130 of 133 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best wide angle primes at a bargain price.I
I am using this lens on a Canon 5D Mark II. I have several zoom lenses in this range, but was looking for a fast, superwide prime. The choice would be this or the Canon 14L II. This is the same as the Samyang, rebranded.
After receiving the lens, I ran some tests against 16-35 2.8, and sigma 12-24, and was floored. The corner to corner sharpness of this lens is...
Published on August 15, 2010 by K. Dardashti
40 of 44 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Multiple copies before a good one
I bought this lens after reading reviews about how Sharp it was. The distortion issue didn't bother me as it rarely shows in a landscape photograph which is all I do. I went through 3 copies to find a good one. The first was just plain soft all over. Since it is a manual focus I thought maybe I'm not getting it right, never mind I manual focus with my other lenses most of...
Published 21 months ago by D. Dietiker
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130 of 133 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best wide angle primes at a bargain price.I,
After receiving the lens, I ran some tests against 16-35 2.8, and sigma 12-24, and was floored. The corner to corner sharpness of this lens is fantastic. I peaks at around 5.6, but the corners at 2.8 are better than the other 2 lenses at f11. the microcontrast and color is very good. The barrel distortion is hefty, and complex with a mustache distortion, however, often not well visible in landscape, but visible in architectural images. It is correctable using a $25 program called ptlens, and there is also a profile for acr 6.1 out there, which works great. It is an absolute bargain. I purchased a focus confirmation chip for 14 from ebay, glued it on, and I get focus confirmation too.
feb 2012 update
I have had this lens along side Nikon 14-24 2.8, adapted to canon with use on my 5d2, and at 2.8, the rokinon is sharper in the corners has less flare and less CA than the mighty Nikon. However the nikon has less distortion, and catches up by f 5.6 even in the corners. Additionally, do not rely on the distance markings on the focus ring. On my copy infinity focus is achieved at the 3 meter marking. 3 meters is achieved at 2m. for my style of shooting I dont find this troublesome at all. for landscape shooting I focus with live view anyway. for hand held, my focus is between 1 and 2 meters most of the time and it works fine.
54 of 57 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sharpest lens I ever used, but check for issues,
This review is from: Rokinon 14mm F2.8 Ultra Wide Angle Lens with Automatic Chip for Nikon (Black) (Electronics)This is the new version with the auto-exposure chip (only for Nikon mount) and UMC coating. My impressions:
-Sharp, sharp, sharp. Even at f/2.8, this lens is sharp. At its sharpest aperture, f/5.6, it's sharp corner-to-corner on an APS-C camera.
-Very good build quality. Solid weighty feel, brass mount, and smooth dampened focus ring.
-By far the least expensive 14mm around.
-No problems with auto-exposure or focus confirmation (including the electronic rangefinder function on newer Nikon bodies)
-FX or DX
-Cheap rear cap fits a little loose. I swapped mine with a Nikon cap.
-Has significant mustache-type barrel distortion in the middle of the frame. Not a lens for architectural photography. However, this can be mostly corrected in post-processing (with the $25 software PTLens, or user-created Lightroom profiles on the net).
-Like some other ultra wide-angle lenses, the front element is large and bulbous, and the hood is integrated and non-removable. You can't attach any filters, so this lens requires more care to avoid scratches on the front element. The lens cover should be kept on at all times when not in use.
-Although the lens works great with my DX camera, it's really meant for FX cameras. On my DX Nikon the full-frame equivalent focal length is 21mm, which sits in an odd space between UWA and WA. DX users should probably consider the Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 or Sigma 10-20mm instead for their UWA needs. However, this lens beats both for corner-to-corner sharpness.
I sold my Nikon AE copy and re-purchased this lens for Canon mount, for a Canon 5D body. My new copy was just as sharp as my previous copy in the center. However the lens showed de-centering on the right side, which was significantly blurrier than the left even when stopped down to f/8 or f/11. This area would not be visible on an APS-C body, but was visible enough on the 5D that I returned it for a refund. I deducted one star from my rating until I can test another copy.
