Samyang RF 85/1.4 failing?

navastronia

EOS RP + 5D Classic
Aug 31, 2018
820
1,026
Hey all,

I know I've been one of the biggest evangelists for 3rd party glass in the last couple of years, especially as the RF ecosystem took off without many lower budget alternatives to Canon's 1st party F/1.2 glass, but I think this has come to bite me in the ass. I was working on a job tonight and my Samyang RF 85/1.4 began experiencing a communications problem (Canon Error 01) with my EOS RP. The lens is totally freaking out, with the aperture randomly dilating and the screen flickering. Changing lenses, changing batteries, powering on and off -- nothing is helping.

If anyone can offer any advice about what to do with this issue, I'm all ears (you're also welcome to laugh at me, if that makes you feel good. I do feel pretty stupid, and depending on my options, may decide to sell all my 3rd party glass and buy the newly available, cheaper RF alternatives).
 

koenkooi

EOS 5D Mark IV
CR Pro
Feb 25, 2015
2,395
2,526
The Netherlands
You could try inspecting the contacts on the lens, they might be worn or dirty.

I know from experience that the EF85mm f/1.8 works great on the RP, but it has horrible CA and really wants to be used at f/2.5. But the AF is fast. The RF85mm f/2 also works great on the RP, is very sharp, but the AF is a lot slower and only f/2. And 'experience' is 'taking pictures of my kids', not a paid job.
 
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jd7

EOS R
CR Pro
Feb 3, 2013
1,011
362
Hey all,

I know I've been one of the biggest evangelists for 3rd party glass in the last couple of years, especially as the RF ecosystem took off without many lower budget alternatives to Canon's 1st party F/1.2 glass, but I think this has come to bite me in the ass. I was working on a job tonight and my Samyang RF 85/1.4 began experiencing a communications problem (Canon Error 01) with my EOS RP. The lens is totally freaking out, with the aperture randomly dilating and the screen flickering. Changing lenses, changing batteries, powering on and off -- nothing is helping.

If anyone can offer any advice about what to do with this issue, I'm all ears (you're also welcome to laugh at me, if that makes you feel good. I do feel pretty stupid, and depending on my options, may decide to sell all my 3rd party glass and buy the newly available, cheaper RF alternatives).
I'm afraid I cannot help with the particular problem with that lens, but I wouldn't be too quick to right off all third party lenses, or even Samyang lenses, because of one bad experience. Canon gear fails too. Look around CR and you will see plenty of people talking about problems they have had even with Canon's better gear. For example, I recall someone talking about an R6 failing not long after purchase becasue the IBIS unit failed, and some years I bought a 24-70 f/4L IS lens which was pretty poor out of the box (but very good after Canon serviced it). Don't get me wrong, my impression is Canon generally has very good quality control, and Canon may be a step above the third parties. That would certainly be the conventional wisdom. However, I do not have the data (does anyone? LensRentals maybe?) to know how Canon compares with other manufacturers (including Samyang), and in any event it is all consumer gear so there will certainly be some items which fail with any brand including Canon (and I don't read much into the conventional wisdom which gets echoed around the interwebs).

Anyway, FWIW I don't think you should feel stupid. You bought a cheaper (and relatively light) lens, which so far as I can tell is very good optically, and gave it a go. Maybe you have discovered it's not as good value as it might first seem, or maybe you have just been unlucky. Unless perhaps I hear a lot more reports of the Samang RF 85mm failing though, it is still the only RF 85mm I would be interested to buy if I had an R camera. I don't want the size or weight, or cost, of either of the RF 85L lenses, and I haven't seen or read anything about the RF 85 f/2 IS which has impressed me much (slow AF, only f/2, sharpness is fine but bokeh and overall rendering seems disappointing).

Best of luck sorting out the issue, however you decide to deal with it.
 
