(I want to start off by saying I have no affiliation with Rokinon, or any product manufacturer for that matter. I'm not making any money from reviewing products, nor do I plan to. If I don't like the product, I don't review it. Simple as that.)
Welcome again to your weekly installment of the Tem.Teen Studios blog! Time for another review. And what piece of gear will I be reviewing today? The Rokinon 14mm t/3.1 Cine lens.
I want to start off by saying that this is a hefty lens. Weighing in at around 20 ounces (570 grams) and being only 5" tall, it isn't a toy to be messing with. The plastic feels very good and high quality. The focus & aperture rings are very smooth and have a nice bit of resistance. The front lens hood is part of the actual lens and cannot be removed. That is simply due to the fact that the front element is sitting directly in the lens hood. I do not recommend dropping this lens (why would you drop it?) for fear of cracking the front element.
In the industry, this is what is known as a cinema lens. There are a few things that make this different from the photo lens version. The first thing that makes them different is that this lens is measured in T stops instead of F stops (if you want to know the difference, click on this sentence) and the aperture ring doesn't click when turned. Second is that the focus markers are on the side of the lens. And the third thing that is different is that the throw (angle of rotation from closest focus to infinity focus) is well over 300º, perfect for a follow focus.
Now I'll bring up the image quality of this lens. It isn't exactly the sharpest thing on earth at t/3.1. But at t/4 down, it's about as sharp as my Canon 40mm f/2.8 when set to f/3.2 and below:
This lens does have a heavy bit of distortion, but thanks to Lightroom's lens correction, I was able to find a profile that works and you can download it here (it is a full frame profile, but all you need to do to make it work on a cropped sensor is change the vignette setting to 25 as opposed to 100).
After posting a photo of this lens on Instagram, one of the first questions I got was "How is this lens compared to the photo version of this lens?"And I can honestly say... I have no clue. However, what I am told is that this & the photo lens are the exact same minus the differences I listed earlier. Now, this is just what I'm told. I could be 100% wrong and maybe the photo lens has less image quality. Like I said earlier, I have no clue.
IMPORTANT: This lens took a decent fall when my camera bag wasn't zipped properly. The elements themselves are fine. No scratches, dings or focus misalignments happened as far as I know. However, one thing came up to my attention. This lens was connected to my camera when it fell and the lens came off the camera. Upon further inspection, I found that the ring that connects the main part of the lens to the mount (the part that connects to the camera) broke. What surprised me is that this lens is made mostly of metal and high quality plastic. The plastic that the ring was made of wasn't of that same quality. Fortunately nothing else broke, and I was able to fix it with some super glue. Is this a deal breaker for me? I honestly have to say... no. I didn't expect this lens to be made the way it was (i.e: robust, sharp, & hefty) in the first place. I still use this lens and love it a lot.
In conclusion, I love this lens. It's fun to use, built like a tank, and the images that come off of it are really sharp. Should my experience with the mount stop you from buying this lens? Absolutely not! If you're looking for an affordable Ultra-Wide Angle Prime lens, this lens is probably your best option.
That's all for now. Next week, look for my review of the Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM lens. Until then, ¡Adios!