Rokinon 24mm f/1.4 ED AS UMC Review

Rokinon24mmReview

My review of the Rokinon 24mm f/1.4 is long overdue. The Rokinon 24mm f/1.4 is my favorite, most used lens for astrophotography. Here’s why.

Introduction

The Rokinon 24mm f/1.4 ED AS UMC is the lens that started it all for me. It’s the first lens that I specifically chose for the purpose of astrophotography. I’m certainly not the first photographer to recommend the Rokinon 24mm f/1.4 for shooting the stars. I was originally prompted to try this lens by the recommendation of a few other night sky shooters, David Kingham and Rick Whitacre.

In my How to Pick a Lens for Milky Way Photography article, I outline the traits that make for the best lenses for astrophotography without the need for fancy star tracking equipment. And there’s one lens that stands out. The Rokinon 24mm f/1.4 is one of the best lenses that I have encountered in all my searching for the very best astrophotography gear. A fast 24mm lens is the only piece of gear that I have consistently owned in one form or another since I first dove into the world of astrophotography. I’ve gone through nearly ten different camera bodies in that time across three different systems (Canon, Fujifilm and Sony), but I have always had a 24mm/1.4 regardless of system or format.

Rokinon24mmF14Front

The Rokinon 24mm f/1.4 ED AS UMC

A 24mm/1.4 is a sweet spot lens design for landscape astrophotography. For any given camera system, full frame or APS-C, it is typically the widest lens design you can find with an f/1.4 aperture. There are several fast 24mm lenses available. Canon has one, Nikon has one, but I’ll just say it now: The Rokinon 24mm/1.4 is the best version of the 24mm/1.4 that I have encountered yet. I previously owned both versions of the Canon 24mm f/1.4L USM lens (both the Mark I and Mark II versions), and while they’re exceptional lenses for most other types of photography, they never offered the same level of performance for astrophotography as the Rokinon. That said, it’s certainly not perfect, and my experiences with this lens hasn’t been entirely positive. This won’t be a pixel peeping review; instead I’ll just give you my thoughts on the lens and show you some of the results that it can achieve for landscape astrophotography.

The Bad First

My relationship with this lens is complicated. I have owned 4 copies of the lens, and it’s not because I needed more than one.

My first copy of the Rokinon 24mm f/1.4 was defective. It was decentered or had a tilted lens element such that the entire left side of the frame was blurry when focused at infinity. I personally didn’t even notice the problem until several months later, and looking back to the images that were shot on it, I am constantly bothered by the fact that they were shot with a defective lens. Even one of my favorite shots of Trona Pinnacles, shown below, shows the defect. As soon as I realized that something was wrong, I sent it in for warranty replacement. Luckily the replacement lens from Rokinon did not show this issue.

trona-pinnacles-rokinon-24mm-f14-as-ed-umc

Lens Decentering: The boxes highlight the areas in the images below where you can see the apparent decentering of the first copy of the lens that I owned.

Rokinon24mmf14Decentering

100% crops showing differences in focus between the left and right sides of the frame. The left is blurry while the right is nice and sharp.

Fast forward a few years and I had switched camera systems several times, selling off all my Canon gear at the time and temporarily switching to Fujifilm and their 23mm f/1.4 lens while traveling. Eventually, with the release of the Sony a7S, I found myself back in the market for another full-frame 24mm. I loved my (second) copy of the lens enough that I decided to stick with what I knew for my newly purchased Sony a7S. Unfortunately, this third copy I received was even worse than the very first copy I owned. A quick decentering test confirmed my suspicions and I promptly returned it for a replacement that would perform to my standards. Upon further testing with this fourth copy, I found that a portion of the body of the lens was loose and would rotate when it shouldn’t. Luckily it was a quick fix with a small screwdriver to tighten a set screw. But what a disappointment to have such issues on something that I just spent several hundred dollars on.

I have encountered defective lenses in the past. (FYI: The Canon 50mm f/1.4 and Sigma 30mm f/1.4 are both lenses that I have had to send in for similar defects.) From my experience, it’s not all that uncommon to get a bad egg. But three out of four of the copies of this lens that I tried showed either unacceptable optical performance or build quality control issues. That’s not a very good rate. If you’re planning on buying this lens, I recommend buying from a reputable retailer with a good return policy. Check the lens for any problems, particularly decentering, and exchange it if you encounter issues. Give it a chance, but be skeptical. Be aware that there are certainly some duds out there, and I’ve experienced at least three of them. To test for decentering, I recommend trying out the method here.

Initial Impressions

The Rokinon 24mm f/1.4 ED AS UMC is a large lens. Mounted to the Sony a7S, it looks huge. It’s a little more reasonably matched to a full-size DSLR body like the Canon EOS 6D. It’s a full-frame coverage lens so it will work for 4/3, APS-C and full-frame sensors. Below, I have a Canon mount version adapted to the Sony a7S. The lens is available in a variety of mounts including Canon EF, Nikon F, Pentax K, Sony A, Sony E, Micro 4/3, Samsung NX, and Fujifilm X. Rokinon lenses are also available branded under their OEM name Samyang and a few other brands including Bower and ProOptic.

