Samyang AF 85mm f/1.4 RF Lens Review (By Dustin Abbott)

Dustin Abbott published the review of new Samyang AF 85mm f/1.4 RF Lens saying that the new Samyang AF 85mm f/1.4 RF Lens is a wonderful addition to the RF catalog.

Samyang AF 85mm f/1.4 RF Lens Key Features

  • RF-Mount Lens/Full-Frame Format
  • Aperture Range: f/1.4 to f/16
  • One Extra-Low Dispersion Element
  • Four High Refractive Index Elements
  • Ultra Multi-Coating
  • Ultrasonic Dual Linear AF Motor
  • Weather-Sealed Construction
  • Round 9-Blade Diaphragm


  • Beautiful build with moderate weight
  • Weather sealing improves flexibility
  • Dual linear motors makes focus smooth, fairly quiet, and fast enough in most situations
  • Video AF is very stable
  • Excellent center sharpness and good edge sharpness at wide apertures
  • Very sharp and high contrast across the frame when stopped down
  • Aberrations exist but in small, non-destructive amounts
  • Beautiful bokeh and rendering
  • Eye AF works fantastic
  • Vastly improved manual focus ring and focus action
  • Great price to performance ratio


  • Autofocus can refuse to focus on close objects initially with all points active
  • Somewhat flare prone
  • Fairly heavy vignette
  • No Canon Lens Aberration Correction support

Conclusion from Dustin Abbott:

The release of the Samyang RF 85mm F1.4 AF is very, very welcome on Canon’s new full frame mirrorless platform. I gave the Canon RF 85mm F1.2L a fairly rave review while also acknowledging that it’s price ($2700 USD) places it out of the range of the vast majority of photographers. For those interested in portrait photography, but without incredibly deep pockets, the Samyang RF85 ($700) is a godsend. It gives them a quality build (yet reasonable weight), good autofocus performance (with excellent Eye AF results), and image quality that is, essentially, near perfect for portrait work.

The list of shortcomings is fairly brief, with the typical wide aperture short telephoto traits of vignette and flare being the chief optical complaints. The autofocus performance is roughly on par with what I saw from the Canon 85L lens, which is to say very good but not as quiet, smooth, or fast as the very best that I’ve seen. I also wish the lens had support of Canon’s Lens Aberration Corrections (like the 14mm F2.8), but hopefully that will come via firmware in the future. That’s about as much as I can come up with, as overall I think the lens is a wonderful addition to the RF catalog and a lens I plan to add to my own Canon RF kit.

Samyang AF 85mm f/1.4 RF Lens: $699 at B&H, Adorama.

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