Gear Tech

Check out the image quality of Samyang’s new AF 135mm F1.8 FE lens

Long focal length and fast f/1.8 aperture make this a must-have lens for Sony photographers…

Samyang is fast turning into a major player in the lens market and those using full-frame mirrorless Sony cameras will be very interested in the brand’s newest optic, the Samyang AF 135mm F1.8 FE.

Image taken with Samyang AF 135mm F1.8 FE / Alyssa Zalabai / Samyang

While many people may first think of this lens for wildlife photography, the combination of the versatile focal length and fast aperture also mean it’s suitable for longer lens landscapes and of course wedding and portraiture photography too. The new lens is an evolution of Samyang’s MF 135mm F2.0 ED UMC, which was launched back in 2015 and when used with a crop sensor Sony, such as the a6600, the effective focal length switches up to 202mm.

Image taken with Samyang AF 135mm F1.8 FE / Alyssa Zalabai / Samyang

Featuring a  18.9˚ angle of view for full-frame and 12.5˚ for APS-C, the fast maximum aperture of f/1.8 will not only keep shutter speeds fast – particularly useful when shooting in low light conditions – but will also create incredibly shallow depths of field, which will be of great interest to portrait photographers looking to help their subjects stand out in the frame.

The lens features a 13 elements in 11 groups construction that includes no less than three Extra Dispersion ED elements, the lens also features a UA (Ultra-precision Aspherical) lens that Samyang says ‘delivers natural and refined bokeh’. 

Autofocus is taken care of thanks to Samyang’s Linear STM (Stepping Motor), which aims to deliver fast and quiet autofocus. Because of the quiet nature of the AF, the 135mm could also find a home in the gear bag of a videographer as noise from the lens won’t be picked up on any audio track.

Other features include a Focus Hold button and by pressing this button on the lens will keep the lens locked to that focusing distance. There’s also a custom switch that can be set to allow adjustment of the aperture silently by rotating the focus ring. What’s more, there’s even a Focus Range Limiter switch to select between full range, 0.69m-2m and 1.5m to infinity. 

Image taken with Samyang AF 135mm F1.8 FE / Alyssa Zalabai / Samyang

Despite the long focal length, the lens features a short minimum focusing distance of just 69cm and the 135mm even packs weather sealing to protect the optic from moisture and dust. Without the lens cap and hood, the 135mm tips the scales at just 772g, so shouldn’t feel top heavy when paired with a Sony full-frame camera.

Image taken with Samyang AF 135mm F1.8 FE / Alyssa Zalabai / Samyang