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Samyang 135mm F2.0 ED UMC Review RSS Feed

Samyang 135mm F2.0 ED UMC

Sharpness 
 9.9
Aberrations 
 9.8
Bokeh 
 9.8
Handling 
 9.1
Value 
 9.7
Reviews Views Date of last review
16 42,827 Mon January 4, 2021
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Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
100% of reviewers $493.25 9.93
Samyang 135mm F2.0 ED UMC

Samyang 135mm F2.0 ED UMC
supersize
Samyang 135mm F2.0 ED UMC
supersize
Samyang 135mm F2.0 ED UMC
supersize
Samyang 135mm F2.0 ED UMC
supersize
Samyang 135mm F2.0 ED UMC
supersize

Description:

The Samyang 135mm F2.0 is a fast telephoto lens available in a variety of mounts, including the Pentax K mount. It covers the 24x36mm full-frame format.

It supports aperture automation, but needs to be focused manually. It focuses down to 80 cm which is fairly close for a 135 mm lens.


Samyang 135mm F2.0 ED UMC
© www.pentaxforums.com, sharable with attribution
Image Format
Full-frame / 35mm film
Lens Mount
Pentax K
Aperture Ring
Yes (A setting)
Diaphragm
Automatic, 9 blades (rounded)
Optics
11 elements, 7 groups
Mount Variant
KA
Check camera compatibility
Max. Aperture
F2
Min. Aperture
F22
Focusing
Manual
Min. Focus
80 cm
Max. Magnification
0.27x
Filter Size
77 mm
Internal Focus
No
Field of View (Diag. / Horiz.)

APS-C: 12.4 ° / 10.4 °
Full frame: 18.8 ° / 15.5 °
Hood
Included
Case
Included
Lens Cap
Included
Coating
Multi-coated
Weather Sealing
No
Other Features
Diam x Length
82x120.6 mm (3.23x4.75 in.)
Weight
820 g (28.9 oz.)
Production Years
2015 to present (in production)
Pricing
$549 USD current price
Reviews
User reviews
Variants

Also marketed under other brand names, hereunder Rokinon


Buy Lens: Buy the Samyang 135mm F2.0 ED UMC
Price: $549
Mount Type: Pentax KA
Price History:



Add Review of Samyang 135mm F2.0 ED UMC Buy the Samyang 135mm F2.0 ED UMC
Author:
Sort Reviews by: Date | Author | Rating | Recommendation | Likes (Descending) Showing Reviews 1-15 of 16
Site Supporter

Registered: November, 2017
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 2,150

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: January 4, 2021 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $499.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: sharp, great astro lens
Cons: none

Well I finally went out since it was something that resembled clear apart from the humidity that we have been having the past week. With the humidity and the the moon I didn't chase anything worth while but instead went and decided to figure out the Samyang/Rokinon 135mm f/2 UMC and put it through its paces. Before this I had just been blindly running it at 2.8 having never really spent the time to do a good and proper test of it. This review only focuses on using this lens for astro.

Others have rated this lens very high for use in astrophotography and given that my reference lens to compare it will be my SMC A* 400mm f/2.8 ED [IF] which is the best astro I owned before getting this one. If you must know I would still consider the SMC A* 400 f/2.8 ED [IF] to be the better astro lens but this lens is definitely worthy of being able to be compared in the same class. In the back of my mind I also was thinking about the Laowa 12mm f/2.8 Zero-D which is another great astro leans and I would put 135/2 UMC ahead of the 12/2.8 which again is a great slab of glass for astro.

So I left it out in the garage for the afternoon after snowshoeing through so it could come down to temp so I wouldn't have to deal with that while out. I went out to a reasonably dark area since the almost fog and fog has been bad for the last week or so and in my backyard there isn't much visible at present because of it and the fact that it is a bright bortle 8.

As usual when doing these things I started wide open with an ISO and exposure length with astrotracer that doesn't show trailing or show tons of light pollution. The resulted in the first shot being ISO 200, f/2, and 20s. From there I would stop the lens down 1/3rd a stop and increase the ISO by 1/3rd a stop. I carefully focused and verified focus using a bahtinov mask. The camera used for this test was my K-3.