The versions for mirrorless camera mounts like the Sony E mount are essentially adapted to the shorter flange focal distance with an extended rear flange to fit the mirrorless mount. Instead of buying the dedicated Sony E mount version, I opted to adapt a Canon version using a third party adapter. That way, it’s possible to mount the lens to both my Sony cameras and my Canon cameras.

The Sony a7S mounted with the Rokinon 24mm f/1.4 Lens

The Sony a7S mounted with the Rokinon 24mm f/1.4 Lens

For the price, the lens feels good. The focus ring is buttery smooth and the aperture ring feels good, too, with very distinct clicks at each stop. The aperture ring allows for 1/2 stop increments from f/2 to f/22 and a full-stop click between f/1.4 and f/2. On all of the copies I tried, infinity focus has always been right at the infinity mark. Some other Rokinon lenses I have owned (namely the Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 (full review) have had inaccurate infinity marks.

The lens is made of a high quality plastic but features a metallic mount. Despite its size, the lens still feels rather light for how large it is.

The lens does not change in length when focusing and the filter thread diameter is 77mm which is on the large end of the spectrum, but that’s expected for such a fast, wide angle lens.

It’s an all manual lens with no communication to the camera, so you’re limited to shooting with manual focus in aperture priority mode or manual exposure mode to get the most out of this lens. For astrophotography, this is never a problem because we are almost always limited to using manual focus and manual exposure modes anyway.

I don’t usually use this lens for normal walkaround shooting during the day (mostly because it’s so large), but its large aperture and smooth easy-to-use focus ring makes manual focusing rather easy for everyday shooting if you want it for that, too. This and my Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 are my two dedicated astrophotography lenses that I use most often for the photos you see on Lonely Speck. There’s not much else to say about this lens. It’s functional and has the very basics you would expect out of a nice manual focus lens.

Image Quality

rokinon-24m-f14-mt-shasta

Rokinon 24mm f/1.4 ED AS UMC, 20 Seconds f/1.4, ISO 3200, Sony a7S

For astrophotography, a major concern is how well the lens can perform wide open at its lowest f/number setting. It’s rare for most fast prime lenses to control coma and astigmatism at their wide open setting. These two optical aberrations in particular can cause stars to no longer look like pinpoints of light but instead look stretched radially or tangentially — or both. The presence of coma or astigmatism can be distracting in astrophotos, and it’s something that I particularly try to avoid when choosing a lens for shooting the night sky. Most lenses in this category, including the much more expensive Nikon and Canon 24mm f/1.4 lenses, perform rather poorly with strong coma and astigmatism aberrations visible in the corners of their images when used at low f/numbers.

I have very little hesitation using the Rokinon 24mm f/1.4 wide open at f/1.4 for astrophotos. At f/2.0 it’s even better. The lens has a very minor amount of aberration at f/1.4 but it’s minor enough that it’s not a problem at typical viewing sizes. It’s good enough at f/1.4 that I almost never stop down to f/2.0 unless I’m making a panorama stitch and subsequently want to reduce any aberration that may affect stitching the frames together.

At f/1.4 you can see a small amount of sagittal astigmatism and some purple fringed coma, but the overall effect is very minor — excellent for a lens at f/1.4.

rokinon-24m-f14-coma

A 100% crop of the upper left corner of the above image. At f/1.4, the Rokinon 24mm f/1.4 controls coma and astigmatism very well.

At f/2.0 any signs of astigmatism and coma are almost eliminated and the lens gains a minor boost in overall sharpness. For sharpness critical astro shots, f/2.0 give the best compromise between light gathering capability and image quality.

Being able to use this lens with no hesitation at f/1.4 makes for some of the cleanest, low noise images of the Milky Way of any lens that I have used. It has a very wide field of view on a full frame camera like the Sony a7S or Canon EOS 6D, so it’s possible to use shutter speeds of about 20-25 seconds without seeing too much star trailing. 25 seconds with an aperture set to f/1.4 is a combination for some very clean astrophotos. f/1.4 is two to three stops more light than the typical lens (f/2.8 to f/4), so that means four to eight times more signal getting to the camera’s sensor. The more signal, the better the photo. Combining a fast lens like this with image stacking can also yield nearly noise free images.

The field of view of the lens is also very natural. It’s not as wide as the “whoa, that’s wide” 14mm but it’s still wide enough a view to capture a substantial portion of the night sky and fits a good portion of the galactic center in the frame. With this lens you’ll tend to frame more of the sky and less of the foreground than with a 14mm. It is, of course, possible to make a panorama stitch with this lens to gain a wider field of view.

Sample Images

The Rokinon 24mm f/1.4 is my most used lens for astrophotography alongside the Rokinon 14mm f/2.8. Here are a few of my favorite astrophotos shot on the Rokinon 24mm f/1.4 ED AS UMC:

rokinon-24m-f14-example-reno

rokinon-24m-f14-example-alabama-hills

rokinon-24m-f14-example-lassen-volcanic

rokinon-24m-f14-joshua-tree

Conclusions 

The Rokinon 24mm f/1.4 is an excellent lens for astrophotography provided you get a good copy. Decentering is a problem that I have personally encountered more than once and I have heard reports from other users of very similar issues. It’s a disappointment — not to mention, a hassle — to receive a bad copy of something as expensive as a camera lens. As such, I cannot give this lens a highly recommended rating. If you’re going to buy it, test it first knowing that bad copies exist.

