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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    Des Plaines, IL
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    9,554

    Lightbulb Manual Focus alternatives (saving big bucks)

    There is one recently released lens which offers amazing focal length and wide aperture. It is a manual focus lens, but offers itself as a good portrait lens, where you already know how far the object is away from the camera. That lens is the SamYang (Rokinon) MF 85mm f/1.4 ø72mm. The price of this piece is around $250, and when you balanced that up against a $1000 Minolta AF 85mm f/1.4 G or a $1400 SONY CZ 85mm f/1.4 … yeah, giving up autofocus saves some real cash.

    Rokinon MF 85mm f/1.4
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    Well, after much consideration, I have decided to give this lens a try. I have read some of the favorable reviews and if I need AF … I can always punt with my TAMRON SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di MACRO. What I am really interested in is that f/1.4 aperture, low light performance and the Depth of Field (DOF) that goes with it. It is a full two f/stops faster than the TAMRON, so what the hey?

    Some quick distances reveal that on the a850 … the DOF:

    @ 3 ft … is ½ inch (or half an eyeball)
    @ 6 ft … is 1-½ inch (front of face in focus)
    @ 10 ft … is 4 inches (half of head - nose tip to start of ear)
    @ 20 ft … is 1 foot 4 inches (entire body depth)
    @ 30 ft … is 3 feet 3 inches (Two-people close encounter)

    Just something to keep in mind when using in low light. “Wide” does not mean “sharp.”

    I have found the SamYang (Bower) MF 8mm f/3.5 (made by the same company) to be quite well made and have had no problems with it at all. Admittedly, manual focusing is a whole lot easier with a lens that short. Most of everything if in focus all the time as the DOF is nearly infinite, after eight feet.

    Also, with the bottom dropping out of the dollar, this quarter ... I see prices going up even further. I would say, if you are going to ... "Get your glass, now." The prices got jacked last January 1st.
    Last edited by DonSchap; 10-06-2009 at 11:16 PM.
    Don Schap - BFA, Digital Photography
    A Photographer Is Forever
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.
    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera (except for moving to Full Frame), that gives you the most improvement in your photography.

    flickr® & Sdi

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    1,759
    vivitar has one too...

    manual iris is a downside

    thats why i opted for the zeiss
    Last edited by SONYNUT; 10-06-2009 at 10:43 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
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    Monmouthshire, UK
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    2,152
    Quote Originally Posted by SONYNUT View Post
    vivitar has one too...

    manual iris is a downside

    thats why i opted for the zeiss
    Which Zeiss?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Monmouthshire, UK
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    2,152
    I'd have to say that, for a budget lens, the Rokinon doesn't look at all bad especially in the Bokeh department. Having said that, the lack of any electrical connection between the lens and camera means there is no focus confirmation (not too serious) but, crucially, no support for antishake; I'd have thought that the lack of antishake would have ruled it out, especially for you Don of all people. In addition, the lens works only in "stop down mode" which is a bit (a lot) of a pain and from what I've read it seems that the Rokanon is designed to deliver it's best (well not quite) performance wide open and the usual marked improvement as you stop down is not evident. I'm not necessarily saying this is a bad thing, it seems a reasonable compromise in a cheap lens which is likely to be used wide open anyway, but it is a consideration. BTW, on a FF camera the edge performance is markedly worse than on APS-C.

    You all know my enthusiasm for old glass so this is not a derisive comment on MF lenses in general, I just think there are better alternatives especially when the given reason for buying a cheap lens is "because I like the challenge". For instance, a Jupiter-9 has the benefit of preset aperture control and coupled with a chipped adapter giving focus confirm plus full antishake would be half the cost of the Rokinon.

    Nonetheless, the deed is done and I'm looking forward to seeing some results from this interesting lens.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
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    2,204
    Quote Originally Posted by Peekayoh View Post
    Which Zeiss?
    he's getting the 85mm F/1.4
    flickr

    Canon 7D - 5D | 550EX - 430EX II - (2) PW FlexTT5 | 24-105 f4L | 70-200 f2.8L IS | 100 f2.8L IS | 50 f1.8 II

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    Des Plaines, IL
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    Question What's in your wallet?

    I reached in my wallet ... and I just could not find enough for the CZ ...

    SONY CZ 85mm f/1.4

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    so I'll be turning the aperture dial on this alternate one.

    Maybe you could do a side-by-side? That would be cool.
    Last edited by DonSchap; 10-06-2009 at 11:15 PM.
    Don Schap - BFA, Digital Photography
    A Photographer Is Forever
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.
    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera (except for moving to Full Frame), that gives you the most improvement in your photography.

    flickr® & Sdi

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    1,759
    I READ ABOUT A LOT OF FLARE AND Chromatic aberration WITH THE VIVITAR

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    Cool Chroma-shift

    I have noticed that with my older manual TAMRON lenses, if you do not get the focus "dead nuts." Off one way or the other ... the CA shifts from:

    Red (Front Focus) to
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    Green (Rear Focus).
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    Funny thing ... when the focus is dead on ... it is kind of yellow or truly diminshed, at the highlights.
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    The SONY CZ 135 mm f/1.8, at full aperture, also results in a chroma shift with front to back focus. I have posted the results a couple times, recently.

    To wit:

    f/1.8
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    f/4
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    f/8

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    Last edited by DonSchap; 10-06-2009 at 11:46 PM.
    Don Schap - BFA, Digital Photography
    A Photographer Is Forever
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.
    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera (except for moving to Full Frame), that gives you the most improvement in your photography.

    flickr® & Sdi

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    God's Country - Australia
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    10,421
    more wasted money...
    no wonder you cant afford good glass, you keep buying this crap. lol
    D800e l V3 l AW1 l 16-35 l 35 l 50 l 85 l 105 l EM1 l 7.5 l 12-40 l 14 l 17 l 25 l 45 l 60 l 75
    flickr

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
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    Yeah ... you're right ... because I like the challenge of seeing what it can do. What is it really capable of? Any goofball can buy the most expensive glass on the planet. Your economic "$kill" is unparalleled, Mate!
    Don Schap - BFA, Digital Photography
    A Photographer Is Forever
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.
    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera (except for moving to Full Frame), that gives you the most improvement in your photography.

    flickr® & Sdi

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