First impressions in looking at the first shot at f/2 is that it does have some slight coma, possibly a bit more wide open than the SMC A* 400/2.8 does wide open. The stars show very little bloat and if there is color fringing it may be 1 pixel at most so I wouldn't fret that. However it does have substantial vignetting when wide open where it even shows up in frames that show a dark sky.

The noticeable vignetting with a dark sky goes away once you get the lens stopped down to f/2.8. Also at f/2.8 the stars have shrunk to their smallest size but like with other great lenses this really only results in change in diameter of 2 pixels. At this point the lens still shows coma for stars in the corners and along the edges. However for most cases this shouldn't be a problem as it is very small coma that is slightly less than the SMC A* 400/2.8 at 2.8. However like with the SMC A* 400/2.8 when I say coma I mean it is slight being only a handful of pixels (3-4 in the corners) in size and it requires pixel peeping to see.

It isn't until the lens reaches f/4 that the coma fully goes away. Because I happened to take a picture of the light pollution of my city there is still some vignetting that shows up in bright uniformly illuminated scenes in the corners but it is no where near as bad as it is at f/2 and shouldn't be a problem for most astro shooting.

All in all this is a very good astro lens and going forward I will probably run it at f/2.8. Comparing it to the SMC A* 400/2.8 for astro seemed reasonable given how highly regarded Samyang/Rokinon 135/2.8 UMC is and I would put it in the same class as the SMC A* 400/2.8. I would say there are very few lenses that are this good for astro. I would still say the SMC A* 400/2.8 is better but not by much however finding one of those is rather difficult. The SMC A* 400/2.8 gets better faster and doesn't vignette wide open which is why I say it is still better. The SMC A* 400/2.8 also gets perfect at the lower f-stop of 3.5 instead of 4 for the 135/2 UMC. The take away is that both of these lenses are absolutely phenomenal lenses for astro shooting and when looking at the differences you are counting pixels. Being that there is a substantial difference in focal length it is not a choice of one over the other only a reference point for what to expect result wise. If you are looking for a rather inexpensive starter lens for astro this would be a great place to start. If you like astro and don't have one of these lenses just buy it and be pleased with the results it pull out of the sky.
   
Pentaxian

Registered: November, 2014
Posts: 361
Lens Review Date: July 16, 2020 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $450.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp, Bokeh, CA control, handling, everything!
Cons: Weight too much for a long hike
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: Pentax K3   

I want to weld it on my K3! A joy to use with the battery grip to help balance it. The manual focus is smooth and the A setting on the aperture ring allows Hyper Program and Hyper Manual. I am surprised how easy it is to capture incredibly sharp, in focus shots manually or with catch in focus. And with Astrotracer it is ideal! A perfect lens for Comet Neowise!
   
New Member

Registered: January, 2019
Posts: 14
Lens Review Date: March 13, 2020 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $290.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros:
Cons:
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10   

A fantastic lens !
Definitely sharper than SMC Pentax K 135 / 2.5.
Very sharp from F2. Virtually free of defects.

The photo below was taken without a tripod. ISO 800, f 2.0




ISO 100, f 2.0 Minimally sharp RAW



ISO 100 f 8.0

   
Site Supporter

Registered: June, 2013
Location: Montreal, Canada
Posts: 551

5 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: November 29, 2019 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $500.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Tack sharp from f/2.0, very little CA
Cons: heavy

Using it almost entirely for astronomy. Being an f/2 lens it records faint nebulosities even with the short exposure times the astrotracer allows. It could easily be called an "astrograph". The lens is sharp corner to corner even at f/2.0. A dream lens, especially considering the price.


Stack of 18 X 30 s iso 800 @f/2.0. K-5 with astrotracer.
Pleiades with comet Wirtanen in December 2018
   
Pentaxian

Registered: June, 2011
Posts: 449
Lens Review Date: November 17, 2019 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $330.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: super sharp, large aperture, good build quality
Cons: Nothing that I have ran into yet.
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: Pentax K-1   

I'm not surprised to have come here to review this lens and see that it is one of the highest rated lenses by Pentax forum members. This lens is the most impressive lens I have ever shot with, and that's pretty awesome for a sub $500 lens.

