Rokinon (Samyang) released a new 50mm Cine lens a couple weeks ago, and I grabbed it immediately! I bought a couple of their Cine lenses last year (which I used for ANGEL), so I was pretty excited that they were finally introducing a 50mm lens in their line-up.
Sharpness, Bokeh, and Lens Breathing Tests
A few of you requested that I talk about it, so I put together the video below to do just that! I realized the best way to really show the quality of this lens was to compare it to a more "respected" lens. My choice for these comparisons was the Canon 50mm f/1.2 L lens, which is a fantastic lens that runs over $1000 more than the Rokinon. The results might surprise you:
Disclaimer: While I did my absolute best to make sure these tests are as accurate as possible, the margin for error still exists since these tests were manually conducted outside of a laboratory. I recommend doing additional research before making any purchasing decisions.
I had to double check my files upon seeing the results because I was not expecting the Rokinon to perform so well. I've heard rumors in the past that Rokinon (Samyang) lenses could compare to L Series lenses, but I never truly believed that until now. For only about $550, the Rokinon Cine 50mm is sure to make waves in the cinematography world.
Like the other Rokinon Cine lenses, the 50mm has a solid build. The lens has some weight on it, and it doesn't feel cheaply made at all. The body is plastic, not metal, but that doesn't keep it from feeling like a quality piece of gear.
The lens has a geared Focus Ring and Aperture Ring so you can easily use a Follow Focus. Unlike the old Rokinon Cine lenses, this new "DS" lens doesn't just have the Focus Markings on the left side of the lens. The markings are now included on both the right and left side, which is a nice add-on.
This is a fully manual lens, so everything is controlled on the lens, not the camera. Which means no Auto Focus, and no changing the aperture through the camera. This is not a downside by any means, but it's worth mentioning for those of you who are more used to Photography lenses. No information will go from this lens to your camera.
Along with the lens, you also receive a lens hood, and a pouch for the lens. This pouch has a much better material than the Rokinon lenses I bought last year, however, the lens hood for the 50mm is a bit problematic. It's a bit hard to twist in, and can get stuck when I try to remove it.
The Rokinon Cine DS 50mm T-1.5 might be their best Cine lens yet. It is their first Cine lens to actually get released before the Photography counterpart, so maybe more thought was put into it rather than simply doing a conversion. Who knows? What I do know though, is that this lens is very sharp and rivals lenses outside of its class.
When you factor in the price, build/form, and glass, this lens is a bargain. I recommend it to all Filmmakers looking for a quality 50mm!
What do you think of these tests? Let me know your thoughts below!