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LENS PORN: Samyang MF 35-70mm f/3.5-4.5 MC Macro (Manual Focus Version)

Samyang MF 35-70mm f/3.5-4.5 MC Macro (Manual Focus Version)
Samyang MF 35-70mm f/3.5-4.5 MC Macro (Manual Focus Version)



I came across this rare lens, a Samyang 35-70mm f/3.5-4.5 Macro. Doing an online search yields no results for this lens, but there were a few that popped up for the AF (auto focus) version of this lens, which I presume was a late 1980s product.

According to the seller, this manual focus version was from 1983. My expectation, based on research and experience, is that lenses made from the early 1980s were still manual, but they already had alot of optical improvements vs. lenses from the late 1970s.

The lens could not focus to infinity at first. But I agreed to trade lenses anyway, hoping to get myself a new challenge. Once at home, I tinkered a bit and found out that the front glass was not put back properly, so that it is protruding outward/elevated. After the fix, it's now focusing normally.


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SPECS

Samyang 35-70mm f/3.5-4.5 MC Macro

Year: 1983

Focal Range:
FX = 35-70mm
DX = 52-105mm

Minimum Focusing Distance:
0.4 meters (Macro 1:4 )
0.8 meters (Normal Mode)

Filter Thread Size: Ø 55mm

Made in Korea

Samyang MF 35-70mm f/3.5-4.5 MC Macro (Manual Focus Version)

Samyang MF 35-70mm f/3.5-4.5 MC Macro (Manual Focus Version)

Samyang MF 35-70mm f/3.5-4.5 MC Macro (Manual Focus Version)

Samyang MF 35-70mm f/3.5-4.5 MC Macro (Manual Focus Version)

Samyang MF 35-70mm f/3.5-4.5 MC Macro (Manual Focus Version)

Samyang MF 35-70mm f/3.5-4.5 MC Macro (Manual Focus Version)

Samyang MF 35-70mm f/3.5-4.5 MC Macro (Manual Focus Version)

Samyang MF 35-70mm f/3.5-4.5 MC Macro (Manual Focus Version)

Samyang MF 35-70mm f/3.5-4.5 MC Macro (Manual Focus Version)

Samyang MF 35-70mm f/3.5-4.5 MC Macro (Manual Focus Version)

Samyang MF 35-70mm f/3.5-4.5 MC Macro (Manual Focus Version)

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SUMMARY


FOR

Macro can be used at any range. Macro is 1:4 at 70mm, the macro shots look nice.

Variable aperture of f/3.5 - f/4.5 (unlike some f/3.5 - f/6.3 lenses)

Supports Auto diaphragm

Close focusing at 0.4 meters (Macro)

Small and compact lens

Non-rotating front filter thread when focusing



NEUTRAL

The softness and poor resolution might be nice for portrait work.

Push-pull design (aka 'one touch')



AGAINST

Like having a soft filter, even at the smallest aperture. It just does not improve. I get the impression that there is a scratch on the glass, but there is not.

Colors are washed out.

The glass coating is not effective in handling light.

Very poor resolution. Details are always blurred.

Wild and intense CA when shooting outdoor. I'm not the type to pixel-peep, but I do see it while viewing normally.

35-70mm is not useful on crop sensor cameras. It's more like 52-105mm. It's not wide enough at 35mm, not long enough at 70mm on my D5200. This is best left for full frame users.

While it is solidly built, the mechanism is not smooth. Zooming is tight, focusing is tight, aperture ring is tight. Or perhaps I just got a bad copy of this already rare lens, making it hard to find a good copy at all.



CONCLUSION

I like old manual lenses because of the personality they add to the images. I can easily get soft (I actually like to use soft filters!), low contrast and dreamy looks.

My problem with this lens is that images look like the glass has a scratch, but there's none. It also has poor color saturation and looks lifeless.

This is a Samyang lens and I was expecting better. Or perhaps an early Samyang may not equate to the modern Samyang in terms of quality. My expectation was wrong, and I ended up getting disappointed.

Of all the old lenses I used, none were as bad as this, and this is the 'worstest' lens I ever owned! Even an old fungus-infested zoom lens by Soligor or Nikon produced so much better images than a good copy of this Samyang lens.

This sells for very cheap anyway. So if you don't need this lens other than for closeups (eg. wedding ring shots), then this is a fine accessory.

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SAMPLES

Nikon D5200
Photo Size - JPEG Basic/Small
White Balance - Preset
Picture Profile - Standard
HDR/ADL/Flash - Off

Images look better when shot indoor or in dark/shady areas.

Only the first three shots here are edited.

Samyang MF 35-70mm f/3.5-4.5 MC Macro (Manual Focus Version)
Edit: Sharpening and color saturation. Using this lens was a bad idea for a product shot.

Samyang MF 35-70mm f/3.5-4.5 MC Macro (Manual Focus Version)

Samyang MF 35-70mm f/3.5-4.5 MC Macro (Manual Focus Version)



The rest of the samples were unedited.

Samyang MF 35-70mm f/3.5-4.5 MC Macro (Manual Focus Version)

Samyang MF 35-70mm f/3.5-4.5 MC Macro (Manual Focus Version)

Samyang MF 35-70mm f/3.5-4.5 MC Macro (Manual Focus Version)



The remaining photos were shot outdoor.
I shoot during lunch break.
Samyang MF 35-70mm f/3.5-4.5 MC Macro (Manual Focus Version)
70mm macro

Samyang MF 35-70mm f/3.5-4.5 MC Macro (Manual Focus Version)
35mm macro

Samyang MF 35-70mm f/3.5-4.5 MC Macro (Manual Focus Version)

Samyang MF 35-70mm f/3.5-4.5 MC Macro (Manual Focus Version)

Samyang MF 35-70mm f/3.5-4.5 MC Macro (Manual Focus Version)

Samyang MF 35-70mm f/3.5-4.5 MC Macro (Manual Focus Version)

Samyang MF 35-70mm f/3.5-4.5 MC Macro (Manual Focus Version)

Samyang MF 35-70mm f/3.5-4.5 MC Macro (Manual Focus Version)

Samyang MF 35-70mm f/3.5-4.5 MC Macro (Manual Focus Version)

Samyang MF 35-70mm f/3.5-4.5 MC Macro (Manual Focus Version)

Samyang MF 35-70mm f/3.5-4.5 MC Macro (Manual Focus Version)

Samyang MF 35-70mm f/3.5-4.5 MC Macro (Manual Focus Version)

Samyang MF 35-70mm f/3.5-4.5 MC Macro (Manual Focus Version)

Samyang MF 35-70mm f/3.5-4.5 MC Macro (Manual Focus Version)

Samyang MF 35-70mm f/3.5-4.5 MC Macro (Manual Focus Version)

Samyang MF 35-70mm f/3.5-4.5 MC Macro (Manual Focus Version)

Samyang MF 35-70mm f/3.5-4.5 MC Macro (Manual Focus Version)



These two shots used with 0.21x fisheye adapter.

Samyang MF 35-70mm f/3.5-4.5 MC Macro (Manual Focus Version)

Samyang MF 35-70mm f/3.5-4.5 MC Macro (Manual Focus Version)




LINKS

Photo Album


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The Nikon D5200 as my weapon of choice.

Vintage lenses are my poison.

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