Samyang 85 on a hike


LawrenceKH

Link Posted 04/12/2015 - 02:03
https://lawrencehelm.smugmug.com/RiverPhotography/Dec-2015/

Why doesn't Pentax have an 85mm in their lens lineup? The thought occurred to me that perhaps Samyang under three names produced an 85mm so good, cheap and easy to use that Pentax didn't want to try to compete. I decided to pick one up (for $260 new) and give it a try. I just started the Dec 2015 gallery (above) and thus far have only the Samyang shots (using the K3) in it.

The lens was originally tested by Samyang using the Pentax K20D. I gave my copy of the K20D to my son a couple of years ago so didn't understand how the instructions applied to my K3. My LCD screen showed the images as being very dark, much darker than they were when I looked at them later in Lightroom; so perhaps some of the instructions pertained to increasing the light in the LCD screen, but I don't know.

I was more impressed with this lens than I thought I'd be. I paid more for a used (but near-new according to the seller) copy of a Pentax 135mm lens ($300).

I did start the day with a couple of too-dark shots because I forgot to push the green button to tell the K3 to pick the best aperture for the Samyang to use. I checked regularly from then on but the Samyang seemed to like an aperture of 8 -- until on the way back I forgot to check and got a couple of shots over-exposed. I was able to save them in Lightroom, but didn't think they were good enough to post in the Smugmug gallery.

The only downside to the lens is that it is much larger than the Pentax limited primes I've been using. It is even larger than the old Pentax 135. I use a Holster camera bag and if I decided to change lenses the 85mm would fill up the entire bottom of the bag. I took along a Pentax 40mm XS in case something went wrong with the Samyang, but nothing did.

I read a review a while back saying that Samyang, also producing lenses under the Rokinon and Bower names and that these lenses were of such quality that they would cost as much as $2000 if produced by a one of the better names in lens manufacturing. I have no way to judge that, but I was much, much more impressed by the results of this lens than I thought I'd be.

Lawrence

johnriley

Link Posted 04/12/2015 - 08:50
Samyang lenses can be excellent, but manual focus only.

Pentax do make an 85mm lens, in a way. The equivalent for APS-C format is the 55mm f/1.4. They also make a 70-200mm f/2.8, which is the 50-135mm f/2.8.

I've noticed quite a few photographers think in 35mm format terms when asking for focal lengths. Often what they are asking for already exists.
Best regards, John

alfpics

Link Posted 04/12/2015 - 08:57
Interesting set of images. Some look really sharp. One or two look sharp in places, but not so detailed elsewhere in the image, but I wonder if that is down to jpeg compression (the one I was thinking of was the one you mentioned about focussing on the mountain early in the set - about no 6)
Andy

McGregNi

Link Posted 04/12/2015 - 09:15
It's interesting and different to see a series of 'landscape/travel' photographs all at a fairly long focal length like that. You've certainly picked out some nice framings and 'mini-scenes' within the bigger environment.

I think you may find that the Samyang 85mm is an 'A - type' lens for Pentax .... That means that with its aperture ring set to 'A' (for automatic') you do not need stop-down metering with the green button, but rather can simply set your aperture, time value and ISO with the camera in automatic exposure modes as required, using the camera e-dials. In automatic modes then the exposures compensations will also work normally for brightness adjustments.
My Guides to the Pentax Digital Camera Flash Lighting System : Download here from the PentaxForums Homepage Article .... link
Pentax K7 with BG-4 Grip / Samyang 14mm f2.8 ED AS IF UMC / DA18-55mm f3.5-5.6 AL WR / SMC A28mm f2.8 / D FA 28-105mm / SMC F35-70 f3.5-4.5 / SMC A50mm f1.7 / Tamron AF70-300mm f4-5.6 Di LD macro / SMC M75-150mm f4.0 / Tamron Adaptall (CT-135) 135mm f2.8 / Asahi Takumar-A 2X tele-converter / Pentax AF-540FGZ (I & II) Flashes / Cactus RF60/X Flashes & V6/V6II Transceiver

1stEverPentax

Link Posted 04/12/2015 - 11:44
This lens does seem good value for money even here in UK, on a price/performance basis. In a way it is surprising it hasn't sold more widely given that it is close to the focal length of one of the best selling 35mm film lenses by focal length...the 135mm. 85 x 1.5 on a Pentax APS-C comes out at about 128mm. I think its biggest drawback is its bulk. I suspect very few shots are taken wide open...Samyang might have been better making the lens smaller on a f2.8 - f3.5 wide end. Personally the manual focus doesn't bother me.

