Rokinon is adding to their line up once again with a new lens design that may delight many photographers.The Rokinon AF 14mm f/2.8 lens looks to be designed in the new style the lens family has adopted the past year. This new lens added to the lineup will hopefully impress not only the daytime shooters, but also the nighttime astrophotographers that have leaned on Rokinon lenses for Milky Way and wide-angle night sky imagery over the past few years.
Some of the updates and changes from the previous manual-focus design of the Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 IF ED UMC lens to the Rokinon AF 14mm f/2.8 lens is a slightly wider field of view from 115.7 degrees to 116.6 degrees and a closer focusing distance of 7.87 inches from the previous 10.8 inches. There has also been a change in elements in groups —14 in 10 compared to 15 in 10 — with the design adding another dispersion element. Lastly, the weight has been reduced from 1.21 pounds to 1.07 pounds. These are all positives in the new design, and now it also has autofocus. If you’ve been looking at the Rokinon SP 14mm f/2.4 lens, I would wait until this lens is released and see how it stacks up. If the corners are lacking astigmatism and coma with nearly equal corner vignetting, the one-third stop faster lens wouldn't be my only consideration with the inclusion of autofocus.
We will need to see what the real-world results of this lens are, but for those who want a good 14mm f/2.8 lens without the price tag of the market leaders like the Canon EF 14mm f/2.8L II USM lens, Nikon AF NIKKOR 14mm f/2.8D ED lens, or the Sigma 14mm f/1.8 DG HSM Art lens, this may be your ticket. For those that are primarily using a 14mm lens for landscapes, then the budget Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 IF ED UMC lens still keeps the bar very high for a very sharp lens. Lastly, if you already have a manual 14mm lens and want to shoot day or nighttime events and not spend any extra cash, just set the lens to focus at 8 feet. Now your hyperfocal distance is everything from about 4 feet (a little longer than arms length) to infinity and will be in focus. Either way, Rokinon is pushing for lenses to be more competitively priced which is always great for photographers adding to their kit.