Over the past couple of years I’ve been shooting with Rokinon Cinema Lenses, and have been quite impressed with the results. I’ve been wanting to do a review on these lenses for a while, but held back because I was missing a key lens in the kit – the 50mm, which I just recently picked up. So finally, I’m able to share my thoughts on the Rokinon Cinema Lens Kit with all of you out there…
Throughout this review I’ll be referencing the 4 most essential Rokinon Cinema lenses: 24mm, 35mm, 50mm, 85mm. There are a number of other great cinema lenses from Rokinon currently available (more on that later), but these four are the most crucial to have as they cover the basic focal lengths needed for cinematic work.
So without further ado, let’s jump into the review.
These lenses are surprisingly well built considering the price point. They are plastic and are certainly a far cry from a Zeiss CP2’s or Canon Cinema Lenses, but that’s to be expected considering some of these lenses cost as little as $270, while traditional cinema lenses can costs thousands. Sure, I would have preferred that Rokinon used metal instead of plastic (an SLR Magic style build would have been fantastic), but then again I doubt they could have kept the same price point if they went down that path. The focus and iris rings are very smooth, and the lenses feel really solid to hold… All in all, the build quality is above average, and any shortcomings (namely the plastic housing) are mitigated by the extremely low cost of these lenses.
Rokinon have also done a really great job of emulating the feel of true cinema lenses with this lineup. From the de-clicked iris to the geared focus/iris rings, these lenses feel like they were designed with professional shooters in mind. In reality, these are stills lenses that have been rehoused for cinema – meaning that there are some differences. Specifically, the focus throw isn’t nearly as long as it would be on a traditional cinema lens (about 150 degrees vs. 300 degrees), but I don’t see that as a bad thing at all. In fact, many shooters working with these lenses are shooting as a one man band, and therefore having a slightly shorter focus throw might actually make things easier on set. Not to mention the focus throw is still longer than what you might get on many still lenses, which can be as little as 90 degrees. The 150 degree throw (more or less) on the Rokinon’s seem to be a sweet spot for the type of shooter that these lenses are designed for.
3 out of the 4 lenses in this kit have a 77mm thread size for filters, but unfortunately the 85mm lens has a 72mm thread size. This is slightly annoying as I would love to be able to use all of my 77mm filters on all lenses without having to use an adapter. But for now, I just keep a 72mm – 77mm step up ring on the 85mm lens at all times which more or less solves that problem.
One of the main reasons I opted to buy into the Rokinon Cinema line was the speed of their lenses. All four of the lenses that I am reviewing here are rated at T1.5, which is exceptionally fast. Some of the other lenses in Rokinon’s lineup are slower (for instance the 14mm is a T3.1), but for the vast majority of the work that I do I am going to be able to use one of their standard focal length lenses and shoot at T1.5, which makes me very happy.
It’s fantastic that Rokinon was able to deliver on this front, as these are obviously budget conscious cinema lenses and therefore many of the DPs/Directors using them are likely working with limited lighting and resources. The speed of these lenses make them a dream for many low-light situations, and they perform very well even when used wide open.
Here’s a shot from one of my films, taken with the 35mm T1.5 lens at maximum aperture in a very low light situation:
There is a lot of misconception about just how sharp these lenses are, especially when shooting wide open. Personally, on a real world shoot I have never had an issue with sharpness on any of the Rokinon’s that I’ve used, but at the same time I have noticed that wide open they will be slightly softer, just like almost any other lens. Some of the Rokinon’s are definitely softer than others at maximum aperture (we’ll look at that below), but once again I can’t stress enough that these are not soft lenses.
Even some of the highest quality cinema lenses out there can feel soft at times, but typically that is thought of as a good thing with other brands. For example, I was shooting with the Schneider Xenar PL Mount Cinema Lenses last week on an Arri Amira and was blown away by the image quality, even though those lenses are known to be very soft. I wasn’t able to do a side by side comparison of the Xenars and Rokinons (maybe sometime in the future), but I wouldn’t be surprised if some of the Rokinons are sharper wide open.
To illustrate the sharpness of these lenses, I took 4 test shots in my office with all four lenses set to T1.5. I intentionally didn’t color grade any of the stills because I also wanted to show the differences in contrast and color temperature, which we will touch on shortly. These were taken on my Blackmagic URSA (click to enlarge):
It’s worth noting that I had to move the camera back for the 50mm and 85mm shots to focus on the headphones properly.
As you might be able to tell from these shots, some focal lengths are indeed sharper than others. You won’t notice massive difference on an actual shoot, but once you start to pixel peep there are some discrepancies. Take a look at the same four shots, now blown up to 300%:
Looking at the shots this closely makes it quite apparent that the 24mm is definitely the softest of the bunch, at least wide open. The 50mm seems to be the sharpest, with the 35mm trailing close behind, and the 85mm starts to get soft again… Not quite as soft as the 24mm, but definitely softer than the 50mm and 35mm. These are obviously not scientific tests and I’m not using a focus chart, but I am certain that the same results would be found even in a more controlled environment.
When stopped down, all of these lenses become sharper as you might expect. By F4 or so, there is much less of a difference between the sharpness of all of the lenses. That said, for the purpose of this test and review I really wanted to test the lenses wide open as that is where they will perform at their worst, and where the biggest difference in sharpness can be seen.
