Samyang/Falcon/Rokinon/Vivitar/Bower 85mm f1.4


robbie_d

Link Posted 05/02/2010 - 15:59
Has anyone got any experience of the Samyang 85mm f1.4 (also sold under the Falcon/Rokinon/Vivitar/Bower names)?

Found myself needing a decent, fast, reasonably priced portrait lens and these are currently available at sub-£200.

Seem to receive generally positive reviews around the web, but just wondered if anyone on here owns/has owned one and what they thought.
If you can't say something nice about Pentax, you won't say anything at all.

Apparently.

Mike-P

Link Posted 05/02/2010 - 16:10
I have the lens under the Opteka name, bought it from this forum a few weeks ago along with a DA 70mm but to be honest I haven't used it as the 70mm does me fine on it's own .. I just don't need the extra speed.




It's a big hunk of glass.



. My Flickr

robbie_d

Link Posted 05/02/2010 - 16:14
Mike,

What are your thoughts on the build quality of the lens?
If you can't say something nice about Pentax, you won't say anything at all.

Apparently.

thoughton

Link Posted 05/02/2010 - 16:14
Mike are they fully manual with no A setting?

Edit: on closer inspection I can see a red A
Tim
AF - Pentax K5, Sigma 10-20/4-5.6, Tamron 17-50/2.8, Sigma 30/1.4, Sigma 70-200/2.8, Tamron 70-300/4-5.6
MF - Vivitar CF 28/2.8, Tamron AD2 90/2.5, MTO 1000/11
Stuff - Metz 58 AF1, Cactus v4, Nikon SB24, Raynox 150, Sigma 1.4x TC, Sigma 2x TC, Kenko 2x macro TC, Redsnapper 283 tripod, iMac 27”, Macbook Pro 17”, iPad, iPhone 3G
Flickr • Fluidr • PPG • Street • Portfolio site
Feel free to edit any of my posted photos! If I post a photo for critique, I want brutal honesty. If you don't like it, please say so and tell me why!
Last Edited by thoughton on 05/02/2010 - 16:16

robbie_d

Link Posted 05/02/2010 - 16:15
Are there any other names this lens goes under?

6 so far...
If you can't say something nice about Pentax, you won't say anything at all.

Apparently.

robbie_d

Link Posted 05/02/2010 - 16:16
thoughton wrote:
Mike are they fully manual with no A setting?

My understanding is they have an "A" setting but are manual focus only.

I could be wrong though.
If you can't say something nice about Pentax, you won't say anything at all.

Apparently.

thoughton

Link Posted 05/02/2010 - 16:17
I think you've got all 6

Yes, they are definitely manual focus only.
Tim
AF - Pentax K5, Sigma 10-20/4-5.6, Tamron 17-50/2.8, Sigma 30/1.4, Sigma 70-200/2.8, Tamron 70-300/4-5.6
MF - Vivitar CF 28/2.8, Tamron AD2 90/2.5, MTO 1000/11
Stuff - Metz 58 AF1, Cactus v4, Nikon SB24, Raynox 150, Sigma 1.4x TC, Sigma 2x TC, Kenko 2x macro TC, Redsnapper 283 tripod, iMac 27”, Macbook Pro 17”, iPad, iPhone 3G
Flickr • Fluidr • PPG • Street • Portfolio site
Feel free to edit any of my posted photos! If I post a photo for critique, I want brutal honesty. If you don't like it, please say so and tell me why!
Last Edited by thoughton on 05/02/2010 - 16:17

Mike-P

Link Posted 05/02/2010 - 16:50
thoughton wrote:
Mike are they fully manual with no A setting?

Edit: on closer inspection I can see a red A

I knew I should have posted this one showing the A setting




robbie_d wrote:
Mike,

What are your thoughts on the build quality of the lens?

Build quality very good, not so much the lens cap and hood though
. My Flickr

robbie_d

Link Posted 05/02/2010 - 16:52
This lens is apparently sold under the brand name Polar too.

7 brands for one lens, is this a record?
If you can't say something nice about Pentax, you won't say anything at all.

Apparently.

Mike-P

Link Posted 05/02/2010 - 16:59
I did put my Pentax AF 1.7x teleconverter on it and they seemed to work very well together, making the lens semi AF in the process
. My Flickr

robbie_d

Link Posted 05/02/2010 - 17:01
Mike-P wrote:
I did put my Pentax AF 1.7x teleconverter on it and they seemed to work very well together, making the lens semi AF in the process

Good to know.
If you can't say something nice about Pentax, you won't say anything at all.

Apparently.

womble

Link Posted 05/02/2010 - 18:12
The manual focus forum folks have noted that the aperture ring has a habit of falling apart leaving the lens stuck on f/1.4... I'll try and find the link.

K.
Kris Lockyear
It is an illusion that photos are made with the camera… they are made with the eye, heart and head. Henri Cartier-Bresson
Lots of film bodies, a couple of digital ones, too many lenses (mainly older glass) and a Horseman LE 5x4.

My website

Mongoose

Link Posted 05/02/2010 - 21:31
although on a Pentax DSLR I wouldn't have thought that would be a major problem, since you wont be using the aperture ring anyway it shouldn't have any reason to break.

Of course those who still break out the film cameras every so often might have more of a concern.
you don't have to be mad to post here



but it does help

RR

Link Posted 05/02/2010 - 21:47
I have a Samyang branded 85mm.

As Mike says, build quality is pretty good, bar the hood & lens cap (which reminds me to pick up a "pinch" style cap for it. Focus action is better than alot of AF lenses.

I don't have any experience using it as a portrait lens, but you can see a few of my shots taken with it here there is also a "vivitar 85mm" group on flickr you may want to browse for portrait examples.

I'd certainly buy it again for the price, it performs very well.
My Flickr

JonSchick

Link Posted 05/02/2010 - 22:15
Mike - I was wondering when I was going to see some pictures by this lens, not of the lens!

As the previous owner, I'd back up what Mike says: decent build quality apart from the hood and cap (and I even included a centre pinch cap in the deal too....). Image quality is actually very good indeed, with quite neutral colours and surprising sharpness even wide open. At f1.4 it is rumoured to at least equal or even outperform much more expensive lenses - and the bokeh is exceptionally smooth.

MF is great - properly weighted and smooth focusing ring - but takes practice on dSLR because the viewfinder tends to give you the impression that you have more depth of field than you really have - wide open, things with any f1.4 MF lens can be a little hit or miss until you've got used to things. Live view can be very helpful here.

For portrait use it's an ideal length for 35mm, but perhaps the field of view is a little narrow on crop sensor SLRs - sort of the equivalent of taking 35mm portraits with a 135 lens. That said, get the focus right and make the most of that creamy bokeh, and the potential for great portraits is definitely there.
Jon

Some occasional random stuff at The Photographers Block: link
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