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05-26-2013, 06:19 AM   #1
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Tamron 70-200 vs Rokinon 85mm

I've found myself doing a lot more portrait work recently and have been wondering if it's enough of an excuse to get a Rokinon 85mm. What holds me back is the fact that I already own a Tamron 70-200. I get amazing portraits from the Tamron, but I wonder if I'm missing out on what the Rokinon 85mm can do. I was taking a look at a comparison on and I noticed that the Tamron received higher scores and had better overall image quality (even at 85mm).

Now, reviews are one thing, but there is nothing like real world practical use. Does anyone own these lenses? Advice to offer? I was also considering the DFA 100 WR. Thanks.

05-26-2013, 07:33 AM   #2
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Hm, I would be surprised if the Tamron zoom would actually outperform the Samyang 85mm. Keep in mind that the Samyang also allows much faster apertures, which makes a shallower DoF and smoother bokeh. I don't have the Samyang 85mm, but I heard its a great lens, apart from the focusing. Its MF only, the distance scales might not be accurate, and on some copies the AF ring is very very hard to turn. But its cheap and allows some very creative photos. The 100mm macro might be a good choice and it even allows true 1:1 macro and WR.

What about the DA* 55mm F1.4? Pretty much made for portraits, supposedly renders skin tones very well, allows shallow DoF, and is a very comfortable focal length on APS-C.
Or the FA 77mm f1.8? A legendary Pentax lens. I think these two are the current main "Pentax portrait lenses"

But on the other hand, if you are happy with the performance you get from a lens you already own.. seems pointless to buy a lens that won't have a dramatic difference in IQ.
05-26-2013, 08:54 AM   #3
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I own both and the Samyang 85/1.4 does not get enough credit for the IQ it produces. I've said before that when I am being lazy I use the DA70 Limited but when I am willing to put the time and effort into it the 85/1.4 really outshines the 70. They go for around $200-220 here and are worth it IMHO. My favorite portrait of my daughter is from using the 85/1.4. Good luck with your decision.
05-26-2013, 10:50 AM   #4
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I own the Rokinon 85 and Tamron 28-75. Don't have the 70-200 but based on Tamron at 75, its no contest. Rokinon wins. I mean that thing is sharp at 1.4 and does not really get much sharper stopped down. You just get more DOF as you do. One thing I do not like with Rokinon though is its a pain to turn the focus ring. I also have the Takumar 85 1.9 and that is a joy to use. But I think the Rokinon outperforms it in terms of sharpness, but Takumar has that special magic rendering.

That said, I think if you do a lot of portrait work, the best upgrade is really not a lens, but getting the K-01. Focus peaking just make those Takumars fly.


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