Rokinon/Samyang 85mm f/1.4 lens on Micro Four Thirds – definitely a must have photographer’s lens

Written by Gary on April 10th, 2011

I bought the Rokinon/Samyang 85mm f/1.4 manual focus lens to work with my Panasonic GH-1 Micro Four Thirds camera to create a lighter, smaller, cheaper kit but with similar image quality, bokeh, depth of field, field of view and perspective as my Canon 1D Mark III with Canon EF 135mm f/2.0L pro lens and the results are amazingly similar – see my last post.

Initial testing with a resolution target at same subject distance wide open on tripod with self timer seems to show that the Rokinon lens is significantly sharper in the centre than the Canon outfit which is so surprising to me, I am going to have to do further testing.

In the meantime, I took the Rokinon 85mm and my GH-1 on a walk through Adelaide’s botanical gardens this week to test it out a bit more, and I must say I am very happy that this $US265 lens is so good, it has to be a bargain buy for those looking for nice bokeh.

So here are a few images without any Photoshop (other than resize and jpeg compression for the web) to show how versatile it is on the GH-1:

Firstly, a casual shot of a painting in the hotel I was staying at with available light at f/1.4:


Botanicals in the shade at f/1.4:


Roses at f/1.4:


At close focus of 1m at f/1.4:


And to show that there is almost no geometric distortion even at f/1.4:


And how to blur the background with buttery smooth bokeh for head and shoulders portrait with subject at about 3m (sorry, no subject available so I used the leaves to focus upon), first image is taken at f/5.6 as would be the case had you used most kit lenses:


Now see what you can achieve wide open at f/1.4, superb, smooth bokeh which will make any portrait pop!


And here is one from last post at f/1.4:


A must have lens for the photographer willing to use manual focus – if only Olympus would make an autofocus version!

More images of this combination can be seen on my website here.


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