Useful Fisheye at a Bargain Price
This is my second Rokinon lens, the first being the 85mm f/1.4. I was so impressed with that lens that I had to give this one a shot.
Right away, it is compact and balances well on my K-5 IIs. Unlike the 85mm, the focus ring is plastic. The focus and aperture rings move smoothly and precisely. On my Pentax, I have automatic aperture control with EXIF f/stop reporting. Shake Reduction also works well with this lens.
Image quality at f/3.5 is a mixed bag. There is some sharpness there, but it is hidden in a haze of fuzzy halos at contrasting edges similar to what you'd see shooting an old fast portrait lens wide open on digital. Overall, it looks soft and not especially useful. Stop down to f/5.6 and everything becomes blisteringly sharp, contrast shoots through the roof and you have a wonderful optic indeed. With Pentax SR, f/5.6 is still usable for low light handheld shooting. Image quality remains at a peak until f/16 where diffraction begins to take effect. The depth of field is so large that shooting at f/8 or even f/5.6 is plenty. Leave the focus ring at or near infinity and forget it.
I look forward to shooting landscapes with this lens. It has less of a fisheye distortion effect than others making wide vistas attractive as long as there are no straight lines that give away that you're using a fisheye lens.
I would highly recommend this lens to anyone looking for a very wide, inexpensive fisheye lens with solid optical performance.
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