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John Mitchell

Rokinon 12mm lens

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Bryan, if you are going to be in NYC for a couple of days, get the lens from B&H on the first day, use it for the rest of your stay, and if you don't like it return it before you leave. Did that many years ago when I was there, they assured me they would take the lens back no questions asked (but I ended up keeping it because I liked it).

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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

Edo,I've had 2 A6000s and was not impressed. Sure it focused FAST but I found the accuracy to be hit or miss. I had 2 broken kit lenses and one fell apart in my hands.I have the photo to prove it!  The A7000 allegedly is due out early next year and some sites said it will be announced in Jan/Feb. The specs say it's a 'pro camera' and also weather sealed with a much better kit lens. Reviews I've read say that kit lens is the worst kit lens ever made. I know the deals are out there now for this,but if it were me,I'd wait a few months.

 

L

Edited by Linda

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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. 

Were these lenses not sharp? Just wondering in case I get the alleged Sony A7000 next year.

 

L

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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. 

Were these lenses not sharp? Just wondering in case I get the alleged Sony A7000 next year.

 

L

 

 

The 16mm "pancake" lens is sharp in the centre but has soft edges/corners. You have to shoot between f5.6 and F/8 to sharpen things up across the frame. This lens got mixed reviews when it first came out, but I quite like it due to its compactness and the fact that it takes wide angle and fisheye converters. I doubt if this is the lens for you, though. There is also an optically improved 20mm "pancake" that I've never tried.

 

Edo no doubt has something to say about the 30mm macro. I don't own one but have heard good things about it. Dx0 labs gives it a good score as well.

 

P.S. These are both inexpensive lenses, but you might get a couple of weeks use out of them if you're extra careful. B)

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).

 

International warranties can sometimes create problems as well. For instance, Sony Canada appears to have a different warranty than Sony USA.

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I know what you mean Edo. I bought the Sigma 12-24mm FF lens, seemed a good idea at the time, and I have used it maybe a dozen times in many years. I should get rid of it because even if I hang on to my Canon kit for a while yet it is never going to get used.

 

Perhaps I should have a go at creating a new genre of street photography with it! That would get me out of my comfort zone.

Edited by Martin P Wilson

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a-street-artist-drawing-on-the-ground-inblues-dobro-resonator-slide-guitar-detai

 

No, I'm not offloading bad lenses here, Linda. The guy in Union Square drawing on the ground was taken with the Sony 16mm (24 view), and the detail of that blues guitar was taken with the Sony 30mm macro. Off hand I can't think that any images taken with either one of these lenses failed Alamy QC. 

 

But (there's always a but or two) the widest Zeiss point on my RX10 (24mm view) is better and sharp wall-to-wall. And the Sony/Zeiss NEX 24mm f/1.8 (36 view) is the best lens I own and focuses to 6.5". So as you see I don't have a pressing need for either of these lenses. The 16mm is not as sharp on the edges as I like for a wide lens. Sometimes that matters and sometimes it does not. 

 

I'm going to continue selling gear for a while, not planning to buy anything at all for now

 

I read your other post on the a6000, Linda. What can one say?  :wacko:

 

Martin, even if we were shooting assignment work (I think you still do?) these days, it's easier to rent something exotic (Well, it is in NYC.  ;) )

 

Edo

Edited by Ed Rooney

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Edo, I am sort of doing assignments, self slected though in the main. Absolutely right , the professional and business like thing to do is to buy what will earn its keep and rent anything else. I bought the Sigma 12-24 when I was in a more amateur mode with another very well paid career. Now photography is my business (albeit in start up) so I am taking a very hard nosed approach to kit and indeed to libraries who get my work - if the effort pays they get my good stuff otherwise it goes elsewhere. It is all about return on investment - money and effort.

 

I will perhaps give the Sigma 12-24 a last run out or two - go out for a walk with it as my only lens to see what I can do with it. That said I do go down to 15mm equivalent on my Fuji and that is probably wide enough.