Contrast & Color
Generally I find the Rokinon Cine lenses to be fairly low contrast which can be a good thing depending on how you look at it. Many of us are chasing a very high dynamic range look, so naturally a low contrast lens will help to achieve that aesthetic. That said, not everyone is going for a low-con look, and for shooters that want a more punchy and vibrant raw image, these lenses aren’t going to deliver that right out of the box. This isn’t a big deal as you can always adjust your camera settings/picture profile to compensate, but it’s something to be aware of when considering these lenses. For me personally, I like the low contrast look so this is actually a plus in my books.
To my eye, the most contrasty lens in the 50mm. The 35mm comes in second place and the 24mm and 85mm are tied for the least contrasty. In a way, you almost need to treat the 24mm and 85mm the same way (either with your in-camera settings or lighting on set) since both are softer than the 35mm and 50mm and both have the least amount of contrast.
The bigger difference between all of these lenses is the color accuracy. The 24mm lens in particular seems to be the least consistent with the rest of the kit. Take a look at the 24mm compared to the 35mm, using the same shots from above:
The 24mm is obviously more saturated and has a slightly warmer feel to it. If you look at the color of the desk or the orange case on the hard drive, you can easily spot the differences in color. The white speaker/marshall logo also make the color temperature difference fairly apparent… It’s nothing that can’t be corrected in post, but there is definitely a difference there. The other lenses all seem to be in the same ballpark with regards to saturation/color temperature, but naturally have some minor differences as they are all different pieces of glass.
The bokeh that you’ll get with the Rokinon’s is more or less what you might expect from lenses at this price point. Wide open, the lenses produce a soft circular bokeh pattern as you can see in this shot below (taken on the 85mm at T1.5):
Once you close the lenses down a bit however, you start to see more of an octagon shape. Here is the same lens stopped down to F5.6:
Naturally each lens with yield slightly different results at different apertures, but generally I find that once you’re stopped down to T3.5 or below you’ll start to see this octagon shape on all of the lenses. This is naturally a result of the shape of the iris, which is comprised of 8 blades (hence the octagon):
Distortion & Chromatic Abberation
I am really quite impressed by the accuracy and performance of these lenses. Like most other lens kits, the Rokinon’s will exhibit some distortion (the 24mm in particular shows it most obviously), but none of them distort above and beyond an acceptable point. Some of Rokinon’s other lenses that are not being reviewed here (such as the 14mm T3.1) suffer from much more severe distortion, but the four in this kit actually do quite well in that regard.
The same goes for chromatic aberration (CA). Typically CA isn’t a huge concern for me when shooting video as video resolution is so low (when compared to stills) that any fringing is usually unnoticeable. That said, it’s still something you need to look out for on any lens as some lenses can suffer from such bad CA that it will even be noticeable when shooting video.
The good news is that I found the Rokinon’s to be very strong in this area. The 85mm lens seemed to show the most chromatic aberration, but even then it wasn’t nearly at the level where it would be problematic for professional shooting. Below is a blown up still that I took with the 85mm lens which shows some purple and green fringing on the edges of this plant. Keep in mind that this was a still photo and I still had to blow it up to make the CA noticeable.
Which Lenses You Need
If you are just starting out and don’t have any Rokinon lenses, I highly recommend starting with the four lenses I have reviewed here. The 24mm, 35mm, 50mm, and 85mm cover all of the major focal ranges that you will need for 95% of your work (if not more). I would happily shoot an entire feature film using those 4 focal lengths, and unless you are using a camera with an extremely small sensor (like the Blackmagic Pocket Camera), these 4 will make for an excellent cinema kit.
If you don’t want to invest in all four right away, the two most useful focal lengths would be 24mm and 50mm in my opinion. Ironically, I think the 50mm is the best of all of the Rokinon cine-lenses and the 24mm is the weakest (at least out of these 4), however both look great together and can easily be matched to each other. I personally started with the 35mm and 85mm lenses and then got the 24mm and 50mm separately, so that is an option too.
If you already have these four and want to expand your kit even further, there are two more lenses I would recommend: The 16mm T2.2 and 135mm T2.2.
The 16mm is obviously going to be helpful for those situations where you need to go wider than 24mm, but don’t want to lose too much light. Your other option (in the Rokinon cine family) is the 14mm, but as I stated earlier that has a T stop of 3.1 and I find it to be very distorted as well. The 2mm difference in focal length is negligible, so I definitely recommend the 16mm over the 14mm based on speed and overall quality.
The 135mm is another excellent lens that you might want to consider if you are shooting a lot of long lens material. Rokinon also offers a 100mm lens, but like the 14mm lens it has a T stop of 3.1, which makes it less than desirable in many situations. Thankfully the 135mm is a T2.2 which makes it far more suitable for low light shooting, and the extra 35mm will go a long way in achieving an even more obvious telephoto look.
Rokinon has truly done a great job of offering budget friendly cinema lenses to the masses. Even the most expensive cinema lens kits will have their quirks, and some lenses in any kit will always be stronger than others. The images that you’re able to capture off of these lenses are pretty remarkable considering the price point, and can easily hold a candle to many cinema lenses that cost many times their price. They will never perform as well in a test situation as a $25,000 cinema lens package, and that’s to be expected. But the fact that they are able to come so close is pretty amazing.
