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Rokinon vs Canon 24mm | by Rick Whitacre
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Rokinon vs Canon 24mm

My Rokinon 24mm f/1.4 lens arrived yesterday. I constructed a test pattern to evaluate it compared to my Canon EF 24mm f/1.4L II lens. While I love the Canon lens, the coma flare when wide open is quite noticeable and the Rokinon promises to be better. I have to wait for some clear skies to shoot stars with this lens and compare, but I wanted to see how the lens compared to the Canon in terms of light gathered, vignette, softness, etc


The test board was place vertically and my 5DMII was placed on a tripod such that the camera was the same height as the center target and that most of the corner targets were visible. I used a flash to illuminate the targets with a bounce off the ceiling. This rig is not good enough to measure absolute vignette values, but should be good enough for a comparison between the two lenses. Both images were processed in LR3 with all sliders zero'd out. No lens correction applied. I'm not an expert at this - just winging it, so please excuse any errors


My take-aways:


- Because the Rokinon is slightly longer than the Canon, the field of view was less (the front element was closer to the board). I don't think this is a problem


- The amount of light gathered by the Canon is more than the Rokinon when at f/1.4. By taking images with the Canon at f/1.6 and f/1.8, I estimate that the Rokinon at f/1.4 is equivalent to the Canon at f/1.5-1.6


- The Rokinon is softer in the center as others have reported


- The amount of vignette is similar in both lenses


- The Rokinon is a heck of a value for the money


For me, my intention for this lens is purely star work where it will be wide open. Coma flare is my top concern which is not addressed here. While I'm disappointed that it does not gather quite as much light as the Canon at f/1.4, the difference is not enough to toss it away. Since my shots are at night, the softness in the center is not a concern


The real test for me now is the amount of coma flare. If it preforms as expected, then I will keep this lens and sell the Canon. If I need a 24mm that is really sharp in the center, then I will use my Canon 16-35mm f/2.8 at 24mm.

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Taken on March 20, 2012