Edited by Martin P Wilson
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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).

 

Sounds as if there might finally be some Sigma e-mount zooms in the works:

 

http://www.sonyalpharumors.com/new-sigma-patents-for-aps-c-e-mount-18-55mm-f2-8-18-70mm-f4-0-18-200mm-travel-lens-70-200mm-f4-9-6-0/

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Martin of Nottingham: Sir, are we speaking of that special virus that begins deep inside ourselves, then works itself up and out till it has a strong, deadly, almost unbreakable grip on our necks and wills and is sometimes referred to by the phrase: "Better keep this . . . I might need it." ?

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Edo, I am sort of doing assignments, self slected though in the main. Absolutely right , the professional and business like thing to do is to buy what will earn its keep and rent anything else. I bought the Sigma 12-24 when I was in a more amateur mode with another very well paid career. Now photography is my business (albeit in start up) so I am taking a very hard nosed approach to kit and indeed to libraries who get my work - if the effort pays they get my good stuff otherwise it goes elsewhere. It is all about return on investment - money and effort.

 

I will perhaps give the Sigma 12-24 a last run out or two - go out for a walk with it as my only lens to see what I can do with it. That said I do go down to 15mm equivalent on my Fuji and that is probably wide enough.

Set it to f11 or f16 the rest is rubbish. The second version is much better, it seems. However I have v1; bought it when it first came out.

While it's not all that good, I do have quite a few shot with this one on Alamy and they do sell.

Here's a small sample:

 

C4394H.jpg

 

 

BGYNF7.jpg

 

 

BG5X1N.jpg

 

 

B8XWKE.jpg

 

 

AJWAYG.jpg

 

 

AE3NNN.jpg

 

 

AE5A0X.jpg

 

 

A3YN0M.jpg

 

 

AM5JX8.jpg

 

 

AM5KJD.jpg

 

 

All between $250 and $1200 (in total of course and not precisely in this order), so it's been a very useful lens, that has earned it's keep many times over.

 

wim

 

edit: sorry, but you have posted more images than you're allowed to

Edited by wiskerke
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Sounds as if there might finally be some Sigma e-mount zooms in the works:

 

http://www.sonyalpharumors.com/new-sigma-patents-for-aps-c-e-mount-18-55mm-f2-8-18-70mm-f4-0-18-200mm-travel-lens-70-200mm-f4-9-6-0/

 

Good to see, although this particular selection I don't find all that exciting. Really need 16 mm at the wide end, F2.8 zoom possibly too heavy, while 70-200 could do with a constant f4.

 

The Zeiss 16-70 f4 hits the jackpot for specification, pity it doesn't appear to deliver consistently.

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Edo, I am sort of doing assignments, self slected though in the main. Absolutely right , the professional and business like thing to do is to buy what will earn its keep and rent anything else. I bought the Sigma 12-24 when I was in a more amateur mode with another very well paid career. Now photography is my business (albeit in start up) so I am taking a very hard nosed approach to kit and indeed to libraries who get my work - if the effort pays they get my good stuff otherwise it goes elsewhere. It is all about return on investment - money and effort.

 

I will perhaps give the Sigma 12-24 a last run out or two - go out for a walk with it as my only lens to see what I can do with it. That said I do go down to 15mm equivalent on my Fuji and that is probably wide enough.

Set it to f11 or f16 the rest is rubbish. The second version is much better, it seems. However I have v1; bought it when it first came out.

While it's not all that good, I do have quite a few shot with this one on Alamy and they do sell.

Here's a small sample:

 

 

 

 

I have the early version of the Sigma 10-20 for crop frame, also dreadful, despite good reviews when it came out. 

 

Interesting to see your successful  wide angle shots Wim, Rokinon back into reckoning perhaps.

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

 

Still trying to hold on to my frugal rationalization, super-wides give us that buildings coming to a point on top look. Understand, please, that I'm not saying super-wides are useless. 

