Rokinon (Samyang) AF 85mm F1.4 Lens for Canon RF, Sony E Review

Rokinon AF 85mm F1.4 Lens for Canon RF, Sony E

When the Rokinon (same as Samyang) AF 85mm F1.4 Lens for Canon RF (also available for the Sony E-mount) was introduced, a review for this lens was added to the to-do list. Otherwise, I didn't pay strong attention to the details as there were other priorities at the time. Eventually, time availed, and this lens showed up.

Photographing the lens (vs. photographing with the lens) is always the first priority (removing dust from product images is never an enjoyable task). I realized how impressively light it was upon pulling the seemingly normal-sized 85mm f/1.4 lens out of the box to place it on the shooting table. This lens is a pleasure to hold and use — especially for the 85mm f/1.4 specs.

The low price was obvious when placing the order. Rokinon is well known for affordable lenses, and this one met that expectation.

So, the big question remaining was: Could a low-cost, lightweight lens produce reasonable image quality? The Rokinon/Samyang AF 85mm F1.4 Lens for mirrorless cameras surpassed that expectation also.

Rokinon (Samyang) AF 85mm F1.4 Lens for Canon RF, Sony E Top View

Focal Length

With a prime lens, you get one focal length, and that focal length provides a specific angle of view. That angle of view drives focus distance decisions for desired subject framing, and that resulting distance provides the perspective. While there are many uses for an 85mm lens, a standout use is portrait photography.

Primarily for perspective reasons, the classic portrait focal length range is from 85mm through 135mm. An 85mm lens hits the bottom classic range figure on a full-frame camera and, if used on a camera with an APS-C format imaging sensor, the 127.5mm full-frame angle of view equivalent is near the top of this ideal range. An APS-C format camera requires a longer working distance to get the same framing as a full-frame camera and, therefore, will create more depth of field and a less-strongly blurred background at the same aperture and subject framing.

The "portrait photography" designation is a broad one that covers a wide variety of potential still and video uses ranging from moderately-tight headshots to full body portraits, with a wide variety of potential venues, including indoors and outdoors.

Portrait subjects can range from infants to seniors, from individuals to large groups. Engagements, weddings, parties, events, theater, stage performances including concerts and recitals, families, small groups, senior adults, fashion, documentary, lifestyle, etc., are great uses for the 85mm focal length. There is often adequate space in even a small studio for portraiture with an 85mm-provided angle of view. I have done entire senior sessions with an 85mm lens, and subjects always love the results produced by this focal length.

Portrait photography is one of the best revenue-producing genres, helping justify this lens's acquisition cost. Photos of most people are not available in stock libraries, and I argue that no subjects are more important than people.

People in action are in the 85mm capabilities. Some sports, such as basketball and volleyball, can be captured with an 85mm lens, and thanks to the wide aperture, this lens can stop the action in very poorly-lit venues, including gymnasiums.

This focal length is well-suited for photographing products of all sizes, including food. It can work very well for commercial uses, general studio photography applications, and a wide range of other subjects. In addition, this angle of view is inviting for architecture, street photography, and simply walking around, getting creative with whatever subjects you find.

Regardless of the camera format used and like most focal lengths, 85mm can be useful for landscape photography. The short telephoto focal length will keep distant subjects relatively large in the frame.

To visualize where 85mm fits among other common focal lengths, I'll borrow a focal length range example from the Canon EF 24-105mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM Lens review.

Canon EF 24-105mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM Lens Focal Length Range Example

24mm | 35mm | 50mm | 70mm | 85mm | 105mm

The 85mm focal length is modestly longer than the 70mm focal length found on the long end of many standard 24-70mm f/2.8 zoom lenses and is at the short end of the range covered by the 70-200mm zoom lenses.

Rokinon (Samyang) AF 85mm F1.4 Lens for Canon RF, Sony E Front View

Max Aperture

I still love looking into the front of 85mm f/1.4 lenses — the large-diameter glass always makes me smile.

With only a few exceptions, the f/1.4 max aperture made available by this lens is as wide as MILC lenses get. The wider the aperture, the more light that can reach the imaging sensor. Allowing more light to reach the sensor permits freezing action, handholding the camera in lower light levels, and the use of a lower (less noisy) ISO setting.