Some nice shots there Lawrence. My favourites are more the mountain shots than the dusty track.

Thanks for sharing this unusual combination with us.

Karlo

LawrenceKH

Link Posted 04/12/2015 - 14:31
johnriley wrote:
Samyang lenses can be excellent, but manual focus only.

Pentax do make an 85mm lens, in a way. The equivalent for APS-C format is the 55mm f/1.4. They also make a 70-200mm f/2.8, which is the 50-135mm f/2.8.

I've noticed quite a few photographers think in 35mm format terms when asking for focal lengths. Often what they are asking for already exists.

Actually, I don't think in 35 mm terms. But if I did, notice the post below describing the 85mm as being equivalent to the 135mm lens, a lens also missing from the Pentax lineup. No I was just trying to fill out my own prime line up. I have some 50mm lenses and the 70mm and then the 100mm. Seemed like I needed something in between and decided to give the Samyang a try. I have no problem with manual focus but the size of the lens cramps my style a bit. Hikers like to go light; which makes the LTD primes excellent. Also, if I take the Samyang 85mm and then want to change to another lens, I have to remember to take the camera out of manual focus. If I'm thinking of other things I'll probably forget -- not a bid deal but just one more thing that's different.

I satisfied my 135mm requirement with a very good used copy of the SMC Pentax FA 2.8 135mm. Someone suggested that I could do the same thing for the 85mm -- maybe, but the really good used Pentax 1.4 85mm's cost about $1200 and must be shipped from Japan. I've been burned on bad lenses in the past -- took a chance on the 135mm recently and was lucky & probably used up my luck.

Lawrence

LawrenceKH

Link Posted 04/12/2015 - 14:35
alfpics wrote:
Interesting set of images. Some look really sharp. One or two look sharp in places, but not so detailed elsewhere in the image, but I wonder if that is down to jpeg compression (the one I was thinking of was the one you mentioned about focussing on the mountain early in the set - about no 6)

Seemed to me this was a depth of field issue. In the shot of Ben staring off at something. I mention in the caption that I focused the lens on what he was staring at and he came out with a bit of blur. I was standing too close to get both of them in focus. That is one of the drawbacks of a longer focus lens it seems to me. I played with this on the levee where the nearby branches were in focus but the distant watermelon field was not -- or vice versa.

Lawrence

LawrenceKH

Link Posted 04/12/2015 - 14:46
McGregNi wrote:
It's interesting and different to see a series of 'landscape/travel' photographs all at a fairly long focal length like that. You've certainly picked out some nice framings and 'mini-scenes' within the bigger environment.

I think you may find that the Samyang 85mm is an 'A - type' lens for Pentax .... That means that with its aperture ring set to 'A' (for automatic') you do not need stop-down metering with the green button, but rather can simply set your aperture, time value and ISO with the camera in automatic exposure modes as required, using the camera e-dials. In automatic modes then the exposures compensations will also work normally for brightness adjustments.

Unfortunately the K3 information-lighting goes off unless the shutter button is half-way down. This makes any sort of elaborate adjustment a very fiddly proposition.

Lawrence

johnriley

Link Posted 04/12/2015 - 17:01
Lenses are a very personal choice. I always found 135mm a bit long and became very fond of the 100mm f/2.8 lenses.

On that basis, the 70mm f/2.4 would be an ideal lens for me, and when I had one to trial it was a firm favourite straight away. I've never bought one, but only because the focal length is available on my zooms anyway.

One of these days!
Best regards, John

McGregNi

Link Posted 04/12/2015 - 17:02
LawrenceKH, sounds like your camera is not configured for what you need. I think the LCD screens can be set to remain on for certain periods of time (eg 10sec, 30 sec etc ... ?) Your aperture and 'shutter speed' values will be displayed in the viewfinder also.

I would really strongly advise you to switch to automatic exposure with your camera and lens, it gives far better control through the camera e-dials and exposure compensation is a natural and intuitive concept as it relates 'stops' of adjustment to the meter centre reading.

