Review

In this Rokinon 14mm Ultra Wide-Angle f/2.8 IF ED UMC Lens Review I use real world photography situations and subjects, to show you what this lens is capable of doing in the real world. I also used my Sony Nex-6 and LA-EA1 Lens Adapter in order to mount the A-Mount lens to the E-Mount camera. The La-ea1 lens adapter worked flawlessly with the 14mm Rokinon and my Nex-6.

Rokinon Lenses are also sold under the names Bower, Samyang, and others, but the core elements are all the same. The Rokinon 14mm lens is also available in Cinema Grade versions for both the A-Mount and E-Mount if your interested. The Cinema grade versions have geared focus rings and smooth aperture notches for better aperture transitions and focus rig adaptability. This lens is also available in several mount options covering all the major camera manufactures.

The Rokinon 14mm Ultra Wide-Angle f/2.8 IF ED UMC Lens is fully manual! No electronics at all exist, therefore the aperture and focus are all you. The Nex Cameras work great with fully manual lenses thanks to the focus peaking feature to get you sharp, followed up by the magnify zoom for double checking sharpness. This works really well for most situations, although moving targets can be difficult with a manual lens.

Why consider a fully manual ultra wide-angle lens you might ask??

  • You get much better optical quality for the money
  • You get great build quality for the money
  • no electronic failures to ever worry about
  • no updates or firmware issues ever
  • Sony Cameras have Focus Peaking, making manual focusing easier than ever
  • Wide angle-lenses are easier to use in manual mode than other higher focal length lenses
  • Landscapes are usually shot using a tri-pod, so why not manual focus it and save some cash?
 

Sony Nex-6, La-ea1 Lens Adapter, and Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 IF ED UMC Lens

Let’s get this Sony A-Mount Lens Review underway and please remember to ask questions at the bottom of the review if you have any.

First I wanted to show you what the Rokinon 14mm Ultra Wide-angle lens looks like on my Nex-6 as tested.

Rokinon A-Mount 14mm f/2.8 Lens on Nex-6 w/ LA-EA1 lens adapter

Rokinon A-Mount 14mm f/2.8 Lens on Nex-6 w/ LA-EA1 lens adapter

Rokinon A-Mount 14mm f/2.8 Lens on Nex-6 w/ LA-EA1 lens adapter

Rokinon A-Mount 14mm f/2.8 Lens on Nex-6 w/ LA-EA1 lens adapter

 

Rokinon 14mm Ultra Wide-Angle f/2.8 IF ED UMC Lens

Here’s the 14mm lens resting inside the large lens cap.

Rokinon 14mm Ultra Wide-Angle f/2.8 IF ED UMC Lens

Rokinon 14mm Ultra Wide-Angle f/2.8 IF ED UMC Lens

    Rokinon 14mm Ultra Wide-Angle f/2.8 IF ED UMC Lens

Rokinon 14mm Ultra Wide-Angle f/2.8 IF ED UMC Lens

Rokinon 14mm Ultra Wide-Angle f/2.8 IF ED UMC Lens

Rokinon 14mm Ultra Wide-Angle f/2.8 IF ED UMC Lens – Transparent

 

Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 IF ED UMC Lens – Specs

Focal Length 14 mm
Aperture Maximum: f/2.8
Minimum: f/22
Camera Mount Type Sony Alpha, Minolta AF
Format Compatibility DSLR (APS-C Sensor)
Nikon FX/35mm Film
Angle of View 115.7deg.
APS-C Picture Angle: 93.9deg.
Minimum Focus Distance 0.9′ (0.27m)
Groups/Elements 10/14
Image Stabilization No
Autofocus No
Tripod Collar No
Dimensions 6.0×3.5×3.7″ / 15.24×8.89×9.39cm
Weight 2.0lbs / 0.90kg

 

Build Quality and Design

The build quality on the Rokinon 14mm Ultra Wide-Angle f/2.8 IF ED UMC Lens is very good. The focus ring is smooth and about an inch long relation to the lens length. The aperture settings are notched so it’s easy to change them while looking through the lens and knowing where you are by counting. It’s important to note that each aperture setting has a half aperture in between setting. For example, between f/4 and f/5.6, there is a extra notch. On the cinema grade version of this lens (14mm T3.1 Cinema Lens), the aperture ring has been “de-notched” for smooth iris pulls, and the focus and aperture rings are also geared.

