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Keith over at Northlight Images has completed his review of the Samyang/Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 lens. This lens retails for $329 USD, compared to Canon’s $2395 EF 14mm f/2.8L II. If you’re in the market for an ultrawide angle lens for your full frame camera, and don’t mind doing a bit of work yourself, this may be the lens for you.
“If you’re interested in the Samyang 14mm (or whatever it’s called where you are) then consider what it is you want to use it for?
For some people the lack of AF and having to manually stop down the lens to the working aperture will be a show stopper.
However I found it perfectly easy to use out and about, by making use of good depth of field at f/8 and an ability to roughly estimate distances.
Exposure was set manually, and relies on the fact that if the light changes enough to need to alter the shutter speed or aperture, then you should easily be able to notice it. It’s hardly difficult with a bit of practice, and you’ll develop a much better intuitive feel for scene lighting, which is no bad thing.”
Manually focusing a 14mm lens on a full frame camera is pretty easy if you stop down to f/5.6 or f/8. Depth of field is quite forgiving.
Is it worth a little extra work to save $2000? to a lot of people it probably is. This is not a focal length most people would use a lot. It’s true that up close, you have to take a bit of care, but with a little practice, it shouldn’t be too difficult to figure out.
In the end, you’re going to get great looking images for a fraction of what Canon is asking you for. If you buy the Rokinon and find that 14mm is something you end up using a lot, go on and upgrade to the Canon, it’s a pretty great lens too.