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Rokinon Announces 10mm f/2.8 and 12mm f/2 Lenses For APS-C & Mirrorless

By Matthew Saville on March 21st 2014

A couple wide angle “speed barriers” have just been broken, folks! What am I talking about? Well, Rokinon / Samyang / Bower have just announced new lenses, the most notable being a pair of crop-sensor / mirrorless lenses: The 10mm f/2.8 and the 12mm f/2.  After many rumors and “we’re working on it!” hints from Samyang / Rokinon over the past ~9 months, the babies are finally here! (And available as early as March 25th, less than a week from now!

Pre-order the new Rokinon & Samyang lenses here on B&H

Of course, while 10mm f/2.8 sets a new record for APS-C sensors, (the previous wide-and-fast speed record being held by the Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 DX) …a 10mm prime on a 1.5x crop sensor is “only” equivalent to 15mm on full-frame, which is nothing new since full-frame sensors have had access to numerous 14mm f/2.8 options for many years.

However, 12mm on a 1.5x crop is 18mm, and an 18mm f/2 full-frame lens is something that simply has never happened before! (Okay, unless you’re filthy rich and can afford one of the Zeiss Master Primes, which are ~5 lbs and ~$25,000!  Or the Leica 21mm f/1.4 is a close rival, if you have $7,600…)

What is the price and weight of the Rokinon 12mm f/2?  Just $399, and no more than 8 oz.  Cute little bugger!


Pre-Order: Rokinon 12mm f/2 @ B&H – $399

Strangely enough, the new 10mm f/2.8 comes in at $529 and ~20 ounces (580g) which is both more expensive and heavier than it’s full-frame brother the Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 at $309 and ~18 oz. (530g)

Hopefully, as I predicted recently in this article here, because it is sharper and better built, but we’ll have to wait and see.

lens-collage-rokinon-10mm-f28Pre-Order: Rokinon 10mm f/2.8 @ B&H – $529-$549

Also of note is the fact that Rokinon has started using a new acronym in their lens names, NCS which stands for “Nano Coating System”.  This might be part of the reason why the 10mm f/2.8 is so pricey? All I can say is, if this “Nano” coating is as voodoo-magic as Nikon’s own Nano lens coating, then any lens featuring it will be VERY sharp and have beautiful, crisp colors / contrast.

Why am I so excited about this announcement?  Sure, 12mm f/2 is “sort of” equivalent to 18mm f/2 on full-frame.  But if you consider the ISO and DOF advantages that full-frame offers, a more realistic way of looking at it would be to call it an 18mm f/2.8 or f/3.5 lens. Sure, you could buy the Nikon 18mm f/2.8 and adapt it to the Sony A7r.   But that kit alone would cost a couple thousand dollars more, and weigh about a pound extra.  (For example, the Rokinon 12mm f/2 mounted on a Sony NEX body might cost as little as $700 total, and weigh less than 20 oz!)  In other words, we’re making huge progress in the department of “portable and affordable”…

You can read more about all of the new Rokinon lenses in this article here, hosted by B&H. In summary:

  • Rokinon 8mm f/2.8 Fisheye and Rokinon 8mm f/3.1 Cine Fisheye
    ($239 previous versions, $349-$399 new versions)
    Now in a mk2 version, available for both mirrorless and APS-C DSLRs, including Nikon F Mount, Canon EF-S and EF-M mount, Pentax K Mount, Sony A Mount and E Mount, Samsung NX Mount, Fuji X Mount, and Micro Four Thirds Mount.
  • Rokinon 10mm f/2.8 AS NCS CS ED
    ($529 for most versions, $549 for the Nikon version which includes electronic metering contacts.)
    Available for both mirrorless and APS-C DSLRs, including Nikon F Mount, Canon EF-S and EF-M mount, Pentax K Mount, Sony A Mount and E Mount, Samsung NX Mount, Fuji X Mount, and Micro Four Thirds Mount.
  • Rokinon 12mm f/2.0 NCS CS ED
    Available for most mirrorless mounts, including Canon EF-M Mount,  Fuji X Mount, Samsung NX Mount, Sony E Mount, and Micro Four Thirds Mount.
  • Rokinon 24mm f/1.4 ED AS IF UMC and Rokinon 35mm f/1.4 AS UMC
    ($549 and $499, respectively)
    Now available for the Sony E-Mount full-frame, compatible with the Sony A-7r!
  • T1.5 Cine Prime Lenses For Micro Four Thirds Mount –  14mm, 24mm, 35mm, 85mm
    (Edit:  There was a literature typo, the 14mm is not f/1.5, it is f/3.1.  Boo!)
  • Assorted other previous Rokinon Cine lenses
    Now available in more mirrorless mounts, including Canon EF-M Moun, Fuji X Mount, Samsung NX Mount, Sony E Mount, and Micro Four Thirds Mount.


Rokinon / Bower / Samyang Now Own Astro-Landscape / Nightscape Photography

I think it is safe to say that Rokinon / Samyang / Bower pretty much OWN astro-landscape photography at this point, especially going forward into the next generation of mirrorless systems.  Consider the options:

On full-frame, the Rokinon 24mm f/1.4 is killer.  The Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 has also proven to be similarly spectacular. While Canon and Nikon haven’t even begun to murmur about full-frame mirrorless bodies, Rokinon now offers fast wide angle primes that are directly compatible with the hot new Sony A-7r.  (Rokinon’s Sony E-Mount 14mm f/2.8 only lists compatibility with APS-C bodies, however we are currently inquiring about full-frame compatibility)

Next, there is the more recent Rokinon 16mm f/2, for traditional APS-C DSLRs.  Canon and Nikon have basically given up on such specialty lenses for their APS-C DSLR buyers, unfortunately, so the Rokinon 16mm f/2 is the only game in town.  (Aside from the Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8, which is well worth it if you don’t mind the difference between 16mm and 18mm)!

