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PostPosted: Fri Aug 30, 2013 10:28 pm 
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So, I recently bought the Rokinon 14mm from Amazon. After reading all of the crazy review stories on it I figured I had better check it out right away. The first thing I did was remove both caps and look through it to see if there were any glaringly obvious defects. Sure enough there was a little hair or something in there, I of course quadruple checked to make sure it was somewhere I couldn't get to it, sure enough, it was. Sigh. So, I contact Amazon and they send me another one and I have like 28 days to return the original. Ok, cool, so I do the same check, this one is good, woohoo! I took another look at the old lens and the hair or whatever it was had fallen away or something I suppose and wasn't visible anymore. I hooked up the old lens and fired off a shot, then I switched to the new lens and fired off a shot.

At this point I'm feeling pretty pro, I'm switching lenses and shooting cool things to compare the lenses, etc, etc.. I load the two files onto my computer and come to the realization that I have absolutely no idea what to look for.... *facepalm*

Would anyone be so kind as to review these two images and tell me which one looks better to them? I'd appreciate it more than you probably know :) Also, I found it odd that the images were slightly different zooms from what I could tell, they were both shot at f11 with the focusing ring set at 2 meters, but I've heard that the focus ring markings are off on some of them, so, yeah, I don't know exactly what to do there either *shrug*

Any sort of feedback at all about this would be very much appreciated.

Thank you in advance for taking the time to read my wall of text and help me figure this one out!!
-Jeff

P.S. I intentionally picked the messiest most cluttered part of the house so as to have the most objects possible for comparison, forgive me that <3
P.S.S. I have not modified these in any way other than converting them from CR2 to DNG (LR Import) and then to Jpg
P.S.S.S. They both have the same exact white balance and tint, I just doubled checked that since I believe it was set to Auto when I took these two shots.

Image
Image


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 31, 2013 6:41 pm 
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I suppose the question wasn't overly clear there, I was trying so hard to get all the info in that I forgot the real question, hah!

Does the first shot look better than the second to you guys? The first shot looks clearer to me but that's the one with the hair in it somewhere..

If it were up to you guys would you:
1) Keep lens #1 even with the hair in it
2) Keep lens #2 for whatever reason (I don't think it's as sharp or as bright but I don't really know what I'm talking about, that's why I'm asking you guys!)
3) Send both back and ask them to send a third lens to see what's in mystery box #3


Thanks again in advance for anyone who takes the time to look at this situation and helps me to determine the best course of action :D


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 31, 2013 9:53 pm 
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Welcome Jeff to the Camera Labs forum!

I'd be happy to offer some insight, but the links to your images do not work (for me). Hosting off of Dropbox probably only works if you post text links, i.e. do not try the BBCode for images. Then again, I copied the links to see if they work and they don't. Could you upload them elsewhere, or go into Dropbox and copy the public link for each image and post it here?

- Bjorn

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 01, 2013 1:19 am 
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Bjorn, thanks for responding! Here are the links!

https://www.dropbox.com/s/mvx2p1w8c5ex937/IMG_1465.jpg
https://www.dropbox.com/s/nynxyfa3sfccyds/IMG_1466.jpg

The first image (65) is the lens with the hair somewhere in it... but it seems sharper and brighter, they're both at the same exact settings. If it were you, would you personally keep one of those two or ask them to send a third lens to see what's in mystery box #3?

Also, one of the reasons I'm posting this is because I'm a totally newb, I don't know what you guys would consider sharper, etc, so I'm just sort of making my own definitions up for what I feel like the term means. Feel free to correct me and say the second one is actually sharper etc, I'm just excited to see what someone else has to say about this :)


Last edited by Bjorn van Sinttruije on Sun Sep 01, 2013 12:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Removed unnecessary quote. Please quote responsibly.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 01, 2013 12:58 pm 
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Thanks for sharing the links, I can see the images now (albeit not at full resolution).

Other forum members might be able to share a more thorough analysis, since I am not really into analyzing picture sharpness. That being said, I think neither of these is necessarily much sharper than the other, in general. No. 2 (66) is indeed a little darker, but if you look at the letters "Star" on the black cap in the foreground, there is a noticeable difference in clarity, lens no. 2 being the sharper one at close distances. However, at somewhat longer distances (I'm looking at the books on the shelf now), it seems the first lens is sharper. Doing this test at f/11 might not help, as that's typically beyond the sweet spot of most lenses.
In general, I think the first lens is the better option, since you'll probably want to retain most detail at distances a little further away from the camera (for landscapes for example). There's still a hair in there though, which, when it comes back, might mess up your pictures. I'm a little afraid you might a worse lens on the third attempt, but given Amazon's customer service you might as well give it a go. It seems some of the people writing reviews on Amazon had to go through several lenses before getting a good one too.

Hope that helps.

- Bjorn

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Leica M9-P (my article on Camera Labs) | Leica D-Lux 5 | 50mm Summilux


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 01, 2013 6:55 pm 
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Thanks Bjorn, I hadn't noticed that the 2nd image was indeed sharper at closer ranges! With it being a 14mm though I don't think I'll be using it for anything close up, if so I'm probably doing it wrong. I think I'll go ahead and ask amazon for mystery box #3 and see what happens with that one. I have to say that while the lens is being a bit of a pain, Amazon does get some cool points for this one, if I tell them I'm not happy they just send me another lens and let me keep the old ones for almost a month to compare, and I get the new lens the next day! Thanks for all of the help, I'll be sure to post lens #3 here for comparison as well!

