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News & Insight

Rokinon Steps Up | 2 New Fast Prime Lenses For Canon

By Wendell Weithers on January 30th 2017

Rokinon has entered the premium lens fray by announcing two very fast manual focus primes: the Rokinon 85mm 1..8 and the Rokinon 14mm 2.4. The lenses are labeled Special Performance (SP), which represents the company’s most advanced image and build quality. They carve out a new space in Rokinon’s DSLR offerings, sitting alongside their cine lenses and older manual focus photography lenses, and with both coming in at $999, Rokinon is looking challenge some of the optical titans of the industry by striking balance between optical excellence and affordability.

Rokinon 85mm 1.2 SP

Rokinon 85mm 1.2 SP

Rokinon 85mm 1.2 SP

 

The 85mm 1.2 is entering a market that already provides many options at that focal length. However, the 1.2 aperture is a rare distinguishing attribute that may cause both photographers and cinematographers to think twice before overlooking it.

Per Rokinon’s website:

The high resolution optics of the Rokinon SP 85mm F1.2 prime lens have been specifically designed to meet the extreme capabilities of Canon’s professional cameras.

Optical Construction:

  • 10 Glass elements in 7 Groups
  • Aperture Range: F1.2-16
  • Diaphragm Blades: 9
  • Coating: Ultra Multi-Coating
  • Minimum Focusing Distance: 31.5″ (0.8m)
  • Filter Size: 86mm
  • Lens Hood: Removable lens hood
  • Maximum Diameter: 3.66″ (93mm)
  • Weight: 37.0oz (1050g)
  • Length: 3.87″ (98.4mm)

Rokinon 14mm 2.4 SP

Rokinon 14mm 2.4 SP

Rokinon 14mm 2.4 SP

 

Rokinon already has a solid perfomer in the their current 14mm lense. And again, it is the slightly faster aperture that may lure buyers to this option. Still, at $650 more than the current model, this new 14mm will need to significantly outshine its predeccesor.

Per Rokinon’s website:

It has the unprecedented resolving power for 50 megapixel photo and 8K video production to meet the extreme capabilities of the newest high resolution pro cameras.

Incorporating 18 high precision glass elements in 14 groups the SP 14mm F2.4 takes no compromise when it comes to image quality. Four types of special lens elements (2 Aspherical, 1 Hybrid Aspherical, 2 Extra-low Dispersion and 3 High Refractive Index) are incorporated to reduce color fringing, aberrations, and distortions for sharp, clear, and color accurate imagery.

Optical Construction:

  • 18 Glass elements in 14 Groups
  • Aperture Range: F2.4-22
  • Diaphragm Blades: 9
  • Coating: Ultra Multi-Coating
  • Minimum Focusing Distance: 11.02″ (0.28m)
  • Lens Hood: Built-In Petal Shaped
  • Maximum Diameter: 3.74″ (95mm)
  • Weight: 27.9oz (719g)
  • Length: 4.30″ (109.4mm)

Being high-end manual focus lenses, Rokinon seems to be targeting the Zeiss Otus and Milvus audience. However, time will tell if they can compete or if their arm proves too short to box with God. If the image quality is worthy of the SP moniker, these lenses will provide a great value and that price point.

As of the this announcement, the lenses will only be available in Canon EF mount. The 85mm is currently available for purchase and the 14mm will be available by the end of March.

Order your Rokinon 85mm 1.2 here.

Preorder your Rokinon 14mm 2.4 here.

Wendell is based in Atlanta where he shoots events, portraits, and food photography. He also supports his wife Andrea as she runs their cake design business, Sweet Details.

Instagram: Wendellwphoto

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Ben Perrin

    Really interested to see the comparison between the 14 2.4 and the current samyang/rokinon 14 2.8 for astro purposes. Hoping they’ve created a winner again.

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  2. adam sanford

    Am I wrong in thinking the 85 is DOA for Canon as the 5D line lacks manual focusing screens? Are people going to use it in LiveView only, stop it down, hit/hope/chimp?

    Also: timing. I think the 5D camp already has the great 85L replacement it has long sought after, and Sigma makes it.

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    • Wendell Weithers

      I think that 1.2 is enough to turn a few heads. If the lens has a long focus throw then folks on the video side will be more likely to give it a chance.

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    • adam sanford

      Video +1 — if you can declick it. I seem to recall some nicer MF stills-centric lenses have cute little declicking features on the lens mount side of things. Does this lens have a similar functionality?

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    • Wendell Weithers

      Maybe I overlooked it, but I didn’t see any mention of that.

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    • Ralph Hightower

      I wish the 5D III had changeable focusing screens. I rely on my split-image/microprism on my A-1 and New F-1; with the F-1, I have the center-weighted, partial, and spot metering screens in the slit-image/microprism. I have turned off autofocus on my EF 24-105 f4L on occasion due to foreground objects (backs of peoples heads) when I wanted to focus on the presentation stage (background) and due to low light. I found low light difficult; did I get the shot? Photographing the rear end of Space Shuttle Atlantis at the Kennedy Space Center Visitors Complex was a challenge.

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  3. Josh Leavitt

    I’m curious to see how Rokinon’s 85 measures up to Canon’s own 85mm F1.2L, and Nikon’s 85mm F1.4G, oh and let’s not forget Sigma’s 85mm F1.4 ART as well. Lots of competition, but that’s never a bad thing.

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