Gear

Samyang’s affordable 85mm F1.4 is the perfect RF portrait lens

Insane value-for-money optic should be on every Canon R shooter’s wishlist…

Samyang has just pulled the covers off its new AF 85mm F1.4 RF lens, designed for use on Canon’s full-frame mirrorless cameras like the EOS R, EOS RP and the forthcoming EOS R5. The lens should be immediately of interest to Canon shooters thanks to the wallet-friendly price-tag of around £600/$700. To put this into perspective, Canon’s RF 85mm f1.2 L USM Lens currently sells for around £2600/$2700 so although the max aperture is a little slower on the Samyang version, you can clearly see the difference in price.

So what do you get for your money? Well, the 85m F1.4 RF is built around an 11 elements in 8 groups design that includes four High Refractive optics and an Extra Low Dispersion (ED) element that Samyang (known as Rokinon in the US) explains helps the lens to ‘create impressive image quality from corner to corner, even at the maximum wide open aperture of f/1.4.’

The focal length of 85mm is perfect for creating flattering portraits and the 9-bladed aperture design will deliver pleasing, circular bokeh in the backgrounds of your portraits. Powered by Samyang’s Dual-Linear Sonic Motor (DLSM), the 85mm F1.4 RF tips the scales at just 582g, maintaining the lightweight properties you’d associate with a compact mirrorless system.

Sample image taken with the AF85mm F1.4 RF. Image by Samyang / Dustin Abbott

For those portrait photographers who like to frame up tighter compositions of your subjects, you’ll be keen to hear the Samyang 85mm F1.4 has a minimum focusing distance of just 90cm and professional image-makers will be pleased that Samyang haven’t skipped on build quality as the lens is weather-sealed against moisture and dust, making it suitable for use in harsh conditions.

Sample image taken with the AF85mm F1.4 RF. Image by Samyang / Dustin Abbott

A filter size of 77mm means you’ll likely already have a number of compatible UV or ND filters and the AF 85mm F1.4 includes a AF/MF switch for those you prefer to switch into manual focus when precision is critical. The lens is also a great candidate for video work thanks to fast aperture and short-telephoto focal length.

Sample image taken with the AF85mm F1.4 RF. Image by Samyang / Manuel Delgado

Available from late June, Samyang shared a number of sample images taken with the new lens…

Sample image taken with the AF85mm F1.4 RF. Image by Samyang / Manuel Delgado
Sample image taken with the AF85mm F1.4 RF. Image by Samyang / Manuel Delgado
Sample image taken with the AF85mm F1.4 RF. Image by Samyang / Dustin Abbott