Gear Tech Video Videography

Samyang Widens its Cine Appeal with New 14mm T3.1 Lens

The VDSLR MK2 range expands with the fast and wide 14mm T3.1

Samyang has announced the latest in its full-frame VDSLR MK2 cine-lens series, a 14mm T3.1 model that adds a wider option for videographers. The new lens brings the MK2 line-up to five models in all, as it sits alongside the 24mm (T1.5), 35mm (T1.5), 50mm (T1.5) and 85mm (T1.5), providing all the focal lengths required for most video applications.

The new lens and the rest of the lineup spans seven different mounts including Canon EF, Canon RF, Canon M, Nikon F, Sony E, Fuji X and Micro Four Thirds.

A 14mm full-frame optic certainly brings some new possibilities to videographers lacking such a model and the new lens’s 115º angle of view is a decent jump from the existing VDSLR 24mm T1.5 MK2 lens’s 84º, letting users pack a lot more into the frame, get some amazing closeups, or create a feeling of space and emptiness in a scene. 

Promising outstanding image quality, with clear and vibrant footage, Samyang’s new 14mm T3.1 has been created using four types of special lens elements, including an aspherical element to reduce spherical and optical aberration, alongside three high-refractive elements, one hybrid aspherical element, and two extra-low dispersion elements. 

Adding to the image quality, the new lens uses a nine-bladed aperture design, which Samyang says gives not only smooth and circular bokeh, but also some pleasing 18-pointed sunstars when you stop down the aperture sufficiently. It’s the same story on all the lenses in the VDSLR MK2 range, so if you pick up these lenses you can look forward to some twinkle in your night shots.

Despite all that fancy glass – and offering full-frame coverage – the new lens, like the rest of the VDSLR MK2 range is compact and reasonably lightweight meaning it’s a lot easier to heft on a gimbal, and lug to and from locations. The VDSLR 14mm T3.1 MK2 squeaks in at only 9.6cm long and weighs around 650g (though the size and weight varies a little from mount to mount). Not only that, it’s weather sealed at the mount, to protect “the most vulnerable area from dust, light rain and snow from penetrating… and provides the ability to capture stunning images in less than perfect conditions.” 

Onto handling and Samyang promises the VDSLR 14mm T3.1 MK2 to be a winner here, too, with a long focus throw and a de-clicked aperture ring, just as you’d expect from the dedicated video lens. The long focus throw spans just over 130° for greater precision in focusing manually on your subjects, and though there’s no autofocus function, that’s not uncommon, with many filmmakers preferring to focus manually. Plus, as a wider optic, it’s less critical than longer focal lengths.

For versatility in exposure and depth-of-field control, the new VDSLR 14mm has a maximum T3.1 aperture setting, faster than the others in the range, making it ideal for low light applications. It should allow filmmakers to get some decent subject separation when focusing close to the lens, too. In that regard, the minimum focus distance is a nifty 28cm. 

Like others in the range, the 14mm T3.1 comes with a neat and tidy matte black finish, and has focus distance scales etched on both sides of the lens’s body along with focal length markers to make the job of focus pullers and assistants a bit easier. It’ll be available from February.