The Other 14mm Fisheye
November 9, 2010
As of late, i’ve been pointed several times to the Rokinon 14mm Fisheye lens as a great cheap alternative for those looking to get super duper wide. It’s old news in the Photography space, but with video on the DSLR’s this bad boy is gaining a bit of steam. You can find positive feedback on many of the photography forums about how sharp of an image it can provide, especially for the money. Of course, by not having auto focus features in it’s design definitely makes it easier to manufacture a sharper lens at a cheaper price.
Rokinon is not a lens manufacturer, but a brand of lens. So you’ll find the same lens under popular names like Samyang. Don’t go looking for Samyang though, that name alone adds a small hike to the price. The same lens found under Rokinon will yield cheaper results. If you’re looking for the Canon 14mm Super Wide Angle F/2.8 you’ve better come with over 2K of change in the pocket. Going with an off brand manual focus lens will get you down cheaper, including the Bower 14mm f/2.8 Ultra Wide Angle Manual Focus, but that’s still over priced compared to the Rokinon. If you’re doing any type of Photography, a Fisheye lens in the tool bag is a great addition. You’ll get a super wide image captured and there are plenty of ‘fisheye’ correcting software that can stitch images into normal view or 360 degree image panoramics for Real Estate Virtual tours. If you’re not using Photoshop, there’s free ones available i’ve used like ‘RectFish‘. For correcting distortion in video, that’s a different story.
Correcting image distortion with RectFish
The ‘Fisheye Look’ is mostly popular with extreme sports for the ability to get everything in frame and with it’s super wide view can mask unsteady movements. If you don’t mind the fisheye distortion, it will make Steadicam type shots look butter smooth. Will it work on a full frame without vignette? Don’t hold me to it, but my initial research says yes. Of course you will find much more ‘fisheye’ distortion with a Full Frame camera than would be on a Canon T2i, 7D, or 60D. For Nikon or Pentax users, you’re in luck because it runs even cheaper for some reasons. No adapters needed like the Peleng fisheye lenses, these Rokinon’s are built to mount. Better yet, the Rokinon 14mm also gets you to an F/2.8 serving pretty well in low light situations. If you’ve got more news, videos, or comments on the Rokinon, drop a comment.
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