The Samyang AF 85mm f/1.4 FE has been substantially improved compared to the older DSLR variant. The resolution is still not impressive at f/1.4 but fit-for-purpose if you intend to use it for portraits. You just may not want ultra-sharp results in this case. However, if needed the Samyang can give you that when stopping down a bit. The quality is already very high at f/2 and downright great at medium aperture settings. Image distortions are a non-issue even in RAW files. Typical for such lenses, the vignetting is a bit on the high side at f/1.4 but most users will probably rely on auto-correction which reduces the light falloff to an acceptable level. From f/2 there isn’t anything to worry about here. Lateral CAs are low. The same can’t be said about axial CAs (LoCAs) which can be very pronounced in certain scenes. Axial CAs are very difficult to remove in post-processing. The quality of the bokeh is pretty good overall. The general quality of the out-of-focus blur is pretty silky, especially in the critical background. Out-of-focus highlights are very nicely rendered in the image center but the circular shape is falling apart rather rapidly beyond.
In terms of build quality, it is the best Samyang lens that we tested to date – the metal body feels very sturdy and Samyang implemented some degree of weather sealing. An internal focusing mechanism is also maintaining a constant lenght throughout the focus range. The AF is not the fastest around though. It has to shift quite some weight due to the heavy glass elements but there’s room for improvement here. The rather noisy aperture mechanism isn’t ideal either.
The few weaknesses have to be balanced with the price tag of the lens and the Samyang AF 85mm f/1.4 FE is hard to beat in this respect – a true value king.