The Rokinon / Samyang 50mm F/1.2 is a super fast, and sharp lens designed for APS-C format DSLM's ( mirrorless cameras.) We used this lens a few times, and it was super fun and easy to use, but in the end, we still prefer to use the Fujinon 56mm f/1.2. Being that this lens is 50mm (75mm) in APS-C format, it produces very sharp, shallow depth of field, and is ideal for any enthusiast portrait shooter, or anyone that has the time to manual focus a lens. We did manage to grab some amazing shots with it at the last wedding that we photographed, but we also have tons of experience shooting manual focus lenses. As with the last lens we reviewed, this lens in 100% manual focus. We felt that focus peeking was more distracting than it should have been with this lens, and we noticed that we were able to execute focusing easier with traditional punch magnification.
The build quality of this lens is exactly what you would expect from a Rokinon lens, solid, trustworthy and plastic! The focus and aperture ring are very smooth and easy to use, but....... the casing is still built of plastic! By now, one would expect that Rokinon / Samyang would have stepped up their game a bit and put the glass in a metal body, especially with the price tag being $499 USD depending where you buy it. Even our $80 50mm F/2 Meike has a metal body, so I guess this is a call of desperation to Rokinon, metal body on the MKii version of this lens? Weather sealing? Autofocus? Other than that, we had no complaints about the build quality.
This thing is SHARP, like really sharp, and if you nail the focus spot on it is a very close call, but the images almost seem sharper than the images produced by the Fujinon 56mm F/1.2. But, with the Fujinon you are getting relatively fast autofocus and a metal body. The Bokeh is amazing, round and smooth and at times has a slight swirl effect like that of a Helios 44-2 or Petzval lens. We did not notice any signs of color fringing or barrel distortion, and the edges of the images are super sharp.
The question you have been asking yourself for weeks while staring at this thing on amazon, is it worth the money? Well that all depends on a number of things.
1) What is your budget like? This lens retails for $499USD, while the native Fujinon 56mm is priced at $999 USD.
2) Will you be using this lens for personal or professional work? You will miss a lot of shots if you are shooting a wedding or sports.
3) Can you deal with the fact that this is a $499 manual focus lens? Is it worth the price over the alternative? For this price, you can also pickup a used Canon 50mm F/1.4 USM with a metabones adapter and achieve the same aperture and very close image quality, and depending on the adapter you buy, you can also achieve autofocus.
There is a lot to think about when buying this lens, and there are several options in this focal range for you to choose from. If you are a nestalgic shooter like us, then the novelty and image quality of this lens make it worth every dollar you will spend on it. We 100% recommend this lens for your collection, and if we did not already own 3 other 50mm lenses, we would be keeping this for our kit as well. There is not a whole lot more we can think of to write in this review, and if you follow our IG page, you are aware that we have already parted ways with this glass. The Phoblographer has already published an outstanding review of this lens, so our short review is not necessarily meant to for those who are interested in seeing sample images of every f-stop, but for those who enjoy a more casual, user friendly review. Please comment and let us know what you think? Are you hungry for a deeper review next time, let us know by commenting! Until next time......