 

Here's a few images of New York architecture taken with no-so-very-wide lenses:

 

 

 

E17YX5.jpgE7FNR5.jpgE810GD.jpgDYB8PC.jpgDA29HP.jpgDWWP9K.jpg

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

 

Still trying to hold on to my frugal rationalization, super-wides give us that buildings coming to a point on top look. Understand, please, that I'm not saying super-wides are useless. 

 

Here's a few images of New York architecture taken with no-so-very-wide lenses:

 

 

 

E17YX5.jpgE7FNR5.jpgE810GD.jpgDYB8PC.jpgDA29HP.jpgDWWP9K.jpg

 

Those images look very good to me. . .

 

There is always an arguement to be made for a shorter or longer lens than the ones you have.  If you succumb to it the new lens will likely be a 5-day wonder and then not used much.

 

So, if the architecture told me to get an 18mm EFL I would probably tell it to shut and not be silly.    Of course if a lens of excellent quality and low price came along, it might be worth giving it a try.  The subject lens might. just meet the unusual cheap/good criterion.

 

BTW, I now usually carry my RX10 with the mode dial set to "1" where I have stored the FL as 50.   It is quicker to get from there to where I want to be than starting from 24 which always looks as though I walked backwards into the next county.

 

An 18mm EFL could also be worthwhile if you do a lot of interiors.

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"BTW, I now usually carry my RX10 with the mode dial set to "1" where I have stored the FL as 50.   It is quicker to get from there to where I want to be than starting from 24 which always looks as though I walked backwards into the next county.

 

An 18mm EFL could also be worthwhile if you do a lot of interiors." -- Peter J

 

You're a very savvy tech thinker, Peter.  :) And there is no way I could argue with your statement about the super-wide's use for interiors, as wim's selection of thumbnails shows; that's where the super-wide earns it's keep. 

 

Because I'm not doing assignments anymore, I tend to be less aggressive. In my last blog, I mention a security guy telling me to leave the Ritz Hotel in Paris.I left. I don't argue with people carrying guns. So now the question comes down to: do I/should I figure on shooting some important interiors here in NYC? Some offer easy access, others do not. Hmm. And will a view of 24mm be wide enough? I could test it against the D700 and the 20mm. Maybe I will. I've always liked the look of my 20s. Eighteen? Fifteen? I kind of feel as if I've entered a strange land.

Edited by Ed Rooney

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Sounds as if there might finally be some Sigma e-mount zooms in the works:

 

http://www.sonyalpharumors.com/new-sigma-patents-for-aps-c-e-mount-18-55mm-f2-8-18-70mm-f4-0-18-200mm-travel-lens-70-200mm-f4-9-6-0/

 

Good to see, although this particular selection I don't find all that exciting. Really need 16 mm at the wide end, F2.8 zoom possibly too heavy, while 70-200 could do with a constant f4.

 

The Zeiss 16-70 f4 hits the jackpot for specification, pity it doesn't appear to deliver consistently.

 

 

Yes, not an exciting selection, but I'm curious to see what Sigma comes up with and at what prices.

 

As mentioned, I'd run out and buy the Zeiss 16-70 if money were no object. Perfect range. 

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"BTW, I now usually carry my RX10 with the mode dial set to "1" where I have stored the FL as 50.   It is quicker to get from there to where I want to be than starting from 24 which always looks as though I walked backwards into the next county.

 

An 18mm EFL could also be worthwhile if you do a lot of interiors." -- Peter J

 

You're a very savvy tech thinker, Peter.  :) And there is no way I could argue with your statement about the super-wide's use for interiors, as wim's selection of thumbnails shows; that's where the super-wide earns it's keep. 

 

Because I'm not doing assignments anymore, I tend to be less aggressive. In my last blog, I mention a security guy telling me to leave the Ritz Hotel in Paris.I left. I don't argue with people carrying guns. So now the question comes down to: do I/should I figure on shooting some important interiors here in NYC? Some offer easy access, others do not. Hmm. And will a view of 24mm be wide enough? I could test it against the D700 and the 20mm. Maybe I will. I've always liked the look of my 20s. Eighteen? Fifteen? I kind of feel as if I've entered a strange land.

