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183 of 189 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

versus
187 of 217 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars It COULD be a great lens... but this lens will EAT YOUR DUST!
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,...
Published on June 8, 2012 by Derek C. Doublin


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183 of 189 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best wide angle primes at a bargain price.I, August 15, 2010
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 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.
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99 of 107 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sharpest lens I ever used, but check for issues, May 23, 2011
By 
J. Kim (Orlando, FL USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This is the new version with the auto-exposure chip (only for Nikon mount) and UMC coating. My impressions:

Pros:
-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

Cons:
-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).

Some considerations:
-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.

UPDATE:
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.
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187 of 217 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars It COULD be a great lens... but this lens will EAT YOUR DUST!, June 8, 2012
By 
Derek C. Doublin "Give me ALL the THINGS!" (Oklahoma City, Oklahoma United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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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.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Almost Perfect, February 28, 2014
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This lens is wonderful. It is one of the top rated nightscape lenses that is currently available on the market. Here is what I have found:

Pros:
1. This lens is cheaper by orders of magnitude over similar lenses. To get a fast prime lens like this usually costs upwards of $2000, for a mere fraction of that price this lens blows away the competition.

2. Sharp. This lens has great optics and takes sharp pictures corner to corner by f/8. Wide open it is is a little softer in the corners, but that is just how it goes, unless you want to spend $5000 that probably won't change.

3. Almost no Coma or Chromatic Aberration. For those who don't know, coma is when points of light appear as streaks or smears. The only time this is really encountered in a practical situation is when you are photographing stars. Even on the much more expensive canon and nikon lenses the corner stars appear as ugly streaks, this lens has some of the best coma correction available

Cons:
1. Fully manual. This may or may not be a con for you, but in the age of auto-focus, and auto everything, it certainly takes some getting used to. My first 20 pictures with this lens all looked terrible because I was focusing wrong and underexposing. Once I spent some time learning how to properly use a manual lens those problems disappeared.

2. Distortion. This is not really a good lens for architecture. There is rather significant mustache distortion in this lens. This can be corrected in post processing by finding the correct lens profiles online, but that is not ideal if you are photographing buildings and man made structures for a living. However that being said, if you use this lens for landscapes, nightscapes, or pretty much anything that isn't architecture then you will never notice the distortion and shouldn't worry about it.

3.. Focus scale is off. This is the only reason I gave this lens 4 stars instead of 5. From reading around this seems to be a common problem with these lenses. For some reason the focus distance scale is not set correctly. If you google this lens you can easily find a guide to correcting the focus ring and setting it to the correct distances. However upon doing this I found out that it is actually more subtle than just a wrong distance scale. With my particular lens I found that I obtained maximum sharpness for objects ~1mile away when I set the distance scale to between the 7ft and 10ft marking on the lens. This is quite a ways away from where the infinity mark is. However at night when attempting to photograph the stars, I found that I obtained maximum sharpness of the stars with the focus set slightly past infinity. Most of the time one would expect that 1 mile is essentially infinity when it comes to lenses, but for some reason there is a huge difference between 1 mile and infinity. Once I conducted enough tests and examined the test shots at 100% I was able to use simple masking tape to re-label my lens for the correct positions for various situations. It should be noted that this is really only an issue if you are shooting wide open at f/2.8. By f/8 everything will be razor sharp and in focus no matter where you set your focal point due to the enormity of the depth of field of such a wide angle lens.
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81 of 98 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Value - the best in its class, November 10, 2010
By 
Sanity Advocate (Houston, TX United States) - See all my reviews
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I purchased this lens several months ago to use on my Canon 5d mark 1 camera. This is by far the sharpest, most flare-and color fringing-resistant lens in its class. I owned the Nikon 14-24mm lens and this lowly lens beats the Nikon hands down on all counts, exept vignetting (easily correctable in Photoshop) and distortion - but get a PT Lens software, which has this lens correction pre-programmed in its database and distortion becomes a non-issue.

Advantages:

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.

Disadvantages:

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.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 14mm makes a huge difference, August 13, 2013
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I currently have the A99 with the Zeiss 24-70mm. I love using the Zeiss at 24mm for my wide shots but then I rented the Zeiss 16-35mm lens and that lens at 16mm gave me a whole new perspective of the "world" I was shooting. And then I put on the Rokinon 14mm on my A99 and wow. The 2mm difference between the Rokinon and the Zeiss at 16mm actually noticeable (12%).

For landscapes or seascapes, this lens is just an absolute must - especially when you frame your shot with objects in the foreground, this lens will grab all the foreground subjects and set the stage for the scenery in the background. You will NOT get the "look" you get from this 14mm on a 24mm lens. You just can't. If you think your 24mm is the ideal landscape lens, you will be shocked at what you've been missing with the 14mm.

The lens is very sharp. I would say the sweet spot is somewhere between f/8 and f/11 but I tend to set mine at f/16 for landscape shots.

This lens is a manual lens. It does not have an "autofocus" feature. If you are looking for an ultra-wide lens with an autofocus feature, please just buy a point-and-shoot camera because any professional landscape photographer will tell you you must manually focus your landscape shots in order to get the sharpest pictures. There's just no need for autofocus for this type of lens so stop using this as a reason to not get this lens.

