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John Mitchell

Rokinon 12mm lens

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Does anyone have any experience with the Rokinon 12mm f/2 e-mount lens (apparently it's the same as Samyang and Bower)?

 

This lens costs less than half of the Sony 10-18mm and Zeiss WA offerings, plus it gets some very good reviews. There is also a 14mm version that is $100 cheaper. I believe Fuji and other mounts are available as well.

Edited by John Mitchell

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Hmm. I always get a bit nervous when I see "Great for the Price" in a review . . . and do you know if this lens has autofocus or not? There was a day when AF was not important to me but my eyesight doesn't seem to be getting better. 

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Hmm. I always get a bit nervous when I see "Great for the Price" in a review . . . and do you know if this lens has autofocus or not? There was a day when AF was not important to me but my eyesight doesn't seem to be getting better. 

 

It's a manual focus lens, Edo, which is probably fine for an ultra wide angle due to the huge depth of field. Also, Sony's "focus-peaking" makes manual focusing relatively easy (with some practice needed, I'm discovering).

 

This reviewer liked the Rokinon a lot.

Edited by John Mitchell

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I'm a bit apprehensive about that (even after having spent a lifetime shooting manual). I had the Touit 2.8/12 for 5 days days and returned it because the AF would not stop hunting. I had thought at the time that I might keep it and just shoot manual. But paying $750 for a lens with a built-in design flaw was just a bridge too far. I really do need a vary-wide. 

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I'm a bit apprehensive about that (even after having spent a lifetime shooting manual). I had the Touit 2.8/12 for 5 days days and returned it because the AF would not stop hunting. I had thought at the time that I might keep it and just shoot manual. But paying $750 for a lens with a built-in design flaw was just a bridge too far. I really do need a vary-wide. 

 

I've been experimenting a bit with "heritage" MF lenses, and they definitely are easier to focus manually on my Sony NEX's than lenses designed for AF. The Rokinon might be worth a look-see given that you are located in NYC near B&H and Adorama. The price is right if it's as good as the reviews say. Finding alternative brands is really tough here in Vancouver. Most stores carry only the big-name brands. Let me know what you think if you do decide to check the Rokinon out.

 

I'm currently using the Sony 16mm with the Sony 0.75x conversion lens for the occasional ultra-wide shot. The results are surprisingly good (see below) if you're careful. The centre area is sharp even at f/2.8 (edges best at f/5.6+). It would be nice to have a "real" ultra wide lens, though. Unfortunately, the 10-18 is beyond my budget (or lack thereof).

 

 

gumhead-sculpture-by-douglas-coupland-ou

Edited by John Mitchell

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I've also considered the Rokinon, and have no problems with the lack of auto focus on a lens of this type. The fact that it is designed for E mount makes it compact. Good to see the distance scale!

 

Suffering from APS/FF procrastination at the moment. If I thought that Sony was serious about the smaller format would probably have bought one by now. Might have to go to NYC in January, and if that coincides with a Sony announcement on the a7000, could be tempted to buy.

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I've also considered the Rokinon, and have no problems with the lack of auto focus on a lens of this type. The fact that it is designed for E mount makes it compact. Good to see the distance scale!

 

Suffering from APS/FF procrastination at the moment. If I thought that Sony was serious about the smaller format would probably have bought one by now. Might have to go to NYC in January, and if that coincides with a Sony announcement on the a7000, could be tempted to buy.

 

Some reviews of the Rokinon/Samyang do mention CA and the dreaded purple fringing. However, that's almost always an issue with UWA lenses. I find that the NEX-6's in-camera CA correction takes care of things very well, even with the Sony 16mm and UWA conversion lens combo. No doubt LR does a good job in the CA correction department as well.

 

Knowing Sony, by the time you get to NYC, they'll be touting the a8000. B)

Edited by John Mitchell

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If this is the same as the Samyang 12mm f2 MF lens, David Kilpatrick givs it a very good review in the latest edition of Cameracraft magazine.

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If this is the same as the Samyang 12mm f2 MF lens, David Kilpatrick givs it a very good review in the latest edition of Cameracraft magazine.

 

Same lens as far as I know. Also branded as "Bower." Is this review available online?

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This 12mm is starting to sound better and better. 

 

Bryan, make sure you visit Adorama as well as B&H here in the city. They have improved their store operation greatly in the last few years. 

 

While thinking about getting a super-wide, selling most everything I have, and maybe buying an a6000 (I'm a confused person), I think I may have changed my mind about selling my NEX-7. It would not get a good price at this stage, and if I would use it more often my idea that it is not user-friendly would probably go away; when I was using it all the time, it was just fine.  :)

 

I've only had one image with purple fringing that LR5 could not completely fix. It was a shot with the RX10 at 24mm, backlight through trees. I cropped the problem out.

