Roaring 50s – 50mm Samyang, Zeiss and Nikon comparison

Since I just received the brand new Samyang 50mm T1.5, I was curious, how it compares to my other 50mm lenses, so I did a little shootout.

Meet the roaring 50s:

1.Nikon f1.4 – I used this lens on many cameras over the years as my standard 50mm.


2. The new Samyang 50mm T1.5 cinema version


3. The rather massive, but not exactly fast medium format Zeiss Jena Pentacon 50mm f4IMG_0006

4. Just for fun a beaten and run down Zeiss Jena (Contax)  50mm f2.8, that I have laying around.


The test was done on a 2.5k BMCC @ raw, debayerd in Resolve with the standard BMC LUT and standard settings – no extra sharpening or anything else. The images are in full 2400 x 1350 resolution, make sure you doubleclick on them, so they open up in full glory for proper pixel peeping.

Let’s start with wide open:



Zeis1And now wide open with a Speedbooster:

nik1Sam1even wide open, the Speedbooster is pushing MTF/Niquist far enough on the – already pretty sharp –  Samyang, that moire  starts creaping in. Can’t wait, till Mosaic is releasing its OLPF for BMC, so that moire/aliasing is no concern anymore. Till than,  you can – kind of –  dampen it a bit in post thou.


Next: f2.8:mik5sam5zeiss2

F/T 2.8 with Speedboosternik2

Sam2SamC2Here comes: F/T 4nik6sam6zeiss3…and F/T4 with Speedboosternik3

Sorry, I messed this up: actually it’s Samyang T5.6Sam3

Take away:

It’s official – my good old trusty Nikon 50mm, that was with me all the years, is going to retire now.

I’m more than happy with my new 50mm Samyang cine-lens. It’s sharp, but not clinical sharp like newer Zeiss glass, it has a nice organic touch to it, and is a bit warmer. It plays extremely well with the rest of the Samyang lineup in my arsenal, and I can’t wait too shoot something nicer than boring tests with it.

IMHO Samyang is an amazing bang for the buck. You will be hard pressed to find better glass (let alone with gears and cine marking) even close to this price.

18 thoughts on “Roaring 50s – 50mm Samyang, Zeiss and Nikon comparison

    • Well “removing” is a big word. Actually I dampen it a bit, you don’t really remove moire, once it’s there. What I do is, I separate the color channels into YUV and soften the UV part a bit, while getting sharpness back with the Y channel. Not a cure for everything though. How good it works, depends on your material.

  1. Hi Frank,

    I love the look of the Ziess Jena lens, and I’m thinking about buying a set. I noticed in your one article you mentioned the P6 mount are the ones to buy, but from what I’ve found, the widest I could find in the P6 is the 50, which I’m assuming it’s because they are made for medium format. Do the m46 mount ones mix well with P6 mount if I were to build a set with both for my Canon 5d mark III?


  2. Hi Frank , I’m thinking of buying two lenses, particularly these ones for Blackmagic 2.5K ?

    I wonder if they admit filters,I think yes because they have detachable hood, Isnt it?

    Incidentally , shipping rates and customs make it impossible to buy in USA , Do you know where could I buy them in our old Europe ?
    Best regards from Spain Frank!

    Samyang 16mm T2.2 Cine Lens for Canon EF

    Samyang 35mm T1.5 Cine Lens for Canon EF

    Thanks in advance!!

  3. Thanks for your articles Frank! Question: I have the new BM Ursa with pl mount, and am looking into the zebra zeiss jena lenses and was about to buy a set with m42 mount, but then I read your article that I should get the pentacon 6 mount zebras as they are better. What is the difference between the m42 mount zebras and P6 mount lenses? Thanks,

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