60 of 68 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Value - the best in its class,
Solidly built, operates smoothly, light (under 450 grams), much more compact than Nikon 14-24mm, incredible resolution, color balance and color fringing resistance - simply crushes Nikon 14-24mm (my personal experience and comparison and also see independent reviews on the Net), no flare, even when shooting straight into the Sun.
Fully manual - no auto anything, including the aperture (not an issue for this ultra-wide lens and actually is an advantge, since it greatly improves reliability).
No depth-of-field scale - not an issue for this ultra-wide lens; setting the focus to 1 meter and stopping down to f11 gives you the maximum depth-of-field (o.5 meters to infinity) at best optical performance. For wide-open shooting focus the lens manually.
Vignetting, especially at wide apertures - easily correctable in Photoshop, and gone by f11.
Significant complex distortion (5%) - get a PT Lens software, which has this lens' complete correction pre-programmed in its database and distortion becomes a non-issue.
Aperture blades may become sticky in temperatures below 32 degrees F (0 deg. C) - no significant impact, because the aperture control is fully manual. If this occurs, rotate the aperture ring back and forth a few times to take care of this in the field; there is no need to even remove the lens from the camera.
I highly recommend this lens.
40 of 44 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Multiple copies before a good one,
This review is from: Rokinon 14mm F2.8 Ultra Wide Angle Lens with Automatic Chip for Nikon (Black) (Electronics)I bought this lens after reading reviews about how Sharp it was. The distortion issue didn't bother me as it rarely shows in a landscape photograph which is all I do. I went through 3 copies to find a good one. The first was just plain soft all over. Since it is a manual focus I thought maybe I'm not getting it right, never mind I manual focus with my other lenses most of the time. No matter what I tried, the first was soft. I returned it and received another, the second was significantly decentered. The center and right side were very sharp, the left side was total mush, sent that one back too. The third copy I received finally lived up to what I had read about this lens. I will be keeping this one.
If I had received the last copy first, I would have given this lens 5 stars.
If you do order the lens, make sure you test it vigorously, as the quality control to me is very suspect. If you dont test your lenses, I would pass on this one.
23 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars For its price and build and the pictures you are able to take, I'm quite impressed with this lens!,
As I have a good number of prime lenses for portrait, macro and zoom...I wanted a lens where I'm able to capture scenery but also real estate. One that was ultra wide and one that was not a fish eye lens (although you can get a slight fisheye curve using this lens).
So, here is my review:
I am familiar with Rokinon products, one of the lenses for my Canon A-1 that my father gave me had a Rokinon 28mm from the late '70s. And perusing the various photo sites and reading about how the Samyang lens that were rebranded is a newer lens that gives a solid performance, I had to give it a try. It comes in a box, well-packed with styrofoam and comes with instructions.
Inside is the lens, which is heavy and built like a tank and comes with a pouch, lens cover and cap.
I tested this lens on a Canon T3i and at first, I went out and took a picture of my house and the neighborhood. I was happy to see how the ultra-wide lens is what I needed but it's important to know that the lens is controlled not through the camera but the lens. So you need to turn the lens to access the aperture and the focus ring.
Although I prefer manual focusing over auto (and this is a manual prime lens), I'm so used to focusing on an object and getting what I need. But each time I turned the ring, I couldn't tell if the picture was good. I had to look on my viewfinder, increase the size to see if it was right or not and it wasn't. It was blurry.
I was a bit frustrated because I couldn't get any good photos until I went to a Samyang forum and those who owned Rokinon, Bowers and Bell's were talking about how they have their aperture set at 5.6 as they found that to be "the sweet spot".
So, I went back out...set the aperture from 2.8 to 5.6 and sure enough, I was taking clear pictures with this lens.
A few weeks later, I decided to take this lens out for another test as I was traveling to the Bay Area. Scenery, buildings....they turned out great. But I wanted to try this on people. Of course, some people are freaked out when I'm like a foot away from their face but yet, on the viewfinder I'm actually getting their whole body. But I was able to get a few good pictures. Once again, I can't tell if it's going to be clear enough because each time I manually focused, everything look the same. So, a lesson I learned is to take many shots because it's so wide that it's not easy and I have to advise, if you have an iPad or laptop nearby, it's good to see your photos and see if what you are getting is right. Or use the viewfinder and constantly increasing the size to see if its blurry or not.
