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Gear Rumors

Rokinon/Samyang Teasing New 135mm Lens?

By Anthony Thurston on December 23rd 2014

Rokinon/Samyang have become quite the teasers of late; their latest effort being an interestingly cryptic image teasing a new lens in January of 2015.

Rokinon-Samyang-135mm-lens-550x550

It’s 3 Digits, and They Are All Odd

The cryptic image, featuring only some text, contains the words “It’s 3 Digits, and They Are All Odd.” The most obvious and popular focal length that fits that description is 135mm. So, it wouldn’t be a stretch to say Rokinon/Samyang is teasing a new 135mm lens.

The question here is, will the lens be manual focus only like the rest of their lenses, or will this be the lens where they introduce the AF technology that was rumored a few months back. Regardless, 135mm is one of my personal favorite portrait focal lengths, so I am excited to see if that is indeed what this lens is.

Rokinon-Samyang-135mm-lens-2-430x550

Another post, on Samyang’s page, indicated a new lens coming in January 2015. It can only be assumed that these two “teasers” are referring to the same lens. Though I guess it is possible they are going to announce more than one lens.

What are your thoughts on a Rokinon 135mm lens? Would you consider it for your photography? Leave a comment below and let us know what you think!

[via Photo Rumors]

Anthony Thurston is a photographer based in the Salem, Oregon area specializing in Boudoir. He recently started a new project, Fiercely Boudoir to help support the growing boudoir community. Find him over on Instagram. You may also connect with him via Email.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Rafael Steffen

    Great discussions to learn more about the great lens that are out there that have no AF.

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  2. Will Gavillan

    I have the 85 and it’s awesome, especially for the price. Would love to try it with A7ii

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  3. William Emmett

    I bought a Rokinon 8mm fisheye a few months ago. It shot some pretty good photos for the project I was working on. I’m not in the market for a 135mm prime as of now. But, who knows.

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  4. Stephen Velasquez

    NO AF no thanks. That goes for any lens with no AF.

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    • Anthony Thurston

      You are really missing out on some great glass when you limit yourself to AF only lenses…

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    • Stephen Velasquez

      In this modern age of photography there is no excuse for non-AF lenses. When the time and pressure is on focusing is one less thing I want to worry about. I don’t care how sharp these Zeiss distagon T*, Otus, Voitlanders and expensive leica lenses are; they are not more pratical or significantly better than their AF counterparts. It’s ok for the photography purist and videographers and still life/macro photographers.

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    • Matthew Saville

      Stephen, plenty of people photograph things that require no AF, like you mention in your latter comment about still lifes. Personally as a landscape photographer, let alone an astro-landscape photographer, I could have an entire bag of manual focus lenses and be perfectly happy!

      In fact, Rokinon manual focus lenses are an ADVANTAGE over AF lenses, in one aspect that most simply don’t think about: focus throw. On pretty much all Rokinon lenses, nailing focus manually is extremely easy. Focusing on stars, which is actually not as easy as just racking your lens to infinity, is therefore much easier. On lenses like the Nikon 14-24 and the new 20mm f/1.8 G, on the other hand, there is an extremely precise point for perfect focus on stars, and even 1mm of mis-focus on the focus ring, and your stars will be completely blurry…

      Rokinon, in short, is filling a niche of manual focus lenses. Plenty of people will buy them. If you’re in the market for affordable AF lenses, then stick around and see what Sigma & Tamron etc. pull off in 2015.

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    • Mithun Kümär

      Guess, just the lazyness talking here :P

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    • Graham Curran

      You don’t need AF at night.

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  5. Ian Sanderson

    Never used one of their lenses, are they good quality?

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    • David Tressler

      Excellent quality with the trade off of no af.

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    • Matthew Saville

      Ian, as I commented above, yes the Rokinon / Bower / Samyang lenses all have excellent optical quality, however their build quality may leave a lot to be desired if you are abusive of your lenses.

      Here’s an article I wrote on the subject: https://www.slrlounge.com/rokinon-samyang-bower-lenses-long-term-quality-review/

      In short, if you’re the type of person who takes decent care of your lenses, and don’t mind manual focus, then you can’t go wrong. Roki-Bow-Yang lenses trump or match pretty much every other lens they go up against, even ones that are 2-3 x the price. Of special note to landscape photographers are the 14mm and 24mm, both of which are surprisingly sharp wide open, and flawlessly sharp stopped down.

