If you are into Milky Way and nightscape photography, two of the best lenses out there are from Rokinon – the Rokinon 24mm f1.4 and the Rokinon 14mm f2.8.
BUT – make sure you get a good one!
When I ordered my 24mm lens, I finally didn’t get a good version of the lens until my 3rd one. The first two lenses had issues with one side of the frame being soft.
Today I took delivery of two 14mm lenses, thinking that one of them would be ok. Both were bad and are being returned to B&H Photo. In the meantime I have 2 more lenses being sent my way.
One lens has the issue with being soft on one side. The other lens is sharp side to side, but just off center the image is soft and has what appears to be a glow effect in it.
This image is soft on the right-hand side. Shot at f2.8 on a Sony a7R. Click on photo to download the full-resolution image.
This photo has issues just off-center. Shot at f2.8 on a Sony a7R. Click on photo to download the full-resolution image.
Night photographers love these lenses because they are much less expensive than the comparable Nikon/Canon versions. And not only are they cheaper, but they produce better images with less artifacts when shooting stars wide open.
They are less expensive for two reasons: 1) they are full manual lenses, and 2) the company doesn’t invest much in quality control. The soft side issue I have been having is common with these lenses. The other issue I had? I haven’t come across that one yet.
If you are considering getting one or both of these great lenses, make sure you buy from a company that has a good return policy and be sure to test them out right away! I am hoping one of the next 2 lenses that are headed my way is a perfect one.
Want to take a workshop with me and learn how to photograph the Milky Way and nightscapes? Check out my photo workshop page for available workshops!
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