The only downside I see about this lens is the inability to put a filter on it. I can't even use my Cokin filter adapter on it and it's mainly due to the "bulb" shaped glass in the front. For seascape shots, this may be a tough call especially when you're trying to cut through the water in order to capture rocks, etc. Don't get me wrong. You can certainly use this lens for seascape shots but don't expect the shots to look like the ones you're used to using a lens with a polarizer. But again, not all seascape shots require a polarizer.

At this point, I will NOT be buying the Zeiss 16-35mm f/2.8 lens. First, it's cost over $1,600 and I would probably only use it at the 16mm focal length the majority of the time. With that said, why not go 2mm shorter to absorb even more into your short with a lens that is just as sharp (yes, you read that right).
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Much love for this little lens., February 18, 2014
By 
Jeff Kraus (Orlando, FL USA) - See all my reviews
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Okay look, this lens isn't quite the walk-on-water miracle that many people are making it out to be. However, it is a fantastic little lens that can make a great addition to your kit if you know how to use it. It could also be a dust-collecting monument to buyer's remorse. That's up to you.

Using the lens to its fullest capability can be hard. I'm saying that not as a professional photographer, but as an amateur photographer that has had one SLR or another in his hands since 1992. So I've got the experience under my belt, just not the paid gigs. Or some might say, the talent. Still though, I know my way around a camera. And this lens still took me a while to get used to.

Especially hard is any type of focus at or around f/2.8, given the all-manual nature of the lens. Live View, even at 10x magnification, on the 5D Mark III sometimes does not provide enough zoom to accurately gauge focus (luckily, it does help when the subject is close to the camera - a situation that is likely if you're shooting at f/2.8). And besides, I'm not a big fan of Live View anyway because it messes up your flow by pulling your eye away from the viewfinder, making you press buttons to zoom, etc. By then the moment may have passed.

Where it really shines is in that f/5.6 to f/8 sweet spot, where you can dial in to the hyperfocal distance and just go nuts. I put a chart up a while back that shows for any given aperture, where to set the focus to reach the hyperfocal point, and what the minimum focus distance is at that point (for full-frame and for 1.6x crops). Googling the phrase "Jitterypixel Rokinon" should get you there. Once your aperture and focus is dialed in based on that chart, it will tell you how far away your subjects need to be.

For this reason, hyperfocal shooting is a bit backwards from normal lens operation: instead of aiming at a subject and attempting to focus on it, you're setting the focus and then framing the subject accordingly. Until you get accustomed to operating like this, you may find that you have a lot of stuff that looks slightly out of focus when viewed at 100% on your computer, especially if you don't have much experience with fully manual lenses. It can take some practice.

Corner sharpness (in full-frame) is not as unbelievably insanely amazing as some have touted, but it is definitely workable. Honestly, the distortion is so bad by the time you hit the corners, sharpness is the last thing you're thinking about. You're thinking that the old lady you accidentally caught in the corner of the frame is melting into the sidewalk. Center sharpness is pretty great, and the lens responds well to the judicious use of sharpening in post. Most of the distortion can be corrected (at the cost of a few pixels around the outer edges) for free using the lens profile available for both ACR and Lightroom (the page that I mentioned above also includes info for how to get that profile, and a couple of before-after photos).

Gloss-over stuff that I won't spend too much time on because hundreds of reviews before me have already gone into great detail: The build quality seems excellent, especially considering the price point. The focus is smooth and well-damped, and you won't be able to use a screw-on filter because of the lens shape and the fact that it would have to be HUGE in order to not get in the way of the ridiculously wide angle of view. The solid lens cap attaches to the permanent petal hood, and protects the glass very well.

Final word of caution: Do not under any circumstances position any female (ESPECIALLY wife or girlfriend) around the outside portion of the frame when shooting. Doing so will likely jeopardize your permission to ever photograph said female again in the future. Ever.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I love it on my D600!, December 29, 2013
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I could not be happier with this lens. I downloaded adobe's lens profile for it (Nikon D700 samyang 14mm f11) and the complex distortion is a thing of the past. This profile works pretty well with most full frame cameras. A friend of mine uses it with his 5DMk3. This lens is super sharp, even wide open. Coma is nearly nonexistent when shooting the stars at night. It reads f/2 in my camera, and the focus indicator works. The dof is pretty huge even wide open unless you're near the minimum focus distance. The focus ring is smooth as silk with a good amount of resistance, and the aperture ring is smooth as well. I would highly recommend this lens!!
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31 of 38 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!, October 15, 2011
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For the past six months, I have debated on this lens. For one, its a Samyang lens rebranded to Rokinon, Bower, Bell & Howell to name a few (and thus, keep an eye on the various prices as you will find one lower than the other) but the Rokinon price dropped for a few days and it was time to strike.

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:

A. UNPACKAGING

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.

B. TEST

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

JUDGMENT CALL:

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.
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50 of 63 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Multiple copies before a good one, March 18, 2012
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.
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