Rokinon (Samyang) 14mm f2.8 RF – 1 Month Review

Last month I posted about my new purchase of the Rokinon 14mm f2.8 lens for Canon RF mount cameras (ie. EOS R, R6, R5).

I was pretty excited to discover this lens as I have always been a fan of wide angle lenses. I took a wide angle lens to the UK on a vacation I took quite a while ago (2010)…and the pictures I got are still some of my favorite pictures to this day.

Wide angle lenses are the only way to get those castle and cathedral HUGE ceiling shots.

I believe I owned a Nikon D90 DSLR at the time and was using a Tokina 10-17mm lens. (I loved that lens)

Canon RF Mount Lens Options

Even though the EOS R has been out for a couple years now, there are not many third party options for the RF mount that Canon will be using for the foreseeable future. Yes, you can purchase their “fast” RF lenses…and they are fantastic…but they are also expensive!!

Canon RF 15-35 f2.8 – $2,500

Canon RF 24-70 f2.8 – $2850

Canon RF 70-200 f2.8 – $2,900

Canon did just come out with their RF 50mm f1.8 lens for only $200…it’s a great lens and that classic nifty fifty option, but 50mm is pretty limited.

Don’t get me wrong, if I could afford to buy these expensive lenses I absolutely would.

But I can’t…nor can most non-professional photographers/videographers I would imagine.

Third Party Lenses for Canon RF Mount

Rokinon (aka Samyang) RF 14mm f2.8 – $629 (currently) – can find it for less if you look around

  • All the others (lots of brands I’m not familiar with and many are manual focus)

There are a few…but none of the typical names you see associated with Canon like Sigma or Tamron. I will say though…Rokinon’s RF 85mm f2.8 lens for Canon looks VERY nice…probably a great deal if you’re considering that focal length (popular for portrait photography).

Rokinon 14mm f2.8 Initial Impressions

  1. It FEELS like a quality lens – I know that isn’t a real metric…but if you have owned enough cameras and lenses you probably know what I mean. This lens is MUCH heavier than my old Canon 10-18mm EF lens…but to me that means this thing is well built. I just feels like it will be able to take a beating and keep on ticking. (heck I’ve already used it in light rain with no issues…thanks weather sealing!)
  2. It is bigger than I expected it to be You can see the specs on paper, but until you start using it you won’t know how big it feels. It’s nice though…especially with the R6…feels like a pro lens. When taking pictures or video I don’t hesitate to grab the lens for balance.
  3. Autofocus is still fast –Canon’s new Dual Pixel Autofocus is amazing and super fast…and I haven’t noticed any slowing of that with this lens.
  4. Image quality is FANTASTIC – I haven’t had the chance to take many pictures with it yet…but I filmed a video for our Walk With History YouTube Channel on Washington Crossing that comes out on 30 June…and here is a quick teaser clip from that video that I filmed with this lens and my R6.

that little bit of shake is my handheld technique (or lack thereof)

The image is sharp from edge to edge…the Canon “colors” feel so natural (that I don’t always see with Sony images)…and I just love the wide shot I can get with 14mm on a full-frame sensor.

Expectations Going Forward

For someone like me who is a wide angle fan, I know I am going to get some serious mileage out of this. Not only do I enjoy the kind of photography that you can only get with wide angle lenses..but with the vlog style videos I make for my personal YouTube channel and now for mine and my wife’s channel…this 14mm lens is perfect.

I did also purchase the Haida Rear Lens ND Filter kit since this lens does not have front filter threads; rather, it has a rear filter set up…which has its upsides and downsides. (more on those later) I have only used the filters once so far, so I need some more usage before I can reliably write anything on them.

Rokinon (Samyang) is on to something with these RF lenses and I am not the only one who thinks that.

If you are interested in buying this lens, here is a link to it on Amazon.

Jimmy Stewart Hometown Tour and Museum

Not gonna lie…

I never knew this place existed…but I’m glad I do now. Highly recommend going if you ever have the chance.