My favorite of all of the lenses is the 50mm as it is so beautifully sharp and accurate, and doesn’t have many quirks to complain about. The 24mm definitely is the softest and has the most room for improvement (especially because of the difference in color and contrast), but it is still a very usable lens and I wouldn’t hesitate to use it wide open. Adding a touch of sharpening in post will help to match the 24mm to the other lenses, and a simple color balance can help to offset any minor differences in color temperate.
All in all, these lenses offer the best bang for your buck of any lens kit out there right now in my opinion, and I would highly recommend them.
If you’re interested in buying all 4 lenses, I would recommend getting the T1.5 bundle through B & H to save some $350:
Rokinon T1.5 4 Lens Cinema Kit – $1996.00 at B & H
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I’m going for this lineup in another system of focal lengths and getting them in order of need… for me it was 35 > 85 > 24 > 50…
I do think these are the big key 4 to have though. I actually don’t like wider than 24 though I know some people use those… I always see the distorted lines and edges and it bugs me.
The other good one to have for some stuff is just a 24-70.
Best Rokinon/Samyang Lenses, According to Prosat
[…] Are Better Than F-Stops), and are a fraction of a cost of other cinema lenses on the market. Filmmaker Noam Kroll has an excellent overview on these 4 lenses, along with thoughts on some others as well. He does […]
Hello Noam! Do you happen to have links to the films you may have shot with the Rokinon Cine Lenses? I keep trying to find valuable footage, but it’s always taking shots of flowers or them vlogging – I’m more interested in seeing what they look like on-set. Thanks for this great review, by the way!!
For sure! This short film was shot on the Rokinon’s – https://vimeo.com/88851627
You said at the end of the article that, “…unless you are using a camera with an extremely small sensor (like the Blackmagic Pocket Camera), these 4 will make for an excellent cinema kit.”
You’re referring to the BMPCC 4k right? And not the Super 35 BMPCC 6k?
I actually meant the original BMPCC with the Super 16mm sensor!
Hello Noam, it seems that I need to add double the ISO I would normally have with the Rokinon cine lens
I did the test with a standard 24-70 and I got 5000 ISO compared to 10000 with the cine lens. Is that normal??
I don’t think that sounds right… If the cine lenses are wide open (F1.4), they should be faster than your 24-70 zoom lens, and therefore require less ISO.
Thank you for such a detailed review on these lenses. I have a BMPCC coming (mft mount) and was planning on purchasing the mft rokinon lens kit to go with the camera.
However, you mention you wouldn’t use these lenses with a small sensor like the exact camera I’m getting soon. Why exactly? Tried searching online and can’t find anything.
If you could help with any information you have as to why I shouldn’t buy them or maybe other recommendations for lenses that would be amazing!
Hey John! The lenses can be a touch soft, so if you are using them with a BMPCC I would recommend pairing them with a speed booster so you can utilize more of the image circle. In general, I’ve found small sensors paired with Rokinon lenses can result in some soft looking images, especially when shooting wide open. That said, they could still definitely work for your needs – I would try them out for yourself and see what you think!
I have a Panasonic af100 with a Sigma 24-70 for Nikon. I wonder if it’s necessary to buy a Samyang 24mm T1.5 for Nikon. I also have a Lumix 7-14mm and Olympus 12-50mm. I’m interested in cine lens but I’m not sure where to go from here and it would be great to get some advice from experts.
Thank you very much in advance.
I would start by deciding on primes vs. zooms. That will help you narrow down your choices. If you do want to go with primes though, I would consisted the Rokinon/Samyang lenses as well as the Veydra mini primes. Hope this helps!
just wondering whether i’d really need both a 24 & 35 mm lens in my kit
Depends on how you like to shoot! But if you’re on the fence, you can pick one or the other and always add to your kit later on if you feel there is a need.
I’m new to filmmaking, in the process of buying a GH5. For short films, which of the Rokinon lenses would you consider the most essential? The other lens in my bag is a Panasonic G X Vario 12-35mm, but I would like a manual film lens.
Hey Morgon! Congrats on the GH5. I would suggest looking into the 16mm, 24mm, and 35mm.
Really happy to read your review, as I just bought 3 lens, 16, 35, and 85mm. I skipped 50mm due to budget, I thought I will manage with my canon 50mm for the time being.
You mentioned about “recommend: The 16mm T2.2 and 135mm T2.2.”, I believe the full frame version of 16mm comes with T2.6. I bought Samyang lens as it this is available in Dubai.
Thanks a lot and appreciate your post.
Awesome to hear, Sam! Thanks for the note.
Thank you for your review. I have recently acquired the 4 piece-set and I wanted to see what were the reactions of other filmmakers.
I really enjoyed your review. I did have some concerns about the build quality but of course my last lenses were Zeiss. But still I am much happier now actually owning a set so I can choose the right focal length for each shot. It feels liberating!
Thanks again for your review!
Thanks for the kind words! So glad to hear you’re enjoying the kit.
Hey Noam! Thank you so much for this great review! I own a C100 (super 35 mm) mk1 and I’m hesitating whether to buy a canon zoom lens 24-70 f2,8 or the rokinon lens bundle that you’re reviewing right here. I know that comparing a zoom lens vs. a prime lens is not quite fair or appropriate, but this is what we can do with our budget. Both options have almost the same price! We shoot mainly documentaries and corporate videos but we’re thinking of shooting short films -and why not? a feature film! with this gear too. What would be your advise?
