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Old 25-04-2012, 08:42 AM
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CapturingTheNight (Greg)
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Rokinon 14mm Lens

Hi all,
Wanted to start a discussion on what people think of this http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...gle_f_2_8.html lens or if you own one, do you like it.
I have an online fellow landscape astrophotographer in the US who has one and just posted a 100% crop of one of the corners of a shot with the lens wide open at F/2.8 showing no sign of coma at all. https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-c...03/rokinon.jpg Ignore the trailing as it is obviously done on a fixed tripod. Am I right in assuming that this lens is essentially the same as a Samyang 14mm just rebranded for the US market? I have been doing a bit of snooping around looking for reviews. Come across this comparison between a Canon 16-35mm L and the Samyang 14mm on a Canon 5D Mk II http://www.flickr.com/groups/canoneo...7624987632439/
The edge sharpness is what interests me most and if it is that good wide open with no sign of those dreaded seagulls, I'm very tempted. And at a quarter of the cost of something like the 16-25mm L. There are some obvious downsides like a third party brand meaning no AF and no software support, etc.

At the moment I am neither here nor there. Just wanting various opinions.
Cheers
Greg
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Old 25-04-2012, 10:58 AM
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colinmlegg (Colin)
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Hi Greg,

Yes, afaik the Rockinon is a just a rebranded Samyang also known as Wallimax in some quarters.

I have some experience with the lens having tested 5 last year for a multi day stitched pano timelapse project. Overall I found it great for the price, but there were some drawbacks.

1. Quality Control. Out of 5, I only got one that was sharp corner to corner.

2. Wavey distortion. The barrel distortion is complex and noticeable on a flat horizon.

3. Strong off axis flare - noticeable when the moon is near the edge or just out of frame.

4. Strong vignetting wide open

Those issues aside, the lens is excellent for the price (if you snag a sharp one). I compared it with the Canon 16-35 II at 16mm and Canon 14mm and corner sharpness was vastly better. It also compares well against the Nikon 14-24 - with adaptor on the 5D2.

If you're interested in probing further I can post some sample starscape images.

Cheers
Colin
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Old 25-04-2012, 12:37 PM
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iceman (Mike)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by colinmlegg View Post
I compared it with the Canon 16-35 II at 16mm and Canon 14mm and corner sharpness was vastly better.
I'm more interested in your thoughts about the Canon 16-35. What do you think about that one?
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Old 25-04-2012, 01:41 PM
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I'm more interested in your thoughts about the Canon 16-35. What do you think about that one?
Hi Mike,

I haven't used it much as I don't actually own one, but have hired it a couple of times. Overall it's very good, but its weakness (for astro) is soft corners wide open, especially at 16mm. The Nikon 14-24 with adaptor is much better in that regard. Flare (into the moon shots), however, is better controlled than with the 14-24.

Colin
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Old 25-04-2012, 05:53 PM
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CapturingTheNight (Greg)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by colinmlegg View Post
Hi Greg,

Yes, afaik the Rockinon is a just a rebranded Samyang also known as Wallimax in some quarters.

I have some experience with the lens having tested 5 last year for a multi day stitched pano timelapse project. Overall I found it great for the price, but there were some drawbacks.

1. Quality Control. Out of 5, I only got one that was sharp corner to corner.

2. Wavey distortion. The barrel distortion is complex and noticeable on a flat horizon.

3. Strong off axis flare - noticeable when the moon is near the edge or just out of frame.

4. Strong vignetting wide open

Those issues aside, the lens is excellent for the price (if you snag a sharp one). I compared it with the Canon 16-35 II at 16mm and Canon 14mm and corner sharpness was vastly better. It also compares well against the Nikon 14-24 - with adaptor on the 5D2.

If you're interested in probing further I can post some sample starscape images.

Cheers
Colin
Thank you so much for your thoughts on this lens Colin. I would certainly be interested in seeing some more shots done with this lens and a 5D Mk II (i'm running that camera too). Especially so, if they are star scapes. Where abouts would you recommend purchasing one from if I did decide to get one?
Cheers
Greg
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Old 25-04-2012, 06:10 PM
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I've got this lens. It goes by many names. Samyang is the manufacturer, but it's been rebranded as Rokinon, Vivitar, Bower, Pro Optic (that's what I got from Adorama) as far as I've seen.

I got it specifically because of that edge sharpness in reviews. While I haven't used it as extensively as Colin probably has, and haven't yet tested it for astro, I have the following comments in addition to Colin's:

- It's fully manual focus and manual aperture. Not a problem presumably for astro. I used liveview zoomed right in and it worked fine.