I have only kept at f5.6 and a few others for aperture as many have recommended but have not been able to get great shots at f2.8. But I'm still learning this lens...
For those trying to take pictures of objects or people close-up, here are some test results:
f/4 - If distance is about 6.5 feet
f/5.6 - If distance is about 4.9 feet
f/8 - If distance is about 3.2 feet
f/11 - If distance is about 2.5 feet
f/22 - If distance is about 1.6 feet
First, the build and presentation of this lens is great. As mentioned, it's built like a tank and I was quite pleased. Especially that it came with the two caps and the pouch, which was a nice addition.
Second, I was able to get really nice shots with this lens (which I will post test shots on Amazon).
Third, you'll need to spend time with this lens. It's not as easy as a Canon 50 mm prime lens and focus and you get it right via viewfinder or screen. This one, you'll need to take a few pictures, view the photo to see if its blurry or not and you also want to have good lighting.
As mentioned, like others who used the Samyang and were able to get great pictures at 5.6 aperture but this is a lens that really does challenge you in someways. This is my first ultra wide and not sure how the more expensive ones perform compared to this lens but the good thing is that I was able to take really good photos but I would like to get better photos at 2.8 rather than keeping things at 5.6 all the time.
Overall, it's a solid lens and for its price, it's definitely worth it if you are a photographer on a budget.
55 of 69 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars It COULD be a great lens... but this lens will EAT YOUR DUST!,
This review is from: Rokinon FE14M-N 14mm F2.8 Ultra Wide Lens for Nikon (Black) (Electronics)I loved this lens when I first bought it. I own a Canon 5d MK II which I use for both professional photography and professional video production. In fact, I loved this lens so much that I went and bought the Rokinon 85mm, too. Then IT happened. And IT changed my perspective on the Rokinons. I use to share the sentiments held by most of the reviewers here on Amazon, but there is one big flaw in this lens, and it should be taken into consideration before you pull the plug and buy one.
Okay... I'll get right to the point. My first Rokinon 14mm started out great but somehow got dust inside the lens between the lens elements after only 3 months of use. At first I thought I could blow it out with compressed air, but had no such luck. I had a commercial shoot that week that required my Rokinon 14mm, so in a pinch, I bought ANOTHER one. I chalked up the last problem to bad luck. Unfortunately, after owning the SECOND Rokinon 14mm for only a month, the same thing happened. When the lens is stopped down to f2.8 it's impossible to tell that there's dust in there. But when you push the lens to f8, f11, f16, or f22 and point it at a light background, it becomes glaringly obvious that there is dust INSIDE the lens. The ROKINON LENSES NEED BETTER SEALING. Now I know that not all lenses provided by even the major manufacturers are fully weather sealed. But I've found that the Rokinon 14mm is much more susceptible to dust than any other lens I've owned (weather sealed or not). The same thing has happened to the last two $400 Rokinon lenses I've purchased and I will be purchasing no more from this manufacturer. It's just not worth the risk. I know it's a tempting purchase. When you consider that the Canon 16-35mm L is over twice as much money, the Rokinon seems like a great deal. But I believe the Rokinon is too much of a risk unless you plan on shooting in a sterile environment and avoiding the outdoors completely. Believe me, it's worth waiting and springing for the Canon 16-35 which is weather sealed. For the price I just paid for my now two defunct Rokinon 14mms, I could've owned a used weather-sealed Canon 16-35mm.