The 24-70 is an amazing lens! If you don’t need something with a really fast aperture, I would probably recommend going with the Canon as it will likely be more versatile across all the different type of productions you have planned.
Dear Noam…not Naom…pardon me:-)
Haha no problem! Everyone does that!
Thank your very much for your detailed review!
Is it right, that the Rokinon Cinema Lens 50mm that you tested is exactely the same lens as the Samyang 50mm T.1.5 VDSLR (https://shop.equiprent.de/Samyang-50mm-t1-5-VDSLR-Objektiv-mit-Mod-0-8-Nikon-F-FX-DX::1381.html)
Thank you for your answer and best regards, Luki Frieden
Yes! As far as I know the lenses are virtually identical other than the branding.
I come from a video background from waaaay back in the day and was retired until I recently got the bug and bought a Blackmagic 4k Mini.
I want a classic cinema look and when I mean classic, I mean 1940’s – 1980’s preferably the 1950’s. I read your article about the 28mm and was wondering out of the four lenses in this article, which one you’d choose for the classic look.
Congrats on the Blackmagic, Jeff! It’s hard to say exactly which lens would best serve that time period, but if I had to pick I would say 35mm. To me, it’s the ultimate classic focal length and when paired with a Super 35mm sensor it has a pretty timeless look to it. Hope this helps!
Just a quick question!
I’m thinking of buying the 35mm Cine lens for my canon 600D, and that shouldn’t be a problem. But later this year I’ll upgrade my camera to the GH4. Will I need the Metabones speedbooster to fit the Samyang on the GH4, as if I bought the Sigma 35mm Art lens, or would it fit it without?
I can’t find any answers elsewhere.
Hey Simon! You will definitely need an adapter to get your EF lens to work on the GH4 (since it’s MFT), however you don’t necessarily need to use a speed booster. The speed booster will give you the faster aperture/wider angle, but if you don’t mind the crop factor you can also pick up a non-speed booster EF to MFT adapter. Hope this helps!
What lenses are get a similar look to the Rokinon’s? The 16mm vignettes on my sensor and the 14mm has a fisheye look. I’m looking to get something wide but without the problems I previously mentioned. What other brand would fit this kit?
Good question… I haven’t tried to match them with many other lenses, but generally speaking Canon glass isn’t too far off. Have you looked any EF lenses from Canon?
I would like to get a Rokinon lens to work with my GH4, but i’m unsure if it works with the Metabones XL EF speedboosters. I’ve read some reviews that it doesn’t work with the canon speedboosters as they are manual lens. What are your thoughts on this?
Hi Lance – the speed booster will still work (as far as I know), however you will not have electronic control – as with any other adapter – since the lenses are manual. Hope this makes sense!
I am a newbie and found your blog very helpful.
I read your post about Rokinon Cine lens. The one I am interested in 16mm T2.2. On B&H site, it says it suits Canon APS sensor.
Does it work on my Canon 6D?
Hi Wing! Actually it won’t cover the sensor on your 6D unfortunately. I believe their 14mm will cover full frame though…
The lens kit looks awesome, I am a GH4, Speedbooster, Sigma 18-35 f1.8 user, and I’m looking for a better depth of field(even though the speedbooster brings it down to an f1.2), but I also need a good wide angle lens, as I do a lot of shooting for DJ’s and their stages.
So my question to you is, will the Speedbooster with these Full Frame f1.5 lens give me a f stop faster then the f1.2 I am getting out of the Sigma? Is the difference between my sigma and 16mm really going to give me that much wider of a shot? Would it be worth the investment? Also if I invested in these lens I could possibly use them for a full frame camera in the future, so my next question to you is, what would you say for a good full frame camera?
I love the GH4 LOG, it gives me a good color, but its not full frame, its picture abilities are sub par, and the depth of field isn’t as good as a full frame. You had the A7sII, but that isn’t shooting 60fps at 4K, and its still a 3000 body, but it does shoot LOG, but Ive heard the pictures look average as well. The GH5 comes out early/middle next year, that shoots 4k 60fps, but again M4/3 sensor, so I need really fast lens to get a good depth of field. I wish Canon had a decent video camera worth the price because no one can beat a Canon photo/color, but only their cinema cameras shoot LOG, and to get 4k 60 fps, you have to buy a 6000 body, and that doesnt even shoot LOG. What about your Blackmagic Ursa Mini, is it a good camera. The Dynamic range is awesome and it shoots 4k at 60fps? But I’m a run and gun shooter, is that a camera that can be used on a Ronin or Glidecam? Just curious
Hey Austin! To answer some of your questions –
Yes, the Rokinon T 1.5 lenses will be faster with a speed booster than the Sigma at F1.8 (more like T2.0 or T2.2). Not all Rokinon’s are full frame lenses however, for instance the 16mm covers an APS-C sensor, not full frame. I also believe it’s a T2.2 lens, so it’s probably not what you’re looking for.
If low-light is your main issue, you might be best served by something from Canon or Sony. It sounds like a full frame camera with great low light capabilities is what you need, so perhaps something like the 5D MK IV might be a good option for you… I love the URSA Mini, but it’s not a low light camera and wouldn’t suggest it for your needs.
