Rokinon 12mm F2.0 NCS CS E-Mount Review and Tests

Started Oct 11, 2014 | User reviews thread
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Raiatea Arcuri Photography
Raiatea Arcuri Photography New Member • Posts: 13
Rokinon 12mm F2.0 NCS CS E-Mount Review and Tests

Build Quality: The lens is well constructed and relatively small. The lens mount is metal and the front of the barrel and the focus ring is plastic. It has a 67mm filter thread; my UV filter fits nicely and looks good. The aperture ring is a little small, but provides nice clicks with half stop adjustments. The aperture and focus rings are well-dampened, needing both fingers to turn. Close focus is a little less than .66m and it focuses a little past infinity, but there is a mark for infinity. One thing that bothers me is that the lens has about a millimeter of play on my A6000, so it rotates a little when I’m focusing. The lens hood is a little cheap and also has a little play when mounted. Overall, the build quality is good and it would handle rough usage.

Performance: The lens performed very well for my uses. I’m only going to shoot landscapes and nightscapes with this lens. The center is sharp at F/2.0, peaking at about F/5.6. The corners are a bit soft wide open, but sharpen up dramatically at F/4.0. With this lens, I was able to focus the corners; it seems that the corners have a different focal plane than the center. When focused to infinity at the stars, the corners were surprisingly good wide open. The coma was well controlled too. It can do up to a 25 second exposure without getting star trails. There is little distortion, and there shouldn’t be a problem fixing it in post. It has strong vignetting at F/2.0, but improves at F/2.8. Overall, it has excellent performance for a $400 lens.

Other Thoughts: I set the C2 button on my A6000 to magnify so that it’s easy to focus. It feels well balanced and is only a little heavier than the Sony E 50mm F/1.8. This lens is very aesthetic and looks even better on a black camera. It’s well packaged and made in Korea.

Lens Testing: I conducted various tests to assess the performance of the lens. These test are by no means scientific, so don’t complain that the tests aren’t good. For the first test, I set up on a tripod and focused on the bicycle. I set the shutter speed to match the aperture and used the self-time to make sure there wasn’t any shake. The next test is a rock wall focused on the center following the same procedures. The night image is just to show you the performance for star photos.

My site:

Distortion Test.

Areas of tests. (F8.0 view full size)

Sharpness Test. (view full-size)

Vignette comparison.

Sharpness test #2. (view full-size)

Vignette comparison.

ISO 1600, F2.8, 15 sec. (view full-size)

 Raiatea Arcuri Photography's gear list:Raiatea Arcuri Photography's gear list
NEX5R Sony a6000
Samyang 12mm F2 NCS CS
Wideangle prime lens • Canon EF-M, Fujifilm X, Micro Four Thirds, Samsung NX, Sony E
Announced: Mar 21, 2014
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Samyang 12mm F2 NCS CS Sony a6000
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