Samyang Premium MF 14mm f/2.4 Reviews

Apr 21st, 2023Racinette

Price Paid
$450 CAD (used)

Product Understanding

Time Owned
Less than a year

I've got the Rokinon SP Nikon version of this lens. It's a rather rare (and possibly even discontinued - late 2022) lens that's marketed as designed for 50+ MP cameras. The Canon version is easier to find, and you really should see Dustin Abbott's excellent reviews for more details and examples for this lens.

I needed an ultra-wide because I was doing more real estate and architectural photography. I had an old Nikkor 18-35D, which is still a great lens (see my review from when I used DX crop cameras). However, that lens didn't resolve corners well with my Z7ii (and didn't autofocus). I don't mind using manual focus, either -- so I went on a quest to find an efficient, yet reasonably-priced lens in the 14 to 20mm range.

I considered the 15mm Laowa Shift Zero-D -- too expensive with reports of inconsistencies. I found an AIS 20mm -- not as good as my old zoom. I tried the Z 14-30 f4 -- nice, but still overpriced and not that much better in corner sharpness than my 18-35D at f8. Besides, it wouldn't work with my other DSLRs. Then, I found this lens used for $450 CAD and tried it out. I was simply blown away! Even at f4 the corners were very sharp with controlled vignetting. I had tried the older Samyang 14mm f2.8 and hated the moustache distortion, but this lens is MUCH better in that regard. It still has some barrel distortion, but there's a (Rokinon) profile for Lightroom that fixes that easily. Build quality feels more like it's a Zeiss Batis lens -- the focus is buttery-smooth. The built-in lens hood is a bit buky, but it does the job nicely and protects the bulbous front element. The only thing I wish it had were a proper aperture ring -- the aperture is fully electronic with this one. So, if you can find one, I'm sure you will be impressed -- I am, and my clients are, too!

If you're considering a lens like this, you may also want to look at the Tokina APX (or Opera) 16-28mm f2.8. The Tokina is as good as the Nikkor AFS 14-24 f2.8 but with better distortion control (i.e. less barrel at 16mm). This Samyang/Rokinon 14mm f2.4 is better than either at all apertures (but, of course, only 14mm, so not as convenient as a zoom).

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