Users looking at this lens should bear in mind that it is a manual focus only lens so it’s naturally geared towards more methodical types of shooting like landscapes and astrophotography. That said, a manual focus lens in the right hands can deliver excellent results in almost every situation.

A good copy of this lens is still my top choice for a standard wide angle lens for astrophotography. It has very low levels of aberration, a versatile field of view, excellent sharpness at large apertures, and good overall build quality for the price point. It’s capable of making some of the cleanest wide field landscape astrophotos without the use of any kind of special equipment like a tracking mount. Find yourself a good copy and you won’t be disappointed.

Verdict:
RECOMMENDED

Where to Buy

I personally buy almost all of my equipment through B&H. They have an excellent return policy and have the lowest prices anywhere online. If you are considering buying this lens or any equipment for that matter, consider buying through the links on this page. You won’t pay anything extra but Lonely Speck will receive a small commission (usually 2-4%) to help run the website.

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Thanks so much for being a part of our astrophotography adventure.

-Ian

 

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Ian Norman

Creator at Lonely Speck
Ian Norman, co-founder and creator of The Photon Collective and Lonely Speck. Ian is a full time traveler, photographer and entrepreneur. In February 2013, he called it quits on his 9-to-5 to pursue a lifestyle of photography. Follow Ian's photography adventures on Instagram.

95 Responses

  1. Ken Cabeen August 24, 2016 / 3:08 pm

    Hi Ian,

    Great write up on this lens. I have a Nikon 14-24 f/2.8, which did a pretty nice job with my first and only (so far) try at astrophotography while shooting the Perseid meteor showers a couple of weeks ago, where part of the Milky Way was a nice incidental feature of the composition I settled on.

    I am seriously thinking about getting this Rokinon/Samyang/Bower lens, but do want to make sure I’ve got a good copy. I read about a decentering test where the lens is carefully focused at infinity with a scene of details such as trees or architecture, and then just looking at the pictures at 100% to examine for consistent sharpness across the frame, corners, etc. What are your thoughts on this very simple test?

    Cheers!
    Ken

  2. Nate August 20, 2016 / 3:31 pm

    Ian, it’s funny you posted the de entering test from from LensRentals. They actually sale this same lens used and I believe they test the used gear that they post led on there site. I was torn between getting this lens and the 14mm but chose this for the f1.4 aperture. I got the cine version of this lens from Lens Authourity in Sony A Mount and hopefully I can get an adaptor…

  3. alan July 1, 2016 / 9:51 am

    i have 14mm T3.1 version due to budget limit as i am just a student. using on A7 body.

    should i try to upgrade to 24/1.4? i really feel i was missing somthing.

  4. Billy June 6, 2016 / 10:38 pm

    Hello! I’m very interested in the Roki, but my one concern is that few reviews mention its performance in the daytime. I’d like a good wide angle, but not only for astrophotography. While I can’t imagine any reason performance would suffer in a more optimal lighting, I was just curious if you had any comments about day performance. Thank you!

  5. Wanda June 5, 2016 / 10:03 pm

    Hi Ian, what do you recommend for a conversion to use canon lenses on a Sony A7?

    • Ian Norman June 6, 2016 / 2:14 am

      I recommend the Novoflex or Metabones adapters.

  6. Deniz May 23, 2016 / 10:47 am

    Hi Ian,

    This is Deniz from Istanbul.

    Ready to grab this lens, however it is not available here. Instead, Samyang 24mm f/1.4 Full Frame Lens was offered by the local store, which is 30% expensive than the Rokinon.

    1-Are these identical?
    2-Have you ever tried any “Samyang”?
    3-There is an option to bring the Rokinon from US? Is it worth it?

    Thanks.

    • Ian Norman May 24, 2016 / 4:28 am

      The Rokinon and Samyang are identical in every way except name.

  7. johnny April 29, 2016 / 9:16 am

    Ian,

    I shoot the Fuji XT-1……

    It seems most of the reviews and info are geared towards full frame.

    Rokinon/Samyang…….. 14 or 24?

  8. kesim kesgin April 19, 2016 / 4:41 am

    I used to have one Samyang 14mm 2.8.
    also I had a similar problem. the left side was significantly blurred in the same way. and i sold it..

  9. Chris Courage February 17, 2016 / 6:34 am

    Great blog btw!! I would like your opinion on which Milkyway lens bang for buck, Voightlander 10.5 f.95 (very expensive) or metabones speedbooster ultra and the rokinon 24mm f1.4 but will have an extra stop of light, wider angle and possibly a sharper image. i I will be using a Gh4 body M43. A difficult decision

  10. Dimitris January 27, 2016 / 9:57 am

    My copy of Samyang 24mm is certainly decentered. Is there any way to fix it myself…..like when u collimate a telescope?

  11. Joshua November 24, 2015 / 11:01 am

    Hi there
    My name is Josh I’m very interested in astrophotography am slowly self teaching my self by trial and earea. I want to buy a lens. I was looking at the Rokinon 24mm and after reading your review I think I am sold. I have a Nikon D90 is this camera body ok for what I want to do or do in need a new body for astrophotography. Thanking you for any help you can give me.
    Josh.