 

Aw shucks, me tech savvy?  You are too kind, making me blush.

 

Winter is coming, if not already here.  Interiors (without armed guards) could be a cosy thing to do.  You may have to do some gym before venturing out with the D700.

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FYI Update:

 

On last Monday 1/5/15 I went up to Adorama and bought the Rokinon 12mm f/2 E mount lens. Yes, I know I said I was not going to buy one, but I did. I got it home in the late afternoon, unboxed it, looked it over, and read the enclosed pamphlet. Yesterday morning after breakfast and two mugs of strong espresso, I read the pamphlet again, watched a couple of bad videos about the lens on YouTube, and got out all three of my NEX cameras, and went to work.

 

Do I have to remind everyone again how long I've been screwing around with cameras? Since just before the Civil War, when I worked as an assistant to Mathew Brady's assistant.

 

So I attached the Rokinon to my NEX-6 and turned the camera on with a manual setting. I fooled around with the f/stops and focused on my keyboard and my Mac's monitor. So far so good. I clicked the shutter release and got a message that said (more or less) the camera does not recognize the lens or the lens is not mounted correctly. I tried the lens on my NEX-3 and NEX-7, too. Same reaction. I read the pamphlet again. There was nothing about this problem. 

 

And so things went. Today I returned the lens. Adorama were very nice and helpful as usual. I recommend them highly.

 

So now I've own and returned the 12mm Rokinon and last year the 12mm Zeiss Touit. There is still the Sony 11-18mm f/4.5-5.6, but I feel that is too slow and too expensive for a slow lens. It looks like a view of 24mm on my RX10 will be my widest. There it is. 

 

I guess some of you are thinking, "Ed, you should have tried this or that." No. I bought a lens not a puzzle.  

 

Edo

Edited by Ed Rooney

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FYI Update:

 

On last Monday 1/5/15 I went up to Adorama and bought the Rokinon 12mm f/2 E mount lens. Yes, I know I said I was not going to buy one, but I did. I got it home in the late afternoon, unboxed it, looked it over, and read the enclosed pamphlet. Yesterday morning after breakfast and two mugs of strong espresso, I read the pamphlet again, watched a couple of bad videos about the lens on YouTube, and got out all three of my NEX cameras, and went to work.

 

Do I have to remind everyone again how long I've been screwing around with cameras? Since just before the Civil War, when I worked as an assistant to Mathew Brady's assistant.

 

So I attached the Rokinon to my NEX-6 and turned the camera on with a manual setting. I fooled around with the f/stops and focused on my keyboard and my Mac's monitor. So far so good. I clicked the shutter release and got a message that said (more or less) the camera does not recognize the lens or the lens is not mounted correctly. I tried the lens on my NEX-3 and NEX-7, too. Same reaction. I read the pamphlet again. There was nothing about this problem. 

 

And so things went. Today I returned the lens. Adorama were very nice and helpful as usual. I recommend them highly.

 

So now I've own and returned the 12mm Rokinon and last year the 12mm Zeiss Touit. There is still the Sony 11-18mm f/4.5-5.6, but I feel that is too slow and too expensive for a slow lens. It look like a view of 24mm on my RX10 will be my widest. There it is. 

 

I guess some of you are thinking, "Ed, you should have tried this or that." No. I bought a lens not a puzzle.  

 

Edo

 

Ed, the cameras won't recognize the manual lens because there is, I assume, no electronic collection between the body and the lens. Did you go into the Setup menu and enable "Release w/o Lens"? You have to do this before using most manual focus lenses. The "does not recognize lens" message disappears after you change the setting, and the shutter should activate normally.

Edited by John Mitchell

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Too late now.

 

Oh well, maybe next time. Sounds like you saved yourself some hard-earned.

