71 of 73 people found the following review helpful
A hidden gem - awesome lens.,
This review is from: Rokinon 85M-N 85mm F1.4 Aspherical Lens for Nikon (Black) (Electronics)
I had really never heard of this company or their lens until I happened upon a few web threads from various forums, specifically fredmiranda and dpreview.
After seeing some amazing images posted from owners of pretty much every camera brand and seeing great bokeh and sharpness comparison shots, I knew I had to get one.
Just got it today (April 13) and it's awesome, awesome, awesome, especially given the price.
I'm using my lens on a D700.
OPTICS - Outstanding. Seriously. I started shooting this thing wide open at f/1.4 and it's just great. Before this lens, one of my more enjoyable lenses was the outstanding Nikon 105mm f/2.5 AI-S. I think this lens, though, beats it. It's a more comfortable length for me, and the build quality is pretty high - and the bokeh is just amazing.
Did I say amazing? How about just delicious. Creamy, smooth, great transitions from focus to unfocused areas. It's great after some initial testing and already I have a shot of my young daughter that is frame-worthy (straight from the D700 using RAW and "normal" profile).
BUILD QUALITY - Well, you don't get something for nothing, but you can come very close with this lens. It looks like it's a combination of heavy plastic and metal. The focus ring is of adequate size and mine has absolutely no play in it - damping is pretty good. And hurray for Nikon, Rokinon made the lens focus the "right" way, so that AF confirmation in your camera is going to match which way you actually need to turn the lens.
The lens hood is probably the weakest part - it's pretty flimsy, cheap, falls off too easy and is hard to line up to reverse for storage. But hey, this thing is dirt cheap and gives amazing, inspiring results. A Sigma-type lens cap (pinch on edges, not center) and cheesy felt carrying bag round out the deal. I also don't like how thin the aperture ring is, but I don't plan on stopping down all that often, so it's of no concern and I think I'll get used to it (I'm used to my 105 AIS).
If you have a Nikon body that will meter with AIS lenses (D300, D700 and up, maybe D200?), this lens deserves your attention. Don't be afraid of MF - it's not as easy as autofocus, but with practice it becomes pretty darn easy, especially with the AF confirmation and having a large viewfinder with D700+ camera models. Awesome lens.