Hope this hasn’t confused things more, but just some food for thought as it’s always important to make sure your camera suits the needs of your productions. At the same time, if you are comfortable with the GH4 and getting good results, perhaps you should hold off until the GH5 which may have even better low light performance.
I’ve heard the rokinon’s image is warmer.
If I use a canon body +rokinon lens will it take a long time to match footage from a GH4/5 with a canon lens or vice versa?
What about footage on a GH4/5 with rokinon and canon lenses will that be hard to match?
Or would I be better off buying a speed booster for my GH4 and going with all canon lens?
Just worried about price and using two camera with speedbooster make me anxious about whether the speedbooster will cause problems.
It’s hard to say which would be more difficult to match without doing a side by side comparison, however I would say that both options you presented will require a fair amount of matching in post… Mainly because the GH4/5 and Canon color science is so different. Your best bet – regardless of lens choice – is to shoot a color chart before each scene and automate the matching process in DaVinci Resolve.
Hi, I own a BMCC and i’m thinking of going for the Rokinon Full Cine 5 Lens Kit. Is that ok?
Of course! I used the same combo for a while and it worked beautifully. Enjoy!
I may have missed it and maybe I’m totally overlooking something, but has anyone commented on the fact that the 16mm Rokinon isn’t a full-frame lens like the other three lenses in the kit, and therefor the crop factor turns it into a 24mm on a full-frame sensor? I’m shooting the Sony A7ii and am looking for a good full-frame wide-angle around 16mm. Great info though thanks so much.
Thanks a good point Corey! I shoot mainly with Super 35/APS-C sensors, which is maybe why this didn’t come up, but thanks for the note. Definitely worth taking into consideration for full frame shooters.
A little late to the GH4 party…but I’m buying a GH4 this week with a speedbooster.
Two questions I was hoping you could weigh in on:
-Should I get the speedbooster XL or Ultra?
-Rokinon cine DS 35mm or Sigma Art 18-35mm?
(Planning to use mostly for video work)
Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated
Hey there! Congrats on the GH4. I would suggest going with the Ultra as opposed to the XL to have the most flexibility in terms of lens use and versatility. As far as the Rokinon vs. Sigma – they are very different lenses. Image quality wise, I’ll say the Sigma has an edge and looks sharper and cleaner overall. But if you need a manual iris ring and slightly faster aperture, the Rokinon is a great choice too. And then of course, there’s deciding between a prime and a zoom which is a whole other discussion…
Dear Noam, I currently own the 24, 35 and 85mm lenses for nikon. I love the lenses, but the 24mm being very soft (blooming might be a better word) I don’t really like using this lens. I use the lenses in combination with my Sony FS700, which produces a 1,6 crop. Now I’m thinking, for tighter spaces, to go for the 16 mm vdslr. But I’m wondering if this produces the same soft image (which almost can not be corrected properly!) as the 24. Biggest issue that I can not always rely on my 24 because of this.
Also, I see the lenses are being sold as CS and CS II. Can’t really seem to find the difference, other than that the CS II is about €120,00 more expensive. Do you know this?
Hi Jascha – I agree that the 24mm is very soft. Especially wide open. Once you’re at about 2.8 it seems to be much sharper, but it can be problematic when you are at T1.5.
I haven’t tried the 16mm, but would imagine it will be slightly sharper based on what I’ve heard so far. Feel free to post your results/feedback on it here if you do end up picking up the lens. I’m sure others would be interested to hear as well.
hI I HAVE A QUESTION IS THERE ANY ADAPTER TO USE E MOUNT INTO A CANON 60 D OR CANON MARK 5 III
Hi Jaime. Check out http://www.metabones.com
Would these be advisable for aps-c dslrs for use? Am thinking between 24mm or 35mm as a starting point. With a crop factor 1.6 this makes the 35mm as near 50mm and 24mm near 35mm which both mark near human eyes vision. I’ve read your superb review and now ask ahould I stick with 35mm lens?
In terms of filmmaking you have written about 28mm too. Any lens you can recommend for aps-c around 16/18mm? Thank you
Hi Jonathan, yes – these lenses are awesome for APS-C cameras. Personally, I think in APS-C terms (not full frame) since that’s closest to the cinema standard of Super 35mm motion picture film. When I say I like a 28mm lens, I mean an actual 28mm lens on a Suepr35mm camera, like the Arri Alexa, not necessarily a full frame camera. Depending on your budget and camera system, there are some great options from Zeiss, Sony, and Canon that you could look at. Old Nikkor manual lenses also offer a lot of bang for your buck if you don’t need any electronic controls.
Hi again Noam,
I plan to get two Rokinon Cine DS lenses at T1.5; is it in general a bad practice to combine T stops when shooting the same scene? I.e. using a T2.2 one with other T1.5 ones won’t produce optimal/consistent results? Thanks!
Hi Jan, great question – It’s not bad to use two different T stops, as long as you adjust your lighting (or exposure) so that both match. For instance, you might want to walk in your key light a bit closer to your subject when shooting at T2.2 to compensate for the difference in exposure. Hope this makes sense!
Absolutely helps! Thank you Noam!