My primary background is directing. I am a working commercial director that has directed national television along with many national commercials and one feature film. I am also a cinematographer. Even shooting high profile jobs, I'm always searching for cheaper filmmaking options and ways to reduce budgets. I love independent filmmaking and all the work-arounds and problem solving it entails. I love finding cheap equipment that somehow rivals the big players in the business. So I was extremely excited to discover the Rokinons because as a cinematographer, they made sense to me. Why not make a lens cheaper by tossing out all the fancy electronics, automatic apertures and autofocus features that I don't need anyway?? Why not just focus on the glass itself and nothing else? The Rokinon glass is very nice for the price. Aside from the extreme barrel distortion, I thought it was the best ultra wide angle lens you could find for the money. Unfortunately, this lens needs to be sealed better. It doesn't necessarily need to be completely weather sealed, as some of my other favorite Canon lenses aren't weather-sealed and seem to do just fine. The Rokinon just needs BETTER SEALING.
It's no fun to spend $400 on a lens that becomes useless in a month. And in my line of work, where deadlines are harsh and stress can be high, two strikes means the game is over. This lens will EAT YOUR DUST and that is not a good thing.
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Super wide angle for super cheap,
This lens is wide. This lens is cheap. These two ordinarily don't go together, but this lens seems to be an exception. No, it's not as good as the Canon 14mm f/2.8L or the Nikon 14-24 f/2.8, but it's a whole-hell-of-a-lot cheaper, and lighter and smaller. The biggest issue to me is that the distortion is pretty bad, if you're taking pictures of very straight things straight on, the horizontal lines will "bulge" upward/downward at their respective edges. Even the the center of the frame, there is some distortion - almost as if you had a print and laid it over a ball - that's the best I can describe it.
Another thing I don't like that much is that focusing is more difficult than it needs to be because of how much range the ring has - about 270 degrees. We're working with very wide DoF, Rokinon, we don't need this much range! The ring is nicely dampened and feels very solid. Manually focusing is more difficult than I anticipated: I use the high-precision matte focusing screen in my 5D II since I pretty much only shoot with f/2 or faster primes - even still, you can only get a preview of de-focus if you're completely off-focus. Getting the subject slightly OOF is too easy if you're not careful - I found myself using live view and then composing through the viewfinder again after I get the correct focus.
When you stop down the aperture, it happens as you turn the ring - there is no electronic communication between the lens and the camera, so this means there is no way for the camera to stop down the aperture blades - this can be annoying if you want to shoot at f/16... you'll have to switch to f/2.8, focus, all that jazzz, then move back to f/16. Not a huge deal by any means, and I was aware of this when I bought it, but some people may not like it.
Not including the front, the actual lens body is quite small and very similar to the old "real metal" 35mm lenses of yesteryear (or 30). It's fun to have something that requires one to use their fingers and brain to operate.
The lens cap fits very securely and snugly and provides good protection of the very large, rounded front element.
I've only played with the lens a little so far, but sharpness seems to be actually pretty excellent at smaller apertures (I was using it at f/8) - much better than I was lead to believe by other review sources. Colors/saturation/contrast are "where it's at" in terms of what the lens cost - but a lens like this allows you to take photos that are more about impressive perspective than eye-popping colors.
If you have a full-frame SLR and want to dabble in the world of UWA photos, without the pricey commitment, pickup the Rokinon 14mm lens. If you're doing video, the broad focusing travel may be ideal for your needs as well. It's a keeper!
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Better then the best reviews...,
So, when I write this review, it comes from a professional prospective.
When I first opened the lens, I thought the packaging (not shipping packaging but the retail box) was a little lacking. That however is about the only negative thing I can say about this lens.
The sharpness is extraordinary, corner to corner and edge to edge. At f2.8 it's more then adequate and at f8 it's by far one of the sharpest lenses I have ever used.
It compares in overall sharpness to my 300 2.8, which is an extremely sharp lens.
The lens has good contrast (a little on the high side, but very good for such a wide lens) and the colors show no noticeable signs of shift.
The lens is fully manual. you set the aperture and the screen darkens. This lens is not for those wishing to point and shoot. It's not easy to manually focus a 14mm lens, and this is no exception.
I've found that Live View really helps. The focus ring is smooth and has a nice throw.
I've read some about distortion. Well, unless you're doing very specialized photos, you'll never notice it, however I did install PTLens and it corrected the distortion just fine. Honestly, I didn't think that the images looked any better when corrected.
