Rokinon 85mm vs Zeiss Quick Test
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flashinm
Registered: Aug 23, 2010
Total Posts: 373
Country: N/A

Yes, but neither the Rokinon nor the Sigma display the microcontrast Zeiss is known for. I think the higher contrast shows up in all aspects of the image, including the out of focus portions leading to a busier, more detailed bokeh. I have never seen a Zeiss lens that can produce bokeh as smooth as the Rokinon. In fact, I don't think it's possible with T* coatings. That's not to say one is better than the other, but I don't think it's possible to have both. The same thing that makes Zeiss lenses wonderful for details, prevents them from having buttery smooth bokeh.



flashinm
Registered: Aug 23, 2010
Total Posts: 373
Country: N/A

^ Sounds like I need to check out the 35mm.



wayne seltzer
Registered: Dec 22, 2007
Total Posts: 3970
Country: United States

flashinm wrote:
Yes, but neither the Rokinon nor the Sigma display the microcontrast Zeiss is known for. I think the higher contrast shows up in all aspects of the image, including the out of focus portions leading to a busier, more detailed bokeh. I have never seen a Zeiss lens that can produce bokeh as smooth as the Rokinon. In fact, I don't think it's possible with T* coatings. That's not to say one is better than the other, but I don't think it's possible to have both. The same thing that makes Zeiss lenses wonderful for details, prevents them from having buttery smooth bokeh.

The new Zeiss 35/1.4 has very smooth bokeh and the old contax n 85/1.4 has smooth bokeh.
Also Sony-Zeiss ZA 135/1.8 has very smooth bokeh.



wayne seltzer
Registered: Dec 22, 2007
Total Posts: 3970
Country: United States

flashinm wrote:
^ Sounds like I need to check out the 35mm.

Yes, it is a smooth operator!
Under-corrected SA design makes it a perfect softer/dreamier look portrait lens at the wide end and then super sharp normal Zeiss microcontrast lens stopped down.



AhamB
Registered: Jul 11, 2008
Total Posts: 4861
Country: Germany

wayne seltzer wrote:
Also Sony-Zeiss ZA 135/1.8 has very smooth bokeh.


The Contax Planar 135/2.0 probably does so too?



crazeazn
Registered: Jul 16, 2005
Total Posts: 1633
Country: United States

at the cost of the rokinon and the zeiss 85 2.8...you could pretty much have both for the price of 1 canon 85 1.8.. great fliexibility there.



plasticmotif
Registered: Sep 23, 2010
Total Posts: 833
Country: United States

Threads like this really make me want to go the Samyang 85 + Voigt 125 route.



carstenw
Registered: Dec 26, 2005
Total Posts: 14914
Country: Germany

The Samyang/Rokinon has very good optical quality, but the time I tried one, I found that the stiff focus ring, and loose hood ruined the experience for me a bit. Have they tightened up the construction quality at all in recent times?



cputeq
Registered: Jun 25, 2008
Total Posts: 4243
Country: United States

I really liked my Rok'85 when I had it on the D700, great lens. I hated the hood, though, but for $259 shipped it was a real steal.

My only complaint with the lens was the lower-than-normal contrast - I often found myself having to coax the image into what I wanted a bit more than normal....again, then I had to remind myself it was only $259



ersatz
Registered: Aug 25, 2009
Total Posts: 222
Country: United States

crazeazn wrote:
at the cost of the rokinon and the zeiss 85 2.8...you could pretty much have both for the price of 1 canon 85 1.8.. great fliexibility there.


The c/y 85/2.8 Sonnar goes for about the same price as a Canon 85/1.8 which is about $300-350 here.



flashinm
Registered: Aug 23, 2010
Total Posts: 373
Country: N/A

I agree that the focus ring is too stiff, but my hood fits nice and tight.



ScooberJake
Registered: Mar 17, 2008
Total Posts: 989
Country: United States

I thought the Rokinon hood was junk, so I bought a Nikon replacement metal hood. Still wish it was bayonet rather then screw mount, but it'll do.

Agreed on the contrast. I keep intending to buy a chip for mine, so I can have Lightroom bump the contrast a bit automatically.



