8.05.2015

Since the buying of lenses has become akin to seasonal fashion shopping I thought I would re-introduce one of my favorite lenses from many seasons past. And talk about it a bit.


When I first read about the Samyang (Rokinon, Bower, etc...) 14mm f2.8 lens I was very skeptical. The lens has a focal length that has been historically hard to design and equally hard to build without a lot of sample to sample variation. That it was also a fast (relatively speaking) f-stop lens also gave me pause because, from what I've read about lens design, the faster the maximum aperture the harder it is to correct for any number of things. By the time my overactive curiosity gland kicked in there were several hundred passionate reviews on Amazon.com which variously described the lens as 
"incredible" and also "mediocre." 

When I happened to find one used, with box, in perfect condition (the Cine Version) for about $200 I decided that any risk was minimal and the upside could be interesting.

My first forays with the lens were in the nature of a gear packing afterthought. If I was going to go photograph attorneys and their new, wonderful offices, I would take it along on the off chance that a super wide shot of their lobby might be different and effective. I also took it along on several industrial projects but my experiences with ultra wide lenses was not deep and I couldn't get the hang of composing with so much stuff in the frame. 

At this point though I could make a complete catalog of the good and bad points of the lens. To start with it has some severe distortion that is often described as "mustache" distortion because