In this portrait shoot, we’re testing out two of the first third-party lenses available for Canon RF systems. Yes, you read that correctly. The Samyang 14mm and 85mm lenses definitely make exciting additions to the world of photography and offer an affordable option for prime mirrorless lenses.
Samyang/Rokinon Mirrorless Lenses
This leading, third-party brand responds quickly to the market trends and it shows just how closely they watch and work to meet the demands of the industry’s needs. Samyang (or Rokinon depending on where you are purchasing from) quickly started responding to Canon’s new RF mount in the full-frame mirrorless camera market, not only proved Samyang’s competitiveness as an optical manufacturer but also introduced the 1st RF mount lenses among the 3rd party brands in the world. In today’s test and tutorial, we will be focusing on the Rokinon 85mm f/1.4 and the 14mm f/2.8.
Some notable features for both lenses are that they are compact and lightweight and HIGHLY affordable compared to competitive focal lengths. I want to see how they perform with movement so we brought along Bushra, a Desi dance artist here in SoCal to really put these lenses through their paces. As I walk through each scene I will explain the intention behind the images and what feature of the lenses we are testing.
Bokeh & DOF
The 85mm focal length is easily one of the most used lenses for portraiture because of its framing capabilities and depth. Naturally, I wanted to test out the bokeh and compression you see typically when shooting with this lens. I placed Bushra against a tree that was a few feet behind her and you can see just how beautiful the bokeh is on the Rokinon 85mm.
Autofocus & Movement
What kind of lens review would this be without testing the accuracy of the autofocus and sharpness of the lens? I had Bushra add some movement to the shots by flicking the dress and also physically moving to see just how tack sharp the 85mm was. I also tested this with the 14mm, which you’ll see if you scroll down a bit further. Both lenses were quick to focus and produce incredible results. Both the 85mm and 14mm support IBIS and have trustworthy autofocusing for moving subjects such as dancers.
Wide Angle Portraits
The Rokinon 14mm has 113.9 degrees of angle of view with minimum distortion. I actually love using wider focal lengths like this to capture a unique perspective for portrait subjects, especially dance portraits. Since Bushra is a dancer, this is a perfect way to showcase movement by getting low to the ground, letting her limbs extend to the edge of the frame to elongate her body. The lens performed perfectly for my intended purpose, creating tack-sharp imagery while showcasing minimal edge distortion.
To learn more about these incredible new lenses make sure to check out Samyang’s lineup. If this is just the start of their mirrorless lens options, I truly can’t wait to see what the future holds. These two prime lenses, the 14mm and 85mm, are incredibly popular choices for photographers, and early adopters to the Canon mirrorless ecosystem should have some exciting options on their way from Samyang.