Increasing the opening also permits a more substantial, subject-isolating background blur. The shallow f/1.4 depth of field must be acceptable to the scenario, but a shallow depth of field is a highly-desired lens capability, perfect for making the subject pop from a blurred background. I love the shallow DOF look that draws the viewer's attention to the subject by eliminating background distractions. This capability also adds artistic-style imaging to this 85mm lens's capabilities list.

The following examples illustrate the background blur at each full-stop aperture.

Rokinon (Samyang) AF 85mm F1.4 Lens for Canon RF, Sony E Aperture Comparison Example

The background represents a significant percentage of many images, and blurring it away is highly advantageous when the background is not complementary to the subject (or even distracting). That capability is in this lens's skill set.

Notable drawbacks to lenses that feature very wide maximum apertures are increased size, weight, and price, directly reflecting the use of larger and heavier lens elements. Fortunately, those larger elements are not overly represented in the weight category and also do not strongly influence the price.

For most photographers, the benefits of a wide max aperture prime lens far outweigh the drawbacks.

Note that in bright conditions such as direct sunlight, you might find even a 1/8000 second shutter speed too slow to avoid blown highlights in f/1.4 images. Shooting with a narrower aperture is an option, but consider using a neutral density filter to retain the f/1.4 background blur advantage under such conditions. A better option is available in many of the latest mirrorless cameras — shutter speeds faster than 1/8000 are now available when using the electronic shutter.

The following is another look at the maximum blur this lens can produce.

Rokinon (Samyang) AF 85mm F1.4 Lens for Canon RF, Sony E Maximum Blur Example

The details are gone, leaving a non-distracting backdrop for your subject to stand out.

Rokinon (Samyang) AF 85mm F1.4 Lens for Canon RF, Sony E on Tripod

Image Stabilization

The Rokinon AF 85mm F1.4 Lens (and all other Rokinon/Samyang lenses produced to date) is not optically stabilized. Omitting the optical stabilization system reduces the size, weight, complexity, and cost of a lens. However, image stabilization is a very useful feature.

Fortunately, Canon and Sony take care of that omission with IBIS (In-Body Image Stabilization) in their latest mirrorless cameras. IBIS results in an unstabilized view on a traditional DSLR with an optical viewfinder, meaning that stabilization was not helpful for composition or for providing a still subject to the camera's AF system. Electronic viewfinders obtain their image directly from the stabilized imaging sensor, removing that issue. Therefore, the IBIS viewfinder image is very nicely stabilized, and sensor-based AF takes advantage of the stabilized view for improved accuracy.

With no IS switch on the lens, the camera menu must be used to enable or disable IBIS, a slight impediment to working quickly, such as going from tripod to handheld.

Rokinon (Samyang) AF 85mm F1.4 Lens for Canon RF, Sony E Side View

Image Quality

As a rule for camera lenses, you get what you pay for. Therefore, a relatively inexpensive lens is not expected to be optically remarkable. Still, even when we are limited to a bargain lens, none of us strive to take images with inferior quality.

So, the big question: Is the Rokinon AF 85mm F1.4 Lens sharp?

In the center of the frame, wide-open f/1.4 images are quite sharp, with especially good resolution. Unlike many lesser wide-aperture lenses, this one delivers very usable f/1.4 image quality.

Stop down only 1/3 of a stop to f/1.6, and a nice bump in contrast is realized. Modest additional sharpness improvement is seen at f/2, where this lens is very sharp.

Often, subjects are not placed in the center of a composition. Moving farther out on the image circle, where light rays are refracted to a stronger angle than in the center, lenses typically show decreased sharpness. However, this lens's mid-frame and image circle periphery performance is relatively close to the center of the frame performance. At f/1.4, the Rokinon AF 85mm F1.4 Lens produces very good corner resolution, and especially with vignetting clearing, contrast goes up quickly as the aperture is narrowed.

Taking the testing outdoors, we next look at a series of center-of-the-frame 100% resolution crop examples. These images were captured using an ultra-high resolution Canon EOS R5 with RAW files processed in Canon's Digital Photo Professional (DPP) using the Standard Picture Style with sharpness set to 1 on a 0-10 scale.

Note that images from most cameras require some level of sharpening, but too-high sharpness settings are destructive to image details and hide the deficiencies of a lens.

