Tuesday, 6 March 2018

Samyang Lens Station

Samyang Lens Station
 
Following up from Samyang releasing their excellent line up of AF lenses they have also released a lens station to allow photographers to update the firmware on the lenses. With that the performance of each lens should see improvements.



Samyang’s UK distributor has loaned me this lens station to update my lenses. The dock currently retails at £49.99 and is available from Amazon or check for other retailers here. I will also take you through the process and detail my thoughts on the improvements made by the firmware updates in each lens. Unfortunately I only have three out of the four AF lenses that Samyang have released so far - AF 50mm f1.4 FE, AF 35mm f1.4 FE and the AF 35mm f2.8 FE. Although I've tested the AF 14mm f2.8 FE, I didn't get to keep it so I can't comment on the firmware update for this lens.

  • The first step is to download and install the Samyang Lens Manager software from the Samyang website which can be found here.
  • Connect one of the AF lenses. I started with the AF 35mm f2.8 FE. You will then be required to download the firmware for the lens also from the Samyang website.
  • Click "Load lens f/w file"
  • Select the downloaded firmware file
  • Click update and watch the progress bar.

I was very impressed with how quick and easy the whole process is to complete. It takes around a minute per lens to update.




Lens Manager software

AF 35mm f1.4 FE connected to the dock

AF 35mm f1.4 FE after the update showing the new firmware

AF 35mm f2.8 FE connected to the dock
AF 35mm f2.8 FE after the update showing the new firmware

Here you can fine tune the Auto Focus

Here you can adjust the Aperture
MF sensitivity adjustments screen

I assume that the firmware for the dock itself can be upgraded

AF 50mm f1.4 FE connected to the dock

AF 50mm f1.4 FE in the process of being updated

AF 35mm f1.4 FE after the update showing the new firmware

Improvements After The Updates


AF 50mm f1.4 FE
AF 35mm f1.4 FE mounted on the Lens Station
On Samyang's website where you download the updates it details the improvements for each lens. Some of these I am unable to confirm as they include improvements to the lens when used in conjunction with specific cameras. The firmware update for the AF 50mm f1.4 includes improved AF in low light. I can confirm this and I believe that overall AF seems to have improved a little when used on my Sony A7R. Its also lists "Fixed shutter delay problem after focus confirmation when strobe was installed". I can also confirm this to be the case. I experieced this a few times before the update on different shootsbut it no longer occurs since the lens update. The last update to this lens I cannot confirm as I don't own any of the camera models listed but here's the details: "Automatically switch to manual focus in video mode on α5000, NEX-F3, NEX-C3, NEX-7, NEX-5, NEX-5N, and NEX-3N."


AF 35mm f1.4 FE
There are two improvements listed for this lens - Improved low light AF performance and improved AF-C tracking speed. Low light AF has been improved slightly although a greater performance boost may be experienced on a newer generation A7 series camera like the A7RIII or A7III. AF-C tracking speed is also improved from what I can tell but on my A7R it still isn't great but that will more than likely be down to the AF system on the camera itself as it only has contrast detection AF as opposed to the superior phase detection AF system.


AF 35mm f2.8 FE
Again just two improvements on this lens - Improved low light AF performance and improved searching in low light on α6300. Those improvements both sound very similar to me but I can only test one out as I don't have access to an α6300. Again I can confirm that low light AF performance is better after the update and I'd go as far as to say that I have seen a slight improvement on overall AF with all the lenses that I updated.


AF 35mm f2.8 FE mounted on the Lens Station

I'd like to thank Intro 2020 for sending the lens station out to me so that I could upgrade the firmware on my lenses.

For more information on Samyang products please take a look at their website - samyanglensglobal.com and subscribe to their newsletter to keep up to date with product news. 








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