Rokinon 85mm t/1.5 Cine Lens Review

by: Darren Miles     Published on: 04 June 2013

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Check out my website at - Southwest Florida PhotographerBuy the Rokinon here;For CANON; NIKON; ADVANTAGE OF B&H PHOTO'S DAILY DEALS HERE; A cine lens is designed specifically with the digital videographer in mind. The lenses have "gears" that protrude out of the sides of the lens to allow for external accessories like "Follow focus" and aperture control devices that help you, the videographer, maintain focus on a moving subject and adjust to changing light within a scene with nice smooth dials that connect to your lens. If you're serious about your videography you're going to want to - at some point - consider a "cine" lens. Buyer beware they're NOT cheap. For example, a Canon Cine 85mm t/1.3 will set you back $4,950 USD! Combine that with the cost of follow focus gears and baseplates, videography can very quickly set you back tens of thousands of dollars.I've drooled over the Canon Cine lenses ever since they were announced, now I'm reasonably busy as a photographer/videographer, but the C-Line of Cinema cameras from Canon and their respective lenses are crazy expensive. Which is why I was so curious to see the Rokinon 85mm t/1.5 Cine lens hit the market at a shockingly low $349 USD. I immediately ordered one. I've only really played with it a bit and frankly, its impressive. I don't pretend for one second to say that this lens is in the same league as the Canon Cine 85mm - or do I? It has the external gears for follow focus and aperture adjustment - both the focus ring and aperture ring rotate with - to me - a perfect degree of resistance and they're completely silent - i.e. they're not audible to your DSLRs mic when focussing - unlike traditional "non-cine" lenses, which do not have geared focus rings and make an audible sound when they're being adjusted. The lens is completely manual, there are no electronic components. It has an 8 blade aperture ring for very pleasing bokeh rendering - you can see it here in the demo video clips, a "de-clicked" aperture ring, which basically means the aperture setting rotates like a traditional focus ring, there is an aspheric lens element to "limit distortion: and lastly the lens is multi-coated to 'improve transmission...' Um, whatever.CONCLUSION: If you're new to videography, or just want to take advantage of your DSLRs most underutilized feature, the Rokinon 85mm t/1.5 is a great alternative to the second mortgage causing Canon Cine Lenses.In a nutshell;BUILD QUALITY: Nice, high grade plastics (except for the lens hood) and a heavy and substantial feeling lens, focus and aperture rings are Canon L quality smooth. Overall, very impressive. 8.5/10FOCUS SPEED AND ACCURACY: A big N/A - 0/10OPTICAL QUALITY: It's not the Canon Cine or even L quality, but its really, really good, especially for the money and relatively speaking its a 10, real world however, its 8.5/10QUALITY OF RESULTS: Its hard to pixel peep in video, but if a big production house used one of these lenses, all but the most discerning of viewers won't be able to tell the difference, and this is exactly where the Rokinon excels. It's "good enough" and that is its best attribute! 9/10VALUE: If I could give a 20 I would, relative to the competition, this is the steal of the century. 10/10OVERALL: 36/50 - Recommended. For Videography and given that many of the Cine lenses don't have AF, this is a 36/40 making it a sensational value relative to the competition.FINAL WORD: For about 8% of the price of the Canon Cine equivalent, you're getting about 80% of the lens. Could quite possibly be the biggest no brainer in the history of serious videography. Hats off Rokinon! Job well done!