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FYI Update:

 

On last Monday 1/5/15 I went up to Adorama and bought the Rokinon 12mm f/2 E mount lens. Yes, I know I said I was not going to buy one, but I did. I got it home in the late afternoon, unboxed it, looked it over, and read the enclosed pamphlet. Yesterday morning after breakfast and two mugs of strong espresso, I read the pamphlet again, watched a couple of bad videos about the lens on YouTube, and got out all three of my NEX cameras, and went to work.

 

Do I have to remind everyone again how long I've been screwing around with cameras? Since just before the Civil War, when I worked as an assistant to Mathew Brady's assistant.

 

So I attached the Rokinon to my NEX-6 and turned the camera on with a manual setting. I fooled around with the f/stops and focused on my keyboard and my Mac's monitor. So far so good. I clicked the shutter release and got a message that said (more or less) the camera does not recognize the lens or the lens is not mounted correctly. I tried the lens on my NEX-3 and NEX-7, too. Same reaction. I read the pamphlet again. There was nothing about this problem. 

 

And so things went. Today I returned the lens. Adorama were very nice and helpful as usual. I recommend them highly.

 

So now I've own and returned the 12mm Rokinon and last year the 12mm Zeiss Touit. There is still the Sony 11-18mm f/4.5-5.6, but I feel that is too slow and too expensive for a slow lens. It look like a view of 24mm on my RX10 will be my widest. There it is. 

 

I guess some of you are thinking, "Ed, you should have tried this or that." No. I bought a lens not a puzzle.  

 

Edo

 

Ed, the cameras won't recognize the manual lens because there is, I assume, no electronic collection between the body and the lens. Did you go into the Setup menu and enable "Release w/o Lens"? You have to do this before using most manual focus lenses. The "does not recognize lens" message disappears after you change the setting, and the shutter should activate normally.

 

Thanks for that info I assume the same for those Minolta MD lenses with adapter.

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Adorama now has a 30-day return policy on equipment. I don't think they always had that. I think it used to be just a week. So I could have held onto this lens for a few more weeks and possibly worked out the problem. But I was and I am angry. I want better support from manufacturers. Here they (a they of many names in this case) produce a badly written pamphlet, and in it they fail to mention this basic problem that was bound to come up. I spent the best part of three days on this matter, going up to Adorama twice. 

 

And I won't be sending any love letters to Sony soon either. It's almost as if there are two companies called "Sony." There's the good Sony, designing and producing ground-breaking cameras, and then there's the evil Sony trying to screwup the owners of these cameras buy producing substandard optics and dragging their feet on everything. 

 

And in addition it's freezing cold in my apartment today.  :angry:

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Adorama now has a 30-day return policy on equipment. I don't think they always had that. I think it used to be just a week. So I could have held onto this lens for a few more weeks and possibly worked out the problem. But I was and I am angry. I want better support from manufacturers. Here they (a they of many names in this case) produce a badly written pamphlet, and in it they fail to mention this basic problem that was bound to come up. I spent the best part of three days on this matter, going up to Adorama twice. 

 

And I won't be sending any love letters to Sony soon either. It's almost as if there are two companies called "Sony." There's the good Sony, designing and producing ground-breaking cameras, and then there's the evil Sony trying to screwup the owners of these cameras buy producing substandard optics and dragging their feet on everything. 

 

And in addition it's freezing cold in my apartment today.  :angry:

 

Sorry to hear about the cold, Edo. I believe that most cameras, regardless of their manufacturers, have a setting that allows the shutter to release when there isn't a lens attached to it or if the lens is one that the camera can't communicate with. My AF film cameras had settings like this as well, but they were more difficult to access. I haven't checked the Sony user manuals. However, there should be something about this option in there somewhere. I always enable it right away when I set up a new camera.

 

UPDATE: Just found some info on the Sony support site. They of course don't specifically mention third-party or legacy MF lenses, which they should have.

Edited by John Mitchell
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