Rokinon recently announced their AF chipped version of their 35mm f1.4 lens for Canon EF mount cameras. For this segment of the market, it’s about time. The new lens doesn’t sport an aperture ring and instead works perfectly with Canon’s DSLRs in a way very much like Zeiss does.
With the new chipped version of the lens, we decided to see how it holds up against the Sigma 35mm f1.4–the current king of the 35mm lenses in our book.
Editor’s Note: we’re not sanctioning this test to be the end all be all of all tests. It’s informal as per the way that the site’s philosophy works with our in the field real world reviews do.
For this test, we put the Sigma and Rokinon lens offerings in the same situation with the Canon 5D Mk II set up on a tripod. A TTL flash was attached to the camera. The images shot were focused on the same area and at the same settings. They were then brought into Adobe Lightroom and converted straight into JPEGs while being optimized for this site.
What we noticed is that even though the camera and tripod didn’t move at all, the field of view changed a bit due to the viewing angle.
Extra Rokinon Samples
While out testing the lens, we did some street shooting. Here are some other samples. For more Sigma samples, you can check out our previous review.
Wide open, we find that the Sigma 35mm f1.4 is king. Little to nothing beats it at this point. But when it comes to the lenses both being stopped down, they are pretty much neck in neck and hard to beat. Indeed, both are great options. We’re more of a fan of Sigma’s bokeh, but Rokinon’s is also really, really nice to look at. We think that Rokinon tends to make things look a bit more creamy but the color distinction in the Sigma lens is better overall.
Neither lens really suffers from fringing issues, so you can be ecstatic about that if you’re a stickler for it.
In the end though, Sigma has a better option but the Rokinon is no slouch if you want something more affordable and with an AF chip built in. Think of it as a budget version of a Zeiss lens if anything.