Samsung 85mm f/1.4 Lens Review: a great pro-level portrait prime for NX photographers


posted Thursday, May 22, 2014 at 12:35 PM EDT


Are you a Samsung NX camera owner in need of a fast, well-built, professional-level portrait prime? We've just published our review on the Samsung 85mm ƒ/1.4 ED SSA lens, which is part of Samsung's premium, professional line of lenses and is the "crème de la crème" of portrait lenses for NX users. Regardless of its physical properties, -- which feel more like a heavy DSLR lens than your typical mirrorless system lens -- the Samsung 85mm ƒ/1.4 lens boasts some impressive specs, including Super Sonic Actuator (SSA) for fast, silent focusing; Extra Low Dispersion glass; and a 9-bladed rounded aperture diaphragm, that along with the wide ƒ/1.4 aperture, makes for creamy, smooth bokeh. 

So, how does this professional portrait prime stack up? The Samsung 85mm ƒ/1.4 produces super sharp images, though not tack sharp at ƒ/1.4 unfortunately -- things are bit soft -- however, stopping down just a little bit and sharpness ramps way up. The other optical qualities of this lens are top-notch: low CA, low vignetting and practically zero distortion. The addition of Samsung's i-Function ring for added camera controls is a very cool feature, especially on certain NX cameras that lack a lot of physical dials and controls. The AF is a bit on the slow side (though it is quiet), however for short changes in subject distance, it's still relatively quick. All in all, the Samsung 85mm ƒ/1.4 ED SSA is fantastic portrait lens for Samsung shooters.

Jump on over to SLRgear to read our full Samsung 85mm ƒ/1.4 ED SSA lens review to see our test results and read our final verdict, which are based on RAW file output.

The Samsung 85mm ƒ/1.4 ED SSA ships with front and rear caps, lens hood and a pouch for around $849 -- Amazon; Adorama; B&H. By purchasing this lens, or any other product from one of our trusted affiliates helps support this site and keeps these reviews coming!

In the meantime, check out some sample photos shot by our senior lens technician Rob Murray using the Samsung NX300. You can view more sample photos, plus download the full-resolution files, over at our Flickr page.

NX300: 85mm, f/1.4, 1/3200s, ISO 100
NX300: 85mm, f/1.4, 1/125s, ISO 400
NX300: 85mm, f/4.5, 1/100s, ISO 3200