We’re in the middle of reviewing the Rokinon SP 85mm f1.2 lens–which is one of the company’s new high end lens offerings. Rokinon’s build quality has never been the greatest in comparison to many other brands out there but with the SP line, they’re looking to change that. Not only are the optics top notch, but the build quality is too. They’re making metal exteriors with rubber rings. In some ways, you can liken them to Zeiss. Two of their first lenses are the 85mm f1.2 and the 14mm f2.4 for full frame cameras. Unfortunately, these don’t have autofocus. But that doesn’t seem to affect the image quality at all.
There are few lenses that have the extra versatility that something like the Sony 100-400mm f4.5-5.6 G Master FE does–it’s a decent option for wildlife, landscapes, outdoor sports, and a variety of other applications that really need longer focal lengths. Though at the same time, I don’t expect it to be one of Sony’s most popular lenses. Why? Well, the 70-200mm f2.8 with teleconverters provide photographers with a fair amount more versatility. But in addition to that, I just don’t see most photographers using it vs something like the 70-200mm f2.8 G Master. That’s an obviously given fact. And with all that in mind, that doesn’t at all mean that the Sony 100-400mm f4.5-5.6 G Master FE is a bad lens. In fact, it’s fantastic!
But at the same time, its release was a curious one. The Sony 100-400mm f4.5-5.6 G Master FE was released with the Sony a9. In terms of the sports world, that makes sense; but where are Sony’s long telephoto fast primes for this type of photography? At the time of publishing this review, they’re nowhere to be seen.
The Fujifilm 80mm f2.8 R LM OIS WR Macro is a lens that seems really interesting. It’s one of Fujifilm’s largest prime lenses, and though it doesn’t sport as wide of an aperture as the 90mm f2, it has lots of features like close focusing abilities. Due to this feature alone, it may be an attractive option not only for shooting macro photos but also as a portrait focal length. When used with the latest camera options from Fujifilm, it’s a lens that offers pretty fast focusing abilities in addition to a fully weather sealed package.
The Sony 12-24mm f4 G FE was announced earlier this year hot on the heels of Sigma’s own lens–and for the photographer who loves to shoot wide this lens could be the only lens you’ll care to travel with. The Sony 12-24mm f4 G FE was designed with weather resistance and is being touted as a G lens, not to be mistaken with the company’s G Master offerings. Like many of Sony’s higher end lenses, it’s a pretty pricy offering but we need to expect that from a wide angle lens. Lenses like the Sony 12-24mm f4 G FE are most suited for travel photography, landscapes, astrophotography, architecture and to some degree extreme sports. It’s also fun at parties if you’re looking to get a unique perspective. But photographers may have a tough choice between the Sony 12-24mm f4 G FE and the 16-35mm f2.8.
I applaud Fujifilm for delivering the Fujifilm GF 45mm f2.8 R WR to us in such a short time. Being the equivalent of the 35mm field of view, I also applaud them delivering a wide angle medium format lens with a relatively fast aperture. Like the other Fujifilm GF lenses, this one is weather sealed and is putting an emphasis on delivering only the absolute best image quality from Fujifilm. What’s really interesting here though is that a lens like this delivers the equivalent field of view of an approximately 35mm lens, but is inherently a longer focal length. What that translates into is less distortion for something like portraiture–which I’m positive the Fujifilm GF 45mm f2.8 R WR will be used for.
When the Nikon 28mm f1.4 came in for review and was announced, I was a bit hesitant. Why? Well, while I was excited about the lens for sure, I’m still not a person that believes that DSLRs are necessarily the future despite the fact that I acknowledge how good they are. And to that end, I believe that if Nikon has a full frame mirrorless camera system and made this lens for it, it would be an even bigger winner than it really is. But the current Nikon 28mm f1.4 is a dream lens in so many ways. If you’re a street photographer, portrait photographer, or a photojournalist then you may really enjoy what this lens offers.
In fact, this is hands down my favorite Nikon prime lens with the exception of the company’s 105mm f1.4.
Canon has always been a company that is a bit slower to change things, and so when the Canon 24-105mm f4 L IS USM II was announced, I was pleased to see that they did a number to fix many issues with the previous lens. With that said though, years have passed now and the Canon 24-105mm f4 L IS USM II more or less looks like every other option on the market. Some of the new welcome additions are the prevention of lens creep incorporated into the design, a lock to keep the lens locked in at 24mm, better weather sealing, faster autofocus, and less issues with image quality. For years, the previous version of the lens was my bread and butter option. While many photographers reach for the 24-70mm f2.8 lenses, I tend to go for the longer focal range option.
For only $1,099 you’re getting one of the best bang for your buck L lenses that Canon offers. At a more expensive price point than Sigma’s 24-105mm f4 DG OS HSM, you’re paying for weather sealing and the ability to lock the lens at 24mm to prevent it from extending when in your camera bag. that and less contrast in the images. But the Canon 24-105mm f4 L IS USM II’s main strength is in the versatility it offers the photographer.
The Rokinon 35mm f2.8 FE comes in at a significantly more affordable price point than what Sony’s offering is–and the only major difference is its lack of weather sealing vs it’s Sony counterpart. In fact, that’s the only difference most people may consider besides marginally slower autofocus performance. The lenses even look alike in some ways in that they’re pretty much the same size but with different casings. But Rokinon has brought out autofocus abilities with the Rokinon 35mm f2.8 FE–making this the company’s first autofocusing lens for the Sony full frame E mount system. Indeed, it fills a niche of the photography market that is not really saturated: a place for good, affordable lenses of the Sony FE camera space.
So if you’re one of those folks that doesn’t need weather sealing, then the Rokinon 35mm f2.8 FE could just be a lens that you’ll want.