Sanity Check Please - 135 F2 Rokinon

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by NWright, Feb 5, 2016.

  1. NWright

    NWright Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 13, 2014
    Apparently the 135mm f2 Rokinon is an outstanding lens optically - like literally jaw dropping good. At ~$500 new (I wish I could find one on the used market!!) it seems like a poor mans Zuiko 150mm f2 - a lens that I covet..

    Obviously the drawback for most is MF - but it turns out I really enjoy MF. I used a legacy 135 f2.8 the other day at a sporting event with very solid results from a focusing perspective.

    For giggles I could purchase a Nikon/Canon FF mount...and give myself the ability in the future to BOTH:

    1. Purchase a 2x teleconverter giving me an effective FOV of ~ 540mm!! at F4. (sigma has a reportedly very good 2x teleconverter for the Nikon mount for ~$180 on the used market)

    2. Purchase a focal reducer giving me a FOV of ~ 192mm and even more light than F2...

    To me this seems like a lens that might open up some very interesting possibilities from wildlife to landscape to people photography (event/portrait) that right now my lens lineup simply cannot provide.

    Am I crazy to think that this is a solid idea? Has anyone else done something like this with other long MF lenses?
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  2. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Legend

    That would work fine. Honestly these are DSLR designs so they just built in a mount extension for the mirrorless version anyway. So it will be the same size (maybe a touch heavier). I also think it would be easier to resell in a Canon or Nikon mount.

    I will say that there are a lot of good old 135mm's on the market for relative peanuts. You may want to browse older bargain lenses. Or to be honest, you may find a well-used Canon 135L in that price range and pick up an AF adapter.
  3. Turbofrog

    Turbofrog Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 21, 2014
    1) Just be aware when you're thinking about this that the Rokinon 135/f2 is a big, heavy lens. It's 815g! The 135/f2.8 you used likely weighed less than half that. The stabilized viewfinder on the E-M5 is definitely critical trying to get things in focus with such a long FL and razor-thin DoF.

    2) There's really no such thing as a good 2x teleconverter, just ones that are less bad. And typically those TCs need to be matched to the lens. I have never heard of a lens with an MSRP lower than $2000 that could be successfully paired with a 2x TC and still manage to compete with a decent option at the native FL. 270mm/f4 is definitely fast, but you'll have the same optical aberrations of the lens wide open, just multiplied. I would expect that to get usable results you'd need to stop it down at least to f5.6, at which point you might get quality similar (or a bit worse) to the lighter, autofocus xx-300mm zooms in the system.

    3) With a focal reducer a 95mm/f1.4 is definitely a really interesting option. Might make that extreme focal length a little bit more usable. But I can't imagine how shallow the DoF would be!

    4) You are definitely on the right track getting a Nikon or Canon version. There is literally no reason to get the "native" mirrorless mount for this. An adapted DSLR version will always be more versatile, useful, and resellable.
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  4. Klorenzo

    Klorenzo Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 10, 2014
    If you plan to buy a good adapter, good focal reducer, good TC, etc. maybe I'd start to think to a used 150/2 (twice the weight!). But you need an E-M1 for that and of course no 95/1.4. It mostly depends on how much you'll love MF in a few months. You can look for a used Rokinon to keep the experiment cost reasonable.
  5. fredlong

    fredlong Just this guy...

    Apr 18, 2011
    Massachusetts USA
    Depth of field would be exactly the same as any other lens at f/1.4.

    Depth of field is determined by f stop and image size.

  6. davidzvi

    davidzvi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 12, 2012
    Outside Boston MA
    Do you have another system? I've considered grabbing something longer that would be manual focus with an adapter on my m4/3 system, but that would AF on my Nikons.
  7. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Legend

    f-stop, Image size, enlargement factor and subject magnification.
  8. Gary5

    Gary5 Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    Jan 15, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2016
  9. NWright

    NWright Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 13, 2014
    That's an interesting idea there! I'll have to keep that in mind. Very similar in some ways to what davidzvi mentioned above with the two systems approach.

    There is no two ways around it. Size is somewhat a concern of mine. I've essentially ruled out the 35-100 f2 and 150 f2 because of their massive size and weight. But I actually saw the Rokinon as a smaller, lighter option than the 50-200 swd @ 995g (2.2 lbs). And a much lighter option than the 150 f2 (1,600g!!). I've rented the 50-200 swd for a weekend (manually focusing the whole time anyways - blame that on the em5) and felt like it was about the limit on size/weight I'd be willing to put up with. I LOVED the results from that lens, actually, and that is a big part of why I've delved into this type of lens in the first place.

    Another option other than a focal reducer (about $400 for the "best" version - metabones) is getting a second hand Fuji/Sony body for around 250 to 300. I won't get the extra light gathering but it will give me a second focal length for the lens.
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2016
  10. NWright

    NWright Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 13, 2014
    Good call on this! I love some of those results which is why I'm so interested in a fast long lens. I definitely am drawn to the idea of speedboosting, but the relatively large investment of a metabones has kept me at bay thus far. As I mentioned above, I think I'd rather purchase a 1.5x crop sensor body for the same or cheaper price to allow for more flexibility in my shooting overall. The ability to inexpensively purchase adapters for all of my other adaptable lenses and adding a second body to my shooting outings are huge bonuses in favor of the second body option.
  11. Serhan

    Serhan Mu-43 Top Veteran

    May 7, 2011
    It is a very good lens competing with Zeiss 135mm apo which is one of the top lenses in dxo reports. However again tc's degrade so it may not be optimal to use wide open based on my experience with other glass...
    I tried Oly 55-200mm lens with high grade Oly tc's and 1.4 was good and 2x was OK. I went for the similar set up with Sony Zeiss 135mm 1.8 which gives me af with the Sony A7R II and 1.4x - 2x tc's. I used kenko ones since Sony tc's are expensive and do not work every glass. 1.4x again was ok/good but 2x was not that great, eg needed to be stopped down 1-2 stops to get more acceptable. m43 has higher MP density so it will not be optimal wide open. For me I wanted to try due to short mfd with the 135mm lens vs longer mfd's that come with the longer glass and of course smaller set up and less cash spent. At the end it will not replace a sharp lens at that focal length without loosing more then the 2x stops...

  12. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Also worth considering is the Canon EF 135mm f/2.0 L. It's somewhat more expensive (~$700 secondhand) and you'll need an EF mount adapter, but it is by all accounts an excellent lens, and if you get an active adapter, you'll get competent autofocus as well. (Also it'll be a lot easier to resell later if you change your mind).
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