Of all third-party lens manufacturers, Korean Samyang was the first to launch a new lens lineup for the recently announced Sony A7 and A7R full-frame cameras. There are five of them – as many as Sony announced themselves, but unlike the Zeiss lenses these were not specifically designed for mirrorless cameras. Rather, they are tweaked Samyang prime lenses designed for the most popular DSLR systems and are also known as Bower, Rokinon, Vivitar and Pro-Optic.
The plus is these lenses will be available very soon. On the downside, they are no different in size or weight to their DSLR counterparts, and possibly even bigger because, essentially, they have lens mount adapters attached permanently.
The five lenses have already proved quite popular among DSLR photographers thanks to their affordable price. The lenses are:
- Samyang 14mm f/2.8 ED AS IF UMC
- Samyang 24mm f/1.4 ED AS IF UMC
- Samyang T-S 24mm f/3.5 ED AS UMC
- Samyang 35mm f/1.4 AS UMC
- Samyang 85mm f/1.4 AS IF UMC
We haven’t yet reviewed these lenses or compared them to rivals from more established manufacturers, but from what we’ve seen and heard, they offer a good price/performance compromise. The 14mm f/2.8 lens is said to be especially good, while the tilt-shift optic is the first one for a digital mirrorless interchangeable lens camera (although it is the exact same lens as that for Nikon/Canon and other mounts) with its features. As always with Samyang, there is no electronic communication between the lens and the camera, and thus no autofocus. If lenses like the 85mm f/1.4 and 35mm f/1.4 were difficult to focus when looking through an optical viewfinder of a DSLR camera, electronic viewfinders with their built-in manual focus aids should prove somewhat easier.
Sadly, the lens size has always been the main critique point for Sony NEX system and these Samyang lenses are not helping the matter. If you want portability, even at a higher price the recently announced Zeiss lenses for full-frame Sony compact system cameras is a better choice. That said, Samyang offers a cheap alternative for those who would rather not use lens adapters (especially if they do not own any other camera systems). The manufacturer has also managed to establish a small but noticeable fan base. Now, you have not 5, but 10 lenses to choose from for your Sony A7 or A7R. That can’t be a bad thing, right?
Official Press Release
Here is a very short press release by Samyang:
Samyang ready for E-mount Full Frame
Samyang announces the introduction of series of full frame lenses with Sony E-mount.
Krakow, October 16th 2013 – Samyang informs about the release of a new series of Samyang lenses for Sony E mount.
Within two months Samyang lenses, appreciated by both of professionals and amateur photographers, will be also available with Sony E-mount. High quality optics, that makes Korean products famous across the world, will please not only DSLR cameras owners, but also users of Sony NEX and Alpha family. Series will be available with the following focal lengths:
Samyang 14mm f/2.8 ED AS IF UMC
Samyang 24mm f/1.4 ED AS IF UMC
Samyang T-S 24mm f/3.5 ED AS UMC
Samyang 35mm f/1.4 AS UMC
Samyang 85mm f/1.4 AS IF UMC
All lenses guarantee high quality image with simultaneously high aperture. Use of lenses made of special optical glass along with aspherical elements allow to effectively eliminate optical defects, together with care of the highest performance.
Samyang Sony E-mount series will allow all Sony NEX owners to fully experience high quality optics without additional adapters. Giving the fact, that lenses are prepared for 35mm format, they will perfectly work with not only APS-C cameras, such as Sony NEX 7, but also with the newest Sony Alpha 7R and Sony Alpha 7.
At the moment Samyang provides VDSLR series with Sony NEX mount, which has been designed especially for videomaking purposes:
Samyang 14mm T3.1 ED AS IF UMC
Samyang 24mm T1.5 ED AS IF UMC
Samyang 35mm T1.5 AS IF UMC
Samyang 85mm T1.5 AS IF UMC
All constructions mentioned above are not only the highest class of optics providing best quality image, but also casing and mechanics built in a view to filmmakers requirements. They can easily be used with popular DSLR cameras having the function of recording, and they are also available for Sony E cameras. This creates a chance to use them with Sony NEX-VG900, NEX-VG30, NEX FS100E or older types without additional adapters.