Third party lens makers have pretty much caught up with the original equipment manufcaturers, if not even surpassed them in many cases. Samyang, otherwise known as Rokinon or Bower, is a relatively young player on the DSLR lens market, but the company has already made a couple of respectable lenses that can easily hold their own against the OEMs’ offerings. One of these is the 24mm f1.4, a super fast wide-angle lens that is available for various DSLR mounts. DxOMark has tested it in EF mount, so it’s only logical that it be compared to the company’s own 24mm f1.4L offering.
The results speak a clear language. While the Canon lens has a definitive edge over its Koreak competitor in the sharpness and distortion departments, the Samyang show less vignetting and better control of chromatic aberration across all apertures (both lenses tested on the Canon 5D Mk III.) The differences between the two lenses are most significant at their widest aperture of f1.4, where the Canon provides better sharpness, and the Samyang shows less vignetting. As soon as we hit f4, the two are head-to-head in almost all regards.
Does this make the Samyang the better choice of the Canon? The answer is a definitive ‘that depends.’ If center sharpness at wide apertures is what you need, then no. Better go for the Canon. However, if you can live with a little less crispyness, then you can save a considerate amount of money by going for the Samyang option, which is as good as, if not even slightly better than, the Canon in all regards when stopped down. The only downside: the Samyang 24mm f1.4 is manual focus only. If you need autofocus, there’s no way around Canon’s 24mm f1.4L.