Check that your lens aperture ring is in the farthest 'A' position (it may have a stop-click to push through to get it there) and suddenly your camera aperture and shutter values should spring to life!
My Guides to the Pentax Digital Camera Flash Lighting System : Download here from the PentaxForums Homepage Article .... link
Pentax K7 with BG-4 Grip / Samyang 14mm f2.8 ED AS IF UMC / DA18-55mm f3.5-5.6 AL WR / SMC A28mm f2.8 / D FA 28-105mm / SMC F35-70 f3.5-4.5 / SMC A50mm f1.7 / Tamron AF70-300mm f4-5.6 Di LD macro / SMC M75-150mm f4.0 / Tamron Adaptall (CT-135) 135mm f2.8 / Asahi Takumar-A 2X tele-converter / Pentax AF-540FGZ (I & II) Flashes / Cactus RF60/X Flashes & V6/V6II Transceiver
Last Edited by McGregNi on 04/12/2015 - 17:03

McGregNi

Link Posted 04/12/2015 - 17:14
johnriley wrote:
Lenses are a very personal choice. I always found 135mm a bit long and became very fond of the 100mm f/2.8 lenses.

On that basis, the 70mm f/2.4 would be an ideal lens for me, and when I had one to trial it was a firm favourite straight away. I've never bought one, but only because the focal length is available on my zooms anyway.

One of these days!

Same for me John, I find I can get my portraits done with the f35-70mm at the long end very nicely, although that's usually at f5.6 .... not an issue for me as mostly I'm using two flashes.

I also have rather active and often unco-operative subjects and that's another reason I haven't snapped up a Samyang 85mm. In all other respects apart from focusing it looks a great proposition for portraits. I doubt I could cope with the manual focussing with family portraits, especially at very wide apertures.
My Guides to the Pentax Digital Camera Flash Lighting System : Download here from the PentaxForums Homepage Article .... link
Pentax K7 with BG-4 Grip / Samyang 14mm f2.8 ED AS IF UMC / DA18-55mm f3.5-5.6 AL WR / SMC A28mm f2.8 / D FA 28-105mm / SMC F35-70 f3.5-4.5 / SMC A50mm f1.7 / Tamron AF70-300mm f4-5.6 Di LD macro / SMC M75-150mm f4.0 / Tamron Adaptall (CT-135) 135mm f2.8 / Asahi Takumar-A 2X tele-converter / Pentax AF-540FGZ (I & II) Flashes / Cactus RF60/X Flashes & V6/V6II Transceiver

LawrenceKH

Link Posted 04/12/2015 - 17:56
McGregNi wrote:
LawrenceKH, sounds like your camera is not configured for what you need. I think the LCD screens can be set to remain on for certain periods of time (eg 10sec, 30 sec etc ... ?) Your aperture and 'shutter speed' values will be displayed in the viewfinder also.

I would really strongly advise you to switch to automatic exposure with your camera and lens, it gives far better control through the camera e-dials and exposure compensation is a natural and intuitive concept as it relates 'stops' of adjustment to the meter centre reading.

Check that your lens aperture ring is in the farthest 'A' position (it may have a stop-click to push through to get it there) and suddenly your camera aperture and shutter values should spring to life!

Undoubtedly I'm not explaining myself very well, sorry. I did have it set at "A." The aperture wheel on the lens was locked. I was used to this procedure because my Pentax 2.8 135mm locks up the same way, but the 135 has automatic focus and the 85 does not. I normally shoot in "Manual" and have my K3 set so the forward wheel operates the shutter speed and the aft wheel operates the aperture, but neither wheel would do that when I had the 85 locked at "A." The only way I could get the aperture to change was to use the green button and I never changed the shutter speed at all.

The information lights up in the OVF, but it only does so when the shutter button is half way down.

I had the camera set at ISO 400 and the white balance at automatic.

I tried a few times but wasn't able to set the shutter speed during the entire outing. I think I was able to change the aperture using the aft wheel, but now that I think more carefully about the outing, I'm not sure. I remembering not trusting myself to set the aperture on this strange lens, preferring that the camera by means of the green button do that my first time using this lens.

I felt as though I were blundering from one shot to the other, but I concentrated upon the focus. The light would come on solid and the camera would sound a little beep. Some shots were a little under-exposed and some a little over-exposed -- because I had no control over the shutter speed I assumed, but I shot in Raw and was able to fix the exposure with Lightroom later on.

