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Rokinon 85mm 1.4 compared to Canon FD 85 1.8

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by nuclearboy, Jul 24, 2011.

  1. Chris5107

    Chris5107 Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Jan 28, 2011
    Hello, I worked on another completely unscientific (I am too lazy this summer to conduct a proper test) comparison of two lenses at low f-stops. The goal was to satisfy my own curiosity on the quality of a new 85mm lens that I bought.

    I have heard great things about the Korean made Samyang 85mm f1.4 lens (Which I bought as a Rokinon 85mm f1.4 lens in the Nikon mount, why Nikon... the Nikon mount version was the cheapest....). I love the Canon nFD 85mm f1.8 and used it a great deal and have always been happy with the results. It was a lens I liked to carry along. However, I am curious and like to check things out so I bought the Rokinon and a Nikon adapter.

    The lenses on my E-PL2....

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    The simple answer is... the Rokinon is sharper and has much creamier bokeh than the Canon. The bokeh on the Rokinon is creamier at f2 than the Canon at f1.8. At f1.4, The Samyang is even better.

    I took a another walk around the house like I did with my 50s the other day.

    *****50s comparison from last week*********

    I took a series of shots with both 85mm lenses. The FD at f1.8 and the Rokinon at f2 and f1.4. The results can be seen on my photoshop page (There are a bunch of photos in there but just look for the comparison shots).

    Album - 85mm Lenses | Photoshop.com

    These are straight from the camera and the file name lists the lens. I also noted the lens on the comparison crops. The comparison photos show full size crops.

    The Rokinon Lens is a sharp lens even wide open. I found it obviously sharper at f1.4 than the Canon at f1.8. The Bokeh is also much smoother on the Rokinon. The Canon is smaller and lighter which is nice but I have decided to lug the heavier Rokinon around when I need an 85mm and I sold the Canon.

    An example photo, cut down to 1024 wide to fit here.
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    Other notes:
    All shot with E-PL2 with ISO set at 200, hand held.

    My conclusion: If you want to own a relatively cheap Korean lens that I think produces great results wide open, try the Rokinon 85mm f1.4 or any of its variants....
    • Like Like x 12
  2. Photorx12

    Photorx12 Mu-43 Regular

    May 11, 2011
    is the aperature manual just like the focus?
  3. Chris5107

    Chris5107 Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Jan 28, 2011
    Aperture is manual

    The aperture is manual and I don't see any electrical contacts on the lens. The lens seems to be a brand new chunk of "legacy" glass.

    People also seem to rave about the Samyang 35mm f1.4 lens. My understanding is that it is the same. A full manual lens.
  4. theunartist

    theunartist Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 5, 2011
    Baltimore, MD
    I've looked into the Pentax mount of this wonderful lens, and according to the info I've gotten, the Pentax K mount version has an "A" setting, meaning on a Pentax body, it would have an automatic aperture and could be used in Av mode. And yes, I've heard the same thing regarding the IQ of the 35mm!

    Don't know about other mounts.
  5. songs2001

    songs2001 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jul 8, 2011
    There are two versions of this lens. One has CPU contacts that allow metering with newer lower end Nikon bodies. If you have one of those, it's a good idea to buy the one with the CPU.
  6. Photorx12

    Photorx12 Mu-43 Regular

    May 11, 2011
    I mainly want one to use with my G3 which should arrive soon, so I'm looking for all manual lens. I just don't want to oreder the wrong lens, and I already have an F to micro 4/3's adaptor so a nikon fit would be nice too. thanks
  7. WT21

    WT21 Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Feb 19, 2010
    I have this lens in EOS mount. I think it was a couple hundred bucks for a nice portrait/event shooter.
  8. songs2001

    songs2001 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jul 8, 2011
    Either Nikon mount will work with the Panasonic, but if you get a Nikon body later for whatever reason you might want to have metering.
  9. Photorx12

    Photorx12 Mu-43 Regular

    May 11, 2011
    Good point
  10. tjdean01

    tjdean01 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 20, 2013
  11. HarryS

    HarryS Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 23, 2012
    Midwest, USA
    It's three years after the original post, but I wanted to comment that my Bell & Howell branded Samyang 85 f1.8 is a pretty nice lens.Compared with my FD 85mm f1.8 SSC, the wide open images are hard to tell apart, but I think the newer lens is a little better, but it has more purple fringing. However, if used at f1.4, focus needs to be done carefully.
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