Samyang 85mm Review & Photos (F1.4 Lens)

Samyang 85mm Review & Photos (F1.4 Lens)

A mini Samyang 85mm review – my new favourite lens!  Sample photos and portraits using the Samyang 85mm f1.4 lens on my Nikon DSLR cameras


*Update Nov18 – Check back soon to see lots more example photos! (I used this lens a lot after writing this post)


Samyang 85mm f1.4 Lens (Manual focus – Nikon Mount)

Stopping down the Samyang! by MatthewOsbornePhotography_
Stopping down the Samyang!, a photo by MatthewOsbornePhotography_ on Flickr.

Anyone who has seen my Flickr photos will know I like to shoot lens wide open. That being, at their widest aperture.

My favourite Nikon lenses (x3)

My most used 3 lenses for model photography on the Nikon D800 are the Samyang 85mm f1.4, Nikkor 50mm f1.2 AI-s and the Nikkor 200 f2 AI-s. I also use a 35/1.4 and 24/1.4 amongst others.

Digital vs Film

But.. after all of that I think my taste is evolving.. I stop down the above lenses to meter light for some of the medium format film camera like the Contax 645, Mamiya RZ67 ProII and the Moskva-5. Some of the medium format lens are f3.5 or f4 widest aperture. In this photo I was using the 65mm f4 WA Mamiya Sekor leaf shutter lens so had shot the Samyang at f4 also.

35mm vs Medium Format DOF

Because medium format lenses give a greater shallow DOF I find myself stopping them down to get extra sharpness yet they are still super shallow.

Samyang 85mm f1.4 – Stopped Down!

I think this habit is now transferring back to digital and I find myself shooting the Nikkor 50mm f1.2 at f2.8 or f4.

Another example of model Nella shot with the Samyang 85mm f1.4 at f2.8:
Model Photography

Here Nella with Nikkor 50mm f1.2 AI-s stopped down:

It will be interesting to see how my stream looks in 6 months from now..



I tend to shoot the Samyang 85mm f1.4 lens wide open at f1.4 as it is sharp enough to use for paying clients. It is also much sharper than my Nikkor 85/1.4D that I found I had to use at f2.

In this photo of Polish model Nella I had the Samyang 85/1.4 stopped down at f4 and it is crazy sharp yet still creates a nice shallow DOF. Great lens and one of my favourites on the Nikon D800.

I increased the sharpness and contrast of my D800 B&W JPEG in PP but the eye detail is as shot. A credit to the very reasonably priced manual focus Korean lens.



Author: matthewosbornephotography

Coventry, UK studio based Model and Wedding Photographer offering both Medium Format Film and Digital Images. 1-2-1 Photography and Lighting Tuition also available.

4 thoughts on “Samyang 85mm Review & Photos (F1.4 Lens)”

    1. Hi, i’ve not considered it yet. I don’t have anything about Sony but bought a NEX-6 and sent it straight back as felt too toy like. I am more likely to buy another Leica in the future I think.. but not yet. The M9 + D800 are more than enough and tick all my boxes.

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