 

This is it, cropped a bit: 

 

senior-asian-man-sleeping-on-bench-while

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If this is the same as the Samyang 12mm f2 MF lens, David Kilpatrick givs it a very good review in the latest edition of Cameracraft magazine.

 

Same lens as far as I know. Also branded as "Bower." Is this review available online?

 

 

John,

 

I have not seen David's review on line, but I have found this one from Lenstip:

 

http://www.lenstip.com/404.9-Lens_review-Samyang_12_mm_f_2.0_NCS_CS_Ghosting_and_flares.html

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I'm wondering, Peter, since you've not yet read David K's review of this budget 12mm, why you feel it is a good one? Sometimes 8 points might be positive in a review while one or two negatives -- could be a deal-breaker. 

 

Adorama is selling this 12mm NCS CS for just $309 today!

 

And has anyone noticed there is also a Rokinon 14mm?  

Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 ED

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I'm wondering, Peter, since you've not yet read David K's review of this budget 12mm, why you feel it is a good one? Sometimes 8 points might be positive in a review while one or two negatives -- could be a deal-breaker. 

 

Adorama is selling this 12mm NCS CS for just $309 today!

 

And has anyone noticed there is also a Rokinon 14mm?  

Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 ED

 

 

Yup, I mentioned the 14mm version in my original post. It might actually be a better choice for architecture. Positive review here.

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Adorama price very tempting!

 

Isn't the 14 a FF lens so a bit of a heavy lump? OK for interiors with a tripod, but not for carrying around.

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I notice that B&H is matching the price, Bryan. I just spotted the 14mm, didn't read about it yet. Surely I don't need both.

 

I'm going to try to trade in my Sony E 30 3.5 macro, a good lens, for the 12mm. I own the 24 Sony/Zeiss, which focuses to 6.5". 

Edited by Ed Rooney

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Adorama price very tempting!

 

Isn't the 14 a FF lens so a bit of a heavy lump? OK for interiors with a tripod, but not for carrying around.

 

You might have a point there. The 14mm does look like a bit of a lump.

 

Very tempting. If I lived in the Big Apple, buying the 12mm at that price would be a no-brainer. It is virtually impossible to find in Canada.

 

Shall see what Santa has to say...

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I notice that B&H is matching the price, Bryan. I just spotted the 14mm, didn't read about it yet. Surely I don't need both.

 

I'm going to try to trade in my Sony E 30 3.5 macro, a good lens, for the 12mm. I own the 24 Sony/Zeiss, which focuses to 6.5". 

 

Thanks for the tip. I've always had good luck with B&H. With shipping to Canada and exchange rate, it would be over $400 CAN. Still a good deal, though.

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I'm wondering, Peter, since you've not yet read David K's review of this budget 12mm, why you feel it is a good one? Sometimes 8 points might be positive in a review while one or two negatives -- could be a deal-breaker. 

 

Adorama is selling this 12mm NCS CS for just $309 today!

 

And has anyone noticed there is also a Rokinon 14mm?  

Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 ED

 

 

Hi Edo,

 

Just to clarify, David’s review was not in fact a formal review of the lens.  It was an article entitled “Wide Choice” in which the 12mm f2 Rokinon lens was discussed along with a “Skink pinhole f110” (don’t ask).

 

To briefly summarize what David had to say about the 12mm f2:

 

  1.  £300 in UK and $399 in US.  Not a trivial price for a manual lens with no focus confirmation chip, aperture control or EXIF data. But, optically it compares with Zeiss Touit 12mm f2.8 at about twice the price.
  2. Focussing is easy at max. aperture where focus peaking switches on and off sharply.   Then you can close down to f8 or f11 if you want to.
  3. David found that an exposure increase of 0.5 to 1 stop was needed to avoid dark results.
  4. Tested on a NEX 6 slightly soft corners at f2 but at f2.8 was sharper and had better geometry than the Zeiss Touit 12mm f2.8
  5. Feels great in the hand.  Manageable size, 67mm filters.
  6. Compared to a vintage 18mm f2.8 Nikkor, it is low contrast and has cool color rendering.  Benefits from using a more colourful camera setting, or using a polariser.
  7. Moderate level of barrel distortion, needs a setting of about 8 in ACR lens correction.
  8. Has minimal CA and the vignetting adds to most shots.
  9. It is on a higher technical level than the Rokinon 14mm f2.8 ultawide for full frame, which has complex “moustache” distortion and is not as sharp.
  10. Weighs 245gms and focuses down to 20cm.
  11. Fine for APS-C but not for full frame.
  12. Lens construction provides a flat field from close up to infinity.

