[Update 2: 08/16/2015] The Rokinon is an FX formatted lens that does not meter on older DX Nikons. This means you’d be guessing exposure and/or using the “Sunny 16” rule.
I imagine I’ll be doing even more updates in the coming days as I further learn, myself, what lens I really want. I will be sure to tie all ongoing dialog together and link between posts.
[Update] The Rokinon is purported to have a slight fisheye distortion affect, which could be a considerable factor in anyone wishing to buy or not buy this budget lens. I also don’t claim to be an expert. I just hope my Blogs help you on your path of photography. Please, be careful anytime you consider spending large sums of money on lenses and equipment.
I am of the mind that this is more pronounced at closer distances, enhancing the affect. My main purpose for wanting a 14mm is sweeping, distant landscape photography and feel the distortion affect is not as noticeable – at least as a “distortion”.
Compared to this affect, it could be a much more significant factor – especially in whether you’d try to pull double-duty with a lens like this.
There are also some other factors like edge-to-edge crispness and more worth weighing in. I will link this post to a new more thorough “review” at a later date and also link back to this post from that post once I write it.
Now back to the regularly scheduled post. Thanks!
In 2010, Ken Rockwell rated the near-identical Samyang as the poorest 14mm optically. It’s manual only, and closer to 21mm on my DX format Nikon. So. Why would I want this?
The Rokinon 14mm is cheap. Really cheap. I’d love that range for landscape photography. It’s better than nothing, right? Well. It’s not like there aren’t other choices out there.
For a few hundred more I could get a much better rated lens, like an 11-16mm. Perhaps the best alternative, though, would be the Nikon 24mm for FX and DX format cameras. It’s superbly rated and only $40US more than the Rokinon.
For me, I guess my obstinance plays a part. I likely will get the Nikon 24mm anyways. So. In my mind, I’ve already separated the Rokinon as an alternate or additional camera purchase. It’s also 14mm on FX format. I’m getting 21mm while it’s on my DX, but can move it to my FX and get 14mm out of it. It’s also manual only, but I already explain how auto-focus has become a lot less important to me now. Plus it does have an AE chip.
And although I’ve seen it rated bad optically; general, everyday user response isn’t terrible. I believe this is a newer model though and maybe Rokinon upped its performance(?) And there really aren’t too many lenses that fill this market for close to this price.
For the value and range this lens fills, It kind of corners the market. Really – it’s not an “aweful” lens. I’ve seen it rated poorly and I’ve seen plenty of reviews recommending spending a few hundred more on a much better lens, but no one saying “don’t buy” it.
In a way, it’s king of its value-domain. Some of the Amazon reviewers even praise its quality.
In the end, I think it’s a fantastic purchase that I’m willing to shell out the cash for – even if I’ll only really be getting 21mm out of it for awhile.
Of course, I’ll report back my opinions and findings after I purchase it.