Rokinon (Samyang) AF 85mm F1.4 Lens for Canon RF, Sony E Sharpness Comparison Example

Be sure to find details in the plane of sharp focus for your evaluations. Overall, the f/1.4 quality illustrated here is good, and the stopped-down quality is great. I included the 1.6 results to show the rather significant change brought about by an only 1/3 stop closure.

Next, we'll look at a series of comparisons showing 100% resolution extreme top left corner crops captured and processed identically to the above center-of-the-frame images. The lens was manually focused in the corner of the frame to capture these images.

Rokinon (Samyang) AF 85mm F1.4 Lens for Canon RF, Sony E Corner Sharpness Comparison Example

Again, full-frame corners can be counted on to show a lens's weakest performance. Still, these results are relatively good.

Corner sharpness does not always matter, and it often does not matter for this lens's specialty, portraiture. However, corner sharpness does matter for many disciplines, including landscape photography, and a lens with this feature has greater utility.

This lens does not exhibit focus shift, the plane of sharp focus moving forward or backward as the aperture is narrowed (residual spherical aberration or RSA).

When used on a camera that utilizes a lens's entire image circle, a lens can be expected to create peripheral shading at the widest aperture settings. This lens shows approximately 3.5 stops of light loss in the f/1.4 corners. As seen in the previous example sets, this amount is noticeable. However, this performance is not unusual.

By f/2, the corner shading reduces significantly to about 2 stops, to under one stop by f/2.8, and to under 0.5 stops at f/4. Little further improvement is realized by stopping down, and none is needed.

APS-C format cameras using lenses projecting a full-frame-sized image circle avoid most vignetting problems. In this case, the about one-stop of corner shading showing at f/1.4 may be visible in select images, primarily those with a solid color (such as a blue sky) in the corners.

One-stop of shading is often used as the visibility number, though subject details provide a widely varying amount of vignetting discernibility. Vignetting is correctable during post-processing with increased noise in the brightened areas being the penalty, or it can be embraced, using the effect to draw the viewer's eye to the center of the frame. Study the pattern shown in our vignetting test tool to determine how your images will be affected.

Lateral (or transverse) CA (Chromatic Aberration) refers to the unequal magnification of all colors in the spectrum. Lateral CA shows as color fringing along lines of strong contrast running meridionally (right angles to radii, sagittal lines), with the mid and especially the periphery of the image circle showing the most significant amount as this is where the most significant difference in the magnification of wavelengths typically exists.

With the right lens profile and software, lateral CA is often easily correctable by radially shifting the colors to coincide. However, it is always better to avoid this aberration in the first place.

Color misalignment can be seen in the site's image quality tool, but let's also look at a worst-case example. The image below is a 100% crop from the extreme top left corner of an EOS R5 frame showing diagonal black and white lines.

Rokinon (Samyang) AF 85mm F1.4 Lens for Canon RF, Sony E Lateral Chromatic Aberration Example

In general, and as seen above, this lens shows only minor lateral CA. Only black and white colors should appear in this image, with the additional colors indicating a minor presence of lateral CA.

A relatively common lens aberration is axial (longitudinal, bokeh) CA, which causes non-coinciding focal planes of the various wavelengths of light. More simply, different colors of light are focused to different depths. Spherical aberration along with spherochromatism, or a change in the amount of spherical aberration with respect to color (looks quite similar to axial chromatic aberration but is hazier) are other common lens aberrations to observe. Axial CA remains somewhat persistent when stopping down, with the color misalignment effect increasing with defocusing. The spherical aberration color halo shows little size change as the lens is defocused, and stopping down one to two stops generally removes this aberration.

In the real world, lens defects do not exist in isolation, with spherical aberration and spherochromatism generally found, at least to some degree, along with axial CA. These combine to create a less sharp, hazy-appearing image quality at the widest apertures.

The examples below look at the defocused specular highlights' fringing colors in the foreground vs. the background. The lens has introduced any fringing color differences from the neutrally-colored subjects.

Rokinon (Samyang) AF 85mm F1.4 Lens for Canon RF, Sony E Spherical and Axial Aberration Example

The color separation in the wider aperture examples above is very strong. Neutrally colored foreground and background details (a wedding dress, for example) will show these separated, additional colors.

