UPDATE #2 – January 20, 2012: We have almost finished our tests and will post the results of this great lens very soon. We’ll include pictures taken at different f-stops and also video recorded with this lens on a full frame camera.
Stay tuned! You can subscribe to our site to receive email notifications when new articles are published. Sorry for the delay!
UPDATE #1 – August 31, 2011: This is an AMAZING lens. We will post our own lens review as soon as possible. Subscribe to our blog to be notified when new articles are published.
About two months ago Samyang released this great and affordable 35mm f/1.4 full frame lens for sale in Europe, and now it’s available in USA as well.
It is rebranded under the name Rokinon and Bower, but it is actually the same lens.
This lens has very strong and very attractive features especially for people interested in video capturing, such as fast aperture of f/1.4, very good image quality (even compared at fast apertures to the much more expensive Canon and Nikon 35mm 1.4 lenses, including less vignetting than the Canon and Nikon at 1.4), very nice bokeh, smooth and big manual focus ring with hard stops, and manual iris/aperture ring.
This is a GREAT lens for video/filmmaking purposes, especially considering its features and price. Any other available 35mm f/1.4 full frame lens is 3 to 4 times more expensive. And it’s not only about the price, the image and build quality is really good!
This lens is also very attractive for photography purposes. As mentioned above, it offers very high image quality at a very affordable price for a lens with a fast maximum aperture of f/1.4.
Just few things to keep in mind when using the lens for photography:
- This is a manual focus lens, not AF.
- You won’t be able to use the automatic Tv or P shooting modes.
- Since aperture is manually controlled by the aperture ring, the image seen through the viewfinder will turn darker when you stop down the lens (equivalent to press the DOF-check button on the camera when using AF lenses). This is actually not a problem at all for video, but may be for some still shooters.
- You won’t get the selected aperture value, nor the focal length of the lens (35mm) on the EXIF data of the captured image (except if you use the “Nikon with chip” version).
By the way: stock of this lens is running out fast (especially for Canon mount), so if you are interested act quick.
As mentioned above Rokinon and Bower are actually the same Samyang lens, and it is available for many camera mounts.
These are the available options currently for sale in USA:
- 35mm f/1.4 Wide-Angle US UMC Aspherical Lens for Canon
- 35mm f/1.4 Wide-Angle US UMC Aspherical Lens for Nikon With Focus Confirm Chip
- 35mm f/1.4 Wide-Angle US UMC Aspherical Lens for Olympus 4/3
- 35mm f/1.4 Wide-Angle US UMC Aspherical Lens for Sony
- 35mm f/1.4 Wide-Angle US UMC Aspherical Lens for Pentax
- 35mm f/1.4 Lens for Canon
- 35mm f/1.4 Lens for Nikon
- 35mm f/1.4 Lens for Pentax
- 35mm f/1.4 Lens for Sony/Minolta
NOTE: Some additional options by Bower may be available in near future.
Where to buy in Europe: If you live in the European Union, you can buy this beautiful lens and other Samyang/Bower/Rokinon lenses at Omega Mecanización de Gabinetes S.L. which is located in Spain.
REVIEWS & ADDITIONAL COMMENTS
There are few reviews of this lens on internet, you can found one at LensTip.
We will post our own review with pictures and video samples in September. We suggest to subscribe to our newsletter to receive an email when new articles are published.
About one month ago Philip Bloom commented:
“The 35mm lens is one of those key lenses you should have in your kit, like a 50mm and an 85mm. Especially if you are using a crop sensor camera. On those camera cameras it gives you your standard lens field of view.
There are loads of 35mm lenses out there. The best one, certainly for video has just been released. The Zeiss 35mm F1.4 is beautiful. Lovely optics. Fast. Incredibly well made. Unfortunately out of the price bracket of many people as it’s around $1900. Worth the money? Yes if you are a pro for sure.
For others, a really nice new option has come out for about a quarter of the price.
The Samyang 35mm F1.4 is a manual focus lens. No auto in this (neither has the Zeiss), but that is fine for video. In fact it’s great as we have hard stops on the focus. Also key for me is the iris is actually on the lens rather than controlled via the camera. The video guy in me much prefers this and of course with an adaptor you can use this lens on other cameras like the AF101 or F3 with a Canon EOS adaptor and still have iris control.
It actually has been made in various mounts…Canon, Pentax, Nikon, 4/3, Sony etc…
Quality wise…it’s not a Zeiss, but it’s pretty nice and for the money great value.
I haven’t shot any video with it yet. But here a couple of photos of my cats on the Canon 5Dmk2. It covers both the full frame and the APS-C
I bought mine here for 415 Euros which is about $600 from Poland and it came to my pretty quickly. This lens is often rebranded so keep an eye out for it under the name Rokinon and other such names. Do a google for it and you will find it.
It’s not perfect, I hear there are some chromatic aberrations in far detail but from the reviews I have read it’s all pretty positive.I wouldn’t expect perfection in a 35mm F1.4 prime lens that covers a full frame and APS-C for this price. But it’s pretty bloody good!
This is my second Samyang one. I already have the 8mm fish eye and it’s sweet. Good job on this new 35mm F1.4!”
It is worth mentioning that this lens has much higher image quality than the Canon 35mm f/2 (which has strong vignetting and very soft corners when wide open).
This is a full frame lens, so you can use it on all types of cameras with interchangeable lens system (using the proper mount version): Full frame 35mm sensor cameras (like Canon EOS 5D Mark II, Nikon D3s, Nikon D700, etc.), 35mm film cameras, APS-C/APS-H/DX sensor cameras, micro 4/3 sensor cameras (with an adapter when necessary), etc.
Some specifications from the manufacturer:
|Focal length||35 mm|
|Angle of view||63,1 deg|
|Minimum focusing distance||~0,3 m|
|Number of diaphragm blades||8|
|Auto focus type||manual focus|
|Lens Construction||12 elements / 10 groups / 1 aspherical lens|
|Filter diameter||77 mm|
|Available mounts||Canon, Four-thirds, Nikon, Pentax, Samsung NX, KM/Sony|
|Dimensions||111 x 83 mm|
|Weight||~660 g (for Canon)|
You can find some sample pictures clicking the links below:
Note: when checking the pictures taken with the Nikon D3x, it is very important to remark what the author says: “We remind you that the pictures are JPEG files straight from the camera with minimal available level of sharpening set and noise reduction turned off.”
Keep in mind that by default Nikon DSLR cameras deliver images with lower level of sharpness than Canon DSLRs.
Images credit: snapshot from LensTip.com
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