Opinion: Some of the Best Lenses Aren’t Made in Japan Anymore

Back in the DSLR days, manufacturers like Samyang/Rokinon represented the low end of the lens market. They were all manual focus and, if we are being honest, the build quality was nothing to write home about. The worst part was that buying one of those sometimes felt like a lottery; performance would be inconsistent from one copy to the next. As such, those lenses would only ever be considered by hobbyists on the lower end of the budget. Thankfully, the landscape changed quite a bit in the photography world. Chinese and Korean manufacturers have stepped up their game and are delivering the goods. And the words “Made in Japan” are starting to lose their appeal.

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The New Rokinon 85mm F1.4 AF Lens is Aimed Right at Sigma’s Offering

Rokinon has been killing it lately with their Sony FE AF lenses, and today they launch a new Rokinon 85mm F1.4 AF lens for Canon.

Rokinon is, in many ways, the new Sigma. A third-party lensmaker with affordable lenses and a hit or miss reputation that has reinvented themselves, now providing excellent lenses at an affordable cost without sacrificing much. Yes, Sigma and Rokinon are different, but the parallels in their recent histories are hard to miss. Which is what makes today’s announcement from Rokinon of their new Rokinon AF 85mm F1.4 EF so interesting. Continue reading…