  12. Jon October 15, 2015 / 8:05 am

    Hi Ian,

    Been reading your website with interest and decided to try out Milky Way astrophotography myself using both Rokinon 14 and 24 mm lenses. First issue I ran into was noise. Although rated good for noise at higher ISO’s a few years back, I don’t think my Pentax KX is suitable enough for 15-30 sec at 1600 ISO or higher, just too much noise, so I went with a star tracker to help. So it looks like that having one of the latest cameras is a big plus. That, plus as dark of skies as possible. I live in the Northeast US where dark skies come at a premium, so a fair amount of processing is needed to curtail light pollution and beyond what you show us on your site (luminosity curves seem to help me lots). I have also run into the defective lens factor with both of these lenses and returned them! both showed coma at widest aperture and with the 14mm even stopped down one stop. Also it looked like the 24mm wasn’t quite in focus and the stars showed ghosting. I’d appreciate any tips for hammering down non-defective lenses in the future as it gets expensive to keep shipping them back. The place I use offers free shipping them to you, but deducts what they would have charged if sending them back. I’m surprised there isn’t more quality control on these lenses! And they aren’t cheap! Cheaper than Nikon or Canon primes for sure, but still a bite out of the pocket. Thanks for your website and tips.

  13. Doug Koch September 26, 2015 / 6:06 am

    Great astro landscape work! Thanks for the illuminating comments about the Rokinon 24mm f/1.4, which I’m considering for my A7s. I understand that it’s manual focus, which is no big deal. Also, thanks for the warning about de-centered samples. Q: Does your Canon-mount Rokinon with adapter retain the automatic diaphragm function on your A7s? I’d certainly value that, mostly for daytime shooting. I’m thinking of buying the Rokinon in A-mount and attaching via the LA-EA4 adapter, which normally preserves the auto-diaphragm function. Keep up the great work and thanks for sharing important experiences.

    • Ian Norman September 26, 2015 / 7:45 am

      Doug, all of the Rokinon lenses are manual aperture diaphragm lenses.

  14. dave white September 7, 2015 / 8:23 am

    Hi Ian, thank you for creating this website… To take these kind of pictures is exactly what I have wanted to do.

    I bought this lens (Rokinon 24mm f/1.4) and I have been having trouble with the focus. It seems I can’t get anything clear at f/1.4 (focused at infinity). I don’t think inadvertent star-trails are the source of error, since at f/1.4 the exposure time could be set be well below 20 seconds. I’ve gone all the way up to f/4 to try to fix the problem, with minor success. Perhaps my tripod is too flimsy ($20 Targus model)? …Or maybe I just don’t know how to focus (more probable). At any rate, I am patiently awaiting your “Focusing at Night” tutorial! Cheers, Dave

    Cheers,
    Dave

    • Ian Norman September 8, 2015 / 7:49 am

      Dave,

      Have you tried using live view and zooming on a very bright star? That’s my first suggestion. I’ll tell you what: my next tutorial will be a focusing guide.

      Cheers,

      Ian

    • dave white September 28, 2015 / 7:06 pm

      Hi Ian, thanks! I’ll try the trick you prescribed. I also noticed that the lens, when focused at the “infinity” mark, is actually slightly out of focus. Backing it off a couple of degrees seems to give me much clearer photos. I also started shooting in raw, drop the ISO when I can while extending my exposure, which usually leads to crisper, less grainy shots. The quality of my images has much improved, enough to highlight another issue: I’m fairly certain the lens is decentered… I rotate the camera 90 degrees and the aberrations follow the orientation of the lens. I’ll obviously do the test you provided the link to in order to confirm. Too bad Rokinon’s quality control is so bad, because it is otherwise the ideal lens. Thanks, Dave

  15. K. Adam Christensen September 5, 2015 / 10:38 pm

    I had a question about your 3rd lens purchase. Since you’re using an adapter to make the Canon mount lens work on your A7S, then I’m assuming that third purchase was for the Canon mount. Why not go with the EF mount instead, forgoing the need for the adapter?

    I ask because I’m thinking of picking this lens up, but I’m torn between EF mount and getting a Nikon mount. EF mount feels like it would be better on the camera, no adapter, perhaps then a little less bulky! But I sort of like the idea of the Nikon mount because then I can use the Fotodiox ND throttle outside of astrophotography use.

    Thanks for the article. Dig the site.

    • Ian Norman September 6, 2015 / 8:27 pm

      It really doesn’t matter that much but if you see the Nikon mount would be giving you a benefit of being able to both adapt and use an ND throttle, go for it. The glass is the same. Keep in mind that the Nikon version of the lens has inverted aperture and focusing rings versus the Canon version.

    • K. Adam Christensen September 7, 2015 / 2:18 pm

      Thanks for the advice. The aperture ring orientation doesn’t bother me too much, as with getting the A7R, I’ve been picking up some nice old Nikkor AI-S lens on the cheap 😀

      Good to know there’s no loss with the native vs adapter. Cheers.