ManWearPants
Registered: Oct 13, 2009
Total Posts: 757
Country: Qatar

The CY used here is AEG. Would a MMG or MMJ have made any difference to the results?



edwardkaraa
Registered: Sep 27, 2004
Total Posts: 6863
Country: Thailand

While the Rokinon delivers excellent performance, I am always wary of cheap products. In my experience, you get what you pay for. This doesn't mean expensive products are always better, but there must be a reason for the unusually low price. I don't know about the Rokinon because I have never looked into getting one, but I would expect sample variations, product deterioration with use and age, especially if it uses non-metal focusing gear and organic lens elements. The optical formula seems to be excellent though.



RZetter
Registered: Mar 02, 2010
Total Posts: 340
Country: Finland

Organic lens elements? Could you clarify on that point?

In my experience the build quality of the Samyang is okay when it comes to the outer appearances, but there are some flaws. First things first: The hood is awful, and becomes loose very quickly. I, like many others, bought a Nikon HN-20 knockoff metal hood to replace it. The knockoff hood is not perfect since it's a screw-on type, and can't be reverse-mounted for storage.

When I first got the lens the focusing action was quite stiff, but it loosened up with time. Now, after owning the lens for a year, I can feel that the grease in the helical has formed two surfaces: one on the helical and one on the inside of the focusing ring. When you apply enough force to the focusing ring the two surfaces kind of let go of each other and the ring moves with much less resistance. The focus damping is also a bit uneven, and turning the ring becomes heavier near MFD (which is understandable).

On my lens the front element also became loose and started to rattle, which was quite unnerving. It was an easy fix though, I just had to screw it back in to place. It seems it was not fastened with any glue, just by pressure. Image quality was still unaffected, even when the element was loose.
My lens also has a small flaw in the coating on the rear element, but it doesn't bother me since I've never seen any problems caused by it. The diaphragm blades don't stop down perfectly even, but that also belongs in the "who cares"-category.

Wow, that was a long list. Anyone want to buy a Samyang 85mm in mint condition? Just kidding, I would never sell it regardless of all its flaws.



edwardkaraa
Registered: Sep 27, 2004
Total Posts: 6863
Country: Thailand

Organic lens elements: Plastic

Many lens makers use that, including Canon, but my understanding is that Zeiss uses only mineral glass.



kakomu
Registered: May 28, 2009
Total Posts: 3376
Country: United States

RZetter wrote:
When I first got the lens the focusing action was quite stiff, but it loosened up with time. Now, after owning the lens for a year, I can feel that the grease in the helical has formed two surfaces: one on the helical and one on the inside of the focusing ring. When you apply enough force to the focusing ring the two surfaces kind of let go of each other and the ring moves with much less resistance. The focus damping is also a bit uneven, and turning the ring becomes heavier near MFD (which is understandable).


A few of my older lenses by Olympus and Nikon have a problem with uneven dampening with the focus ring.



sebboh
Registered: Nov 02, 2009
Total Posts: 9676
Country: United States

edwardkaraa wrote:
Organic lens elements: Plastic

Many lens makers use that, including Canon, but my understanding is that Zeiss uses only mineral glass.


aren't molded aspherical elements plastic?



AhamB
Registered: Jul 11, 2008
Total Posts: 4861
Country: Germany

sebboh wrote:
aren't molded aspherical elements plastic?


No. Molded aspherics are pressed in a mold and they are the ones showing the onion rings in the bokeh, due to the spiral groove pattern in the mold. There are aspherics that are grinded, which is more difficult/expensive to repeat than reusing a mold.
Then there are composite aspherics that consist of a spherical glass element with a plastic layer that makes it aspherical.



kakomu
Registered: May 28, 2009
Total Posts: 3376
Country: United States

AhamB wrote:
sebboh wrote:
aren't molded aspherical elements plastic?


No. Molded aspherics are pressed in a mold and they are the ones showing the onion rings in the bokeh, due to the spiral groove pattern in the mold. There are aspherics that are grinded, which is more difficult/expensive to repeat than reusing a mold.
Then there are composite aspherics that consist of a spherical element with a plastic layer that makes it aspherical.


The composite lens, as you put it, is called "replica aspherical lens" by Canon and "hybrid aspherical lens" by Nikon.



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