Bright light reflecting off lens elements' surfaces may cause flare and ghosting, resulting in reduced contrast and sometimes interesting, usually destructive visual artifacts. The shape, intensity, and position of the flare in an image are variable, dependent on the position and nature of the light source (or sources), selected aperture, shape of the aperture blades, and quantity and quality of the lens elements and their coatings.

Rokinon utilizes Ultra Multi Coating (UMC) to combat flare, and the low 11-element count is helpful in this regard. This lens produced very few flare effects even at narrow apertures in our standard sun in the corner of the frame flare test.

Flare effects can be embraced or avoided, or removal can be attempted. Removal is sometimes very challenging, and in some cases, flare effects can be quite destructive to image quality. Thus, high flare resistance is a welcomed trait of this lens.

Two lens aberrations are particularly evident in images of stars, mainly because bright points of light against a dark background make them easier to see. Coma occurs when light rays from a point of light spread out from that point instead of being refocused as a point on the sensor. Coma is absent in the center of the frame, gets worse toward the edges/corners, and generally appears as a comet-like or triangular tail of light which can be oriented either away from the center of the frame (external coma) or toward the center of the frame (internal coma). Coma clears as the aperture is narrowed. Astigmatism is seen as points of light spreading into a line, either sagittal (radiating from the center of the image) or meridional (tangential, perpendicular to sagittal). This aberration can produce stars appearing to have wings. Remember that Lateral CA is another aberration apparent in the corners.

The image below is a 100% crop taken from the top-left corner of an R5 image captured at f/1.4.

Rokinon (Samyang) AF 85mm F1.4 Lens for Canon RF, Sony E Coma

There is noticeable, but sharp, flaring seen here.

With increasing frequency, manufacturers are relying on software over physical lens design to handle geometric distortion. Thus, it is refreshing to see this Rokinon lens deliver excellent geometric distortion control. Expect very slight pincushion distortion to rarely be noticeable in imagery.

Most modern lenses have correction profiles available (including in-camera), and distortion can easily be removed using these. Still, distortion correction is destructive at the pixel level as some portion of the image must be stretched or the overall dimensions reduced.

As illustrated earlier in the review, it is easy to show the strongest blur a lens can create, and telephoto lenses are inherently advantaged in this regard. Due to the infinite number of variables present among all available scenes, assessing the bokeh quality is considerably more challenging. Here are some f/8 (for diaphragm blade interaction) examples.

Rokinon (Samyang) AF 85mm F1.4 Lens for Canon RF, Sony E Bokeh Example

f/8 | f/8 | f/8

The first example shows defocused highlights being somewhat unevenly filled. Also, the 9 aperture blades appear to be closing by differing amounts, detracting from the roundness of these highlights.

The second two examples show full images reduced in size and looking nice.

Except for a few specialty lenses, the wide aperture bokeh in the frame's corner does not produce round defocused highlights, with these effects taking on a cat's eye shape due to a form of mechanical vignetting. If you look through a tube at an angle, similar to the light reaching the frame's corner, the shape is not round. That is the shape we're looking at here.

Rokinon (Samyang) AF 85mm F1.4 Lens for Canon RF, Sony E Cat's Eye Bokeh Example

The peripheral highlight truncation at f/1.4 is strong. As the aperture narrows, the entrance pupil size is reduced, and the mechanical vignetting absolves with the shapes becoming rounder — considerably rounder at only f/2.

A 9-blade count diaphragm will create 18 point sunstars (diffraction spikes) from point light sources captured with a narrow aperture. In general, the more a lens diaphragm is stopped down, the larger and better-shaped the sunstars tend to be. Wide aperture lenses tend to have an advantage in this regard, and this lens can produce nice stars, as illustrated below.

Rokinon (Samyang) AF 85mm F1.4 Lens for Canon RF, Sony E Sunstar Effect Example

This example was captured at f/16. While the points on the star are not equal in length (likely due to the uneven blade closure), they are each well-formed, converging lines.

Rokinon (Samyang) AF 85mm F1.4 Lens for Canon RF, Sony E Design

The design of this lens is illustrated above.

Overall, the Rokinon (Samyang) AF 85mm F1.4 Lens design delivers very good image quality, especially if stopped down to f/2. The color separation showing at wider apertures is rather strong, and the out-of-focus specular highlight rendering is not great. Otherwise, there is little to complain about here, especially for the weight and price.