  16. Austin August 24, 2015 / 6:18 pm

    Ian,

    I’ll be purchasing this lens for a Sony E mount (a7ii) later this week and want to thank you for the lengthy review. I’ll make sure to use your B&H link to help out.

    Thanks again.
    Austin

  17. darius August 22, 2015 / 3:08 am

    What about the Sigma Art 24/1.4?
    It’s priced exactlly like the Rokinon, and seems to be quite a good alteranative to the EF 24’s

    (also the Batis 25/2, I know this one didn’t exist at the time of writing)

    Cheers

    • Ian Norman August 22, 2015 / 2:26 pm

      Last time I checked, the Sigma 24mm Art was about $849 while the Rokinon varies between $449 and $549. Tyler currently has a copy of the Sigma and is testing it to post a review here. He’ll be comparing it directly to the Rokinon!

  18. Chris August 5, 2015 / 12:07 am

    Hi Ian,

    Love the site. Has helped me a lot. Thanks so much. I’m sure you’ve had a lot of this question so understand if you don’t hurry to respond but I’d like to tack on to Dimitris question and supply some sample images of my copy as I’m not sure whether to try for a better one. It is pretty impressive but based on what I’ve seen you describe and your samples I think it could be a bit off in terms of coma. It is quite noticeable at 1.4 / 2 If you or anyone else wants to comment on whether I’ve got a bad copy or I’m expecting too much, please do. These are links to corner crops at F1.4 and F2.

    F1.4 – https:[email protected]/20308537495/in/dateposted-public/

    F2 – https:[email protected]/20314538461/in/dateposted-public/

    • Ian Norman August 10, 2015 / 7:55 pm

      Chris, your copy seems to have some variation compared to mine. It seems that this is a trend I’m starting to see from my readers in regards to Rokinon/Samyang lenses. It seems we should expect various results from lens to lens.

  19. Deb August 1, 2015 / 8:16 pm

    Your sky images are just amazing. It was interesting to see the same subject matter of the Joshua Trees with both the 14mm and the 24mm. What makes you choose one over the other, given they are both your favourites?

  20. Dimitris July 24, 2015 / 1:46 am

    My Samyang 24mm seems to be suffering from a bit more coma at f<2.8 than expected or described in this blog.
    It is quality problems I guess. However, at f2.8 its fine…..
    Not sure if there anything to be done with this….!! :(

  21. Michael Hoffman July 18, 2015 / 1:44 pm

    Thank you for your review of this lens. It helped me understand what was wrong with the one I just purchased (used from B&H). After my first shoot I noticed a huge amount of blur and stretching on the right side of my image. I suspect it’s the decentering you referenced. I will have to try and track down a good version of this lens. It really did perform quite well in all other aspects. Out of curiosity, have you had any experience with the Rokinon 14mm 2.8? I’m wondering if that suffers the same issues. I’m shooting with an a7R. Thank you.

  22. mike July 15, 2015 / 12:11 pm

    General question not limited to just this lens: For someone that shoots m4/3, would you suggest getting the m4/3 version of this lens, or geting the Cannon EF version and putting a metabones speedbooster on it?

    That would give quite a bit more light on to the little m4/3 sensor. But I wonder if the speedbooster will cause so much vignetting that it would not be worthwhile.

    • mike July 15, 2015 / 12:28 pm

      Hmm, the speedbooster is $600, even more than the lens costs. So even if it is worth it, it is probably better to simply get a more expensive lens like the Olympus PRO series lenses.

    • Ian Norman July 16, 2015 / 3:35 pm

      I haven’t heard of speedboosters increasing vignetting but it’s a good point that the Metabones is rather expensive! I might go for the 7-14mm/2.8 or the new 8mm/1.8 before putting such a huge lens on a m4/3 camera.

  23. Dimitris July 10, 2015 / 4:06 am

    I just bought a Samyang 24mm f1.4…..a common flaw of these lenses seems to be focus slack.
    Any ideas on how to correct that?

  24. Dan Gindling July 9, 2015 / 9:40 pm

    Hello Ian: I bought a Rokinon 24mm f1.4 through your site and am using it on a Nikon d7200. In order for it to work I have to set the lens to f22 and dial in the f1.4 on my camera. Doesn’t having the lens on f22 defeat the whole reason to have a f1.4 lens?

    • Ian Norman July 9, 2015 / 11:39 pm

      When set properly this way, the camera electronically controls the aperture to if the camera indicates it’s set to f/1.4, the lens will be at f/1.4. You should be able to visually verify by shooting at different electronically indicated f/numbers and compare depth of field.

    • Dan Gindling July 10, 2015 / 9:29 am

      I figured it out. Thanks so much.

  25. Mike Hammon June 4, 2015 / 8:57 am

    Ian,
    I’m currently shooting astrophotography on my D810 with the Nikon 14-24 f2.8, but am interested in getting something faster. I’ve read your review of this lens, and am wondering if you’d suggest it over the 14-24.

    Also, within the next year, I’ll buy a Sony A7s as my primary astrophotography body–which of these two lenses would you recommend for the Sony?

