Samyang 135mm T2.2 ED UMC CINE DS ( 135mm f/2 ED UMC ) - Review / Test Report
Lens Reviews - Canon EOS (Full Format)

March 2015 by Klaus Schroiff


There's quite a number of rather exotic third party manufacturers out there. Some come and go whereas others are here to stay. Samyang, a Korean manufacturer, is clearly in this 2nd group. In fact they are also OEMing their lenses to "brands" such as Bower, Rokinon or Walimex. During the recent years Samyang provided a fairly large number of interesting lenses for both mirrorless and DSLR systems. Their lenses lack an electronic coupling as well as AF which prevents them from entering into the mainstream so far. However, the optical quality of their products is often impressive and up there with the big boys. Their latest product (as of this review) is the Samyang 135mm T2.2 ED UMC CINE DS. As the name implies, it is optimized for smooth (step-less) aperture and focus transitions which is important for movie makers (hence the "CINE"). However, the lens is also available in a conventional, photography-centric incarnation (Samyang 135mm f/2 ED UMC) featuring distinctive aperture clicks, a shorter focus path and differently designed control rings. However, the optical design remains the same so the our findings are applicable to both variants.

Some users may be confused by the rather unfamiliar T2.2 vs f/2 naming convention. The T-value simply describes the light transmission characteristic whereas the f-value is equivalent to the numerical ratio of focal length and aperture diameter. In real life terms, it doesn't really make much of difference. The T-value is simply more common in the movie arena.

NOTE: the product images below shows the lens with an attached UV-filter which we weren't able to remove unfortunately. The filter is not part of the base package, of course.

Typical for most Samyang lenses, the mechanical quality is very good. The lens barrel is made of a tightly assembled mix of metal and plastic parts based on a metal mount. As mentioned, we tested the CINE version of the lens. Consequently the step-less control rings operate as smooth as silk. The physical length remains the same during focusing. The lens comes with a barrel-shaped hood. While we really liked the mechanical quality of the lens, the hood isn't quite as nicely executed. Locking the hood on the lens is a rather coarse act which requires some efforts.

Optical construction11 elements in 7 groups inc 1 ED lens element
Number of aperture blades9 (circular)
min. focus distance0.8m (max. magnification ratio 1:?)
Filter size77mm (non-rotating)
Hoodpetal-shaped, bayonet-mount, supplied
Other featuresall-manual, stepless aperture ring, floating system