF. I suggest placing it on a tripod and shooting wide open using Live View fully magnified to focus. Then see if your image is sharp (if not you could have a bad copy). Assuming it is sharp, work with the focusing until you have it figured out. I sometimes use the Catch-in-Focus feature with the lens when shooting under f/2.8.

02-25-2016, 12:21 AM   #9
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Hello everyone,

Thank you all so much for your help. Since most of the answers to my question aim in the same direction I must conclude that it is not the lens there is something wrong with. I have to check it out when I get home later today. I will definitely let you know about the result of my investigation

Thank you
02-25-2016, 10:07 AM   #10
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Ok folks, I have just tried all your suggestions... Guess what?

IT WORKED and I keep the lens

And Ohaya: your suggestion for further magnification is just the best for me.

Once again thank you very much for your support everyone.
02-25-2016, 12:55 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by hamidamin Quote
Ok folks, I have just tried all your suggestions... Guess what?

IT WORKED and I keep the lens

And Ohaya: your suggestion for further magnification is just the best for me.

Once again thank you very much for your support everyone.

Glad it's ok. What did you conclude was the problem?
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