|Shot with the Canon 24mm TS-V1|
Since becoming a professional about 20 years ago, I have shot every tilt shift (TS) lens made for the Canon and Nikon system. I have shot buildings and resort rooms all across America and in Hong Kong. Those TS lenses are essential if you are to make "proper" building photos - no tilting the camera - all vertical lines should be parallel to each other. It is with great anticipation that I purchased and now review the new Rokinon 24mm Tilt Shift lens, Nikon mount. I believe that this lens can be found with the Rokinon branding or Samyang. They are the same Korean made lens. The list price of the lens is $869 at Adorama.
Another positive - you can rotate the lens so you can tilt the lens on the same plane as the shift occurs. Although I do not tilt that much, it is a good option that the Nikon 24mm PC-E f/3.5 lens does not offer.
|Shot with the Canon 24 TS - VII|
|Shot with the Nikon 24mm PCE|
|Rokinon 24 TS, wide open at f3.5, focus at infinity. Shifted up a few notches.|
I really could not find a sharp line anywhere. Very poor showing.
(I did some tests wide open at 3' focusing distance and the lens was much better. It may be that it doesn't focus that well at infinity -wide open).
However, as I stopped the lens down, the lens got progressively sharper. When I got to F/11, the frame was very sharp. It produced a nice image.
|Rokinon 24 TS, shot at F/11, focus at infinity.|
|Rokinon 24 TS, f/11, focused at infinity.|
I shot more tests and the sharpness is very good at F/11. These photos show that this lens is very capable of producing professional results.
I tend to shoot these images full frame, not too loose or tight. I want the image to have a good amount of space around it so the client has the ability to crop and change proportion if they need to. This kind of shooting will "protect" the lens from critical examination though. The lenses tend to distort at the edges, so in order to see that, I shot a photo tighter than I ever would.
|Rokinon 24 TS, shot at f/11, full frame in camera|
This image is very tight - you'd never shoot a photo like this but it shows a fair amount of distortion. The image bows on top and in the corners It is easily corrected in photoshop, but the distortion is there. I know that the Canon VII and Nikon PCE doesn't have this issue.
Would this lens be able to produce professional results?
Absolutely. But of course, only if you shoot at f/11 or smaller. In all my years as a pro with a TS lens, I have never shot a photo of a bldg wide open. I almost always set it at f/11. The Canon 24mm TS - VII and the Nikon 24mm PCE lens are great but they also cost more than twice as much as this Rokinon. If I shot them next to each other, I believe that the results would be virtually the same at f/11. If money were no object, buy the Nikon or Canon. If you are like the majority of people, you have to understand each piece of gear you use and know its strengths and weaknesses.
(Sometimes each lens copy may vary. It could be that this particular lens is just weird at infinity, wide open. If I ever get another copy of the Rokinon 24mm tilt shift lens, I will test it again. )
The Rokinon 24mm Tilt Shift lens is a good value lens. I would rate it a 7. If it were sharp wide open, it'd be closer to an 8.
Good value for the money
Sharp at F/11 and smaller
You can produce professional images
Not sharp at F/4 or F/5.6
Plastic levers and dials
May break down if handled rough
Moderate Barrel distortion
DSLRs will not know what aperture you are using
Need to focus wide open, then manually stop down lens to shoot