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    • Ian Sanderson

      Cool. I do a lot of low light/ wide field astrophotography images so af isn’t a major thing. May have to look into this a bit more. Thanks :)

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    • Matthew Saville

      Ian,

      Aside from the Nikon 14-24 and 20mm f/1.8, I know of no other lens that is as well suited for astro-landscape photography than the Rokinons. They all make a laughing stock out of their equivalents on the Canon lineup, and roughly match / beat their equivalents on the Nikon lineup. Maybe the Zeiss 21mm deserves a shout-out, but the new Nikon 20mm 1.8 takes that away IMO. The Sigma 35 Art and 50 Art are also sharp, if you shoot at those focal ranges for astro-landscapes AND use them for general photojournalism on the side. (Personally, I bought a Rokinon 14mm 2.8 (full-frame), a Rokinon 16mm f/2 (APS-C) …and have great experience with the Rokinon 24mm 1.4 (full-frame) as well. I went for the Sigma 35 Art though, since I’m a wedding photographer in addition to my astro-landscape hobby…

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    • Matthew Saville

      As awesome as it would be or cinema folks to have a 135mm, I think Rokinon has another gap in between their 14mm and 24mm, which they could fill quite nicely with any of the following lenses:

      1.) A 16mm or 17mm f/2.8 prime that accepts 77mm filter threads, or 82mm if necessary

      2.) A 18mm or 20mm f/1.8 or f/2 prime that accepts 77mm filter threads

      3.) A 20mm or 21mm f/1.4 that accepts 77mm filter threads

      Any of these lenses would be significantly lighter and more affordable than the f/2.8 zooms in the range, some of which don’t even accept front filters, or accept 82mm filters yet are still horribly soft. (I’m looking at you, Canon 16-35 2.8 mk2!!!)

      For now thought I’ll be happy with the new Nikon 20mm f/1.8. But if a 16mm f/2.8 prime came out that accepted front filters and had less distortion than the 14 2.8, I’d definitely dumb my 14 2.8 in favor of it…

      =Matt=

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    • Mithun Kümär

      Yup, I use the rokinon 7.5mm f/3.5 fisheye on my OM-D, and must say, absolutely satisfied with the great sharpness and no chromatic aberration with this glass. Unbelievable quality for that price/weight…

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  6. Greg Silver

    Question – Are Rokinon and Samyang the under the same company – I notice they often have the EXACT same lenses and similar looks?

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    • Steve VanSickle

      Pretty much. Branding 3rd party lenses is an old tradition, and Samyang seems to be the new king.

      (from their wikipedia page) “Samyang SLR lenses are also branded as Vivitar, Falcon, Rokinon, Walimex, Bower, Opteka, Bell and Howell, Polar, and Pro-Optic”

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    • Stan Rogers

      And Bower. They’re all the same lens with different distribution channels (historical reasons).

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    • Matthew Saville

      We call it Roki-Bow-Yang, among us astro-landscape photographers who use lots of these lenses… ;-)

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  7. Greg Silver

    Coincidentally – just recently I’ve been doing a lot of research on the Rokinon lenses. They seem to have exceptional quality at very reasonable prices. I don’t think I’m in the market for a 135mm lens but I do have my eye on the 12mm f/2.0 Sony e-mount lens. I think that would be great for some astrophotography.

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    • Matthew Saville

      Unfortunately, Greg, the “exceptional quality” stops at image quality, and doesn’t go much further than that.

      Rokinon definitely needs to step up their construction quality if they want to become a Sigma-ish key player in the third-party lens market, IMO.

      Funny you should mention the 12mm f/2, though, because THAT is a lens that, in my impression, did show promising signs of a turn-around in build quality. Maybe it was just so tiny and simple of a design that it was easier to build it beefy, though. Either way, yes the Rokinon 12mm f/2 is a killer choice for the 1.5x mirrorless options; no f/2 18mm full-frame lens exists and certainly not at that weight / price!!!!

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    • Graham Curran

      The cheapo lens makers need to offer something radically different from the established players. The ultra-wides and fish-eyes meet this criteria but in the bread- and butter range they need to be better value for money than the big-brand names.

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