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RexxReviews

EOS M6 Mark II
  • Sep 3, 2021
    57
    47
    Hey all,

    I know I've been one of the biggest evangelists for 3rd party glass in the last couple of years, especially as the RF ecosystem took off without many lower budget alternatives to Canon's 1st party F/1.2 glass, but I think this has come to bite me in the ass. I was working on a job tonight and my Samyang RF 85/1.4 began experiencing a communications problem (Canon Error 01) with my EOS RP. The lens is totally freaking out, with the aperture randomly dilating and the screen flickering. Changing lenses, changing batteries, powering on and off -- nothing is helping.

    If anyone can offer any advice about what to do with this issue, I'm all ears (you're also welcome to laugh at me, if that makes you feel good. I do feel pretty stupid, and depending on my options, may decide to sell all my 3rd party glass and buy the newly available, cheaper RF alternatives).
    I have been using this lens for about a year on my R5 and R6 bodies and have had NO issues like what you are describing. The only issue I had was solved with a firmware update, and that was focus and IBIS related. That firmware was well over a year ago. If you aren't on the latest firmware that could be part of your issue, you will need a dock in order to update it.
     
    Upvote 0

    navastronia

    EOS RP + 5D Classic
    Aug 31, 2018
    820
    1,026
    You could try inspecting the contacts on the lens, they might be worn or dirty.

    I know from experience that the EF85mm f/1.8 works great on the RP, but it has horrible CA and really wants to be used at f/2.5. But the AF is fast. The RF85mm f/2 also works great on the RP, is very sharp, but the AF is a lot slower and only f/2. And 'experience' is 'taking pictures of my kids', not a paid job.

    appreciate this. Contacts were neither worn nor dirty, but the lens did start working again. May trade over to the 85/2, but undecided as of yet.

    I'm afraid I cannot help with the particular problem with that lens, but I wouldn't be too quick to right off all third party lenses, or even Samyang lenses, because of one bad experience. Canon gear fails too. Look around CR and you will see plenty of people talking about problems they have had even with Canon's better gear. For example, I recall someone talking about an R6 failing not long after purchase becasue the IBIS unit failed, and some years I bought a 24-70 f/4L IS lens which was pretty poor out of the box (but very good after Canon serviced it). Don't get me wrong, my impression is Canon generally has very good quality control, and Canon may be a step above the third parties. That would certainly be the conventional wisdom. However, I do not have the data (does anyone? LensRentals maybe?) to know how Canon compares with other manufacturers (including Samyang), and in any event it is all consumer gear so there will certainly be some items which fail with any brand including Canon (and I don't read much into the conventional wisdom which gets echoed around the interwebs).

    Anyway, FWIW I don't think you should feel stupid. You bought a cheaper (and relatively light) lens, which so far as I can tell is very good optically, and gave it a go. Maybe you have discovered it's not as good value as it might first seem, or maybe you have just been unlucky. Unless perhaps I hear a lot more reports of the Samang RF 85mm failing though, it is still the only RF 85mm I would be interested to buy if I had an R camera. I don't want the size or weight, or cost, of either of the RF 85L lenses, and I haven't seen or read anything about the RF 85 f/2 IS which has impressed me much (slow AF, only f/2, sharpness is fine but bokeh and overall rendering seems disappointing).

    Best of luck sorting out the issue, however you decide to deal with it.

    Quite appreciate your reply -- Thank you for your input! I enjoy your perspective. Yes, first party glass dies, too. It was just so startling to have it happen this way, so my first thought was that it was Samyang's gear being somehow more prone to failure. I also had another job over the weekend and had no idea how I'd complete it, given I had to travel and didn't have time to buy something. I think in those situations, people rely on CPS . . . Will continue trouble shooting my gear and see if I can replicate the issue.

    I have been using this lens for about a year on my R5 and R6 bodies and have had NO issues like what you are describing. The only issue I had was solved with a firmware update, and that was focus and IBIS related. That firmware was well over a year ago. If you aren't on the latest firmware that could be part of your issue, you will need a dock in order to update it.

    Thanks for your reply. Yeah, I had no issue with the lens for the first 6 months. Purchased brand new, so at least there's the warranty. Hope to sort it out before the New Year so I can at least stop worrying, hahaha
     
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