Now, as of today, both 2x and 1.5x crop mirrorless formats have access to 12mm f/2 and 10mm f/2.8 lenses, with what will most likely be stellar image quality considering Rokinon’s track record plus their new NCS optical coating.

Disclaimer: Don’t Judge A Lens On Paper

I’m never one to count chickens before the eggs hatch.  Any of these new lenses could fail to deliver good sharpness, or could have other significant drawbacks that we don’t yet know about. The smartest thing to do is to wait a few months and see what the reviews say.  Speaking of which, we will certainly be sharing our opinion on these new lenses when they hit shelves in a few days, on March 25th!

I am personally looking forward to testing out the dedicated Sony E-Mount Rokinon 24mm f/1.4 on the Sony A-7r, as well as the new Fuji X-T1 and Sony A6000 with the Rokinon 12mm f/2.0 and Rokinon 10mm f/2.8.

Take care and happy clicking,

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Matthew Saville is a full-time wedding photographer at Lin & Jirsa Photography, and a senior editor & writer at SLR Lounge.

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Q&A Discussions

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  1. William Emmett

    I just took delivery of a new Rokinon 8mm fisheye. I took a few shots in the backyard, and was in “Wow” mode after the shoot. I did a little PP in Lightroom and this lens really shines. I used both my 7D and 6D and was astounded by the quality. In Lightroom, I set the lens profile for a Sigma 8mm Fisheye, and the shots lost their “round” display, and took on a regular display. The distortion of the fisheye was evident, and really looked good. I also took a shot of a flower, and the distortion made this a real artists shot. The color was good, and it’s hard work to make the lens flare. When set to f8 to f11 you don’t need to worry about focus. I will just have to adjust my mind this is a totally manual lens. It has lots of potential.

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  2. dane

    Interesting article. I agree about waiting till the reviews come out to be safe. :)

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  3. Dave

    I can’t say enough good things about the 85mm 1.4 Bower I have… sharp and wonderful tones. No af sucks but might put in a split focus screen since this is the lens that usually “saves the day”. I almost ordered the 14mm this week but glad i waited and probably will go for the 10mm now

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    • Matthew Saville

      Hey Dave, glad to hear you’re loving the 85! What do you shoot mostly, and on what camera? I’ve found the 14mm f/2.8 to be insanely sharp and worth every penny, it’s a better choice if full-frame is in your near future, otherwise the 10mm f/2.8 is probably going to be a killer deal for anyone shooting on crop. (I still do! I might just replace my 11-16mm f/2.8 with this new baby…)


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    • dave

      Matt… I mostly shoot landscapes but will do portraits and occasionally a wedding and starting to dabble in macro and birds (I need a macro bad). So usually ill shoot a d7000 with a Tokina 12-24mm which I love. Link on first message to my 500px, not much there but I’m sure some of my hummingbird shots on there were the 85mm.. now there is some really photo practice (manual focus shots on a hummingbird)

      It is almost time for new camera and haven’t decided yet if I should just get d7100 or go full frame. I was going to get the 14mm in case I went full frame and I guess that would knock out these new ones as well which I didn’t think about.

      The last wedding I shot I ended up using the 85mm over the famed nikkor 35m 1.8, it just has more punch to it then most lenses.

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    • Matthew Saville

      Honestly? Even though I own two full-frame bodies and brick-like full-frame 2.8 zooms, I still turn to my DX Nikon setup for adventure / landscape work. The D7000 is a killer camera with great image quality, and the Tokina 12-24 combined with the Rokinon 10mm f/2.8 would be a killer setup. Even if you eventually add full-frame to your bag, I feel like cameras like the D7000 and D7100 (and my D5300 even) are much better suited for ultra-wide landscape shooting. They’re light, small, affordable, and the image quality from ISO 100-3200 leaves me absolutely zero need for full-frame!


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    • Dave

      Matt… you pretty much hit it on the head… I just don’t see the reason to jump to full frame either but my thinking was that since I could pickup a re-furb’d d600 for about what a d7100 costs that I should consider it but i realize it’s not going to make me any better and even a cheap d3300 would be all I really need.

      Just for the hell of it I took some 5dm2 files out of an hdr tutorial (with L lenses) and put it up against some of my old hdr files from lil D90 with the 18-200 vr 1 and IMO that lil D90 kicked the crap out of the 5d in landscape shooting so it just goes to show that you don’t need full frame but I would like a D800 so I can make huge prints to sell but all my gear went for a saltwater swim and have been rebuilding and need a bigger boat so might have to wait on that and I’m going to be doing some real estate shooting so that could play into it as well.

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    • Matthew Saville

      Dave I hear ya about the D800 for large prints. You know what I did to remedy that? I got a D5300, 24 MP with no AA filter = INCREDIBLE images, especially with these Rokinon lenses. I have never seen images as sharp as with my D5300 and the Rokinon 16mm f/2, for example. WOW those images are flawless, I really don’t miss the difference between 24 and 36 MP considering I get the advantage of no AA filter and insanely sharp, light, small, affordable lenses such as these.

      I can highly recommend either the D7100 or my D5300 for general travel / landscape / adventure photography, and also for astro-landscape / night photography if you’re comfortable with a little extra grain at ISO 3200/6400. I just did a timelapse of Horseshoe Bend the other night at ISO 6400 on my D5300 right along side my friend’s 6D at 6400 as well. Is there a difference between quality? Sure. Does it stop me from shooting and getting great final results? Nope.


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