Rokinon Samyang AF 18mm f/2.8 FE vs. Zeiss Batis 18mm f/2.8 Astrophotography Lens Review

Check out our quick astrophoto comparison of the Rokinon Samyang AF 18mm f/2.8 FE Lens and the Zeiss Batis 18mm f/2.8 for Sony E mount.

On our recent campervan trip to Mojave National Preserve, we got to try out the Rokinon AF 18mm f/2.8 FE lens and compare it to one of our favorite lenses of all time: the Zeiss Batis 18mm f/2.8 (read our review). Check out the results in our short video below:

Rokinon AF 18mm f/2.8 FE Pros:

  • Extremely small and light
  • Very low levels of coma or astigmatism
  • Accurate and fast AF for stills
  • Affordable

Rokinon AF 18mm f/2.8 FE Cons:

  • Buzzing AF in AF-C and video recording
  • Thin, sharp lens hood, cheap build
  • Not as sharp as the Zeiss Batis 18mm f/2.8

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Believe it or not, Lonely Speck, along with North to South make up our full-time jobs. It’s been an amazing experience for us to see a community develop around travel and learning astrophotography and we’re so happy to be a small part of it. I have learned that amazing things happen when you ask for help so remember that we are always here for you. If you have any questions about travel or photography or just want to share a story, contact us! If you find the articles here helpful, consider helping us out with a donation.

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-Ian and Diana

6 Replies to “Rokinon Samyang AF 18mm f/2.8 FE vs. Zeiss Batis 18mm f/2.8 Astrophotography Lens Review”

  1. Any chance you will do a review, at some point, of the Tamron 20mm 2.8 that’s due to be released later in the month? The price looks good and the ability to do 1:2 magnification is pretty neat so I will probably buy it regardless of its astro performance…but would be an interesting comparison to the Batiss and Rokinon.

  2. Hi Ian. After reading your astrophotography beginner guide and 101 articles, i was thinking in getting the rokinon/samyang mf 14mm f2.8 sony fe as my lens however, looking at this rokinon/samyang af 18mm f2.8 review makes me wonder if this 18mm autofocus is more versatile. What do you suggest for long term use between this two budget lenses?

  3. Um. In terms of gear for the 18/18 review (lovely pic), what vehicle are you using for your camper van? BTW your interests seem strikingly to cohere with mine. Thx for the pano gear info. previously.

  4. Ian–I appreciate your assessment of the Rokinon Samyang 18 mm vs. the Zeiss Batis 18 mm. I swore off Rokinons several years ago after returning 4 (that’s right: 4) versions of the same Rokinon for night photography. The problem: de-centering. Rokinon’s quality control was awful. I bought the Batis 18 (in part due to your recommendation) and have not regretted it. My question: did you have any de-centering problem with the Rokinon 18 that you tested? I assume you did not since you did not mention it. Thanks.

    1. The Rokinon we tested was well centered… no issues there. But I feel you there. Many Rokinon 14mm and 24mm lenses that I’ve tried have had problems with centering.

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