Rokinon 85mm f/1.4 Aspherical
Manual Focus Prime Lens
Rokinon 85mm f/1.4 Manual Focus Telephoto
Lens The Rokinon 85mm f/1.4 Manual Focus Lens is a special effort in the independent lens manufacturer world, being a popular focal length for serious portraiture combined with an extra large f/1.4 maximum aperture. Most independent manufacturer lenses are either zooms or very short or long focal length fixed lenses.
With the appropriate mount, this lens is appropriate for
and Nikon FX "full frame" cameras in addition to their 15.6 x 23.7mm "APS-C" style digital 'DX' SLR cameras, and works similarly upon the cameras as later-model Nikon manual focus lenses. This lens is precision manufactured in South Korea.
With a 35mm equivalent focal length of ~127mm and that f/1.4 aperture on this Rokinon 85mm lens opens up photographic opportunities you'll never get with your zoom. Capture close portraits of singers on dark stages with only spotlights on their faces, and those background lights will be soft cascades of low-contrast coloring. With the big f/1.4 opening, you'll have enough light to stop subject motion. Or try it in brighter conditions at fast shutter speeds and low ISOs to make great shots of people in front of blooming trees, with background flowers almost looking like paintings. It isn't easy nailing manual focus at f/1.4-2.0 (nor for that matter is it easy for an AF system), but you'll get better with practice, and soon be making many snaps that stand out in a crowd.
Typical internet price: $257.00.
An f/1.4 lens is not usually as efficient as the same manufacture's f/1.8 or f/2
lenses, even when both are stopped down to f/5.6. the lens with the wider
aperture is heaver and more expensive, so don't choose it as your standard
unless you are planning a great deal of photography poor light conditions.
There' plenty of reasons for using a wide aperture, but avoid buying a lens with
an aperture wider than you need.
If you can manage with f/1.8 or f/2, I much prefer the present
Nikon 85mm f/1.8 AF-D
which sells for just a few more dollars than this Rokinon 85mm, has
autofocus and a higher mechanical quality. For manual focus, I
have a preference for Nikon's classic manual focus 85mm f/2 AI-S, still the
smallest 85mm Nikon and sells used for less than this Rokinon lens.
This lens was truly created with large-aperture shooting in mind. Though a fine performer with plenty of contrast and resolution at f/5.6-f/11 apertures, it is at its best shooting between f/1.4-2.8, where it presents a high-peak-resolution focus point surrounded by lower resolution/contrast out-of-focus areas. Rather than just sharpness all around, for many pictures it is this stark drop off in resolution and contrast that effectively draws a viewer's eye towards a subject.
• Bright f/1.4 aperture
• Aspherical lens element provides high quality images
• Fully multicoated optics
• Ideal portrait lens
• Low weight relative to many 85mm f/1.4 lenses
• Smooth helicoid manual focus action
• Internal focusing means that lens length remains constant during focusing (lens front also does not rotate)
• Made in South Korea
Rokinon 85mm f/1.4 Manual Focus Telephoto Lens
• Front & Rear Lens Caps
• Lens Hood
• Lens Pouch
• 1-Year Warranty
Rokinon, Samyang, Vivitar, Opteka, etc., June 21, 2009
By Cottage Photography (NJ)
This review is from: Rokinon 85mm f/1.4 Aspherical Lens for Nikon D40 D40x D50 D60 D80 D90 D200 D3 D300 D700 Digital SLR Cameras (Electronics)
I have the Rokinon version of this lens. It is great! I use it on a Nikon D700 and have compared it with the Nikon AF 85mm f/1.4 (which I had rented for a weekend to test) and I much prefer this lens to the Nikon.
When I used the Nikon AF version, I found myself having to manually focus to get the plane of focus just where I wanted it and so decided I really didn't need to pay extra (almost a $1k more) for the AF feature. So the only thing that would make sense for paying more was if the Nikon's Image Quality was significantly better... it wasn't. In fact, at f/1.4 (which is where you will be shooting this lens 99% of the time, else why buy an f/1.4 lens) I found the Rokinon/Opteka to be sharper and have more contrast than the Nikon.
There are a lot of reviews to be found on the inter-net for this lens. Some express concern for obtaining a good "copy". I am sure this lens is not as consistent in its build quality as Nikon is, but I got lucky right out of the chute with my first one. It is amazingly sharp, mechanically sound, and the IQ is just what I needed it to be (bokeh is wonderful).
Bought mine through ebay. Great store with quality customer service.
For the price, you really can't go wrong.