Trust this helps, I am thinking about getting one for my Olympus M5, so if you get one, I will be interested to hear how it performs.

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Thanks a lot, Peter. Food for thought, yes. Deal breakers? Could be.

 

I have to take two mental walks before visiting Adorama. On one path I walk around the city finding views that must be captured with a 12mm lens. The other path allows me viewing that is never wider than the 24mm on my RX10. I've own a lot of lenses in my life and the extreme ones, long and short, got very little use. So . . . which is the Yellow Brick Road? 

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Thanks a lot, Peter. Food for thought, yes. Deal breakers? Could be.

 

I have to take two mental walks before visiting Adorama. On one path I walk around the city finding views that must be captured with a 12mm lens. The other path allows me viewing that is never wider than the 24mm on my RX10. I've own a lot of lenses in my life and the extreme ones, long and short, got very little use. So . . . which is the Yellow Brick Road? 

 

It is about a couple of months since I got that magazine and since then I have been down that yellow brick road and came back home before getting to the end.

 

In the Olympus system the 12mm is 24mm EFL, and I already have a very high quality f2.8 zoom that does that, not to mention the RX10 which does it too.  I rarely wish that I had something wider.

 

On your NEX it would be 18mm EFL.    If I lived in NYC, the architecture would be telling me I need that.

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Okay, I've made a decision. I've found my Yellow Brick Road. At $309 the price is almost irresistible . . . but resist I shall. I'm not gonna do it, not gonna buy it. You may well be interested in the logic behind my thinking that formed my decision on this matter. Well, it was not logic. It was not science, mathematics or art either. It was that old standby, something we can always count on in a pinch: rationalization. 

 

Yes folks, I decided what I wanted to do first, and then I put together a bunch of arbitrary reasons for doing it. Or in this case, for not doing it.

 

I remembered owning a Nikon 16mm full-frame fisheye, but I can only recall two images that got into print that used that lens. One was taken from a hotel roof bar in Rio and the other from a helicopter over the Great Barrier Reef. So I can see the usefulness of a super-wide view . . . once in a while, but the look gets old fast. 

 

I looked through my collection on Alamy. I didn't see anything that I thought would be a lot better if it had more distortion, more wideness to it. Then I did some general searches on subjects I thought might need a super-wide look. Surprisingly, I got nowhere. And did I mention that I have never really liked that distorted look? I rate it as low as action painting by elephants and the Free Jazz sound of Ornette Coleman. 

 

Here, all taken with the 24mm on the RX10 -- wide enough.

 

 

E4M22H.jpgE4M21P.jpgDWWP5B.jpgE1NPMF.jpg

Edo

Edited by Ed Rooney

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Probably a wise decision, Edo, if you aren't going to use the lens much. Also, at today's image prices, recuping even a $300 investment is not guaranteed.

 

I'm not a huge fan of the distorted look either, but it can create a dramatic effect. I took this one in the Yucatan last year with the Sony 16mm and 0.75x conversion lens, which turns the 16mm into a 12mm (18mm equiv.). I quite like the result, but it has yet to lease. In fact, none of the shots taken with this lens combo has sold. Fortunately, the UWA converter didn't set me back much.

 

Still, if I lived next door to Adorama or B&H, I dont think that I could resist...

Edited by John Mitchell

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At that size, the Yucatan shot looks sharp.

 

I have the Sony pancake 16mm, too, John, but I plan to sell it and the Sony 30mm f/3.5 macro . . . so I will be making a trip up to Adorama. I have all the lenses I tend to use for stock now. When I was a pro I felt I needed a larger arsenal. 

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At that size, the Yucatan shot looks sharp.

 

I have the Sony pancake 16mm, too, John, but I plan to sell it and the Sony 30mm f/3.5 macro . . . so I will be making a trip up to Adorama. I have all the lenses I tend to use for stock now. When I was a pro I felt I needed a larger arsenal. 

 

Yes, Sony's UWA converter works surprisingly well on the 16mm. The optical quality is fine for the occasional shot. All images have passed QC.

 

I wouldn't recommend buying one in lieu of a real UWA lens, but here's a fairly positive review.

Edited by John Mitchell

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Horribly sensible analysis Edo, it doesn't take much to persuade me not to spend money, and a good 24mm equivalent would perhaps be more sensible. In fact the most logical purchase would probably be the 16-17 Zeiss zoom, but I live in fear of getting a duff copy (from the States) and hassle returning it (from the UK).

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