Photography News 96 - Newsletter


ADVERTISEMENT FEATURE Portrait perfection Samyang’s AF 75mm f/1.8 FE combines innovationwith quality, making it a portrait lens for themodern age


CURRENT LENSES NEED to match the quality of the advanced cameras they’re mounted on. They must be smaller, faster, and provide better image quality than ever before. Thankfully, that’s all true of the brilliant Samyang AF 75mm f/1.8 FE, which claimed the Editor’s Choice award for best telephoto lens in this year’s Photography News Awards. A lot needs to come together to make a great portrait lens – firstly, focal length. This, combined with the way it renders the subject, defines a portrait. At 75mm, the lens creates a natural, undistorted view. That it needs only limited shooting distance to make portraits with full, half-length or head-and-shoulder framing allows easy communication and a natural connection to the subject. The 75mm focal length has other advantages, too. More commonly found in rangefinder mounts than DSLRs, it has a unique character that’s loved by documentary and street portrait shooters. Remember, mount

this lens on an APS-C Sony Alpha body, like the A6500, and you’ll get an impressive 112mm equivalent. This is something you can simulate by using the APS-C crop mode on full- frame bodies like the A7R IV. Creating a shallow depth-of-field can also be highly important for portraits. Shooting at – or near to – the AF 75mm f/1.8 FE’s maximum aperture brings delicious subject separation. This lets photographers compose in cluttered or distracting environments, or even get in close so only the subject’s eyes are in focus. Adding to its natural feel, the lens produces very smooth blur and large, round highlights in low-light situations. And, of course, a big aperture means faster shutter speeds and crisper subject details. Add to that the high optical quality, and it produces excellent edge-to-edge sharpness, while effortlessly controlling chromatic aberrations. This is due to the ten elements in nine groups – including extra-low dispersion (ED) and high- refractive (HR) lenses. UMC (Ultra Multi-Coating) is applied in order to minimise internal reflections, increasing clarity and contrast. All that’s for nothing if a portrait lens is slow to focus, but you’ll have no problems with this optic. A new stepping motor gives quick, quiet and accurate focusing, so you can work with your subject without distraction. It functions seamlessly – using Sony’s revolutionary eye detection AF. Handling-wise, the AF 75mm f/1.8 FE also pairs beautifully with Sony’s “When shooting portraits, I want a lens like this – fast inaperture andAF speed, but not at the expense of weight andhandling”

SMOOTH BOKEH The advanced optical design of the Samyang AF 75mm f/1.8 FE ensures impressive sharpness. When you shoot portraits at wider apertures, you get a lovely blurred background, too, so there’s plenty to play around with

› Price £389 ›  Format Sony FE-mount, full-frame ›  Construction Ten elements in nine groups ›  Special lens elements Three ED, two HR › Aperture range F/1.8-22 › Filter size 58mm › Diaphragm Nine blades › Magnification 0.13x › Autofocus Yes, linear motor › Minimum focus 69cm › Dimensions (dxl) 65x69mm › Weight 230g

mirrorless bodies. At only 230g, it’s light and measures just 65x69mm. What’s more, the lens has a neat custom switch, allowing you to set the ring to either manual focus or aperture control mode – and more options will soon be available via firmware updates. All in all, the AF 75mm f/1.8 FE is very much a portrait lens for the mirrorless age.

Will Cheung, editor, PN

16 Photography News | Issue 96

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