Rokinon (Samyang) AF 85mm F1.4 Lens for Canon RF, Sony E Angle View

Focusing

"Its advanced autofocusing technology includes a DLSM (Dual Linear Sonic Motor) that utilizes ultrasonic vibrations to provide fast and silent autofocus performance. Protocols developed specifically for a short telephoto lens precisely control the operation of the DLSM." [Rokinon]

This lens autofocuses somewhat slowly, but the focus adjustment is very smooth. Light clicking is audible during autofocusing.

Focus accuracy, the most critical autofocus aspect, has been good.

Benefiting from the wide f/1.4 aperture is low light AF, and the R5 can lock this lens's focus on reasonable contrast in extremely low light levels.

The ribbed manual focus ring is nicely sized, slightly slippery (not rubber coated), and poor performing. Common today is for a electronic manual focus (vs. a direct gear-driven system) lens to adjust focus in steps, but this lens's big problem is that the steps are too large for critical manual focusing. Interesting is that a lens designed by a company with a deep manual focus background can provide such a poor manual focus experience. The reality is that many who use this lens will never use manual focus, and for those, this factor doesn't matter.

A 310° focus ring turn adjusts the full focus distance range.

Normal is for the scene to change size in the frame (sometimes significantly) as the focus is pulled from one extent to the other. This behavior is referred to as focus breathing, a change in focal length resulting from a change in focus distance. Focus breathing adversely impacts photographers intending to use focus stacking techniques, videographers pulling focus, and anyone very critically framing while adjusting focus. This lens produces a strong change in subject size through a full extent focus distance adjustment.

Rokinon (Samyang) AF 85mm F1.4 Lens for Canon RF, Sony E Focus Magnification Example

This lens does not support the EOS R5's focus distance display. The "Focus distance disp" menu option is disabled, and the message "Not available with the attached lens" displays if that option is attempted.

Connect a Rokinon AF lens to a computer for firmware updates and lens performance calibration using the Rokinon Lens Station and Lens Manager Software.

With a minimum focus distance of 35.4" (900mm), this lens has a 0.11x maximum magnification spec. While this is a very low magnification number overall, it does not stray far below that of most in the class.

ModelMFDMM
Canon RF 85mm F1.2 L USM Lens33.5"(850mm)0.12x
Canon EF 85mm f/1.4L IS USM Lens33.5"(850mm)0.12x
Canon RF 85mm F2 Macro IS STM Lens13.8"(350mm)0.50x
Rokinon AF 85mm F1.4 Lens for Mirrorless35.4"(900mm)0.11x
Sigma 85mm f/1.4 DG DN Art Lens33.5"(850mm)0.12x
Sony FE 85mm F1.4 GM Lens31.5"(800mm)0.12x
Tamron 85mm f/1.8 Di VC USD Lens31.5"(800mm)0.14x
Zeiss 85mm f/1.4 Milvus Lens31.5"(800mm)0.12x

A subject measuring approximately 11.7" x 7.8" (297 x 198mm) fills a full-frame imaging sensor at this lens's minimum focus distance.

Rokinon (Samyang) AF 85mm F1.4 Lens for Canon RF, Sony E Maximum Magnification Example

The USPS love stamps shared above have an image area that measures 1.05 x 0.77" (26.67 x 19.558mm), and the overall individual stamp size is 1.19 x 0.91" (30.226 x 23.114mm).

Close focus image quality is reduced modestly, especially in the periphery where lateral CA is increased.

Mount an extension tube behind this lens to moderately decrease and increase the minimum focus distance and maximum magnification numbers. Extension tubes are hollow lens barrels that shift a lens farther from the camera, allowing shorter focusing distances at the expense of long-distance focusing. Electronic connections in extension tubes permit the lens and camera to communicate and otherwise function normally. As of review time, Canon and Sony do not manufacture extension tubes, but third-party E-mount and RF mount options are available.

This lens is not compatible with Canon or Sony teleconverters.

Rokinon (Samyang) AF 85mm F1.4 Lens for Canon RF, Sony E Front View on Camera

Build Quality & Features

While Rokinon brand lenses (made by Samyang) are not historically known for their overall build quality (or service support), and lightweight lenses do not yield the solid feel that heavy lenses provide. However, this lens's construction, including the all-metal exterior, seems nice.

