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| p.2 #15 · Rokinon 85mm F1.4 wide open shots? |
So here's the thing... I ended up returning my Rokinon 85 1.4...
Optically this lens is outstanding, and able to compete with all the top dogs albeit slightly softer, still great.
However, this lens being an f1.4 is almost useless without autofocus... My copy had a slightly stiff focus ring, it was really hard to land focus perfectly on my 5D MK2 with the precision focus screen.
I ended up returning it and picking up the Canon 85mm f1.8 which is also a great lens with extremely fast focus.
If I where shooting static or slow moving objects, the rokinon would have stuck around. But its just simply too difficult to nail focus on a human model/portrait (what 85mm is meant for) unless you're stopped down to broaden the depth of field. I guess this would be different on a crop sensor.
Hope this helps your decision.
1) Is your precision matte focusing screen perfectly calibrated?
2) How much did you practice?
3) Are you really willing to accept the dramatic difference in drawing style of the EF, simply because it has AF?
I mean no offense by any of these questions. Any lens decision is based on pros and cons, but I am just trying to determine if you have really considered all of the pros and cons in this situation.
It's subjective, of course. For me, it is all about the final image, not about how much effort it takes to achieve the desired results.
I think if you ensured the bases were covered on 1) and 2) above, you'd discover that compromise made in 3) was unnecessary.
Just my 2 cents. If you would like me to post direct comparisons of what I am talking about in 3), let me know.
1. My focus screen is perfect. Works great on all my other lenses.
2. I've been shooting manual focus lenses for 10 years, on film and digital. I currently use several adapted older manual focus lenses including an Olympus 24mm f2.8, 35mm f2, and 135mm f2.8 on my 5D. I also had the Rokinon 35mm F1.4 which was AMAZING, albiet quite a bit more expencive than the 85mm.
3. I'm not sure what you mean by "drawing style" but I consider the Canon 85mm a wonderful lens. Wide open its slightly softer than the Rok 85 at F1.8, but the USM is fast and speedy. The auto aperture allows you to frame your subjects brightly in the viewfinder without the aperture blades in the way. And the bokeh is good enough for any professional application. The only aspects of the Rokinon I miss is having F1.4, and the better build quality (the canon feels hollow and more plasticy), The bokeh was more pleasing but both have great character.
What it came down to for me... was how many "Keepers" I was getting from a single session... and with the Rokinon I was habitually missing focus regardless of how hard I tried... even if I used the LCD, 85mm @ F1.4 is just too hard to retain focus reliably and manually while retaining razor sharp images. This greatly depends on your subjects. Like I said before, if you shoot very static subjects its a great lens. If you move fast/have fast moving subjects... go for the AF. Or be prepared to delete half of your CF card in post process.
I take no offence, I pondered the very same questions as you. I expect a lot from my gear regardless of price.