Amateur Photographer reviews the new Samyang 50mm f/1.4 FE II lens: “it’s an excellent choice”

Thew new improved version is now in Stock with a $70 discount at Bhphoto. and Adorama.

Amateur Photographer concludes:

When Samyang released its original 50mm F1.4 back in 2016, it counted as a very decent first effort at an autofocus optic. But expectations have changed since then, with lenses now required to provide a good account of themselves on high-resolution sensors while also offering video-friendly characteristics. Judged against this higher bar, the Samyang AF 50mm F1.4 FE II acquits itself well.

By any sensible measure, this is a fine lens. Optically it’s a massive upgrade on its predecessor; in particular, it’s much sharper at large apertures. Yet it’s also smaller and noticeably lighter, while benefiting from useful additional controls and weather-sealed construction. Autofocus is dramatically improved too, being quicker and quieter, with minimal breathing.

Indeed, casting around for points of criticism feels a little churlish. It probably doesn’t focus quite as rapidly as its rivals, and I wouldn’t expect to get the same hit-rate of perfectly sharp shots when using continuous AF with erratically moving subjects. But this is easily forgiven for a lens that’s less than half the price and practically half the weight of its Sony counterpart.

Where the previous optic was perhaps best seen as a good fit for users of 24MP A7 cameras on a budget, the Samyang AF 50mm F1.4 FE II is now entirely at home on the 60MP Alpha 7R IV, and indeed looks like it has more in reserve for higher resolution sensors. For Sony users looking for a fast standard prime, but who are put off by the size, weight and price of its rivals, it’s an excellent choice.

Dpreview tested the Pentax to Sony MonsterAdapter

The new Pentax K Lens to Sony E-Mount Monster autofocus Adapter is now in Stock at BHphoto (Click here).

The new adapter has been tested by Dpreview. The conclusion:

While its performance will vary depending upon your chosen lenses and camera bodies, we found the LA-KE1 adapter to yield rather lesser AF performance than is natively available from Pentax bodies, even when they’re using their slower contrast-detection AF in live view mode.

But we also found that getting focus in the ballpark first helps significantly with performance, especially for screw-drive lenses or those with long focus throws. And while it wasn’t as peppy as the native AF, we found the LA-KE1’s AF speed pretty acceptable for all but very active subjects like sports.

And that tradeoff in performance brings more potential than the obvious advantage of being able to use your Pentax glass with a mirrorless body. For one thing, it means access to resolutions beyond the K-1 II’s 36 megapixels, and multi-shot high-res imagery that (unlike Ricoh’s) increases the pixel count still further.

For another thing, it gains you access to Sony’s eye-detection autofocus algorithms, which can be hugely helpful for portraits of people and pets alike. And you’ll have dense AF coverage across the frame, unlike Pentax’s phase-detection AF which has relatively few points and is centrally-focused.

The focus drive delivers sufficient accuracy not just for Sony’s cameras to nail focus in a precise area of the image, but also to allow for things like fine adjustments to focus when tethering. In fact, I even successfully used it for focus bracketing with Sony’s Imaging Edge Remote and the open-source B8Stack application.
It’s a great pity that support for video capture isn’t possible, as that’s long been a weakness of the Pentax K-mount which, if solvable, could’ve been a huge deal for Pentaxians. But MonsterAdapter has to work within the boundaries of what Sony’s lens adapter support allows, and so for now decent K-mount video must remain a pipe dream.

Really, the only sticking point is the pricetag. There’s no getting around the fact that this is quite an expensive adapter even when compared to similar products from much better-known names. For example, Sony’s own LA-EA5 adapter comes in at around $250, as do both Sigma’s MC-11 adapters for EF and SA-mount lenses.

But Sony and Sigma can subsidize its costs with body or lens sales, whereas the MonsterAdapter’s fortunes must stand on its own sales alone. The high pricetag isn’t completely unprecedented, either, as Metabones’ EF-mount adapters also come in at around $400.

Sony A7IV DxOMark sensor result: “an incredibly well-rounded hybrid and a highly attractive option for all sorts of genres.”

 

The Sony A7IV sensor score has been published here: https://www.dxomark.com/sony-a7-iv-sensor-test/. The key messages :

  • With its new 33MPix sensor, it achieves a DXOMARK Sensor score of 97 and tops it predecessor by one point.
  • It still shines for landscape use case with its 14.7 EVs maximum dynamic range.
  • For the rest, sensor performance remains quite close to A7III, one of the main difference being that the A7IV activates its second read-out mode starting ISO400, providing a dynamic range boost, while the A7III activated it at ISO 800.

The conclusion:

 

As the 24 MP BSI-CMOS full-frame sensor equips the out-going Sony A7 III, and the majority of Sony’s rivals at this level, the new 33 MP BSI-type CMOS in the Sony A7 IV will also probably appear in forthcoming competitor’s models, so the results are doubly interesting.
While the new sensor doesn’t perform a lot differently from the outgoing device, there has been a useful increase in the overall pixel count of 37.5% (albeit a 16.8% increase in linear pixel count on the long-edge). This may appear somewhat incremental, but when combined with the various improvements in stills and video features, the new Sony A7 IV is an incredibly well-rounded hybrid and a highly attractive option for all sorts of genres.

Sony A7IV:
In the USA at BHphoto. Amazon. Adorama. FocusCamera. BuyDig.
In Europe at Fotokoch DE. Calumet DE. Foto Erhardt DE. Park UK. Wex UK. Amazon DE. Amazon UK. Amazon IT. Amazon ES. Amazon NL.