Everyone is talking about the Rokinon line of lenses. Also known as Bower or Samyang depending on what country you reside in. They’re all the same lenses just different badges. Rokinon lenses are an excellent alternative to pricey cinema lenses mostly due to their cheaper, featureless construction. These lenses don’t come with any zippy auto focus motors nor do they offer camera controlled aperture functions. They still (as in non-motion) photography lenses with completely manual controls. Maybe a pain for those used to automatic lenses from Nikon or Canon, but great for those looking for an entry level cinema option. The lenses are commonly available in Nikon F or Canon EF mount. I’ve done quite a bit of testing and found that they certainly provide a reasonable alternative to much higher priced lenses such as Zeiss or Leica.
However, their build quality leaves a lot to be desired. With cheap plastic housings and exposed focus and aperture components, the Rokinon lenses won’t last long. But at such a cheap price, who cares… Samyang took a page from the Duclos Lenses book and basically applied the Duclos Lenses Cine-Mod to their production lenses with a focus and aperture gear and a click-less aperture accompanied by a new stamp with T-stop markings instead of F-Stops. Still equipped with a Canon or Nikon mount, they lenses will make a great option for those using any small form factor cinema camera such as a Scarlet or a Black Magic Camera, or even a 5D MkIII since they do cover a full frame sensor.
Well done, Rokinon (or Samyang, whatever you want to be called) for listening to the people and making changes to a good platform to accommodate the needs of your clients. However, you left our a few details. Your focus and aperture scale look like a serious after-thought. You left out any PL mount option (In a recent Facebook post, the Rokinon rep didn’t even know what PL mount was…). The housing is still made of cheap plastic. And you forgot about the front diameter to accommodate matte-boxes. Now go and make those changes and render the Cine-Mod obsolete. Despite the details that Rokinon left out, these will still be a great option for those looking to get their foot in the cinema door.
If you still want to purchase the regular lenses as they will likely be much cheaper and will still perform exactly the same if not better when coupled with the Duclos Lenses Cine-Mod, check them out here: