The new Samyang AF 35mm F1.4 FE II is the company’s second generation 35mm lens for Sony full-frame E-Mount cameras. This upgraded version inherits the maximum wide aperture of f/1.4, but brings improved optical and AF performances as well as better operability.
In occasion of the company’s 50th anniversary, the Samyang AF lens lineup in undergoing a renovation process. While the second generation of their full-frame 50mm lens for Sony cameras is already out, it’s now the 35mm’s turn.
This new lens inherits the legacy of its first-generation counterpart, but offers optical improvements, an AF system that is now suitable for video shooting, and a re-designed body with better usability. So, let’s take a closer look.
The new Samyang AF 35mm F1.4 FE II is a full-frame lens that is specifically designed for Sony E-mount cameras. It shares the same bright aperture of f/1.4 of the previous generation, which makes it ideal for subject/background separation and low light scenarios. But, let’s move to one of the biggest improvements of this upgraded version: the AF system.
Improved AF for video shooting
Sony mirrorless and professional videocameras are famous for their reliable Fast Hybrid AF system. However, for it to work within optimal conditions, the camera must be paired with an equally efficient lens. Samyang claims that this new 35mm lives up to this task.
The lens features the Samyang Linear Stepping Motor system (STM) that should provide faster autofocus performance and reliable tracking of subjects, even when shooting videos. Moreover, the AF system has been upgraded to reduce noise produced by moving parts inside the lens. This is also helpful for videographers that give sound the importance it deserves.
Finally, talking about focus, the minimum focusing distance of this glass is 29 cm, which allows both photographers and filmmakers to create nice close-up shots.
Samyang AF 35mm F1.4 FE II: optical design
The optical design features 11 elements in 9 groups with Samyang’s advanced coating technology. These include 2 aspherical and 2 high-refractive elements to guarantee a fair amount of contrast and resolution, which should result in edge-to-edge sharpness of the frame.
The wide f/1.4 circular aperture features a 9-blade design for a smooth bokeh. According to the manufacturer, the lens is capable of providing great optical performance even wide open. However, this requires a hands-on test to be confirmed.
Construction, weather sealing, and customization
The lens barrel looks completely redesigned from the ground up. The glass weighs 659g and features a matte finish, an aesthetic silver ring, and most importantly, a 4-spot weather sealing system. The latter should provide protection against rain, snow and dust.
Another major usability improvement is the addition of a Focus hold button that complements the customizable Mode switch. Different functions can be assigned to both controls in order to adapt to your shooting style. For example: you can use the Focus hold button to lock the focusing distance while in AF mode or to enable eye-detection AF.
- 35mm for full-frame Sony E-Mount
- 11 elements in 9 groups
- 2 aspherical and 2 high-refractive elements
- Minimum focusing distance: 0.29m
- Filter thread: 67mm
- 9 aperture blades
- Linear STM AF motor
- Custom Mode Switch & Focus Hold Button
- Weight: 659g
Price and availability
The new Samyang AF 35mm F1.4 FE II for Sony E-Mount cameras is now available for purchase on B&H. The official retail price is $799.
Have you shot with the first generation Samyang AF 35mm F1.4 FE lens? How did you like its image quality? Feel free to share your thoughts on this redesigned version in the comment section below!