Photo Notes A place to talk about making images.

November 20, 2013

Rokinon 14mm f2.8 lens

Filed under: Photographic Equipment — John Siskin @ 3:38 pm


To start I just want to quickly remind you about the classes: An Introduction to Photographic Lighting, Portrait Lighting on Location and in the Studio and Getting Started in Commercial Photography and the books:


I don’t think I spend a lot of timer writing about equipment on this blog, at least not new equipment. I guess that part of the reason I don’t is that I don’t get much new equipment. I am, for instance, a master at maintaining Norman 200B strobes, which has kept me from getting new strobe equipment form more than a decade. However I just got the Indianapolis Hilton as a client, and this gave me a reason to consider a new lens. Since most of my commercial work, and this job in particular, is architectural interiors I use a wide-angle lens most of the time. Most often a Nikkor 18-35 f3.5-5.6. I’m not sure what to say about this lens, it’s good but not great. It’s sharp enough, but has significant barrel distortion, and of course it isn’t particularly fast. It’s pretty damn wide, at 18mmsome thing like a 100º, but the thing is that clients always want wider. Clients want to see the whole damn room in one shot, and this seems particularly true of bath shots. It may not look good, but they want everything. So I’ve been considering a 14mmm lens. Nikon has a 14 f2.8 that costs more than $1500 and a 14-24 zoom that costs about $2000, frankly a lot of money. Now I’m a commercial photographer, and that means I like to actually make a little money. $2000 is a lot for a good bath shot.

I just bought the Rokinon 14mm F2.8 for Nikon (Black), here’s the Rokinon lens in a Canon mount if you want to check it out. There are a couple of similar lenses, might be the same lens, with different names. I had looked at this lens in the past, but now there is an automatic version, which will work with the various kinds of auto exposure. While it won’t do auto-focus, it will allow the electronic rangefinder in the camera to tell you when it’s in focus. This is important, because super-wide lenses are tricky to focus. I ordered the lens from Amazon, and it was in my hand in about 14 hours. Cost $3.99 extra for less than one day service. I wanted to get the lens as soon as possible so that I could check it out thoroughly before I used it for the Hilton. By the way the lens cost $372.99 at Amazon; could have had it cheaper, but maybe not faster. All the pics, this week, are from playing with the new lens.

I just want to mention that it’s important to double-check your equipment and supplies before you go on a shoot. Because I checked I found out that the lens has pretty significant barrel distortion. But I also found out that Photoshop CS6 was able to locate an on-line profile to repair the distortion, so I’m good to go. By the way barrel distortion is when straight lines curve near the edge of the frame, sort of a fish-eye effect. When your lines converge, or diverge, that cause by the way you position the camera, of course you can fix this as well.

Hope you like the pics. I’ve done a few things to them in addition to the distortion fix. I’m really happy with the lens. By the way the build quality seems nice as well.

I hope people are interested in these posts, but I really don’t know. If you want to leave a comment you have to log in. I’m sorry about that, but I was getting a huge amount of spam posts, so I had to change to registration. If you’d like you can send me an e-mail with your comments, Also please remember the classes and the books!

An Introduction to Photographic Lighting
Portrait Lighting on Location and in the Studio
Getting Started in Commercial Photography.


Thanks, John

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