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Thread started 30 Jan 2013 (Wednesday) 15:19
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Samyang / Rokinon 14mm f/2.8

 
secwind
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Jan 30, 2013 15:19 |  #1

I just received my Rokinon 14mm f/2.8.

I know there's some bad copies out there that's very soft, so I want to test it to make sure I get a good one. Otherwise I'll just send it back to amazon for a replacement.

If any Samyang / Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 owner can chime in and take a look at my test shot would be great.

Thanks in advance.

All images are shot in jpeg with default picture style settings.

F/2.8 1/5 ISO 200

IMAGE: http://imageshack.us/a/img248/4660/14mm28.jpg

f/8.0 1.6 ISO 200
IMAGE: http://imageshack.us/a/img844/7376/14mm80.jpg



  
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NWPhil
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Jan 30, 2013 16:31 |  #2

hmmm...I am not an expert on this
well, first of all, and please take no offense, but IMHO seems that you need to read/research on " how to test a lens" - the targets positioning, available light, and camera settings, all seem to be off, as in not the preferred one's for accurate results.
Secondly, unless you actually take shots of targets for a living, just get out and try different scenarios under different light conditions, as in where and when you really want/intend to use this lens
Other here will be able to give you a better and more detailed guidance, but I am pretty sure you are not doing this the correct way.
good luck


NWPhil
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secwind
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Jan 30, 2013 20:49 |  #3

Thanks Phil for your suggestion.

I'll do some research on it and hopefully post up some better pictures.




  
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sploo
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Jan 31, 2013 03:49 as a reply to  @ secwind's post |  #4

secwind - see the 1:1, 4:3 etc. marks on the sheets you've printed? You want to line the camera up so you're taking a shot that covers the 3:2 marks (i.e. you end up with the four crosses in the corners of your shot).

That will mean you'll be pretty close, and will be pushing the limits of your printer, so it's better to try to print the chart over several sheets and stick them to a flat backing board (oh, and flat is also a tip - I see the sheet on the left is curved up off the floor).

OK, so that was the helpful bit, now I'm gonna hijack your thread as I'm in exactly the same position and was going to post a thread on the subject today, but it seems more sensible to keep it to one ;).

I've just bought the 14mm too, and I'm unsure if my expectations are realistic. At the moment I'm testing it against an EF-S 15-85 on a 7D (which I appreciate means I'm not testing the whole of the Samyang, but if anything, that should give it an advantage).

I'm pretty certain my 15-85 is a good one, as I've previously tested it against two different copies of the Canon 14mm f/2.8 L II, and whilst the L was sharper at the edges, the zoom certainly wasn't shamed.

I've tested my Samyang on both distant (landscape) shots and a test chart and results are pretty consistent:

  • At f5.6 and smaller the Samyang is pretty good vs the 15-85
  • It's noticeably better than the zoom on the left quarter of the frame
  • However, in the center and right it's not quite as sharp as the 15-85 (apart from the extreme corners)
  • At f4 and wider the Samyang is pretty bad - very 'dreamy'; though it just about recovers on the left side of the frame vs the 15-85
  • Big. Big vignetting, even on a crop, even at f5.6
  • All testing on a tripod, mirror lockup, timer, liveview focusing at 10x


Based on the reviews I've seen (where - the majority of - people have got a good one) I'd expect the Samyang to at least match the 15-85 at all equivalent apertures, and likely be a fair bit better. The fact it's not really usable until f5.6, and even then struggles in the center/right of the frame vs an EF-S zoom makes me suspect I might have been unlucky.

Hoping someone reading this has seen both good and bad copies and could comment on whether I'm being unrealistic, or if this does appear to be a bad one?

Camera, some lenses, too little time, too little talent

  
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Earwax69
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Jan 31, 2013 04:37 |  #5

Wow, sploo, return that. If you already have the 15-85mm, you def not need a softer 14mm. Except if you plan to go Full Frame that is...

EDIT:
Not sure but here the Samyang is also quite soft at f2.8;
http://www.the-digital-picture.com …omp=0&FLIComp=0​&APIComp=0 (external link)

As they use a 1D markIII, it's going to be even worst on crop. However at f8, it look nice. If your into landscape stuff, the Samyang might be the best choice.


Canon 6D | S35mm f1.4 | 135mm f2 The rest: T3i, 20D, 15mm f2.8, 15-85mm, 24mm f2.8, 50mm f1.8, 85mm f1.8, 90mm f2.8 macro, 55-250mm.
So long and thanks for all the fish

  
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sploo
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Jan 31, 2013 04:54 |  #6

Earwax69 wrote in post #15555222 (external link)
Wow, sploo, return that. If you already have the 15-85mm, you def not need a softer 14mm. Except if you plan to go Full Frame that is...

EDIT:
Not sure but here the Samyang is also quite soft at f2.8;
http://www.the-digital-picture.com …omp=0&FLIComp=0​&APIComp=0 (external link)

As they use a 1D markIII, it's going to be even worst on crop. However at f8, it look nice. If your into landscape stuff, the Samyang might be the best choice.