Also…if you want to see a pretty solid preview of the museum (but STILL doesn’t cover it all) you can head over to our new site WalkWithHistory.net check out the most recent post.

For more info on this museum you can go to jimmy.org

Sponsored by Uppbeat!!!

Remember how I wrote about this brand new music service (Uppbeat) that has royalty music for places like YouTube? Well one of the things I wrote there was that I had applied for their sponsorship program to see if I could get a free year of premium from them.

Well to my great surprise they said yes! They agreed to give me a year of Premium if I made a video talking about the service. I actually had some fun making this video…even though I think it could have been 3 minutes vice 5 min (they required 5 minutes).

I guess you never know what you will get unless you ask!

So far, it’s a pretty great site for what you can get for free and for how inexpensive the premium price is.

I’ve found that their way of keeping copyright strikes off a video doesn’t work smoothly just yet…but if you dispute it, it gets cleared pretty quickly. (I can tell they’re sprinting to smooth things out and add features right now)

They haven’t approved my affiliate request with them yet. But you should check them out anyways…especially if you are always on the hunt for royalty free music for videos.

I wish this site had been around when I started my YouTube channel a couple years back…would have saved me hours of searching for good, free music.

Uppbeat.io

How Do We HEAL Society? Understand THIS Brené Brown Advice FIRST

This will change you for the better…

I was inspired after listening to a recent podcast by Brené Brown to help bring awareness to the unconscious Dehumanization we do every day. Brené does a fantastic job talking about how recognizing our bad patterns of doing this, is one of the factors that can help our country heal in 2021.

It is an incredible half hour of real introspection on why America has a feeling of some societal divides that reared their ugly heads higher in 2020. I cannot recommend this highly enough to anyone interested in how we can better ourselves by recognizing our own potential blind spots and hopefully how to avoid them in the future.

The Newest (and BEST?) VLOG Music Service…And It’s FREE!

It’s rare you find a free service this good…

When I started my vlog a couple years ago, I never realized how difficult it would be to find good music for my videos. Or at least how difficult I would make it on myself.

I found out fast that I couldn’t just google “free vlog music” and find copyright free tunes that I actually wanted to use. Finding free music was relatively easy – but finding free music that I could use and that I actually liked was hard.

The Various Music Services

The big copyright free music services out right now are ones you may have heard of.

  • Epidemic Sound
  • Artlist
  • Musicbed
  • etc…

The last service I tried was Musicbed. Honestly I really liked the music selection and that they had tracks with voice and no voice options. I had subscribed early enough that I was in on the “early” annual pricing (only $100/yr)…something that recently changed and was bumped up to $160/yr.

Unfortunately, I can’t currently justify spending $100/yr (as much as I wanted to) on a side hustle that hasn’t seen any returns yet.

The Newcomer Announced

I’ve mentioned Cody Wanner a couple times here. He’s a filmmaker, YouTuber, father, and then some.

Well just the other day he shared the newest kid on the creator music block, Upbeat.

Cody usually recommends good stuff so I checked it out and was surprised to see the home screen header “Free music for creators”. Is this too good to be true? Even the Premium price is relatively inexpensive.

$67/yr if paid all at once
$67/yr if paid all at once

My only guess as to how they are doing this, is that they collected a bunch of artists who were already putting their music out there for free. (total guess) I don’t see some of the bigger musicians on this service like I saw on Musicbed…but this is a new service and it appears that these kinds of sites are experiencing big growth right now.

Funny aside…I’ve registered for their affiliate program (haven’t heard back yet) hoping that they don’t turn me down because I don’t the volume of traffic they are looking for. I guess I never learn. 🤣 Hoping that a new service just wants to get the word out there..and I’m willing to help with that!!

I am still exploring Upbeat, and I’ll be using one of their songs for my next vlog…If you’ve been looking for a site that has a bunch of free music for your growing YouTube channel…this is the spot.