The optics are awesome on this lens thanks to the two ED lens elements, one hybrid aspherical lens element, and one glass aspherical lens element. Corner sharpness, as you will see below, is great even wide open @ f/2.8. The Rokinon 14mm lens feels beefy when you hold it in your hand as it has some weight and feels like good really quality in my opinion.

Actual manual focus was pretty easy with the focus peaking feature on my Nex-6. It basically highlights where the sharpness is by overlaying it on the the image preview. The Focus ring was smooth and easy to find sharp, but not as silky smooth and dampened as the 35mm Rokinon lens I recently reviewed Here >>

 

Sample Photos w/ 100% Crops

I have a lot of sample photos to show you with 100% crops. Be sure to click on the photos for the larger, high resolution versions for detail inspection.

Nex-6 w/ LA-EA1 Lens Adapter and Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 Lens @ f/4

Nex-6 w/ LA-EA1 Lens Adapter and Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 Lens @ f/4

Here’s another scene offering some really harsh lighting conditions and 100% Crops.

Be Sure to Click on the Photos for the full size!!

Nex-6 w/ LA-EA1 Lens Adapter and Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 Lens @ f/8

Nex-6 w/ LA-EA1 Lens Adapter and Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 Lens @ f/8

100% Crop - Top Left

100% Crop – Top Left

100% Crop - Center

100% Crop – Center

Another angle also @ f/8

Nex-6 w/ LA-EA1 Lens Adapter and Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 Lens @ f/8

Nex-6 w/ LA-EA1 Lens Adapter and Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 Lens @ f/8

100% Crop - Left Side

100% Crop – Left Side

100% Crop - Center

100% Crop – Center

Yet another angle of the large vertical window and note the distortion.

Nex-6 w/ LA-EA1 Lens Adapter and Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 Lens @ f/8

Nex-6 w/ LA-EA1 Lens Adapter and Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 Lens @ f/8

Nex-6 w/ LA-EA1 Lens Adapter and Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 Lens @ f/8

Nex-6 w/ LA-EA1 Lens Adapter and Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 Lens @ f/8 – 100% Crop

 

Distortion Correction

This next scene I wanted to show you how the distortion looks before and after I correct it in Lightroom 4.

Nex-6 w/ LA-EA1 Lens Adapter and Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 Lens @ f/8

Nex-6 w/ LA-EA1 Lens Adapter and Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 Lens @ f/8

Corrected Distortion.

f/8 - distortion corrected

Nex-6 w/ LA-EA1 Lens Adapter and Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 Lens @ f/8 – distortion corrected


 

Background Separation

With a fast f/2.8 aperture in combination with a large APS-C sized sensor, you can get pretty solid separation from the background.

Be Sure to Click on the Photos for the full size!!

Nex-6 w/ LA-EA1 Lens Adapter and Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 Lens @ f/2.8

Nex-6 w/ LA-EA1 Lens Adapter and Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 Lens @ f/2.8

100% Crop @ f/2.8

100% Crop @ f/2.8

100% Crop @ f/2.8

100% Crop @ f/2.8

 

Here’s another test scene with some 100% Crops.

Nex-6 w/ LA-EA1 Lens Adapter and Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 Lens @ f/4

Nex-6 w/ LA-EA1 Lens Adapter and Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 Lens @ f/4

100% Crop - Top Left

100% Crop – Top Left

100% Crop - Top Center

100% Crop – Top Center

100% Crop - Center

100% Crop – Center @ f/4

 

My handsome four legged friend Chubs @ f/4.

Nex-6 w/ LA-EA1 Lens Adapter and Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 Lens @ f/4

Nex-6 w/ LA-EA1 Lens Adapter and Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 Lens @ f/4

Nex-6 w/ LA-EA1 Lens Adapter and Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 Lens @ f/4 - 100% Crop

Nex-6 w/ LA-EA1 Lens Adapter and Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 Lens @ f/4 – 100% Crop

 

This next scene was taken at f/16.

Nex-6 w/ LA-EA1 Lens Adapter and Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 Lens @ f/16

Nex-6 w/ LA-EA1 Lens Adapter and Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 Lens @ f/16

100% Crop

100% Crop

100% Crop

100% Crop

100% Crop

100% Crop

 

This scene has some serious detail and high contrast areas that really push the lens hard. Be sure to click on the 100% Crops!

Nex-6 w/ LA-EA1 Lens Adapter and Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 Lens @ f/8

Nex-6 w/ LA-EA1 Lens Adapter and Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 Lens @ f/8

100% Crop - Bottom Left

100% Crop – Bottom Left

100% Crop - Center Area

100% Crop – Center Area

100% Crop - Top Right

100% Crop – Top Right

 

HDR Photography

I went a little nuts with the HDR photography, but the ultra wide-angle opened up so many possibilities for compositions I could not help myself 😉 Three exposure’s (-2,0,+2) using a tri-pod and Photomatix plus Lightroom to process and edit.