Thank you for this great post! These are the Cine lenses, right? Not the Cine DS ones? Do you think the DS ones are worth the price? (If you’ve tried them) Would love to see a comparison between these two lines. Thanks a lot!
Hi Jan! Yes these were the Cine lenses, and I have used the DS lenses as well. The DS versions are certainly improved, but the difference isn’t night and day in my opinion. I think both Cine and DS are capable of great images under the right conditions.
Thank you, Noam!
Thanks for the post.
I’m wondering whether it’s worth buying the 16mm instead of the 24mm? It seems to be almost half the price, so I figured I’d get that with the 35mm and the 85mm. Do you think that would be a good kit? or should I just pay the extra and get the 24mm?
Appreciate any tips you can give.
Hey Grant – Not a problem at all, and thanks for the comment. I personally like the 16mm more than the 24mm as the 24 is pretty soft wide open, but at the same time the 16mm is quite a bit wider, so it will really come down to the aesthetic you are looking for. If you don’t feel you need something in between 16 and 35, definitely go for the 16. Otherwise the 24mm is a great option (even the cheaper, non-DS version), and will look great once you’re at 2.8 or below.
I am new to cinematography and I own a canon 7d camera.
Do these lenses work with my camera?
Yes they will work natively on Canon cameras if you get the EF Mount version.
I’m going to be using the Rokinon 24mm cine lens with my A7s, but it’s an ef mount. If i throw on the metabones speed booster, I won’t be losing any information, right? Does everything transmit pretty well? Also, does it remain 24mm, or does it get cropped with the adapter on?
One last question – in your opinion, without getting a fish eye look, would you recommend the 24mm or 16mm for a cinematic, wide angle feel?
Hey David – If you are using the Speed Booster you might want to shoot in Super 35mm as I believe in full frame mode the image will vignette. Alternatively, you can use a dumb adapter since the Rokinon cine lens is manual anyways, and then you can shoot full frame without worrying about the vignette.
In terms of a wide angle, I personally think 24 is plenty wide on a FF camera. For Super 35mm a 16mm or 18mm is a great option. Hope this helps!
Have you tried them with the Black Magic Pocket Camera you mentioned with an adaptor? Just wondering about how they would work. Thanks
I just used them on the Micro Cinema Camera with great results. The crop factor is obviously fairly large, but as long as you make sure to have a couple wide angles in your kit, you’ll be just fine.
Hi Noam, Please am new in filmmaking and want to no more about camera lens. I own Gh4 and want to get Rokinon 12mm lens and Rokinon 35mm lens. Please which one will help in close and wide shoot.Thanks for your review, It is always pleasant to read what you have to say and God bless you for good works.
Hi There! 12mm for wide shot, 35mm for closeup!
Hello, Noam. I own a GH4 with 12-35 which I plan on using primarily for video. I have noticed that indoors and at night it is quite difficult to get a clean and well exposed image with this lens so I’m thinking of replacing it with the following; Tokina 11-16 EF mount, Sigma 18-35 EF mount and the EF>MFT speedbooster. During the day and outdoors it seems like the 12-35 is fine but I want something that is flexible! Please note that the size and weight is of no concern to me. Would you advise doing this or do you think i should look in to buying lighting equiptment and gaining more skill before jumping the gun. I am very new to filmmaking so please bear this in mind. I just want to be able to make things as easy as possible but have already become frustrated with the 12-35. I look forward to your response and really appreciate your work. Thanks for your review, It is always pleasant to read what you have to say!
Hi Matt! You’ve definitely done your homework in terms of lenses, and all of the glass you’ve touched on could work well for your needs. That said, the GH4 isn’t particularly great in low light situations even with very fast lenses. They certainly help (as does a speedbooster), but in my opinion there is no substitute for great lighting. I would suggest looking into a small 3 point lighting kit and sticking with the 12 – 35 as an option…
Thanks, Noam. I now own all of the mentioned lenses because I am an impulsive idiot, but I still don’t have an adapter. I was looking at selling the 12-35 to purchase a speedbooster but now I am hesitant! I will definitely buy a 3 point lighting kit after realising how cheap you can get them! Thanks for the tip!
No problem at all! Both choices are great and you really can’t go wrong… I think it just comes down to the way you like to work best.
Good I would like to make one Cinema in Rokinon lenses it can in comparison with cp2?
The CP2 will give you a slightly higher quality look, but the Rokinon’s can look great too in the right hands!
So, I’m a GH4 owner and I own the 14MM Rokinon, which I love, but I’m worried about investing in the longer lenses due to the crop factor and lack of autofocus (I do videography as well).
What are you thoughts on buying the MFT Rokinon? I was aiming to add the 24MM or the 35MM to my kit, which will yield a 50MM/70MM look. Do you think it’s worth it at the price points of $450-$600? Or would olympus glass a 24MM 1.8 for $250 be a better/cheaper option? For my larger budget projects I tend to rent lenses additional lenses anyways…
Hi Thomas –
The MFT Rokinon’s are great lenses, but personally I try to buy non MFT glass whenever possible so I have the ability to use the lenses on EF cameras as well. That said, if you definitely want to use native lenses, I think the Olympus might be your best bet… Especially if you don’t need the extra cinema functionality.
My two cents. These post is intended for the GH4 or similar Lumix or the newest Blackmagic cameras (sorry Olympus).