Rokinon (Samyang) AF 85mm F1.4 Lens for Canon RF, Sony E Product Images

MFD |    w/ Hood:  MFD |    Rotated   Compare »

The focus ring is slightly recessed in the otherwise straight barrel design.

This lens has a single switch — for AF/MF selection. While the switch's feel does not exude high quality, it works fine.

Rokinon (Samyang) AF 85mm F1.4 Lens for Canon RF, Sony E Mount

Rokinon indicates that this lens is weather-sealed (not waterproof), and the rear gasket seal is obvious.

As discussed, this lens is very light for its specs.

ModelWeight oz(g)Dimensions w/o Hood "(mm)FilterYear 
Canon RF 85mm F1.2 L USM Lens42.2(1196)4.1 x 4.6(104.1 x 116.8)822019
Canon EF 85mm f/1.4L IS USM Lens33.5(950)3.5 x 4.1(88.6 x 105.4)772017
Canon RF 85mm F2 Macro IS STM Lens17.6(500)3.1 x 3.6(78.0 x 90.5)672020
Rokinon AF 85mm F1.4 Lens for Mirrorless20.6(584)3.5 x 3.8(88.0 x 97.5)772019
Rokinon AF 85mm f/1.4 Lens17.1(485)3.5 x 2.8(88.0 x 72.0)772018
Sigma 85mm f/1.4 DG DN Art Lens22.2(630)3.3 x 3.7(82.8 x 94.1)772020
Sigma 85mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Lens39.9(1130)3.7 x 5.0(94.7 x 126.2)862016
Sony FE 85mm F1.4 GM Lens28.9(820)3.5 x 4.2(89.5 x 107.5)772016
Tamron 85mm f/1.8 Di VC USD Lens24.7(700)3.3 x 3.6(84.8 x 91.3)672016
Zeiss 85mm f/1.4 Milvus Lens45.2(1280)3.5 x 4.4(90.0 x 113.0)772015

For many more comparisons, review the complete Rokinon (Samyang) AF 85mm F1.4 Lens for Canon RF, Sony E Specifications using the site's lens specifications tool.

Here is a visual comparison:

Rokinon (Samyang) AF 85mm F1.4 Lens for Canon RF, Sony E Compared to Similar Lenses

Positioned above from left to right are the following lenses:

Canon RF 85mm F2 Macro IS STM Lens
Sigma 85mm f/1.4 DG DN Art Lens
Rokinon AF 85mm F1.4 Lens for Mirrorless
Sony FE 85mm F1.4 GM Lens
Canon RF 85mm F1.2 L USM Lens

The same lenses are shown below with their hoods in place.

Rokinon (Samyang) AF 85mm F1.4 Lens for Canon RF, Sony E Compared to Similar Lenses with Hoods

Use the site's product image comparison tool to visually compare the Rokinon (Samyang) AF 85mm F1.4 Lens for Canon RF, Sony E to other lenses.

The Rokinon AF 85mm Lens accepts front filters with a 77mm thread size. 77mm filters are not small, but they are extremely popular, making effects filter sharing easy.

Rokinon (Samyang) AF 85mm F1.4 Lens for Canon RF, Sony E Side View with Hood

Rokinon (Samyang) includes a strong, rounded, plastic lens hood in the box. In addition to shading the lens from flare-causing light sources, this hood's relatively large size provides physical protection lens from bumps and naturally helps keep dust, water, fingers, limbs, etc. off of the glass.

Rokinon (Samyang) AF 85mm F1.4 Lens for Canon RF, Sony E Case

Rokinon (Samyang) includes a quilted, modestly padded case in the box.

Rokinon (Samyang) AF 85mm F1.4 Lens for Canon RF, Sony E Top View with Hood

Price, Value, Wrap Up

The optical performance of this lens, coupled with the relatively low price and high utility, makes it a strong value.

The Canon RF mount version of the Rokinon AF 85mm F1.4 Lens is compatible with all Canon EOS R-series cameras.

The Sony E mount version of the Rokinon AF 85mm F1.4 Lens is compatible with all Sony E-mount cameras, including full-frame and APS-C sensor format models.

As previously mentioned, Samyang is the manufacturer of this lens, and it is available in Samyang or Rokinon brands. Rokinon provides a 1-year limited warranty.

