Samyang is a Korean brand making lenses compatible for DSLR such as Nikon, Canon or mirrorless cameras such as Panasonic and Olympus in the M4/3 system. Rokinon is another name under this brand. They probably share the same production line with two different names. Samyang produces some really nice and quality CINE lenses such as Xeen.
I first discovered their names on B&H site when I searched movie (CINE) lenses. Rokinon is in one of the search results, offering products at reasonable prices.
Of the many reasons we choose an alternative brand for use in taking photographs, price comes first. One can argue that the cheaper price tag is a result of lesser quality and manual focus. I cannot say much about optical quality as I could use my naked eyes. Manual focusing poses no issue at present at all.
The lens I use this time is a Samyang brand. The 14mm f/2.8 is a super wide angle lens. According to the information provided on B&H site, it gives you approximately a 115° view with dramatic results when used with a full-frame digital camera or 35mm film camera such as my Canon 6D. On APS-C-sized sensors the angle of view is between 90 and 94º depending on the brand. Four-thirds cameras produce a 76.24º angle of view.
The maximum aperture is f/2.8 and the smallest is f/22. There is a half step between apertures. The noise of turning the aperture ring is not completely silent. It may be an issue if you are filming video.
The lens is tiny but the front features a built-in petal-type lens hood. It is not possible to mount a screw-in filter such as ND or Polariser.
To mount the lens onto a Canon camera body, match the red dot on the rear of the lens with the one on the Canon camera body
Since it has a big lens hood, the cap is also extraordinary.
In term of quality, here are three shots I would like to share with you:
In summary, here are the pros:
- Reasonable price
- Light weight
- Wide angle coverage
- Manual aperture control
- Ideal for still and video photography
Here are the cons:
- Sharp in the centre, soft at corners
- Difficult to focus
- Unable to use filters
In terms of post production, I recommend using Adobe Lightroom to do some modifications. The lens profile embedded in the application also helps to remove chromatic aberrations. One should consider adding it as a landscape lens or shooting indoors in a cathedral. The dramatic coverage will blow your minds away.
Samyang has been making recent success by launching a small lens for Sony E mount cameras such as the A7RII. It is great news that the price is so affordable while maintains good and acceptable quality.
Well done Samyang!