I did have now researched better and here are the facts I have gatered, with two main lenses plus the new Metabones Speedbooster XL 0.64x, 1.3x crop (SB XL) and Metabones Normal adapter 2.0x (MNA):
1. Sigma 18-35mm APS-C (FF equivalent, Nikon mount = 27-52.5mm)
a) With SB XL: 35-67mm f/1.1
b) With MNA: 54-105mm f/1.8
2. Tokina 11-20mm FF f/2.8 (APS-C = 16.5-30mm)
a) With SB XL: 14-38.5mm f/1.8
b) With MNA: 22-40mm f/2.8
So, with only these two lenses and two adapters, you get these pletora of focal ranges and fast apertures (aproximately T stops, sorry if not correct) in Micro 4/3 (FF equivalent):
– 14mm T/2.2
– 21mm T/2.2
– 28mm T/2.2
– 35mm T/2.2
– 35mm T/1.2
– 50mm T/1.2
– 67mm T/1.2
– 85mm T/2.2
– 105mm T/2.2
Rokinon (8mm) 16mm T/3.8
Rokinon (16mm) 32mm T/2.2
Rokinon (24mm) 48mm T/1.5
Rokinon (35mm) 70mm T/1.5
Rokinon (50mm) 100mm T/1.5
Rokinon (85mm) 170mm T1.5
The contenders prices:
– Tokina 11-20mm $599.00
– Sigma Art 18-35 $799.00
– Metabones SB XL $479.00
– Metabones Normal adapter $99.00
TOTAL = $1,976.00
– Rokinon Cine (8mm) 16mm T3.8 $299.00
– Rokinon Cine (16mm) 32mm T2.2 $399.00
– Rokinon Cine Bundle (24,35,50 and 85mm) for Micro 4/3: $1,799.00
– The Rokinons are pricier but wins in the long focal of 170mm
– The Sigma, Tokina, Metabones are faster and not too bulkier (2 vs 6 lenses)
Other lenses and prices:
Tokina 11-16mm FF f/2.8 (APS-C = 16.5-24mm) 14-30.7mm f/1.8 $479.00
Rokinon Cine DS (16mm) 32mm T2.2 $499.00
Sigma (17-70mm = 25.5-105mm FF) f/2.8-4 = 32.6-134.5 f/1.8-2.5 $499.00
Sigma (24-35mm FF) f/2.8 = 31-45mm f/1.8 $NA
Thanks so much for sharing this!
Hey Noam! Thanks for being such a great GH4 resource. I’ve been looking into these lenses for quite some time. My go-to setup is the GH4 + Speedbooster (Canon) + Sigma Art 18-35 f/1.8. Great combo with a ton of flexibility.
Would you recommend sticking with the Canon mount for the Rokinon lenses as well? Seeing as everything on these lenses is manual, I know I won’t be getting control via the GH4 body–but I’d squeeze a bit more range out of the lenses and open them up even more (although not sure how much I’d want to) if I could mount them to the Speedbooster.
Curious to hear your thoughts. Thanks Noam.
Thanks so much Sean.
I definitely think sticking with the Canon mount is the way to go. In the past, I’ve made the mistake of buying a lot of different lenses all with different mounts, and that ultimately limited which cameras I could use them with. Since you already have EF glass, if you keep buying more EF lenses you can not only use them with your Speed Booster but also can use them on any full frame cameras that you might get in the future…
Hi Noam, here are my two cents.
I don´t own any of these Rokinon lenses. But it seems to me, as a Lumix G6 owner, that the best bet ist (and this one reason I love my 2 Lumix G6, but this should be true for the GH4, the GX7 and the newly announced G7):
1.To have only two of these lenses (Nikon mount): 35mm and 50mm
a) Using the speedbooster: 35mm = 25mm / 50mm = 35 mm
b) Using the normal adapter: 35mm = 70mm / 50mm = 100mm
2. Using the excellent ETC (Extended TeleConverter) of the camera, which efectively at 2.4, more than doubles the focal lengt:
a) 35mm + speedbooster = 25mm + ETC = 60mm
b) 35mm + normal adapter = 70mm + ETC = 170mm
c) 50mm + speedbooster = 35mm + ETC = 85mm
d) 50mm + normal adapter = 100 mm + ETC = 240mm
Nikon to mft Speedbooster $429.00
Nikon to mft normal adapter $99.00
So with only 2 lenses you get more color consistency and sharpness across the focal lengts and the T1.5 becomes with SB a T1.1!!!
OR for $70 less, you can only take the Rokinon 35mm and the Tokina AT-X 116 PRO DX-II 11-16mm f/2.8 ($479.00)!!!
11-16mm + speedbooster = 8-12mm
11-16mm + normal adapter = 19-27mm
11-16mm + speedbooster + ETC = 22-32mm
11-16mm + normal adapter + ETC = 53-77mm
So the focal ranges with these two last lenses in MFT and ETC where, 8-12mm (f2.0), 19-27mm (f2.0), 22-32mm (f2.8), 53-77mm (f2.8), 25mm (T1.1), 60mm (T1.1), 70mm (T1.5), 170mm (T1.5)
Perhaps the best killer combination for speeders where the Sigma Art Lens ($799.00) 18-35mm f1.8 with the Tokina 50mm (it could be a Nikkor 50mm f1.4):
13-25mm (SB) f1.2
31-60mm (SB + ETC) f1.2
36-70mm (Normal adapter) f1.8
86-170mm (Normal + ETC) f1.8
35mm (SB) T1.1
85mm (SB+ETC) T1.1
100mm (Normal adapter) T1.5
240mm (Normal + ETC) T1.5
Total cost of the last combo: 799+549+429+99 = $1876, way cheaper than the Rokinon Bundle and with 13-240mm much extended focal lenghts!