I found this abandoned pool and HDR Photography was just begging to used.

Click the images for the full size Versions!

HDR - Nex-6 w/ LA-EA1 Lens Adapter and Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 Lens @ f/8

HDR – Nex-6 w/ LA-EA1 Lens Adapter and Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 Lens @ f/8

HDR - Nex-6 w/ LA-EA1 Lens Adapter and Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 Lens @ f/8

HDR – Nex-6 w/ LA-EA1 Lens Adapter and Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 Lens @ f/8

The Basha-Kill Wildlife Preserve in HDR with the Rokinon 14mm Ultra Wide-Angle f/2.8 IF ED UMC Lens.

HDR - Nex-6 w/ LA-EA1 Lens Adapter and Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 Lens @ f/8

HDR – Nex-6 w/ LA-EA1 Lens Adapter and Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 Lens @ f/8

HDR - Nex-6 w/ LA-EA1 Lens Adapter and Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 Lens @ f/8

HDR – Nex-6 w/ LA-EA1 Lens Adapter and Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 Lens @ f/8

HDR - Nex-6 w/ LA-EA1 Lens Adapter and Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 Lens @ f/8

HDR – Nex-6 w/ LA-EA1 Lens Adapter and Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 Lens @ f/8

 

Here is another HDR of a near by Court House.

Click the images for the full size Versions!

HDR - Nex-6 w/ LA-EA1 Lens Adapter and Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 Lens @ f/8

HDR – Nex-6 w/ LA-EA1 Lens Adapter and Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 Lens @ f/8

 

Here’s my Brother on hos awesome Harley Davidson Screaming Eagle Fatboy.

HDR - Nex-6 w/ LA-EA1 Lens Adapter and Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 Lens @ f/8

HDR – Nex-6 w/ LA-EA1 Lens Adapter and Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 Lens @ f/8

Here’s one without my brother on the bike and some 100%b Crops below.

HDR - Nex-6 w/ LA-EA1 Lens Adapter and Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 Lens @ f/8

HDR – Nex-6 w/ LA-EA1 Lens Adapter and Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 Lens @ f/8

100% Crop

100% Crop

100% Crop

100% Crop

 
HDR - Nex-6 w/ LA-EA1 Lens Adapter and Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 Lens @ f/8

HDR – Nex-6 w/ LA-EA1 Lens Adapter and Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 Lens @ f/8

 

Conclusion

The bottom line with the Rokinon 14mm Ultra Wide-Angle f/2.8 IF ED UMC Lens is I highly recommend it. For the cash, your getting excellent optical quality, build quality, and performance in the real world with relative ease. I included enough sample photos and 100% crops that I feel confident you will agree on the quality optics. Being a fully manual lens, it can be a bit harder than just pointing and shooting, but I normally use a tri-pod for these types of shots anyway because symmetry and sharpness are very important and can take a minute to get just right. Even without a tri-pod this lens is relevantly easy to shoot hand held because the depth of field is large and focus is easy to find. On the higher focal length faster lenses, it is not as easy to find the focus for example.

There are many reviews of this lens on the web, so I hope mine offers what you were looking for as it relates to real world photography and value for the dollar 😉

The Rokinon 14mm Ultra Wide-Angle f/2.8 IF ED UMC Lens goes for $349 US @ BHPhoto >> and thanks for checking out my A-Mount Lens Review!

Thanks again for your support, and please feel free to ask questions, and/or comment below!! I’m always happy to help if I can!

Jay

 


Subscribe to sonyalphalab.com

Your support is greatly appreciated as we run this site in our spare time and are not paid. We can however, make a small commission if you click a product link that your interested in. That click will then give us credit if you choose to purchase any given item. This has no effect on the cost of the product, and is a simple way to give back to SonyAlphaLab.com for the effort and info we provide.

Also, be sure to keep following us on Google+, Twitter, RSS-feed, or Sign up for Email Updates!!

Direct Shopping Links – Thanks for your Support!!

BHPhotoVideo | Amazon – US, CA, UK | Adorama>

Thanks,
Jay

 


About the Author

Jay
Hello, I'm the owner and operator of SonyAlphaLab.com. Please check out the About page for a full background on myself and the Lab ;) Google+ | Twitter | RSS-feed | Email Updates!!