Rokinon 85mm T1.5 Cine DS Review – Geared for Movie-Makers

If you need a wide-aperture 85-millimeter prime lens that would not let you break the bank, then you get the Rokinon 85mm T1.5 Cine DS, well that is if you’re willing to sacrifice autofocus. This is an all-manual prime lens, and at 85-millimeters, is a boon for portrait photographers everywhere. It serves its purpose well on full-frame and on APS-C cameras.

Rokinon 85mm T1.5 Cine DS Review - Geared for Movie-Makers

The Rokinon 85mm T1.5 Cine DS is a Great Companion for Portrait Photography

The Rokinon 85mm T1.5 Cine DS offers a tactile, mechanical feel when adjusting the focus. But then again, those who are attuned to auto-focus systems and do not want to make the jump into an all-manual lens may not like Rokinon’s offering at the drop of a hat. Still, it places itself with a solid value, especially when you realize that it sells at a price that it is less than its 85-millimeter rivals. However, in terms of delivering sharper images, one of its closest competitors, the Nikon AF-s Nikkor 85-millimeter f/1.8G, delivers better results in this department.

But when it all boils down to it, the Rokinon 85mm T1.5 prime lens is perfect for cinema use. It has a maximum aperture that is measure in t-stops. This measures the actual light transmitted through the glass, rather than what is normally measured in f-stops. This measures the size of the diaphragm within the lens in relation to the focal length. There is a slight difference between a 1.4 and a 1.5 lens, but this is an academic variant at its best.

Its dimensions measures in at 2.9 x 3.1-inches, but it is a bit heavy than its rivals as it is 1.3-pounds. It uses large 72-millimeter front filters and it can be used for many major camera systems including Sony, Canon, and Nikon SLRs. It can also be used for Micro Four Thirds and Sony mirrorless cameras. The lens may not be optically stabilized, but this is not a feature that you would normally find in an 85-millimeter prime lens.

When it comes to image quality, well, it could do better. There is some chromatic aberation when you step down to t/1.4, as in there is a visible purple-and-green color fringing where there are high contrasts in some areas of the frame, and in other areas that are no either side of the main focus point within the image. Not only when you stop down to t/2 will the chromatic aberation disappear.

If you don’t mind using manual focus, and you want to have an 85-millimeter prime lens that has a lesser price point than other major lens brands in the market, then the Rokinon 85mm T1.5 Cine DS might be your lens of choice. Even though there is some image softness down at t/1.4, it is still quite usable.


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