    Thanks,
    Mike

  26. Charlie Dickerson May 22, 2015 / 4:49 pm

    Does the 24mm 1.4 for Sony E mount also work on the A7 series? I’ve tried searching to find the answer but can’t find one. I was just unsure with it being full frame and maybe it would only work for crop sensor. Thanks

  27. Dmitry May 7, 2015 / 1:16 am

    Hi Ian,

    What do you think about the new Sigma A 24 mm f/1.4 DG HSM for astrophotography?

    According to the tests (see for example http://www.lenstip.com/index.php?test=obiektywu&test_ob=430) the lens is excellent and much better than Rokinon 24mm f/1.4, except for the coma which is much worse than that of Rokinon 24mm f/1.4.

    What do you recomend to buy for Astro+Landscape photography: Sigma A 24 mm f/1.4 or Rokinon 24mm f/1.4?

    Thanks.

    • Ian Norman May 8, 2015 / 1:29 am

      I think that it would be OK but with the amount of coma present I would still prefer the Rokinon, even if the Rokinon is a little less sharp. Stopped to f/2 I think the Rokinon is nearly perfect and for the price, it’s still the lens that I prefer to use. I’ll likely still try out the Sigma at some point for a review because certain things like AF and better build quality still interest me.

    • richard colman May 9, 2015 / 7:53 pm

      I bought a Sigma 24 two days ago, and did a few test exposures. These were limited because of the weather. First of all, as an all around lens, it is very nice. Images were much better than my two Canon zooms at 24mm F/4.

      BUT, my limited star tests were very disappointing. COMA is a big problem. Not too bad in the center, but it gets very bad towards the edges at F/1.4. The coma cleared up at F/2.8 but what good is that. I want to shoot at F/1.4!!

      I returned the lens the next morning (today) for a refund. Turns out it was ‘demo day” at the camera store, so I bent the ear of the rep for a while, and gave him a test print.

    • Dmitry May 10, 2015 / 3:57 am

      Thanks guys for your response.

      Have just ordered Rokinon 24 mm.

      It’s a great pity that Sigma with the Art 24 mm could not manage to keep the uncompromising quality of Art 35 and 50 mm.

  28. Jonathan F.V. April 27, 2015 / 1:56 am

    Hi, thanks a lot for taking the time of maintaining your most excellent site. I have a question for you, if you don’t mind. Have you had the chance to play with focal length reducers, or speed boosters? I intend to keep using APS-C cameras, but I was thinking that a good quality speed booster coupled to this lens could yield as good results as the speed booster’s quality would allow. It would be an excellent choice for me, as it would give me two different focal lengths, a very fast aperture, and on top of that the possibility to use tilt-shift adapters.

    Thanks!

    • Ian Norman May 8, 2015 / 1:33 am

      I have not actually. I’d like to. It was something that interested me a lot for the Fujifilm X-T1 but I suppose I got caught up in using lenses native to that system. If I can try one out I’ll certainly relay the experience with a review.

    • Jake January 27, 2016 / 8:26 am

      Hey Jonathan,
      I recently used the Metabones Speedbooster Ultra on my Sony a6000 and really enjoyed it. Although I was manually focusing, it was still nice to be able to control the aperture from the camera body. I was shooting the rising moon over Toronto and paired it with the Canon 70-200 f2.8 II with a 2.0 x Teleconverter, making it an effective: 105-300 f2.0 or a 210-600mm f4. I was blown away with the results. Is it possible to get 105-300 f2 anywhere else? I know there is a Sigma 120-300mm f2.8, but that is $3,500 lens and would require an adapter on top of that, while allowing less light to the sensor. Obviously autofocus can be of great value, especially with these long focal lengths, but for someone typically shooting landscapes, this isn’t as much of a problem for me. Happy to answer any questions you may have!

  29. Dave M. April 18, 2015 / 6:14 am

    Is the return policy on Amazon.com also acceptable? Trying to figure it out from their website and was going to use your affiliate link. Thanks.

    • Ian Norman May 8, 2015 / 1:31 am

      Amazon.com has a 30-day return policy for defective items. They supply the return shipping which makes it super easy.

  30. Daniel Gahnstrom April 18, 2015 / 4:59 am

    Sorry if this has been covered already, but is there a difference optically/functionally between this and the VDSLR T1.5 version? I’m an A7S video shooter but love taking stills, so a lens that works just as well for video AND stills would be great!

    • Ian Norman May 8, 2015 / 1:30 am

      Optically identical. It’s just rated in T-Stops instead of f-stops which is more useful for cinematography. Same lens, different housing.

  31. Brett April 13, 2015 / 12:12 pm

    Hey guys, love the site.

    Based on this article coupled with some other research, I’ve decided to get this lens for my nikon d7100. I would like to use the B&H links you list above to ensure that you get the referral bonus. However, the link above takes me to a rokinon lens that’s priced at 549.00 and includes the 2% referral bonus.

    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/819106-REG/Rokinon_RK24MAFN_24mm_f_1_4_ED_AS.html/BI/19611/KBID/12104

    In my research, I’ve found that rokinon and samyang are essentially the same company putting out the same lenses, and the samyang model of the same lens is priced at 489.00, but this does NOT give you the 2%….

