Gear – Samyang 100mm Macro Lens


One of the benefits of being a contributer/writer for Digital Photography School is that I get to try out a lot of new gear. It can be good, see what is happening out there, but in some ways it can be terrible, especially when I really like something and have to give it back. Still I usually get over it and then something else arrives that I fall in love with.

I thought I might start a new weekly post looking at what I’ve been playing with. Some of it, might be gear I’ve purchased, or it might be products I’ve been loaned for a review. These won’t be reviews, more thoughts and what I think. Perhaps notes I can use in a review. There may be more than one post on them, initial impressions, and then final thoughts.

Samyang 100mm 2.8 Macro Lens

Last week I was loaned a 100mm f2.8 macro lens from Samyang Australia. I have used many macro lenses now, and I know I’m not as professional as many, but I enjoy it. I do love photographing flowers and seeing what I can do.

I have the Nikon 105mm so it is good to compare. I haven’t done a lot of photography with it so far, but my initial impressions so far are good.

  • The lens is heavy, I noticed that when I took it out of the box. Though the Nikon one is as well.
  • It is a manual lens, and you have to focus manually, though people say when doing macro you should do that anyway, so it shouldn’t be a problem.

I will keep using it and experimenting with it. I think it could be a great alternative to people who don’t want to spend the big money that many of the main camera brands charge for their macro lenses. Admittedly they have auto focus, but using manual focus isn’t that hard when you get used to it.

I’ve only used it once, mainly because the weather here hasn’t been good, but will get out with it again over the next few days. The weather is meant to improve for a short time. I will also try it with the extension rings. The filter size is slightly larger than my Nikon camera so I won’t be able to use the close up filter that I got for it. I thought I might try doing some more set up type of photography as well, use the lens on a tripod. There are a few things I can try out with it.

I will do another post on this, after I’ve used it a bit and get a better feeling for it.

I’m going to leave you with a photo that I took with it.

A chrysanthemum from my garden, just after the rain.

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  1. Just purchased this lens and am now looking forward to using. I was trying to find more information on as I have watched multiple reviews on Youtube but wanted to get some more opinions. Admittedly I am a big fan of manual focus and his will be my fourth Samyang/Rokinon Lens. Great work on this shot and I will be following your blog now to see what else your review!
    Keep up the greet work!

    1. That’s great to hear Joe, it is a very nice lens, I think it is great. Good that you are a big fan of manual focus, I don’t know that I am a fan of it, but I am definitely getting used to it. I seem to have been using many manual focus lenses lately. Thank you, I do try to write about products I work on. Thank you Joe.

    1. Thank you Julie, it doesn’t have to be on manual, but many people do use theirs on that. Give it a try and see how you go.oh and let me know.

  2. The macro lens would be a perfect addition for your gear. The picture proves the high quality of the lens. Great shot, Leanne!

  3. I have a Canon 100mm 2.8 macro lens which has been my work horse for portraits and macro. I love it. Because I wear glasses I often use (and count on) AF but when it’s really important I will use MF and a tripod for macro. The lens has both so it works for me.

    1. I wear glasses too, but I have to say I am getting much better at manually focusing, it has taken me a while, but I can get a decent shot now. Though if you have a CAnon macro, you wouldn’t be looking for another one, I think this is a great alternative to those that don’t have one already. Thank you.

  4. This is lovely – I have done LOTS of experimenting with my 100mm macro and I find the best method of focussing is to use live view on the back of the camera and zoom in and focus that way. I also use a remote to minimise camera shake and my keeper rate has vastly improved. I also shoot in my studio mostly too so I dont have to worry about wind and other things. Gorgeous colour – is it a dahlia?

    1. I haven’t done much with live view in the camera. I think we shoot macro very differently, though neither is wrong. I tend to hand hold, but I am thinking of doing more with the tripod, and I shoot on location, so to speak, I got to gardens. Thanks Stacey, the flower is a Chrysanthemum, I love those.

    2. I initially tried with handheld out in the garden but got such poor results with it I was disappointed – Im not steady enough for macro with really small DOF with my hands it seems!

    3. I’ve done okay with handheld, they aren’t perfect, but I’m okay with that. I haven’t really done any with the tripod, might have to try it at some stage.

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