Relatively speaking, I’m sort of over the idea of super fast aperture lenses simply because most folks won’t be able to tell the difference with the photos–and that’s the case with the Rokinon 85mm f1.2 SP lens. But at the same time, I can’t argue with the fact that it’s quite a mystical marketing technique combined with the fact that so many lenses are really fantastic. Don’t get me wrong, if you’re shooting with an APS-C sensor camera then having super fast glass makes sense. But for full frame cameras, it doesn’t really matter. Most people can’t tell the difference between f1.2 and f1.4. Plus high ISO output these days is so crazy good that you arguably don’t need the extra stop.
The Rokinon 14mm f2.4 SP isn’t the fastest wide angle lens on the market these days, but Rokinon is touting it to be one of the company’s very best. The lens is part of the SP lineup, which Rokinon is branding as the creme de la creme of their lens lineup. These lenses are designed to take on the likes of Zeiss. That’s a bold statement, especially as Zeiss has been a premium lens maker for far longer. But Rokinon also isn’t charging Zeiss prices. When you consider that, the Rokinon 14mm f2.4 SP seems to be a very attractive option. With a metal exterior body and a giant rubber focusing ring, the Korean lens manufacturer seems to be doing what I’d like to believe is a great job. Then I took some time to really try the lens–and I’ve seen just how far Rokinon has come.
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.
Sony camera users rejoice: you’ve got yet another autofocus lens in the form of the new Samyang 35mm f1.4 FE offering. Just announced today, the Samyang 35mm f1.4 FE is the fourth offering of autofocus lenses Samyang has created for the Sony FE lineup of cameras. That means that the Sony Zeiss 35mm f1.4 has a competitor, though this one is slated to be a lower end option (it doesn’t include weather sealing). To that end, you won’t want to take your camera and lens out in the rain unless you’ve got some Sony or Zeiss glass on there.
One of the brands of cameras you would absolutely never think would come back from the dead is Minolta. But according to Photo Rumors your lack of belief in zombies is wrong! Elite Brands, the makers of both Rokinon and Samyang, has seemingly struck a sort of licensing agreement to use the name brand. With that said, brand new Minolta cameras are currently on sale at Amazon. For those of you who knew and used Minolta cameras, you probably also remember they had a few digital camera models. But that’s what makes this even weirder.
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.
When considering the Sigma 35mm f1.4 Art vs Zeiss 35mm f1.4 Milvus lenses, it can be tough to figure out which one is right for you. They both differ pretty greatly when it comes to usage, price point, features, and quality. In fact, it’s only obvious that there’s going to be differences considering that they’re years apart from one another. Lots of photographers out there in the world don’t reach for the higher fruit that Zeiss offers, but then there are also photographers who understand the quality that a Zeiss lens can give them. However, Sigma lenses are oftentimes simply more practical.
So let’s just dive right into this.
Time for another check-in on the currently available deals and sales across the industry. This is always a post to catch if you are on the market for some new equipment. As we all know, this profession/hobby is not cheap and any penny saved could end up a penny earned.
Here are a few of the notable savings we have seen today (always feel free to email us if you stumble upon a good one we don’t know about!):
- Nikon D3400 2 Lens Kit ($496.95)
- Panasonic Lumix G7 ($497.99)
- Panasonic Lumix GX85 ($597.99)
- Rokinon 12mm f/2.0 NCS CS ($249.00)
- Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD (Check on Amazon)
- Sony A6000 ($448.00)