    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/868735-REG/Samyang_SY24MAF_N_24mm_f_1_4_ED_AS.html/BI/19611/KBID/12104

    I’ve got 2 questions: First, are those two lenses really the same? Everything I’ve read indicates that they are. Second, assuming they are the same, is there anyway I can order the samnyang lens, save 60 bucks, and still get you guys your 2%???

    I’d love to support you guys and get my hands on that lens too, any further assistance would be greatly appreciated. Keep up the good work.

    -Brett

    • Brett April 13, 2015 / 1:29 pm

      never mind. figured it out.

    • Ian Norman April 13, 2015 / 4:29 pm

      Buying anything through the links on the page will provide a commission, even if the item is not linked directly. Basically, don’t worry too much about it and thanks for the support!

  32. 6PalmTree4 April 3, 2015 / 9:00 am

    hi, I own Sony a200 and a77, do you think the Rokinon 24mm is a wise choice for these bodies? Thank You.

  33. Rem March 12, 2015 / 9:35 pm

    I am considering to get either the rokinon 24mm 1.4 or the 14mm 2.8 for my Nikon D610. I am not sure which one is better for general landscape as I like to also shoot landscapes, but I also want to be shooting astrophotography. Which one would you go for?

    • Ian Norman March 13, 2015 / 6:32 am

      I think the 14mm is the better choice if you want it also for general landscapes. The field of view is much wider and more suitable for big brilliant views.

  34. Thomas Marti March 2, 2015 / 10:30 pm

    I received my 24mm for E-Mount a couple of weeks ago and just tested it today. Unfortunately infinity focus isn’t at the infinity mark at all. This was one of the main reasons for me to buy this lens. :-(

    Do you think this focus issue is indicative of decentering? Did I just receive a bad copy?

    • Ian Norman March 3, 2015 / 5:08 pm

      I would check for decentering using the method linked in the article above and see if it’s out of spec.

  35. Russell February 16, 2015 / 11:33 am

    Is 24 wide enough for an APS-C like the 70d? I know that it looks amazing on a full frame, but I’m not quite sure how much of the comp can be sucked into it on a cropped. I really want to get into astrophotography, but would still like to retain a bit of the wide for other shooting as well. I have Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 and Rokinon 12mm f/2.0 on my mind, but for the life of me, every time I read a review, it’s always something different. Thanks for any advice.

    • Olivier February 17, 2015 / 11:37 pm

      Hi Russel
      I had the 70D and I used the Tokina AT-X Pro 11-16mm f/2.8 for landscape and astrophotography (11mm @f/2.8 = 25sec ).
      It will be a nice complement to your Sigma 18-35

    • Russell February 18, 2015 / 9:40 pm

      I will be pre ordering the new Tokina AT-X 11-20mm f/2.8 PRO DX Lens for Canon EF from B&H today. I think It will be enjoyable to shoot with. If only they made it in 2.0 or 1.4, wouldn’t that just solve all our dreams.

  36. Olivier February 9, 2015 / 6:04 am

    Hi Ian,
    first of all, thanks for sharing your passion with us (and sorry if I make mistakes as I’m a french guy).
    I have one question : I recently bought a Canon 6D and a Samyang 14f/2.8 to make astrophotography. I wonder if you have try the Sigma 15mm f/2.8 (which is a fisheye) or hear about it. Is it a non sense to use it for astrophotography ?
    Regards
    Olivier

    • Ian Norman March 3, 2015 / 5:06 pm

      The sigma 15/2.8 fisheye should actually be quite good. If you want, it is also possible to defish. I wrote about this here: lonelyspeck.com/defish

    • Olivier March 5, 2015 / 3:33 am

      Thanks Ian

  37. Dave Katz January 26, 2015 / 8:20 pm

    Thanks for the awesome posts, I’ve really been enjoying my time on your site.

    I had a question what you thought about the old school Olympus 28 F2.8 for astrophotography. I really enjoyed your posts on the various Rokinon lenses, but for the price, this Olympus lens seems like it might be a good alternative to the Rokinon lineup.

    http://www.mir.com.my/rb/photography/hardwares/classics/olympusom1n2/shared/zuiko/htmls/24mm1.htm

    Thanks again for sharing your information.

    Dave Katz

    • Ian Norman February 5, 2015 / 4:56 pm

      Dave, I’m sure it will work but I’m honestly not familiar with it.

    • Aaron February 22, 2015 / 6:41 pm

      The problem, in my experience, is that these older lenses tend to be quite a bit behind in controlling coma and astigmatism.

      I just switched from the NEX 5R and Sony E 16mm f/2.8 to the A7 and Olympus OM 24mm f2.8 for astrophotography. On the plus side, it’s tiny, light, cheap, and us quite sharp stopped down, even in the extreme corners. The OM is a better lens in most respects, but the Sony E 16mm is way ahead for wide open coma.

      Here’s one I took last night:
      https://flic.kr/p/qnrHdN

      Never tried the Olympus 28/2.8, but I would expect something similar. I also have the Olympus 28/3.5, but haven’t tried it for astrophotography yet.

  38. Jesus Ortiz January 15, 2015 / 9:09 am

    Hello Again, first thanks for your recent comments regarding a7 for night photography. I have using my new a7 with amazing AWESOME results.

