When it comes to ultra wide angle lenses, Rokinon has always offered great image quality at an affordable price. They recently announced their 10mm f2.8 for APS-C DSLRs from our usage, we think that it is a pretty decent option for architectural and landscape shooters. The lens has a better build quality than previous offerings and can also deliver some spectacular images.
Pros and Cons
– Great sharpness when stopped down
– Very smooth focusing
– Improved build quality from previous lenses
– Can be tough to focus with if you’re trying to capture a subject up close and personally; but the lens isn’t totally designed for that.
For this review, we tested the Rokinon 10mm f2.8 for APS-C DSLRs with the Pentax K3.
Tech specs taken from B&H Photo’s listing of the product
|Dimensions (DxL)||Approx. 3.39 x 3.06″ (86 x 77.7 mm)|
|Weight||1.28 lb (580 g)|
Rokinon’s 10mm f2.8 is a super wide angle lens that many architectural and landscape shooters will appreciate for many reasons ergonomically. Let’s start off by talking about the relatively small size and the light weight. The lens is incredibly comfortable to tote around when walking about a city.
When it comes to controls the lens has a giant manual focus ring towards the front and an aperture ring in the back towards the mount. Additionally, in between this is a depth of field scale that works fairly well despite the narrow focusing range due to how wide this lens is.
Rokinon’s 10mm f2.8 is a lens that feels better than the company’s older offerings. Part of this has to do with the way that the manual focusing ring works–it’s a ton smoother than the older ones were despite them being quite nice already. Additionally, while the lens has a very plastic feel to it you don’t feel as if you can squeeze it and destroy it.
Rokinon lenses use manual focusing to achieve the images that they do; so you’ll first off need to ensure that your camera isn’t set to any sort of automatic modes. The focusing is smooth and when used in conjunction with the depth of field scale, it can make the shooting experience a very Zeiss-like one.
Ease of Use
Folks that don’t like to manually focus may get turned off by this lens. If you don’t mind it though, then no worries at all. When it comes to achieving critical and sharp focus, it is simpler to do it with Pentax, Sony, and Nikon versions for the simple reason that you can get focus confirmation in the viewfinder. Canon users may have a tougher time adapting.
AS ALWAYS, EXIF DATA IS IN THE IMAGE FILE NAME. SIMPLY CLICK ON THE IMAGE AND THE LINK WILL HAVE THE EXIF DATA
Rokinon’s lenses have always been very high quality when it comes to the optics. For a very affordable price, a user can get a super sharp lens that they’ll need to manually focus. But again, what you’ll get is some excellent image quality.
Wide open, we’re not a really big fan of this lens’s sharpness. In fact, we’re much more pleased by its performance when stopped down to f5.6-f8. On the Pentax K3, the lens resolves a ton of detail. Again, this makes it very specialized and perfect for the architecture and landscape shooters out there. In fact, you may even want to pair it with using a tripod of some sort coupled with a low ISO to get the most from the lens.
This isn’t really the lens you want if you want bokeh. The bokeh looks very much like something from Google Cam’s Lens Blur. However, this is because of the nature of the focal length. Either way, don’t boy this lens for the bokeh.
We’ve seen some lenses from Rokinon that have better saturation to their colors, and the 10mm f2.8 isn’t one of them. We needed to crank up the saturation a bit more than we usually like to.
From our tests, we couldn’t find any color fringing with this lens in regards to straight out of the camera photos. And that’s really good to hear considering the price of this lens.
Extra Image Samples
Here are some more image samples
Our rating of 3/5 stars is because of the fact that the lens is a bit too specialized for us. It’s an excellent wide angle offering how architecture despite the distortion (which is fairly well kept down for this wide a lens); but that can be dispelled with Adobe Lightroom’s Upright feature. Landscape users might want something with a bit more saturated colors, but in the end the lens isn’t bad at all. It just isn’t for everyone.
The lens goes for $529 at B&H Photo.
Recommended Cameras and Accessories
Pentax K3: We chose this camera because of the pure resolving detail that it is capable of.
Nikon D7100: The D7100 is still overall the best APS-C DSLR that you can get your hands on.