In recent years, Samyang has given the world a fairly large number of lenses for SLR and mirrorless cameras. These lenses usually lack electrical contact with the camera and autofocus, which makes them stand out from the competition. At the same time, the image quality is impressive, and, at times, is in no way inferior to optics from top brands. Today we’ll talk about one of these: Samyang 135mm T2.2 ED UMC CINE DS, designed for video shooting. Will he be able to show a decent image quality?
As with other Samyang lenses, the build quality of the Samyang 135mm T2.2 is very good. The body is made of metal and plastic, the bayonet is made of metal. The weight and dimensions of the lens are rather big: 830 grams and 82 x 122 mm, but this is typical for optics with a long focal length.
Since the lens is designed for video, the focus and aperture rings rotate freely without clicking. The physical size of the lens remains the same during the focusing process. Comes with barrel hood.
Optically, the 135mm T2.2 ED UMC CINE DS is based on 11 elements in 7 groups and a 9‑blade T2.2 diaphragm. The minimum focusing distance is 79.2 cm. The angle of view on full-frame cameras is 18.8 °, on APS‑C — 11.7 °.
In fact, this allows the lens to achieve impressive results: center sharpness is good even with the maximum aperture, sharpness at the edges / in the corners is slightly lower. The maximum sharpness in the center can be obtained somewhere at T / 4 or T / 5.6.
The best values of sharpness at the edges and in the corners are achieved at T / 5.6. I don’t advise you to cover the aperture further, since already at T / 11 there is a slight diffraction.
Chromatic aberrations are very small and changing the aperture value hardly affects them. High aperture lenses tend to suffer from bokeh chromatism at wide apertures as well. In the case of Samyang 135mm T2.2, this problem is almost invisible even at T/2.2.
Bokeh, or artistic background blur, isn’t perfect. From the inside, blurry light sources have a striped structure, which becomes uniform only at T / 4‑T / 5.6. The bokeh shape is round at T/2.2, especially in the center of the image. By reducing the aperture value to T / 2.8, the shape will gradually acquire angularity.
Vignetting is within limits: edges are 1.7 stops darker at T/2.2. Narrowing the aperture down to T/2.8 will give you only 1 stop, and further narrowing will almost completely eliminate this problem.
Distortion correction is not the strongest point of Samyang optics, but this time the company’s engineers have outdone themselves. The image taken with the Samyang 135mm T2.2 is virtually free of distortion.