The reviewed Rokinon (Samyang) AF 85mm F1.4 Lens for Canon RF was online-retail sourced.

Rokinon (Samyang) AF 85mm F1.4 Lens for Canon RF, Sony E on Tripod

Alternatives to the Rokinon (Samyang) AF 85mm F1.4 Lens for Canon RF, Sony E

There are a plethora of alternatives to this lens. Let's compare some of them.

Up first is Canon's incredible RF 85mm F1.2 L USM Lens. Even with a wider maximum aperture, the Canon lens is sharper in the wide-open image quality comparison. At f/1.4, the Canon lens has slightly less peripheral shading than the Rokinon lens, but the opposite is true at narrow apertures. The Canon lens produces far less color blur.

The Rokinon AF 85mm F1.4 Lens vs. Canon RF 85mm F1.2 L USM Lens comparison shows the Canon lens noticeably larger and weighing 2x as much. After a long shoot, you will feel this difference in your arms and shoulders. The Canon lens uses 82mm filters vs. 77mm and features a focus limiter switch, control ring, better AF system, and better build quality. Another difference is the effect on your wallet. You can buy many Rokinon lenses for the price of this Canon lens.

Closing the price difference gap is the Canon RF 85mm F2 Macro IS STM Lens. However, the max aperture difference then becomes huge — 1-stop.

In the wide-open image quality comparison, we see the two lenses performing similarly. At f/2 and f/2.8, the Rokinon lens has some slight sharpness advantages. Unsurprisingly, the Rokinon lens has the peripheral shading advantage at f/2.

The Rokinon AF 85mm F1.4 Lens vs. Canon RF 85mm F2 Macro IS STM Lens comparison shows the Canon lens modestly smaller and slightly lighter. The Canon lens has narrower filter threads (67mm vs. 77mm), a focus limit feature, and a much closer minimum focus distance that generates 0.5x maximum magnification vs. 0.11x. The Canon lens also benefits from a 5-stop image stabilization and a modestly lower price tag.

Over in the Sony camp is the equivalent FE 85mm F1.4 GM Lens. In the image quality comparison, the Rokinon lens appears slightly sharper in the center of the frame, and the Sony lens holds a slight advantage in the periphery. By f/2, the Sony lens equalizes the center comparison and remains sharper in the periphery.

The Rokinon AF 85mm F1.4 Lens vs. Sony FE 85mm F1.4 GM Lens comparison shows the Sony lens modestly larger and noticeably heavier. The Sony GM lens has a better AF system and build quality, but it costs far more.

The lens I was most interested in comparing the Rokinon AF 85 to is the for-Sony Sigma 85mm f/1.4 DG DN Art Lens. In the image quality comparison, the Sigma lens appears slightly sharper. The Sigma lens has slightly less peripheral shading at f/1.4 and slightly more at narrow apertures, primarily in the corners. In addition, the Sigma lens has less color blur and significantly stronger pincushion distortion.

The Rokinon AF 85mm F1.4 Lens vs. Sigma 85mm f/1.4 DG DN Art Lens comparison shows the Sigma very slightly smaller and heavier. The Sigma lens has a better AF system and build quality, and it costs moderately more.

Use the site's tools to create additional comparisons.

Rokinon (Samyang) AF 85mm F1.4 Lens for Canon RF, Sony E Angle View with Hood

Summary

For the best-available lenses, including those in the camera manufacturer's premier lines, I can usually write most of a review before getting the lens in hand, as the outcome is expected. On the other hand, it is hard to predict where a review for a low-cost lens will land.

In that regard, the Rokinon (Samyang) AF 85mm F1.4 Lens for mirrorless cameras exceeded my expectations. While this lens is not the absolute best available 85mm model, it delivers very good image quality relative to its price.

This lens is an especially good choice for those looking for a low-cost portraits lens.

Bringing you this site is my full-time job (typically 60-80 hours per week). Thus, I depend solely on the commissions received from you using the links on this site to make any purchase. I am grateful for your support! - Bryan

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Rokinon AF 85mm F1.4 Lens for Canon RF, Sony E
Rokinon AF 85mm F1.4 Lens for Canon RF, Sony E
Bryan Carnathan
by Bryan Carnathan
Manufacturer ID:
IO85AF-RF

Review Date: 2022-03-25
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