Samyang has launched a new autofocus zoom lens for full-frame Sony E-mount mirrorless cameras. The Samyang AF 35-150mm F2-2.8 FE also has a fast maximum aperture for low-light work.
Samyang’s new lens has a zoom range from 35 to 150 mm. On a full-frame sensor, this gives you a good range from wide-angle to telephoto focal lengths. However, on an APS-C-sized sensor, the range is around 52.5 mm to 225 mm, so the lens is a little less versatile. Samyang claims that the lens’s optical design provides superior resolution right to the edge of the frame.
The new Samyang 35 to 150 mm lens doesn’t have a constant aperture which means the exposure will change when you change the focal length. However, the lens still has a wide maximum aperture of f2 at 35 mm and f2.8 at 150 mm. This means you will get good low-light performance and a shallow depth of field. In addition, the iris has nine blades which should give a pleasing round bokeh in out-of-focus parts of the image.
The Samyang 35-150mm lens is constructed with 21 lens elements in 18 groups. These include two aspherical elements, one hybrid aspherical element, three high refractive elements and six extra-low dispersion lens elements. In addition, Samyang has applied its ultra multi-coating technology to minimize flare and ghosting.
The Samyang 35-150mm lens uses a linear stepping motor for fast and accurate autofocus performance. The company says that it is also excellent for tracking fast-moving subjects when shooting video. The close focus distance is just over 12 inches (0.33 m) at 35 mm and 2.79 feet (0.85 m) at 150 mm.
Dolly Zoom Shot
The Samyang 35-150mm lens has some special features designed specifically for video shooting. The first of these is Dolly Zoom Shot, where you zoom out while tracking the camera in toward your subject. This creates a dramatic visual effect as the subject remains the same size in the frame but the perspective of the background changes. However, one of the difficulties with the technique is that you need to zoom out and pull focus at the same time, which is almost impossible as a solo shooter. In Dolly Zoom Shot Mode, the focus ring and zoom ring are linked in the system so that you simply operate the zoom ring.
Cinema zoom lenses are parfocal. This means that the focus does not change when you zoom in. However, with most photographic lenses, you have to refocus every time you change focal length. Samyang describes the 35 to 150 mm lens as “digital par-focal.” This suggests that the lens automatically refocuses as you change focal lengths rather than being optically parfocal.
Linear manual focus mode
The Samyang 35-150mm lens is a focus-by-wire lens. This means you aren’t directly controlling the focus mechanism when you turn the focus ring; it’s done electronically. However, Samyang has included a linear manual focus option. This means that the focus movement is constant regardless of the speed at which the focus ring is turned through its 300-degree rotation. This also means you get more precise control when using a follow focus.
The Samyang 35-150mm has a focus hold button which allows you to save a focus point. Once the position has been saved, you can move the focus back to that point by pressing the button again. This also allows you to do an automated focus pull between two subjects.
The Samyang 35-150mm lens weighs 43.2 ounces (1,224 g). It changes length as you zoom in, meaning that it’s 6.2 inches (157.4 mm) long at 35 mm and 7.79 inches (197.9 mm) at 150 mm. The filter size is 82 mm. In addition, the lens is weather sealed at the mount and throughout the body to prevent damage or contamination from dust, light rain, and snow.
What we think
The new Samyang 35 to 150 mm lens is a great option for full-frame Sony mirrorless camera users. Samyang has designed it to cover the five most common prime lens focal lengths of 35 mm, 50 mm, 85 mm, 135 mm and 150 mm. It’s also going to be good for low-light shooting with its wide maximum aperture of f2-f2.8. In addition, Samyang has included some useful video-specific features such as Dolly Shot, digital par-focal, linear manual focus and focus pull pulling via the focus hold button. It’s a shame the aperture isn’t constant, but this would have increased the size and the cost of the lens. There’s also no optical stabilization, but most Sony cameras have in-body stabilization, so that’s less of an issue. If you are looking for a good all-purpose zoom for your Sony mirrorless full-frame camera, the Samyang AF 35-150mm F2-2.8 FE is one to test drive.
Pricing and availability
The Samyang AF 35-150mm F2-2.8 FE zoom lens for Sony full-frame mirrorless cameras is available for pre-order now. It costs $1,399.