Thanks so much for sharing this Tom! Always great to have alternate options when it comes to lenses and I’m sure this will help some readers. Great points here.
Related question I would love to get your opinion on: Rokinon 10 and 16, or Tokina 11-16?
Great resource as always, Noam! Great timing for me, too, as I am just about to buy some Rokinons for my BMCC 2.5k EF. I currently own the 16, 35 and 85. But because of the BMCC’s small sensor size, I was about to sell the 35 and buy the 24 and 10. Now I’m not so sure. I would REALLY appreciate your thoughts on focal lengths for the BMCC.
Sorry Noam, the info is not accurate, please delete these here and the above post and I wll be resposting it..
I don´t own any of these Rokinon lenses. But it seems to me, as a Lumix G6 owner, that the best bet ist (and this one reason I love my 2 Lumix G6, but this should be true for the GH4):
1.To have only two of these lenses (Nikon mount): 35mm and 50mm
2. Using the speedbooster: 35mm = 25mm / 50mm = 35 mm
3. Using the normal adapter: 35mm = 70mm / 50mm = 100mm
2. Using the excellent ETC of the camera, which efectively doubles the focal lengt:
a) 35mm + speedbooster = 25mm + ETC = 50mm
b) 35mm + normal adaptaer = 70mm + ETC = 140mm
c) 50mm + speedbooster = 35mm + ETC = 70mm
d) 50mm + normal adapter = 100 mm + ETC = 200mm
Nikon to mft Speedbooster $429.00
Nikon to mft normal adapter $99.00
So with only 2 lenses you get more color consistency and sharpness across the focal lengts and the T1.5 becomes with SB a T1.1!!!
OR for $70 less, you can only take the Rokinon 35mm and the Tokina AT-X 116 PRO DX-II 11-16mm f/2.8 ($479.00)!!!
11-16mm + speedbooster = 8-12mm
11-16mm + normal adapter = 22-32mm
11-16mm + speedbooster + ETC = 16-24mm
11-16mm + normal adapter = 44-64mm
So the focal ranges with these two last lenses in MFT and ETC where, 8-12mm (f2.0), 16-24mm(f2.0), 22-32mm (f2.8), 44-64mm (f2.8), 25mm (T1.1), 50mm (T1.1), 70mm (T1.5), 140mm (T1.5)
Great article, as usual!
Do you think that the Samyang/Rokinon 10mm f/2.8 (Canon mount) would be a better choice as wide angle over the Panasonic 14 f/2.5 for the Blackmagic Pocket (crop x 2.88).
Thank you very much!
Thanks a lot Simone… I haven’t used the 10mm yet myself, but I have heard from a few different people that it’s a great option for the pocket cam…. I’m sure with a speedbooster it would be that much better!
Thank you very much! On the Pocket it should be 28.8 mm, so a “normal” wide, on the GH4 (the other camera I own) it become 20 mm in 1080, 23 mm in 4K, so a very wide one.
Samyang/Rokinon apart, do you think it can help to achieve the “movie look” or is it better to remain with more narrow lenses such as 27, 40/50, 70 in Super 35? (so 40 for wide, 60-75 for all, 105 for close up in full frame mm).
Anytime, Simone! I think the film look can be achieved with any of the focal lengths you mentioned, it really just comes down to the aesthetic that you’re after… If you don’t already have a speedbooster for the pocket camera, I would recommend one as it will open up your lens choices and get you much closer to the Super 35mm no matter what focal length you’re using. Hope this helps…
I have a question that I’m sure you can solve it.
I know the Samyang lenses (the ones that come with f numbers instead Ts) there are two versions: oner for still photography (they have clicked iris ring) and another for video (with de-clicked iris rings). Since Rokinon and Samyang are the same, these Cinema lenses with T numbers cover the full frame circle or are really designed to cover the tipical Super 35mm sensor of the cinema cameras?
Because if you put (for instance) a Samyang 24mm (photo lens) over the Amira, it would be like a 36mm (more or less) due to the crop factor, but if these Rokinon cinema lenses are just for the Super 35mm format, that 24mm would be just that a 24mm and you couldn’t use it on a A7s because it wouldn’t cover all the sensor.
Am I right?
Many thanks in advance.
Great question. The Rokinon/Samyang lenses are in fact full frame lenses so they will definitely work on a Sony A7S. I actually just used them all yesterday on my full frame Canon 6D and they worked like a charm. The actual lenses are the same as the non-cine version, but just housed differently. So you can definitely use them on your cam!
I am using the Sony s6300 with Canon EF mount Rokinon primes via the metabones speedbooster. Do you have an idea what the aperture will be while using the speedbooster? It usually makes a very large difference. It boosts the Canon 50mm 1.8 to F1.3
Hey Kyle – I haven’t used that exact setup before, but if I had to guess you would probably be at a T1.2, or maybe even a bit faster.