Short review and sample images: Rokinon/Samyang AF 18mm f/2.8 FE

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I have had a wide-angle lens hole in my camera bag since I traded my Sony 10-18mm crop lens, another lens, and camera when I went all full-frame. As described in my recently resolved macro conundrum, I do not shoot very wide often enough to justify a great expense. Also not interested in large lenses. Zooms are not necessary. Whenever I have a wide zoom I almost always shoot at the widest end. That is the whole point of owning it after all. Swift and silent AF is a plus.

So here is the target list:

  • Small and light.
  • Relatively inexpensive.
  • Prime.
  • Not too wide.
  • Swift and accurate AF.

A keen motivator in choosing a lens was the Rokinon/Samyang tiny lens line up. I was happy with the 35mm f/2.8 and have been very happy with the 45mm f/1.8 that did so well on a recent wedding shoot. This led me to a new addition to this lineup.

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And it has been great so far.

The Sony mount why nots:

Sony G FE 12-24mm f/4

  • Did own it and found it was too big for a walkabout lens, especially when compared directly to the 18mm.
  • Was smitten at first. Chalk it up to user error, but after writing this review other than being very wide the images did not do it for me. Found them to be lacking in contrast. Sample images appear to show the same. Not bad. Just not what I was looking for.

Sony G FE 12-24mm f/4

  • Having 12mm available was not as desirable as I thought it would be. Shooting at 16mm or 18mm defeats the whole purpose of this lens.
  • f/4 spec did not wow me, especially at this price point.

Venus Laowa 15mm f/4 1:1

  • Great fun, but not very practical due to the lack of AF, how hard it is to not get a lens shadow in macro shots, and how it sharp-edged solid metal build will mangle anything else in your camera bag that it comes into direct contact with.

Venus Laowa 15mm f/4 1:1

Rokinon AF 14mm f/2.8 FE Lens for Sony E

  • A bit larger than I wanted.
  • A bit more expensive than I wanted.
  • 18mm is preferable for a fixed lens for me.

Tamron 17-28mm f/2.8 Di III RXD Lens for Sony E

  • Given my great fandom of the Tamron 28-75mm this should have been a lock. I am sure this would be brilliant, but…
  • As stated prior I tend to shoot wide lenses at their widest end and this lens only provided a 1mm wider focal length.
  • This lens is quite a bit larger than the Rokinon/Samyang 18mm.
  • Currently, this lens costs $500 more.

Moving on.

Nonimage Rokinon/Samyang 18mm related items.

  • Great size and weight.
  • Extremely fast and silent focusing in all modes. It will be great for video.
  • Inspires confidence.

I could write many sentences about the image quality, which has been fantastic so far, but this time around I will finish with some sample images below and here is an ongoing album.

-ELW

Rokinon/Samyang 18mm f/2.8 FE

Rokinon/Samyang 18mm f/2.8 FE

Rokinon/Samyang 18mm f/2.8 FE

Rokinon/Samyang 18mm f/2.8 FE

Rokinon/Samyang 18mm f/2.8 FE

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