Recently I got my hands on a Samyang 85mm f1.4 and took my first step into the world of fully manual lenses. I'd been thinking about investing in this focal length for a while and grabbed one of these when I saw a price that was too good to pass up. This post gives a brief overview of my first experience with the lens, my thoughts on it and my favourite shots from the outing.
I was so eager to try it out that I sat on a bench outside the MRT and unboxed it there and then. First impressions were good; I wasn't sure what quality to expect from such a reasonably priced lens but the build felt very solid and it didn't have that plastic feel you can get from some lenses.
After unboxing it I headed straight to Chinatown to see what I could do with the new piece of kit. With this lens taking my manual focus virginity, it is needless to say that the first batch of shots didn't come out particularly well. However, it didn't take too long to get into the swing of it and when I got used to focussing manually, I started to get the kind of a shots that I had imagined.
This lens definitely took a bit of patience initially, but as with most things, the more I used it, the better my shots turned out. I got used to the sharpest apertures and enjoyed testing myself by having to think differently about my composition when using this unfamiliar focal length. I also really liked the challenge of using this lens; it was a really satisfying feeling getting a razor sharp image and I was really satisfied with the shots from my first outing.
This lens worked well for street photography, it was incredibly sharp and has great depth of field and bokeh. I will definitely keep shooting this genre with this lens, although come to think of it, I would be a little worried about nailing that one chance in a lifetime shot with 100% sharpness! I'm also looking forward to putting this lens through its paces in a variety of contexts other than street photography - using it for portraits is one that I have high hopes for.