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Samyang: also branded Rokinon/Wallimex/Vivitar and more

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This could have gone in the which lens thread above.

Seems this company has been making a number of interesting lenses, and selling them via brands. You only get manual focus and I believe you have to set the aperture too, which can be an issue. Their main advantage is that the prices are on average very low. 35mm f1.4, 50mm f1.2, 85mm f1.4 all look interesting. They also sell VDSLR lenses for video work - click free aperture ring.

I have seen a few critical reviews, usually getting at the razor thin focusing needed at widest aperture and manual operation. I have also read a lot of positive ones, even comparing their lenses to much more expensive ones from Canon and Nikon. Yes, top of the range Canon and Nikon rated better, but not that much for a hell of a lot more money.

I'm just wondering if any of you lot have tried these?

Yes heard of them, tempted by their 14 or 15mm (I forget which).

A colleague of mine has the nikon 14/15mm Samyang, seems to have got some good shots with it, but she is a good photographer too.

I've been more tempted by the Laowa 15mm Macro lens. Yes, you heard me, a wideangle macro. It's similarly priced in the scheme of things to the Samyang, but has an effective 1:1 macro ability, though you have to be a few mm from the subject to achieve it. Like the Samyang it's totally manual, but should be a fun lens to play with.

Sadly, funds are tight at the moment, otherwise I'd have one.

I've definitely heard of ultra wide angle macros, they are fairly rare beasts.

To be honest I'm looking at ANYTHING that might be useful as Sony isn't. Their cameras may be technically great but they forgot that you needed lenses to suit.

That also means I'm looking at some real oddities, like the Lomography 58mm Petzval lens with bokeh adjust (yes, it has a control ring to adjust the out of focus background). Effectively a 1840s wet plate lens for a huge box camera downsized to digital SLR proportions.

As far as I'm aware, the Laowa come in all mount types, so might be worth looking at. When I saw my colleagues it certainly looks as though someone has gone through a box of lenses and bolted loads together to see what works, found a combo that does something interesting, and just rolled with it. All barrel elements feel exactly light what they are, machined bits of metal tubing, with a Nikon/Canon/Pentax/Sony mount bolted on the back.

Added benefit of the laowa is that it also has some limited tilt-shift capabilities to play with, though apparently the effect is not as strong on full-frame bodies.

I bought a 10-24 Tamron when I got my Canon 40D, still have it and providing I don't mind hand focusing when I have to it works perfectly. It can autofocus, it's just not always accurate on the Sony A6000. It was also designed for APS-C.

It's also corrected for any fisheye issues so straight bits are actually straight...


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