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on October 17, 2016
When I first ordered this lens I knew I was excited for a 1.4 aperture. I need to do faster lens that was going to be great for my portraits. I was very hesitant about the manual focus but the focus chip made it quite easy! It's pretty hard to hit the focus at 1.4 anyway but when you do it is absolutely stunning! This lens has already made it through seven family shoots this fall!
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on August 10, 2016
I wanted to wait to do a thorough test of this lens before I wrote my review. I will try to keep it short.....
First off, for the price you pay, the build quality of this lens is amazing. In my opinion, nothing about this lens feels cheap. Others reviews say that the lens hood feel cheap, I don't know if they are referring to an earlier model (gold lettering) but the newer one (red ring), is amazing. Also, other reviews have stated that the focus ring is stiff. I can vouch and say that this is true. It is not smooth as other brands. What I did to smooth mine out was constantly turning the focus ring. I think it just needs to be "broken in". Don't get me wrong, I am not saying that you will need a monkey wrench to use the focusing ring, I am just letting you know that it is not as smooth as other manufacturers focus ring.

Now for picture quality: this lens should have been labeled an F2.0 lens instead of f1.4. At f1.4 the picture is soft. At first, I thought I forgot how to manually focus. This was not the case since I have several manual focus Minolta lens. Luckily, by f2.0 the image sharpens up. I thought that I had a bad copy, but if you google "Rokinon 85 f1.4 soft at f1.4", you will get several sites where people have stated the same thing.I am not sure if this is QC thing at the plant since some people say that the lens is sharp wide open. Maybe I just had a bad copy.

Lastly, I there's a chipped version and a non-chipped version. I am guessing that the ones made for Nikon and Canon are the chipped ones that gives focus confirmation. I have the Sony E-mount version and I can say that this does not have it. So, with all of that, why didn't I rate this lower? Well, when you factor the price and the value that you are getting, I can overlook it short comings at f1.4. If it started sharpening up at f3ish, then I would have been more upset. If you are a professional, I can't recommend this lens to you. Hopes this review helps, sorry for the length.

I've included photos of a focus chart. I focused on the center. The camera was put on a tripod with a two (2) second delay. The last two images, I just took a photo of one of my manual lens (handheld). All photos were cropped, and no enhancement was done to photos.
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55 comments| 66 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on August 14, 2015
I am a beginning photographer, and I purchased this lens to force myself to learn how to use a manual focus and aperture lens. I won't comment on image quality for this lens, as many other professional photographers -- who know what they're doing -- have already done so, and my abilities will be the limiting factor in my photographs for a long while yet.

However, I will make some comments on the build quality of the lens, as there have been some confusing comments here. I've read quite a few reviews here and elsewhere stating that the hood is cheap. It's possible Rokinon has improved the quality since those reviews were written, but the hood I received with the lens is actually very thick, hard plastic. It is the most well-built feeling of any hood I have. Compared to a Zeiss lens hood that I have, it is thicker and feels like it would take a much harder hit. The mount of the hood is inferior to my Sigma mount, but identical to the Zeiss. No concerns at all about the hood. For the price of this lens, it is phenomenal.

The front lens cap -- it is rather thin, but I don't think it would break (unless you drop the lens on concrete). However, the punch travel is very minimal and I find it difficult to put the cap on while the hood is on. I have small hands, and I suspect anyone with normal or large hands would have even greater difficulty. You might want to pick up another lens cap for this reason.

Back lens cap -- this is barely functional. Definitely recommend purchasing another e mount rear lens cap. It works, but it does not screw on tightly, I would be legitimately concerned about it falling off in travel, leaving the rear element exposed to scratch or worse.

Lens itself -- fantastic build quality. Metal, very hard plastic or rubber. Focusing ring is rubber, mount adapter is either aluminum (or something similar) or plastic -- it's painted and hard to tell. And yes, this IS NOT a native E mount lens, it comes with an adapter. The specs appear to be wrong -- this lens is 4 inches long, maybe 3.9. I believe it is Canon mount, and the adapter has to be large to compensate for flange difference. Aperture ring is just metal with some grips, but in my opinion, would be much better with rubberized grips instead of painted metal. Overall, I am not concerned with the lens itself being damaged during normal use. It is better built than most other lenses for Sony E Mount.
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on February 8, 2015
I wish I could have great things to say here, but I'm afraid you get what you pay for in this case. The lens is decent enough, but I see issues. I shot a couple of basketball games (indoor) and the resolution and speed are as expected. It took a few to get used to the focus indicator, and I found myself loosing shots because of taking my attention away.

