The Rokinon 35mm f1.4 lens can be found under the name Samyang as well as Bower and Vivitar. Basically all of these lenses have the same component parts with slightly different branding. Regardless of which brand you pick, this 35mm f1.4 lens was designed as a less expensive alternative to other 35mm offerings on the market. At a price range of between $400 and $500 the Rokinon 35mm f1.4 lens is less then half the price of Canon’s 35mm f1.4 L lens and a 3rd the price of Nikon’s 35mm f1.4 G lens offering. Making it an attractive option if you’re on a budget.

Wide open the Rokinon 35mm f1.4 lens is fairly sharp, Vignetting isn’t major on a full frame body and almost completely disappears on a crop sensor. The focus ring travels smoothly and the hard end stops make this a great lens to use with a follow focus system. The build quality of the Rokinon 35mm feels as solid as Canon’s 35mm offering which is also made out of plastic and overall I think the Rokinon preforms quit well.

Samyang has released a Cine lens version of this 35mm offering which has a de-clicked aperture ring as well as gears added to the focus and aperture rings. Follow focus gears are easy to find and there are easy to follow tutorials that show you how to de-click the aperture ring. So if you’re willing to take a screwdriver to your lens you can have all of the features of the Cine version for $100 less.

Overall my experience with the Rokinon 35mm f1.4 lens was very positive. If you’re willing to put up with a manual focus lens it’s a great value. The optical performance is better then the Sigma 30mm f1.4 with less Vignetting and lens flare issues and about equal with the Canon 35mm f1.4 L lens making it a great overall choice on a budget. If on the other hand you want auto focus and don’t mind a less optimal focus ring the Sigma 30mm f1.4 (for crop sensor bodies) and the Canon 28mm f1.8 (for full frame bodies) are about the only other alternatives in that same price range. Neither of which will be as smooth when used with a follow focus.

If you’re considering a lens in this focal length the Rokinon 35mm f1.4 lens is definitely worth a look.

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