If I am supposed to be able to adjust aperture and shutter speed with the K3s two wheels that would be a very good thing to know and would make the lens even more useful, but I tried that when I started the hike without success.

Lawrence

McGregNi

Link Posted 04/12/2015 - 18:17
I'd try this .... Make sure the lens aperture ring is set firmly to the 'A' position. Now set Av mode on the camera mode dial. Your e-dial which is set to control aperture will now directly control aperture, which will be indicated in the viewfinder and LCD. A half press on the shutter will activate the meter circuits, taking a reading and automatically setting a shutter speed. Any changes you make to the aperture with the camera e-dial will automatically cause the shutter speed to adjust to hold the same exposure value. Try this and confirm that it's all working.

I think there is an additional custom setting for controlling how long the metering circuit stays active .... You may need this set to a higher figure in order to keep seeing the settings values for longer.

Note that none of this is anything to do with the focus type ... Manual and autofocus lenses with aperture rings that have A positions work exactly the same way in these respects.
My Guides to the Pentax Digital Camera Flash Lighting System : Download here from the PentaxForums Homepage Article .... link
Pentax K7 with BG-4 Grip / Samyang 14mm f2.8 ED AS IF UMC / DA18-55mm f3.5-5.6 AL WR / SMC A28mm f2.8 / D FA 28-105mm / SMC F35-70 f3.5-4.5 / SMC A50mm f1.7 / Tamron AF70-300mm f4-5.6 Di LD macro / SMC M75-150mm f4.0 / Tamron Adaptall (CT-135) 135mm f2.8 / Asahi Takumar-A 2X tele-converter / Pentax AF-540FGZ (I & II) Flashes / Cactus RF60/X Flashes & V6/V6II Transceiver
Last Edited by McGregNi on 04/12/2015 - 18:29

LawrenceKH

Link Posted 04/12/2015 - 18:37
McGregNi wrote:
I'd try this .... Make sure the lens aperture ring is set firmly to the 'A' position. Now set Av mode on the camera mode dial. Your e-dial which is set to control aperture will now directly control aperture, which will be indicated in the viewfinder and LCD. A half press on the shutter will activate the meter circuits, taking a reading and automatically setting a shutter speed. Any changes you make to the aperture with the camera e-dial will automatically cause the shutter speed to adjust to hold the same exposure value. Try this and confirm that it's all working.

I think there is an additional custom setting for controlling how long the metering circuit stays active .... You may need this set to a higher figure in order to keep seeing the settings values for longer.

Note that none of this is anything to do with the focus type ... Manual and autofocus lenses with aperture rings that have A positions work exactly the same way in these respects.

Okay, that makes more sense than the way I was doing it, and I'll check the manual and see if I can increase the time the info stays lit in the OVF.
Thanks,
Lawrence

McGregNi

Link Posted 04/12/2015 - 18:58
Let us know if it works ok in Av as I described .... If alls well with that then you will be able to use P mode, Tv, Tav, Sv as well, as they were intended. Manual mode will also work with the A setting on the lens aperture ring .... The e-dials should still directly control the aperture and shutter time values. The only difference in manual exposure mode is that there is no exposure compensation..... The display in the viewfinder and LCD screen changes to a 10-stop exposure value range scale. This will indicate the exposure value difference from the meter -centre value that your adjustments are creating, eg '-1.5' means your settings are producing an EV 1.5 stops lower than the cameras meter reading EV. You may have to half-press the shutter button again to get this display activated.
My Guides to the Pentax Digital Camera Flash Lighting System : Download here from the PentaxForums Homepage Article .... link
Pentax K7 with BG-4 Grip / Samyang 14mm f2.8 ED AS IF UMC / DA18-55mm f3.5-5.6 AL WR / SMC A28mm f2.8 / D FA 28-105mm / SMC F35-70 f3.5-4.5 / SMC A50mm f1.7 / Tamron AF70-300mm f4-5.6 Di LD macro / SMC M75-150mm f4.0 / Tamron Adaptall (CT-135) 135mm f2.8 / Asahi Takumar-A 2X tele-converter / Pentax AF-540FGZ (I & II) Flashes / Cactus RF60/X Flashes & V6/V6II Transceiver
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