The big issue is the chromatic apparitions when shooting against or near brighter lights. Sometime green, sometimes magenta... They are significant. Took some post processing to take that out. Would be nice if there were a Lightroom profile for this lens too. I searched around (using the other brand names this lens has too) and couldn't find a match.

It's just an ok lens, I should have saved for the Nikon 85mm.
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on March 4, 2014
This lens is awesome. Sacrificed the auto focus for better optics and slightly bigger aperture and is definitely worth it. It's a bit on the heavy side so be prepared for a workout. It is well built, the focus ring is super smooth... Stop reading reviews and buy it. This will end up making you a better photographer anyway. Since you have to manually focus it, you have to force yourself to slowdown for your shots. Why are you still reading? Just click add to cart already.

***UPDATE***

I decided to get a focus confirmation chip and wallah, pure perfection. This bad boy is still pretty heavy, but definitely worth the buy. Get the F/C Chips off ebay though ($20ish bucks). Make sure it's the complete kit. I bought one off here and it was only the chip. Took me a few hours to get the chip right on its mark. Once installed, focus was spot on and could not have been happier. This is being used on a 70D and 50D with Magic Lantern. Also, stop it down to F/2 and just leave it there, using it wide open caused some aberrations especially on something bright or near white. Just because it's a 1.4 doesn't mean you have to use it at that. The lens hood has a cheap feel and sounds like cheap plastic when you put it on. Other than that, this is a great lens and I will invest in other Rokinon Lenses.
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on May 24, 2015
I bought the Sony A mount version of this lens for my a77 which is an aps-c camera. As Sony users know, the lack of autofocus is not a deal-breaker because of the electronic viewfinder's peaking level feature which shows you exactly what is in focus. You can even see the depth of field change as you stop it down. What I didn't realize however was that with the a77 it seems that the in-body stabilization doesn't work. (same with the a65 no doubt) From my research however I learned that the a77ii is able to stabilize lenses such as this one. It would have been nice to have without having to buy a new camera.
It takes very nice pictures though. I had never owned a fast telephoto lens before (which is what this is on a crop sensor camera) and it was fun to go out to the park and take shots of people playing baseball and dogs catching frisbees and to freeze the action at 1/2000 second. It's fairly soft at f/1.4 and I wouldn't use it there, but it's a lot sharper stopped one click down to f/2.0, which ain't bad. By f/2.8 it's nearly perfect, according to published tests. I also found out that this lens isn't recognized by DxO software, so any aberrations are up to you to fix yourself. Fortunately there aren't very many.
I'm still debating whether it would have been better to buy the Sony 85mm f/2.8, or even the Nikon 85mm f/1.8, which looks like it would be a great lens for my d7100 but at twice the price. I was actually just about to buy the Sony when they suddenly jacked the price up by $30 or so, and I just as suddenly changed my mind and got the Rokinon. I'm still debating if that was the right move. While the Sony is "almost" as sharp and "almost" as bright as the Rokinon, albeit more cheap and plastic-y, it would have in-body stabilization, exif data, and autofocus, which you don't miss until they're gone.
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on July 14, 2013
The quality of this lens is amazing for the price. Yes, you will have to manually focus it, just a little practice is all you need to master this in no time.

I used this with a Canon T2i, T3i, and 60D in various setups and it worked quite well for both video and photography.

Some cheap tips:

If you are taking a photo of a person at f1.4, focus on the the closest part of their face to you and the camera, this will allow a more natural looking photo as the detail falls off due to the very narrow DOF.

Go to f4.0 - 5.6 for a fuller all in focus photo of the face.

Sports? You bet, no problem, high shutter (at least 250) and find a focus point where you anticipate the action will be.

Interviews - Perfect!

Concerts - Exceptional in low light, stage shots are amazing.

