Top critical review
266 people found this helpful
It COULD be a great lens... but this lens will EAT YOUR DUST!
on June 8, 2012
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.