I bought this lens specifically to use with astrotracer to up my astrophotography game. It's incredible. At f2 it is sharp and the stars look great. Still practicing my own game, but the lens itself isn't holding me back, that's for sure. I shot the andromeda galaxy for the first time with this lens, and for a newbie like me, I think it turned out pretty good.

When I don't have time for astro shoots (most of the time) I have used this lens for portraits of my family. It blows me away. The rendition, the sharpness at f2, the ease of manual focusing. Clearly a winner for that use case as well.

I have shot some landscape with it, but not very much. Performed well there as you would expect. I'm more of a wide angle person when it comes to landscapes, but maybe I need to challenge myself a little more and start trying out this focal length.

If you already know that you would like this focal length/aperture for whatever it is you're doing, and can live with manual focus, then I would not hesitate to recommend this lens.
   
Forum Member

Registered: December, 2018
Location: Telemark
Posts: 73
Lens Review Date: April 6, 2019 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $580.00 | Rating: N/A 

 
Pros: Sharpness, Bokeh
Cons: Too neutral colors?
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 9    Value: 10    Camera Used: Pentax K-1   

The sharpest of my many lenses for Pentax K-1. Sharper than other Samyang/Rokinon-lenses too.
   
Forum Member

Registered: December, 2018
Location: California
Posts: 55
Lens Review Date: March 29, 2019 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $409.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp, Bokeh, great design
Cons: None
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 9    Camera Used: K-1   

I wanted to see how sharp this lens really was after reading some crazy good reviews. now it is perfect in a lot of ways and the only negatives I could find are that the colors wash out in direct light, and that the front element is pretty big.

I'll let the pics do the talking
This is a crop of a pic taken in portrait orientation

This is pixel shifted and it's just about the sharpest edge to edge image I've taken
   
Site Supporter

Registered: September, 2015
Location: Berlin
Posts: 116
Lens Review Date: August 28, 2018 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $350.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Bokeh, sharpness even at F2, IQ, looks professional
Cons: heavy

I love Shooting with this lens. It Always Looks professional when using the Hood.

I got the lens cheap - used but in mint condition.

The Image Quality is awesome , even at F2 its sharp from Center to the edges.

I sold my Tamron 90mm F2.8 SP Macro 1:1 because the samyang is much sharper in my eyes (and the tamron is an Incredible lens). Also digital zoom into macro is as sharp as the Tamron !

For Portrait you can use the full aperture range from F2 to F22.

I also have the Pentax-A 135mm F2.8 and its Image Quality is galaxies away from the samyang.


Cons:

-Its a Tank... its just heavy. Thats why its not easy to handle it when shooting. You need a smooth handling, good control and short exposure Times (easy cause you can shoot with F2!!!). But If you train it a bit You will love this lens. Shooting The Moon is possible but its better to use a tripod for it.
-No Autofocus... If you Need it, its a probem. I love Shooting in Manual, cause it Always Looks professional . If you Need Autofocus for your Portrait you can use the Pentax AF 1,7x Adapter and pre-focus on the lens and use autofocus via the Adapter. It works properly together and IQ is not getting bad.


I shooted Moon and Mars at the last Bloodmoon in July 2018. (using the Pentax-AF 1,7x Adapter).

All in All; Get this lens.
It is a jewel (I cant think that the Pentax 135mm F1.8 will be better. The Porst 135mm F1.8 is miles away from the samyang)

Greetings
   
New Member

Registered: May, 2017
Posts: 6

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: April 5, 2018 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $400.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Super sharp, great colours and lovely bokeh
Cons: None
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 9    Value: 10    Camera Used: K-1   

I do a lot of family portraits and subject isolation shots. I have and still will be using the 77mm limited and 100 mm WR macro for this work but wanted something a little longer with reduced DoF for subject isolation and some creative work. I can't fault this lens it's sharper than anything else I own and the bokeh is wonderful. I'm not finding any problems with manually focusing either, I use the audible spot focus point to confirm focus and even at f2 I'm finding this works well.

