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Examples: Rokinon FE 12mm f/2.8 Fisheye on Sony A7R II

Get Rokinon FE 12mm f/2.8 Fisheye at B&H Photo. Available for many brands including Canon and Nikon and Sony E-mount.

Rokinon has aggressively released lenses for Sony mirrorless that are really DSLR lenses by adding a lens barrel extension, that is, an integral extension tube taking up the gap that the mirror box on a DSLR would occupy. On my recent trip, I tested the Rokinon FE 12mm f/2.8 ED AS IF NCS UMC Fisheye for Sony E-mount (and also the Rokinon 35mm f/1.4).

Images presented in various sizes up to 24-megapixels. The images were shot in uncompressed raw format.

Recommended viewing platform: late 2015 iMac 5K, for its 14.2 megapixel display. See Get a Gorgeous 5K Display—with a Free Computer Included!.

I like a fisheye prime lens; it can do jobs no other lens can, and it is sadly neglected by Canon and Nikon* and Sony (Panasonic makes a very fine 8mm f/3.5 fisheye for M4/3). I wish Zeiss would produce a very high grade APO fisheye. Alas, my desire has not come to pass—the market doesn’t appreciate a fisheye very much, apparently, so no one makes a really good one.

* The Nikon 16mm f/2.8 fisheye is not inspiring. The Canon EF 15mm f/2.8 fisheye is decent, but needs work. The Canon 8-15mm f/4L is excellent, but relatively bulky and its f/4 aperture makes it largely useless for night shots.

Sunstar Over White Mountain Road
f8 @ 1/800 sec, ISO 100; 2015-11-28 13:09:36
Sony A7R II + Rokinon 12mm f/2.8 ED AS IF NCS UMC Fisheye

[low-res image for bot]
Windswept Hill and Bristlecone, Late Afternoon
f8 @ 1/640 sec, ISO 100; 2015-11-28 15:02:28
Sony A7R II + Rokinon 12mm f/2.8 ED AS IF NCS UMC Fisheye

[low-res image for bot]
Pale Wood, White Snow, Cloud on Horizon
f8 @ 1/320 sec, ISO 100; 2015-11-28 15:24:36
Sony A7R II + Rokinon 12mm f/2.8 ED AS IF NCS UMC Fisheye

[low-res image for bot]
Pentapus Bristlecone
f8 @ 1/160 sec, ISO 100; 2015-11-28 17:02:03
Sony A7R II + Rokinon 12mm f/2.8 ED AS IF NCS UMC Fisheye

[low-res image for bot]
Dad and Daughter at Sunset
f8 @ 1/15 sec, ISO 100; 2015-11-28 17:30:56
Sony A7R II + Rokinon 12mm f/2.8 ED AS IF NCS UMC Fisheye

[low-res image for bot]

Dan M writes:

'Sunset Over the Sierra' strafing the Whites is a really fine image. It and 'Sunstar at Sunset' are amazingly clear photos. I’m looking especially at the stuff to the left (as you view it) of your poor overly abused vehicle in Sunstar at Sunset and it’s like there’s nothing between the eye and that snow and vegetation.

DIGLLOYD: the air was exceptionally clear, which helps, but the lens and sensor do a fine job.

Jeff S writes:

I love these shots. How fun! It takes me back to a key of successful photography-having fun. This lens looks like a winner! I have to say I’m impressed with these Rokinon Lenses. Especially at the price.

I purchased a 14mm Rokinon through your site link on deals at B&H a week ago. I had been doing some tests with my Nikon 14-24mm-out of frustration with Nikon 14-24mm focus shift issues and lack of edge sharpness and decided to buy the 14mm Rokinon to compare. At the time, at $250 how could I lose. I really didn’t expect much but was truly surprised. The 14mm outperformed the Nikon 14-24mm at 14mm by a significant margin when focused at infinity on a landscape scene with fine detail-higher sharpness across the frame at F4-11, and better overall contrast. DXO confirms the sharpness. It behaved much more like Zeiss, predictable with no annoying focus shift to scratch my head with!

DIGLLOYD: Absolutely! But dang, I really want an APO fisheye.

The Rokinon lenses can be quite good. My understanding is that Samyang and Rokinon are the same, just different branding. The Samyang 14mm f/2.8 is indeed very good, though distortion is impressive (in a bad way).

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