- As Colin mentions, the quality control is probably not up there with Canon etc. From reviews I've been reading, and mine is like this, the focus ring scale cannot be trusted. It shows focus distance, but in reality they're nowhere near right. Not a problem if you're ignoring it and focusing through the viewfinder by eye or using liveview, just something to be aware of.

- While I haven't experienced it, I can see the flare being a problem with bright light sources just out of frame. With a lens this wide, the hood (which is permanently fixed by the way) is very shallow. On top of that, the front lens glass is very rounded. ie looks like a fisheye if you've seen one. It's not a fisheye by definition, it's a rectilinear lens. But the glass looks deceptively like it.

- There is a bit of distortion, but I've found and downloaded a LightRoom profile that corrects it very well. I'm sure there'll be one for DPP or others. Just search around.

Here's a link to sample images. Mostly landscapes etc, but you get the idea. It's pretty popular.

http://photography-on-the.net/forum/...d.php?t=909272
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Old 25-04-2012, 06:50 PM
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Originally Posted by obsidianphotos View Post
Thank you so much for your thoughts on this lens Colin. I would certainly be interested in seeing some more shots done with this lens and a 5D Mk II (i'm running that camera too). Especially so, if they are star scapes. Where abouts would you recommend purchasing one from if I did decide to get one?
Cheers
Greg
No probs Greg. Maybe best if I send you a couple of RAW files? PM me your email and I'll send through via YouSendit - unless there is a spot on the forum to upload raw images? I'll send frames from the pano showing the variation between lenses.
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Old 25-04-2012, 07:04 PM
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Greg, I got mine from Adorama in the US. They've got the same lens branded as Bower and Pro Optic. Identical lens, but when I bought mine the Pro Optic one was a touch cheaper for some reason.
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Old 25-04-2012, 09:24 PM
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Where abouts would you recommend purchasing one from if I did decide to get one?
Cheers
Greg
Sorry forgot to say, I got mine in Germany. Was a bit of a rush last June and they were in short supply.

I've uploaded a couple of RAWs to yousendit. The files expire May 9. Both are from a 5 cam pano. LENS3 is the best of the bunch and pretty sharp edge to edge. LENS1 is more representative of the others - a bit soft on the right edge and corner.

As Troy mentioned, infinity is a long way from the infinity notch and varies from lens to lens. Once I found it I taped each lens to lock it down.

http://www.yousendit.com/download/M3...eDN0QTNLd01UQw
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Old 26-04-2012, 06:45 AM
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Thank you so much Troy and Colin I really appreciate your thoughts on this. Sorry for not getting back to you earlier Colin. I'm on holidays at the moment and I seem to have less time on my hands than if I was working Just had a look at those files you sent. Thank you so much for doing that. I can certainly see what you mean about the vignetting, but the star performance at the edges of even the "soft" version of the lens looks very promissing. I think I will give this lens a shot and hopefully bag a good version. For 400 dollars or so, I haven't got much to loose really.
Thanks again guys
Cheers
Greg
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Old 26-04-2012, 07:16 AM
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For 400 dollars or so, I haven't got much to loose really.
Where are you getting it from?
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Old 26-04-2012, 07:35 AM
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CapturingTheNight (Greg)
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Where are you getting it from?
Not sure yet Mike. Everywhere I have seen them so far has them for pretty much the same price, so I'll do some more shopping around and try and find a trusted dealer. Even if I have to pay a bit more for shipping, I will, to make sure it arrives safe.
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Old 26-04-2012, 07:57 AM
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Here is a link to Photozone.de who is a good source for lens reviews.

He is normally pretty harsh in his scoring so I was surprised with the 4 star rating. It gets a very good review.

http://www.photozone.de/canon_eos_ff...8eosff?start=2

There are several sellers on ebay:

http://www.ebay.com.au/sch/i.html?_f...All-Categories


Greg
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Old 26-04-2012, 08:10 AM
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One thing I meant to mention is that because of the shape of the lens and permanent front hood, you can't use filters - screw in, grads etc. I believe there are some DIY methods, if that's the way you roll.
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Old 27-04-2012, 09:46 AM
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CapturingTheNight (Greg)
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One thing I meant to mention is that because of the shape of the lens and permanent front hood, you can't use filters - screw in, grads etc. I believe there are some DIY methods, if that's the way you roll.
Thanks again Troy. Yeah I noticed that downside pretty early on in my research. I hardly ever use filters on my lenses when night shooting anyway. Find they generally introduce even more image artifacts.
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