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
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; 10-07-2009 at 12:16 AM.
- 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.