Rack Focus - This lens has a near perfect diameter focus ring for manual rack focusing on people and objects. Again, practice and you will have it down.
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on June 23, 2014
Samsung is still on the bottom end of the popularity polls in terms of the newer compact mirrorless system cameras. Although, their newer flagship cameras are getting some good feedback. I love my NX300 but my only issue with it is that Samsung doesn't really have many third party lenses, so you better be expecting to dish out some good money to spend on the Samsung brand lenses. And my experience with the Samsung lenses have been amazing so far, but there was no way I could justify spending $900 on the 85mm prime lens.

That's where this Rokinon version comes in. It's SUPER FAST with a f/1.4 aperture. You get some insane 'bokeh' in your shots at wide open and portraits look crisp and clear. The quality of the lens is superb. For such a low budget lens, the build quality is durable and looks and feels like a much much higher priced lens.

There are of course, some downsides. Although I appreciate the build quality, the weight of the lens is pretty massive and it tends to weigh me down quite a bit. Now, it's better than carrying around a DSLR AND a heavy lens at the same time, but it looks and feels so clunky on my rather compact NX300.
Weight aside, the lens is MANUAL FOCUS ONLY. I know some people gave it low stars just because of that, but note, if it doesn't say "AUTO FOCUS" then it's a manual lens. Always. "Automated" does not mean "AUTO FOCUS". Just know that for future reference.

But really, the pros and cons are quite a short list. If you're a professional photographer, maybe that list is longer, but I'm sure even pros will absolutely love this lens. One thing is for sure, you HAVE TO KNOW HOW TO SHOOT MANUAL. There's no way around it. If you think this lens does not deliver on quality of images, you are not using it right. Plain and simple. This is coming from an amateur photo enthusiast. I do my homework. And I will say, I've taken some of my best out of camera shots with this lens! I don't really recommended for "portraits" like of family and children, however. It is better for macro photography and close ups. But if you want a super blurred background, this lens delivers on that exceptionally well. I can't compare it to the $900 Samsung equivalent, but for $600 less, I'll say it's a pretty damn good deal.
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on May 17, 2014
Before you get confused: this is not an Ultra Wide lens as the seller described! It's a telephoto lens, 85mm on FF, and a great and unique about 128mm on the APS sensor. I needed a really fast, sharp medium telephoto lens using on my Fujifilm x-e2 camera for portraits, especially for stage photography at low light. There is only a few choices out there for this particular purpose and the prices are steep. Initially I was sceptical about this "minor" brand at suspiciously low price but after reading some reviews I decided to give a shot and I don't regret at all. At first I don't see a single con. It's more than a decent glass, fast, strongly built, sharp already wide open, feels and looks great in the hand nothing less than major brand top-notch lenses. I've been spoiled by using hi-end Zeiss, Leica, Canon, Nikon, Minolta etc. glass for decades and I don't feel this one as a downgrade. At work it gives me incredible confidence. So much confidence, I smile at the competition rumbling around me with multi-thousands bucks "great whites" and flashes, turn theirselves the main attraction of the event. I know if we compare the results they'd be crushed. Not because mine is much better but equal hands down. The focusing is tight, smooth and accurate, aparture ring has a sure click, half stops are enough for me. All my images turn out great, sharp, contrasty with very narrow DOF, the bokeh is outstanding. Yes, here is no zoom, no autofocus, no image stabilizer but these are no issues for me or any real photographer with "old school" training. If you have money to burn and expect your gear cooking breakfast by pushing a button, seek somewhere else. If you want to get the best out of minimal equipment by work, talent and knowledge it's a magic tool at a ridiculously low price. Humble is good!!! I'd recommend to use a light monopod in some cases and a top quality UV filter like B+W nano or Heliopan all the time. I also replaced the plastic lens hood with an aftermarket metal screw-in type.

László
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on April 18, 2015
Nicely constructed lens. Mounts perfectly on A7ii. Smooth focus and nice action on aperture ring. My copy allows a slight twist beyond 1.4; doesn't seem to change position of aperture blades. There's some softness at 1.4 as you might expect, but that clears up nicely when stopped down slightly. Chromatic aberration is definitely present and the lens renders colors a bit warm. I wouldn't recommend shooting JPEGs with this due to the post processing required to get the best results out of it, but I doubt many people interested in a manual focus lens are JPEG shooters anyway. For the price, the results are just terrific and the lens is a pleasure to use.
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