Showcase Samyang 135mm f/2.0 ED UMC

astrostl

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Oct 4, 2014
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Justin Honold
CONS: huge, heavy, manual focus, stiff focus ring, no electronics
PROS: bright, razor sharp wide open

For me, the pros easily outweight the cons. For less than $500 brand new, I think you've got yourself a fantastic indoor event (e.g. school gym) prime that situates itself admirably among stuff like the 40-150/2.8, 50-200/2.8-3.5, and 150/2.0. This and a 75/1.8 do it all for me. I might end up being less-inclined to complain about the focus ring being so stiff, as it can take peaking, magnification, and/or luck to nail a motion shot at 2.0 with this. With this length, the plane can be pretty thin, but the usability of it while remaining bright is a point for MFT.
 

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alex g

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Mar 30, 2016
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I might end up being less-inclined to complain about the focus ring being so stiff
Yeah, I was skeptical about it when I first got the lens, but I've come to realize that it's just about perfect for the task. On my copy at least, it's very smooth, just heavily damped. It takes some effort to quickly traverse the whole focus range, but it doesn't take much effort to start it moving from stationary, which makes it possible to make tiny, accurate inputs. I think that it's a feature, not a bug. :)

I'll throw in a few other notes:

- It loses the plot somewhat when shooting into very bright point sources at night — e.g. car headlights can provoke some ugly flare artefacts. It's happy with moderate light sources however.

- I found that I was getting reflections off the back of the protection filter I put on it, but again, only under fairly extreme conditions. I now use it without the filter. Possibly a super-fancy filter would improve matters.

- The front elements came loose after a couple of week's use — allegedly this is something that can sometimes happen with Samyang lenses, usually as a result of vibration, though my copy wasn't exposed to any to speak of. It was repaired under warranty and returned in less than two weeks, and since then I haven't had any further problems with it. Just something to keep in mind!

- I opted for a Nikon-mount copy, which lets me use it either as a 135mm f/2 (with a regular adapter) or a 100mm f/1.4 (with a Lens Turbo II or similar). It also works very well with the Olympus MC-14 teleconverter, giving a 190mm f/2.8. I imagine that the MC-14 should also work with the native mu43 version of the lens, but don't quote me on that.

A few random images:

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barry13

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Mar 7, 2014
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Hi, whether the native version will work with the MC-14 will depend on how faithfully they followed the mount spec... If I could see a pic of the back of the native version, I might be able to tell.

I wish I could use a SR/MD focal reducer.
 
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Mike Peters
MFT mount, picked it up used. F2, 1/125, iso 6400, GH5...

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Mike Peters
Shot a conference in low light where f2.0 makes all the difference. I still am amazed at how good this lens is, and how the only way to get close to this in FF is to use a 300 f2.8 monster lens. And damn, I paid $375 for this in MFT mount!
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Mike Peters
Here's another one, wide open on a G9 with two Godox flashes into a 72 inch white umbrella. Iso 400 @ 1/2500th of a second shot in Weehawkin NJ overlooking mid-town NYC...
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