Samyang, Rokinon, Bower, or Vivitar. It’s believed they are all the same lens, with a slightly modified exterior and sold under various brands. Who knows what these lenses are being sold as, but then again you might not even care. Rumor mill has it that these lenses are being made out of Korea providing images that can be sharp as Nikon. Of course there’s no auto focus features, so with zero electronics on this Manual Focus prime lens it’s sold cheaper and can be made to be tack sharp.
The 85mm F/1.4 is an excellent lens for low light situations, and at the focal length to provide you with that crazy DOF portrait look. The lens may only have been introduced a few years ago, but the Internet is littered with tests/reviews/samples. From Flickr, Vimeo, YouTube, web blogs, and camera forums it’s been tried and tested to be a solid performer. With manual only features it might also be an easier lens to pull focus with for full time Video shooters.
For Nikon shooters considering the Budget 85mm, the Samyang and Bower name is designed with an exterior of the traditional Black w/ Gold Highlights. For Canon shooters, the Vivitar branded lenses are designed in all black with a
knock-off Canon-like Red Ring accent. For those who aren’t quite into the exterior aesthetics, over at Amazon the ‘Rokinon’ name will drop the price down another $100 dollars. Not bad for the money considering several reviews tested it to be as sharp as Nikon, and another great option for shooters looking for a lens that works well in low light situations. Anyone out there rockin’ one? Leave some comments….
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