You can check out a range of my shots with this lens and the K-1 here:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/84429093@N08/albums/72157689267539520
   
Site Supporter

Registered: February, 2013
Location: Bay Area/Peninsula, CA
Posts: 99
Lens Review Date: October 15, 2017 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $449.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharpness, CA, handling
Cons: Hood (barely a gripe)

The lens is off-the-charts great, my go-to for portraits and faux macros and probably my favorite lens. I will gladly take a hike away from my subject to use it vs. the FA 77 on the K-1 for portraits. The 0.8 m minimum focus distance is a nice bonus for a telephoto and makes it useful for shots that would otherwise require macro. Sharp from wide open, CA and PF virtually absent.
   
Junior Member

Registered: October, 2016
Posts: 28

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: May 23, 2017 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $490.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Incredible sharpness, technically excellent image quality. Great value
Cons: Manual focus, and the manual focus is a bit stiff too.
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 8    Value: 10    Camera Used: Pentax K1   

This is by far my favourite lens for the Pentax K1. With this lens and Pixel shift, the K1 produces image quality that rivals medium format. Stitching a few images takes the final photographs into medium format territory. It's a technically excellent lens too, not just sharp. The downside is manual focus so I think it would be better on a mirrorless camera but with focus peaking on the K1 it is a gem.

A lot of the photos at www.BenEvansPhotography.com were taken with this lens.
   
Pentaxian

Registered: July, 2011
Posts: 1,881

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: March 4, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $600.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: nice specs not found in Pentax land
Cons: No AF, no full communication, focus shift
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 8    Value: 8    Camera Used: K3   

Nice lens with very interesting specs for me and my work. The lens is very sharp even wide open with little abberations. Focusing is manual (obviously), mount is KA with no electronic communication. Focus and aperture ring rotate in Pentax direction.

Mechanics work well, fitting in the price range. Focusing is fairly stiff not as smooth as with classic manual lenses. Barrel is covered with plastic and metal and feels OK. Lens shade is cheaply made, but works. Mount fits well, but no electronic communication with the camera. You need to tell the camera the focal length for shake reduction, ...

With live view focus may be nailed and is great, but you do not want to use this lens in live view all the time. I used Katzeye focusing screen (screen was shimmed correctly before for my Pentax lenses) for manual viewfinder focusing. Focus was fine up to 2 m. From 3-5 m I experienced a focus shift that strongly affected image quality wide open. Focus shift is not what you want in such a lens and live view is not what you want to use all the time either and no I will not shim my screen for this lens accepting an offset for my other lenses.
Focus peaking is a gimmick not a feature. I don't care to fine adjust a manual lens...

The lens is on its way home.
   
New Member

Registered: January, 2015
Posts: 4
Lens Review Date: February 21, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $500.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Fantastic range, sharpness , IQ
Cons: Lack of af
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 8    Value: 10    Camera Used: K3, K30, K7 , K5   

Fantastic lens, fantastic range, love it !! It's my very best lens out of the 12 superior glass that i own
The lack of af makes it a difficult lens to use, but with the focus peaking and live view, it's fine
   
Pentaxian

Registered: April, 2015
Location: Wisconsin, USA
Posts: 2,768

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: January 7, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $780.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: World class sharpness and clarity!
Cons: Slightly muted colors, manual focus, heavy
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 9    Value: 10    Camera Used: k3ii   

ok
   
Senior Member

Registered: October, 2009
Posts: 134

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: May 29, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $530.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: sharp, sharp, bokeh, IQ, nice colours
Cons:
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 9    Value: 10    Camera Used: K3   

well this is again some piece of engineering. Combined with K3 and grip it balances very well and it is comparable with 50 135 in weight and size

I use a Katz-eye and that helps with manual focus; for small objects I use the LV. Manual focus works very well as with all SY's
(I own 8, 10, 14, 16, 24, 35, 85 and now this 135 )

I like the fact that it can be used at 80cm (SY 85 needs 100 cm)

good for portraits, walkaround, birding, street photography, bokeh-objects

example photo's




[IMG][/IMG]

[IMG][/IMG]
Add Review of Samyang 135mm F2.0 ED UMC Buy the Samyang 135mm F2.0 ED UMC



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