Yes - got a 5D3 on order, but the Samyang turned up first so I though I'd check it on the 7D as the 15-85 would be the closest thing I could compare it to.

Based on the crops at the digital picture I'd considered the Samyang as being acceptably better than the 15-85, and other tests (such as those at photozone.de) indicate the Samyang should be at least as good if not better. As such, the fact it's really soft at f4 and wider does make me suspicious it's not a great copy :(.


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sploo
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Jan 31, 2013 18:08 as a reply to  @ sploo's post |  #7

Unfortunately, the place I bought the lens from is out of stock, so I can't do what I was going to do (order another one, compare, and return the softer copy).

I took a more detailed look at the lens, and there's definitely something not good with the right side of the frame. It's reputed to have very little chromatic aberration (CA), and that's true of the left side, but from the middle to the right of the frame there's some fairly significant ghosting/fringing that's massively worse than the 15-85 (which itself suffers from a reasonable bit of CA).

Stopped down, the left side of the frame is very good; and if there are copies around that have this quality on both sides then I can understand why it's highly regarded. So bad is the left-to-right difference on my copy that despite it not being very sharp anywhere at f2.8, the left side is still sharper than the right at f4.0. See the attached image (downsampled from my display, so the difference isn't quite as apparent).

So, sadly, it's going to have to be returned, though I will try to source a sharper copy as I think it's well worth the effort.


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Camera, some lenses, too little time, too little talent

  
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sploo
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Feb 08, 2013 17:33 as a reply to  @ sploo's post |  #8

Well, the good news is that the supplier got some more units in. From my original email conversations with them, I got the feeling they weren't particularly interested, and would just perform a refund.

As it turns out, I got a phone call after returning the lens, and one of their guys was testing it and seemed genuinely interested to try to reproduce the problem. After a bit of discussion, he too saw the same artefacts. Once they got some new stock in they tested another sample to confirm it was good and sent that out (in fact I spoke to them one afternoon, and the replacement was at my office the next morning). Most impressive.

Credit where it's due - the supplier was http://www.ukdigital.c​o.uk/ (external link). I'll certainly check out their site again the next time I'm looking for kit.

Having tested the lens against an EF-S 15-85 on a 7D, I'd say that the Samyang clearly starts to pull away after f5.6. Surprisingly, at wider apertures, the 15-85 has the edge. However, the new sample of the Samyang is consistent across the frame. I'm comparing on a black and white ISO test chart, so real world differences are likely to be less obvious either way.

If you had a crop camera, then based on my limited testing, I'd say the Samyang might be worth it for a little extra width (perhaps more so if you had an 18-55), and you were happy to stop down. My take is that this sort of lens is usually about landscapes/architectur​e and good DOF, so stopping down isn't a big deal. At f8, this lens is pretty impressive considering the cost.

Having now gotten hold of a 5D3, I'd say the results are even better. Comparing ISO test chart shots with the lens on a 7D vs 5D3, the corners aren't significantly worse on the 5D3 (quite impressive if you think about it), though there is obviously more vignetting. There's noticeable extra 'pop' from the centre to mid-frame, which I put down to the full frame sensor requiring less magnification for the same sized print (thus 'pushing' a lens less). The huge FOV on full frame means it really makes sense here - and given the good image quality I'd definitely recommend getting one - as long as you can find a friendly supplier that will take returns!

BTW The mechanical quality of the lens is very good too. Nicely damped focussing ring, and it generally feels pretty well made.

I guess I've just confirmed what many reviewers have already noted - Samyang 14mm; it's a great lens at a bargain price - if you get a good one (but it probably is worth persevering and getting a replacement rather than a refund if you don't).


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Mike ­ K
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Feb 09, 2013 23:02 |  #9

I had a Rokinon 14/2.8 and found it softer (stars were not sharp) at f2.8. However it was sharp at f5.6. At all apertures there was quite a bit of distortion, very noticeable in buildings with parallel lines. I used PT Lens to correct for this.
In the end I was not satisfied with the Rokinon for night photography and rather use the Canon 17 TSE f4 or Zeiss 21/2.8.


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sploo
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Feb 10, 2013 09:51 |  #10

Mike K wrote in post #15593061 (external link)
I had a Rokinon 14/2.8 and found it softer (stars were not sharp) at f2.8. However it was sharp at f5.6. At all apertures there was quite a bit of distortion, very noticeable in buildings with parallel lines. I used PT Lens to correct for this.
In the end I was not satisfied with the Rokinon for night photography and rather use the Canon 17 TSE f4 or Zeiss 21/2.8.

I rented a couple of the Canon 14mm f2.8L II primes for an aurora hunting trip a while back, and I'd suspect the Canon is sharper at f2.8. I didn't think the Samyang was too bad wide open, but it certainly improves significantly by f5.6 - which didn't worry me too much, as that's fine for daylight landscape shots.

It does indeed have a lot of distortion, so perhaps isn't best suited for architectural work. However, it's nearly seven times less than the Canon (in UK prices) and it certainly isn't seven times "worse", so it's a good deal if it suits your shooting.


