Samyang has revealed their third autofocus lens. The so-called ‘tiny but mighty’ 35mm f/2.8 FE was announced last night, and today it’s instilling at least a bit of fear into Zeiss with its ultra-portable size and ultra-affordable price tag.
As the “FE” suggests, the 35mm f/2.8 FE was designed for Sony full-frame mirrorless cameras, joining the AF 14mm F2.8 FE and AF 50mm F1.4 FE lenses to bring Samyang’s autofocus lineup to three lenses. What’s more, the 35mm and 50mm lenses are both significantly more affordable than their Sony/Zeiss counterparts, and Sony doesn’t even make a 14mm f/2.8 FE.
But it’s not price that Samyang is (auto)focusing on with this lens. The AF 35mm f/2.8 FE’s primary feature is portability:
“The AF 35mm F2.8 FE weighs just 85g and measures 3.3cm in length […] Thanks to Samyang’s exceptional optical technology, its compact size is packed with features for outstanding image quality,” writes Samyang. “A tiny lens with a mighty performance, it is ideal for daily photography as well as travel photography.”
Inside the lens you’ll find seven elements in six groups—including two aspherical lenses and one high refractive lens—and Samyang’s own Ultra Multi Coating. All together, this optical design promises “high resolution from the centre to the corners of the image,” while minimizing issues like chromatic aberration. The lens also promises “fast and accurate” autofocus.
All of the above will have to be confirmed in the field, of course—we can’t remember the last time a lens maker didn’t promise high quality “from center to corners”, or “fast and accurate” AF performance—but one aspect of this lens won’t need testing to confirm: the price.
The Samyang AF 35mm f/2.8 FE will ship in July for just 300 EUR (approximately $337 USD). That’s less than half the price of Sony’s own Sonnar T* FE 35mm f/2.8 ZA Lens. Sure, the Samyang lens isn’t weather sealed, but if optical and autofocus performance is comparable (or, dare we hope, better?) than the Sony, it will sell like hotcakes.
Click here to learn more about this new lens.