Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Rokinon/Samyang 12 mm f2 wide angle lens

I had been procrastinating over whether or not to buy this lens for a long while and eventually took the plunge after a more than usually lucrative sale of a photograph. My initial impression was very favourable, it's a manual focus lens, beautifully constructed, and it focuses readily using the EVF on the NEX 6.  Images have plenty of bite being contrasty and sharp in the centre, but not quite so hot at the edges.

It does focus beyond infinity, so you do need to check the focus in your viewfinder rather than rely on the scale.

I'm still not 100% convinced that the lens is quite right and have been carrying out a few tests to see what it is capable of. Here's a few results (click for enlarged views) : -

1) The traditional brick wall text. This is a series of 100% crops from a rather uninteresting brick wall shot.

There's a bit of distortion, but for an 18mm equivalent lens, it's not bad. The right hand side is not quite as sharp as the left, and there is a fall off from the centre at both f2 and f8. The centre is impressive at f2!

2) A challenging side lit scenic shot

The river at Durham

Two sections from the above view. That on the left shows flare occurring due to  the strong sidelight, sun just out of shot. The right hand sample is from the top right corner of the frame and is creditably sharp ( I wish that my Sigma 19mm f2.8 was as good at the edges!).

3) Chromatic Aberration - Always going to be a problem with a lens as wide as this one, but most instances largely fixable in Lightroom.  Extreme cases might need additional cloning work in Photoshop. 

Showing CA top right corner

After treatment in Lightroom

In this instance the one click solution did not provide a sufficient cure, but a touch on the defringe slider took care of the situation.

LR 6.4 includes Rokinon lens profiles but they don't appear to correct CA. They do make a pretty good job of fixing distortion and vignetting however.

A bit of fun, the interior of the Scottish National Gallery, an HDR rendering courtesy of LR.

Conclusion - pros and cons, but pretty good overall!

For guidance on using manual focus lenses on the Sony look here

Sony NEX 6 Rokinon 12 mm f2

Last edit 30-1-16

Durham Lumiere 2015

I went on the last day of operation, on Sunday evening. Unfortunately the Whale exhibit had been shut down due to high water levels in the river, but the rain did hold off for most of the time. On previous occasions I have taken a tripod, but, knowing the density of the crowds, this time I decided against it.

Click photos for larger views.

Sony NEX 6 various lenses.