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ZoneV
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Feb 10, 2013 13:34 |  #11

sploo wrote in post #15594110 (external link)
It does indeed have a lot of distortion, so perhaps isn't best suited for architectural work. However, it's nearly seven times less than the Canon (in UK prices) and it certainly isn't seven times "worse", so it's a good deal if it suits your shooting.

I made some Samyang 14 Adobe Lightroom profiles (external link), but I still think the distortion of this is very bad. It is a lens that is really optimized for digital image taking - nearly no one would be happy with this lens and film!

The value (with inflation) of my Zeiss Contax 35mm f/1.4 is still ~ as high as that time someone bought it new, ~25 years ago. And for my Zeiss Contax 50mm f/1.4 it is nearly the same. Even the cheap and common Zeiss 50mm f/1.7 has still the value I have paid for it as I bought it used ~ 15-20 years ago.
I think the fall in value is much much higher for Samyang lenses. They have some special defects, I donĀ“t think many of those bought today could be used 2038.

My Samyang 14 is dead - at the moment. Internal screws loosened, and there is no easy way to get the front lens part parallel to the back part. Or there are additional problems now with those screws. I tried but failed - and I have some experience in lens repair and modification (external link).


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Xcelx
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Feb 10, 2013 14:01 |  #12

ZoneV wrote in post #15594918 (external link)
My Samyang 14 is dead - at the moment. Internal screws loosened, and there is no easy way to get the front lens part parallel to the back part.

I'm in the market for this lens so the subject interests me. What happened? Is it something which creeps up after a lot of usage?

I've read elsewhere the Samyang can be a bit fragile and it gets me a bit worried on getting a second hand copy compared to a new one.




  
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ZoneV
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Feb 11, 2013 02:49 |  #13

The Samyang / Falcon / Bower / Rokinon .. 14mm f/2.8 (external link) has many plastic parts (here red) inside:

IMAGE: http://www.4photos.de/test/Samyang14-.jpg

I suppose Samyang adjust register distance and parallity of the lens with a special tool. And when this is ok, it is fixed with three screws deep inside the lens barrel. When these screws get loose - as at my copy - the lens front can slide forth and back. When they are only a bit loose or material there is not stable enough, this could happen with a bit force.
I read about one Samyang 14 with correct focus, but after the lens inside a photo bag fell down ~40cm it was deadjusted.
From my understanding one could loose the infinity setting and parellitiy with such an impact, or loos screws.

Here I have some more common lens defects (external link)listet.
Other have a problem with sticky iris, but this is more a Samyang 85/1.4 problem.
The Samyang 35mm f/1.4 seems to have a bit fragile mechanics too.

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paulkaye
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Feb 12, 2013 17:55 |  #14

ZoneV wrote in post #15597113 (external link)
The Samyang / Falcon / Bower / Rokinon .. 14mm f/2.8 (external link) has many plastic parts (here red) inside:

QUOTED IMAGE

I suppose Samyang adjust register distance and parallity of the lens with a special tool. And when this is ok, it is fixed with three screws deep inside the lens barrel. When these screws get loose - as at my copy - the lens front can slide forth and back. When they are only a bit loose or material there is not stable enough, this could happen with a bit force.
I read about one Samyang 14 with correct focus, but after the lens inside a photo bag fell down ~40cm it was deadjusted.
From my understanding one could loose the infinity setting and parellitiy with such an impact, or loos screws.

Here I have some more common lens defects (external link)listet.
Other have a problem with sticky iris, but this is more a Samyang 85/1.4 problem.
The Samyang 35mm f/1.4 seems to have a bit fragile mechanics too.

ZoneV has a lot of eperience with this lens and I think his analysis is correct. The build of the Samyang 14mm seems superficially good - nice weight and well damped focus ring for example - but the reality is a bit different.

Focus ring calibration is terrible (e.g. focusing well past infinity when the focus is set at that setting); and there are some really questionable construcion techniques (e.g. the mount is held to the body of the lens via self-tapping screws into plastic - a good jolt and you've wrecked the lens). i would not be at all surprised that there are decentering problems on some copies.

i know the lens is cheap and can deliver excellent results, but ita build quality leaves a alot to be desired.


Paul
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Xcelx
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Feb 14, 2013 01:30 |  #15

The build quality has got me a bit worried now. I might opt for the 17-40 instead since I'm also a bit afraid of this being too wide in the long run and provide a boring perspective. I do have the 24-105 which I could use from 24 and up but with the heavy vignetting it's not really the same as a 17-40. For stationary objects I already just shoot panoramas as it is so I'm thinking 17mm might be wide enough for my needs.

Another thing I don't like about the Samyang is the 6 bladed aperture, I would much prefer 7 or more for the sun stars. So it is sharpness with a fragile build versus softer but more versatile and tougher lens. Luckily a friend of mine has the 17-40, I have to do some extensive testing to see if it's sharp and wide enough for me when doing panoramas. Decisions, decisions....




  
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Samyang / Rokinon 14mm f/2.8
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