Overall, I'd rate this lens a 10 out of 10 for VALUE. for the money, I don't believe you can get anything close.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Optically superb, not the best for action,
First things first: if you're on a crop camera (10D-60D, 7D, Rebels), this is not an ultrawide. There are four or five ultrawide zooms that wind out to 8mm or 10mm and will give a much stronger sense of perspective, along with AF. I'd buy a 10-22/3.5-4.5 and wouldn't think twice about it. The extra stop at 14mm isn't worth the handling issues and loss of versatility.
Where this lens shines is on a full-frame body. Simply, at this price and focal, there's no competition for across-the-frame sharpness.
A few comments:
* This lens is sold under a half-dozen brand names. The cheapest I could find was sold by Adorama. There was an older, inferior non-UMC version of this lens that was tested by a few reviewers. They're almost nonexistent on the used market. All new copies from any brand will be UMC.
* It's a somewhat wide and heavy lens. Not unduly so, but I find the ledge behind the hood tends to get stuck on the lens pockets in my Domke camera bag. You have to carry the top cap with you.
* There are no filters, nor ways to protect the front element. The only filter you'd really want at this focal would be a neutral density (ND) or graduated ND filter; polarizers will give inconsistent results across the frame. Given the extent to which you can beat on a file in Photoshop these days, I didn't find this loss objectionable.
* Optics are extraordinary. It's fairly sharp, edge to edge, at f/2.8. It's bitingly sharp everywhere by f/5.6. This lens ties the Zeiss 15/2.8 and Nikon 14-24/2.8 for the best edge performance of any full-frame ultrawide lens for any mount. Flare is present, but not overwhelming. Contrast is average for a prime. For the price and the focal, there isn't anything that comes close. Given a choice between this and Canon's 14/2.8 II, on pure performance, I'd choose this.
* Barrel distortion is significant and you will notice it with straight lines that extend the length of the frame. It's complex and not easily removed without a custom profile. Fortunately, two such profiles exist Adobe Camera Raw (ACR) and Lightroom. PT Lens is also capable of generating geometrically perfect corrections, though all methods will lose a bit of sharpness. I've linked the profiles in a comment.
* Build quality is fairly good. Nothing objectionable, quite solid. The aperture ring feels cheapish but adequate. The focus ring is extremely smooth, though the focus throw is about twice as long as it needs to be. To make small adjustments, you're often twisting it a quarter-turn or more. The distance scale on my copy was not accurate at all.
* Quality control is variable, but less than with more complex optical designs. My first copy had slight softness in one corner that merely dropped it to a level comparable to Canon's better L zooms.
All that said, I'm not completely sold on this lens as shipped. I miss autofocus. A lot. Depth of field at f/2.8 for close subjects is too thin to use hyperfocal techniques on my 5D II. I can get away with it at f/5.6 or f/8, but there's no way to verify focus through the viewfinder. A scene grossly out of focus manifests as a slight softness. A scene that appears sharp probably still isn't in focus, not really.
The distance scale is useless as shipped; you need to either pull the lens apart and reset it, shim the back, or draw your own marks for various distances after testing the lens out. The alternative is to use Live View to focus. The process is like so: compose through the VF, start Live View, magnify 10X, fiddle around for five or ten seconds, close Live View, reset your composition because you moved, and then take the picture. Fine for a landscape when you've got all the time in the world, but a total nonstarter for moving subjects.
The probable solution to this is to buy a focus confirmation chip. Or to buy the Nikon version and then a Canon EOS adapter with a confirmation chip integrated (which would broaden your market if you ever resold the lens). I can't vouch for how well those confirmation chips work, but that would at least stop you from being totally reliant on Live View for critical focus.
My take, then, is that this is not the best lens for high-stress situations. Professional event shooters would fare better with a 16-35/2.8L, Tokina's 16-28/2.8, or Canon's own 14/2.8L. But if you're willing to devote the extra moments to proper setup, the results from this Rokinon are as good as it gets.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars For the price, this is an amazing lens!,
Read what Ken Rockwell has to say about properly using an ultra-wide lens, or your photos will be pretty boring.
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