    I am thinking to buy this lens but I also use Canon (similar to what is described in your post)… So I will do the same and buy it for Canon and need the adapter to Sony FE. I was looking in your lonely speck gear of choice at B&H but I can not find this adapter and there a few available so I want to be sure I am buying the right one. Can you add this item to your gear of choice or send me the link? Thanks!

    • Ian Norman February 5, 2015 / 4:39 pm

      Jesus, any Canon EF to Sony E mount adapter will work.

  39. 216 center street…Just purchased the lens ,thanks for input….Best

  40. Sid December 23, 2014 / 2:00 pm

    Thanks for the great review. I’ve just received a copy of this lens with bad decentering and am planning on returning it for a replacement.

    One thing I noticed is that you say: “f/1.4 is two to three stops more light than the typical lens (f/2.8 to f/4), so that means two to three times more signal getting to the camera’s sensor.” whereas I think the correct statement is “four to eight times more…”.

    Thanks again for this resource!

    • Ian Norman December 25, 2014 / 4:26 am

      Sid you’re absolutely right, thanks for the correction.

  41. Jonny December 23, 2014 / 1:10 pm

    Hey, Getting a Sony A7 for Christmas, what are some basic must haves for Astrophotography?
    Love the Website btw 😀
    jonny

  42. Jod-R December 4, 2014 / 5:45 am

    Not totally related to this post, but how are you feeling about the upcoming 12/2.8 lens from Samyang? Would it not be a very good fit for astrophotos?

    • Ian Norman December 4, 2014 / 11:24 am

      I can’t wait to try it. I have been hoping for a new full frame fisheye for a long time.

  43. Josh Wallace December 1, 2014 / 3:03 pm

    Hi Ian,

    Big fan ever since I saw your first video about editing photos of the milky way, keep up the great work! I was curious to how you would compare this to something like the Canon 50mm f/1.4? I realize they can’t be compared straight-across and honestly I was looking at getting the Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 along with the 50mm for a while but with the 24mm and the ability to do panoramas with the 50mm has me questioning that.

    Thanks in advance!

    • Ian Norman December 1, 2014 / 3:22 pm

      The Canon 50mm/1.4 is an OK lens but it suffers from some noticeable coma and astigmatism aberration problems at f/1.4 so it cannot be used at low f/numbers without getting smeared stars at the edges of the frame. It makes stars look like chevrons similar to what is shown in the LensTip review here: http://www.lenstip.com/216.7-Lens_review-Canon_EF_50_mm_f_1.4_USM_Coma_and_astigmatism.html

      I use all three of the focal lengths that you mentioned.

      For reference my kit currently includes:
      Rokinon 24mm/1.4 – great for timelapse and stils alike, sometimes used for panoramas
      Rokinon 14m/2.8 – Excellent for timelapse and stills, wide angle landscape work
      Sony 55mm f/1.8 – exclusively for panoramas and daytime walkaround shooting, portraits and non Lonely Speck related photography

  44. John Fyn (@JohnFynPhoto) November 27, 2014 / 2:28 am

    Hi Ian,
    I’ve literally just bought this lens and it was delivered this morning. In the UK they go by Samyang brand. I will check it for centering problems, something I have never heard of, so thanks for putting up the info.
    Also worth noting that the Nikon mount version of this lens does actually have comms to the camera, so aperture is controlled by the camera body.

    • Ian Norman November 27, 2014 / 5:29 pm

      John, yes, thanks for the reminder about the chipped Nikon version. Hope you enjoy the lens.

  45. KC17 November 23, 2014 / 9:37 pm

    Hi Ian, I currently own an A7 and I’m trying to find a lens that I can settle with. I found the Sony FE 16-35mm F4 to be very interesting and I’m wondering if this is too slow to use? Have you ever shot the milky way with F4? Do you have any recommendations for non-A7s users? Any reply would be greatly appreciated.

    • Ian Norman November 24, 2014 / 1:24 am

      KC17, I’m hopefully going to be reviewing the lens soon! I don’t think that f/4 is too slow for modern full-frame cameras. I have had success with a 21mm/4 and I think the fact that 16mm is so wide, it might prove to be a good option.

  46. Nikki Hartomo November 21, 2014 / 3:39 pm

    Hi Ian, first of all I love your site! It helped me so much.
    Secondly, when will you give us full review and sample of Rokonon 14mm/2.8?
    I’m planning to buy one for Chrismas and its gonna be my first astro lens. I’m starting to take astrophotography since 2-3 months ago. And the lense that I have now is not enough ( the Canon 18-55mm standard that comes with my EOS 1200D). The photos I made somehow neer look good enough, unless I spike the Level and Curve in Photoshop. See here:
    https://m.flickr.com/#/photos/nixieblue/sets/72157648692534968/
    Any suggestion?
    Many thanks in advance.
    Nikki

  47. pogle2 November 21, 2014 / 7:45 am

    Good write-up Ian. I also had to go through 4 copies before I finally got one that I considered decent enough to keep, and was afraid to try again for fear of getting another lemon. Even then I’d prefer to keep it f2 at it’s lowest. I wish their quality control department would catch these issues before they sent them out.

    • Ian Norman November 22, 2014 / 6:28 pm

      Agreed, from what I understand too, the problem is likely just a matter of needing to be properly shimmed.

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