2.21.2013

Additional, unapologetic lens porn. The 35mm Rokinon Cine lens.

 

Loyal readers will remember that I took a chance a few weeks ago and ordered the Rokinon 85mm 1.5 Cine lens and have been pretty much delighted by the whole package. I found it to be sharp, easy to use and a nice tool for recording video. The focus peaking in the Sony cameras is helpful in using this lens for video production.

I was feeling so euphoric about the 85mm that I started looking around to see what else Rokinon offered in it's Cine window dressing.  I found two other lenses that piqued my interest; one is the 24mm 1.5 Rokinon Cine lens and the other is the 35mm 1.4 Rokinon Cine lens. At around $750 for the 24 and around $550 for the 35mm neither of them really pushed me to commit. It might be nice to have one or the other, or both, but without a pressing need for either it was hard for me to justify spending that much money on focal lengths that I already had covered by zoom lenses or APS-C style lenses. I'm trying to be a prudent business man, after all...
But curiosity is a dangerous thing. After a couple of successful video projects with the 85mm lens I started flirting with the idea of the 35mm and I kept heading back to the web to do my "research." (research = photo nerds progressively talking themselves into buying the right thing, a good thing, the first thing that comes up on the web page, anything!!!!). All of a sudden Amazon drops the price on the lens I've been looking at and it's almost $200 cheaper than it was several hours earlier. Ever the careful steward of my family's budget I put the lens in my online shopping cart, you know, just to see if the price drop was some mistake that would be rectified by, you know, putting it in your shopping cart.... But no. The price stuck. And the free shipping. And the 2% rebate. I stood up and walked around the studio. I circled back, totally captivated by the lens in my shopping cart. And then, like magic, I remembered a job we might be doing sometime in the future where we might need to use a lens like this one.....maybe.  And that was enough for the little part of my brain that sprays out buying endorphins and makes the rest of my brain get all excited about acquiring stuff.

He hammered the logical part of my brain with an huge does of endorphin/anaesthetic and the next thing I knew my trembling hand and my quacking finger hit the One Click buying button and the electronic race was on to empty my credit card and fill me with remorse.... And then what happened?

Oh yes. Well, when I got back home from lunch and coffee with a new friend who came all the way from Washington DC just to photograph in Austin, there was a box waiting patiently by the front door. I popped it open and all the remorse vanished like weak steam on a hot, dry day. There was the new lens. And it was huge and gorgeous and mostly black. I put it on the closest Sony camera I could find, popped on a few lights and started playing. Sharp wide open. Sharp at 5.6. Sharp in the corners from f2.8 on down. All tricked out for video production. Equally capable of snapping towels in the still production locker room. This one is fun.

Sony has a 35mm 1.4 that's a re-tread of a Minolta 35mm 1.4 and it's supposed to be okay once you stop it down a bit. It was originally designed for film and not the vagaries of a digital sensor. I like that the Rok 35mm is a new design and uses an Aspheric element. But mostly I like that it performs well at (for me) nearly one quarter the price of the Sony.

So, what do I gain and what do I lose? In the big picture I lose my pretension of self control when it comes to buying shiny toys. In the smaller picture I give up automation and auto focus and small size and I gain a clickless aperture, very good performance, a lens that can be used immediately with industry standard, video follow focus accessories and a lens that looks very sharp even at its widest aperture.  I'll take it.


If you'd care to join me in my complete surrender to unfettered spending you can find the same lens in Nikon and Canon mounts as well. Shop hard or wait till one of those momentary price drops hits. I'm having fun playing with this one. Still samples and video coming soon.














9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Once something hits my shopping cart I leave the house, go for a drive, rain, snow, sleet whatever. Look at the gas prices, compute the mileage to my six grand children's homes, check the roof to see if it really has to be replaced, make sure we have enough food in the house to last two weeks. If that does not make a dent in my thinking, rationalizing, excuse making, I hit the buy button...

Kirk Tuck said...

I expect that my CFO will read this and march into my office and post a chart with all the costs of sending our child to college next year on the wall in front of my computer. You know, just to give me stuff to think about....

Wolfgang Lonien said...

Hahaha - "CFO". Yes, I have one of those as well, and she even studied accounting. Even in the US, of all places. But it's a good thing to have one sometimes. Reminds me of that Talking Heads song, with the line "Feet on the ground, head in the sky".

I was thinking of the 85mm (non-cine) Samyang as well, and for a long time. There's someone who uses that one with very great results on his Olympus bodies. And it's less than 1/3rd the price of the newer ยต43rds 75mm/1.8.

Marcus Thompson said...

"and the next thing I knew my trembling hand and my quacking finger hit the One Click buying button" - - Shouldn't that be the "One Quack" button? :-)

Paul Mc Cann said...

piqued

sorry !

Gregg Mack said...

Kirk, your recollection of your "shopping experience" was the funniest thing that I have read is quite some time. Thanks for the good laugh to start my day!

Kirk Tuck said...

Never apologize for being right. But I might just fix my error and leave your comment here so people think it's just random... :-) Seriously, thanks. I'll make that change in the copy.

Kirk Tuck said...

Thanks Gregg. Been seeing your BBQ stuff on Wyatt's Facebook Page. Nice job.

texascbx said...

I thought I was the only one that used my Amazon shopping cart like that. Most of the time, a little walk or some coffee and I can remove the offending item from the cart and sometimes, not.