On a side note you mentioned you didn't get the full resolution versions of the images, I'm curious on that one, dropbox doesn't do some sneaky downsizing that I wasn't aware of do they?

Thanks again, will post #3 when it shows up!
-Jeff


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 02, 2013 3:01 pm 
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My bad, I did not realize I had to download the image off of Dropbox's site, so I just looked at the downsized previews for comparisons. Looking at the full resolution images now confirms my previous observations, the first lens being sharper at the distances you would typically use it at.
Please do post a similar set of comparison images once you get the third lens, I wonder whether it will beat lens no. 1.

- Bjorn

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Leica M9-P (my article on Camera Labs) | Leica D-Lux 5 | 50mm Summilux


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 05, 2013 2:44 am 
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Ok, I got the third lens.. this is a tough one... they both look pretty darn identical to me, which is a shame sense lens #1 was sharper than lens #2, but I'm definitely not keeping #1 since there was a hair inside of it >_<

Here's a link to the files from lens #2 and lens #3. I took two shots different shots with both of them.
Shot One - Lens 2 / 3 = Shot at f11 focused at 1 meter [both 2 second exposures]
Shot Two - Lens 2 / 3 = Shot at f2.8 focused on the staples box on the top self [both 1/5th of a second long exposures]

Let me know what you think, lens #2 or lens #3... this one is about impossible for me to tell the different with... hopefully you can help me with this one!

Tip: You can click the gear icon in the upper right to download all four of the files at once!

Link:
https://www.dropbox.com/sh/wfn8bomp70dd6e8/jeIysPSsUM

Thanks again for all of the help with this, I appreciate the time and effort of anyone who has a mind to help me decide which of these two lenses has better quality!
-Jeff


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 05, 2013 10:30 am 
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Looking at the images side by side in Lightroom, there's really not much of a difference between the two lenses in shot one. The third lens does look sharper in shot two though. Look at the metal things sticking out of the plastic box (no idea what one might call those): lens 3 clearly retains more detail there.

Any chance you could do a test outside with more light? I'm starting to think the slow shutter speeds might be hiding some the differences between these lenses.

- Bjorn

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Leica M9-P (my article on Camera Labs) | Leica D-Lux 5 | 50mm Summilux


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 05, 2013 11:05 am 
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Bjorn van Sinttruije wrote:
Looking at the images side by side in Lightroom, there's really not much of a difference between the two lenses in shot one. The third lens does look sharper in shot two though. Look at the metal things sticking out of the plastic box (no idea what one might call those): lens 3 clearly retains more detail there.

Any chance you could do a test outside with more light? I'm starting to think the slow shutter speeds might be hiding some the differences between these lenses.

- Bjorn


That's a good idea. I was talking to someone else about it as well, they pointed out how in lens #2 you could see much more detail in the text over the computer monitor than you could in lens #3. I ran a few more tests to check out the details in the corners. I couldn't really see much difference between the two before but I went and put some objects with text in the corners of the frame and reshot, that really made lens #2 stand out better than lens #3.

As a whole after that I just decided this is way too much work, from now on I'm just going to buy lenses that don't vary in quality from one copy to the next so much. The Rokinon lens seemed like a great deal for the money, but, man has it ever been a headache... I've learnt my lesson, from now on I'm likely to stick to Canon...

Thanks for all of your help Bjorn, followed you on Google+, you do some amazing black and white work :D


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 07, 2013 3:14 pm 
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Sticking to the regular brands is the safest way to go. Might cost more (in case of these extreme wide angles and, in my case, Leica lenses, a LOT more), but at least you have more assurance that the lens is going to perform to acceptable standards. So, are you keeping lens no. 2 or just sending them all back? Have you considered the Samyang 14mm f/2.8? Its reviews on Amazon seem to be quite positive indeed, and the price isn't too steep.

Thanks for following! Don't expect to see much color photography on my Google+, pretty much all I do is in B/W.

- Bjorn

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Leica M9-P (my article on Camera Labs) | Leica D-Lux 5 | 50mm Summilux


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 07, 2013 8:44 pm 
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Yeah, the Samyang / Rokinon / Bower 14mm are all the same lens manufactured in the same factory by the same people with the same parts, they're just stamped different names depending on what day it is and where they're being shipped, so that's the lens I have :)
It's one of the best lenses for the money, there's just not much quality assurance so you have to check that yourself, which is why I was doing all of this. Yeah, I decided to keep lens #2, sending the other two back, this'll work for what I need it for!
B&W photography is great, I don't use it as much as I'd like to since I mostly do landscape stuff & real estate shooting but I do dabble from time to time. I use Nik Silver for most of my conversions, you?

Thanks again for all the help, will be looking around the forums from time to time, especially when it's new lens time :D
-Jeff


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 08, 2013 10:25 am 
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Ah, I see. The illusion of choice is a neat little trick.

B/W really isn't very appropriate for real estate, and while it works for some landscapes, even I like color in those. Still, you have the right software to convert your photos, so it might be worth a little more experimentation. I just run the RAW file through Adobe Camera Raw in about a minute. That's it. I've looked into getting Silver Efex Pro 2, but I am too accustomed to my current way of processing to change. :wink:

- Bjorn

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Street and documentary photographer | Google+ | Twitter

Leica M9-P (my article on Camera Labs) | Leica D-Lux 5 | 50mm Summilux


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