Bower 14mm f/2.8 Ultra Wide Angle Lens
(a.k.a. Samyang, Rokinon)
|Bower 14mm f/2.8 Ultra Wide Angle Manual Focus Lens|
Concerns about optical quality: On the the B&H site, you'll read this information:
This bright lens provides an ultra wide 89° angle view in digital SLR cameras with APS-C size sensors and a 114° angle of view when used with full frame DSLRs* so you can capture sweeping vistas, dramatic architectural compositions and panoramas. Additionally, its minimum focusing distance of only 11" (0.28 m) will allow you to move in close on your subjects to achieve amazing perspectives. With a fast f/2.8 aperture photographers can create dynamic photographs that take full advantage of the characteristics of the lens.
* Note: Though this lens will cover the imaging sensor of a full-frame DSLR, it is better optimized for use with DSLRs containing smaller APS-C format sensors. As such you might notice softer focus and some light fall-off towards the edges of the frame when using a full-frame DSLR. If you do plan on using this lens with a full-frame DSLR we recommend you set the lens no wider (faster) than f/8 for optimum image quality.
Many night photographers have use this lens extensively on full-frame cameras. It is true that this lens suffers from some vignetting until stopped down to about f/5.6 or f/8, but this problem can easily be overcome with software in post production (my more expensive Canon lenses suffer similar vignetting problems). You can also overcome the slight softness on foreground landscape objects by shooting at smaller apertures and then stacking or layering those areas in post with your wide-open aperture exposure of the starry night sky. What you cannot do in post is fix the coma aberration problems that other, more expensive lenses exhibit. This lens has excellent correction for coma, even wide open at the f/2.8 aperture! My $800 Canon EF 15mm f/2.8 Fisheye lens is a little sharper wide open than the Bower/Samyang/Rokinon 14mm lens, and it has a little less vignetting in the corners; however; this 14mm produces much sharper stars (points of light), especially in the corners than does my Canon 15mm. Overall, for "starry night landscape photography" this lens is best in its class, and I highly recommend it.
< < This campfire photo (with moonglow and starry sky) was taken just last week with the Bower/Samyang/Rokinon 14mm lens (on a Canon 5D Mark III • f/2.8 • 8 seconds • ISO 3200). The people in the foreground are soft because they were moving during the 8-seconds exposure; however, the skyline and the stars are very sharp (click on image to enlarge).
Comparing Angle of View: Here's a quick comparison of the angle of view produced by the 24mm Bower/Samyang/Rokinon lens (84º), the Bower/Samyang/Rokinon 14mm lens (114º), and the Canon EF 15mm Fisheye lens (180º) — all on a full-frame sensor camera:
|24mm, 14mm, and 15mm fisheye lens views (click to enlarge)|
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