Samyang/Rokinon Introducing New Budget Cine Lens: 16mm T2.2
If you shoot video, you may or may not have had the pleasure of using real cinema lenses. Even if you haven’t gotten to use cine lenses, the next best thing are still photography lenses modified with clickless apertures and lens gears for both focus and iris. They also have the lenses marked with the exact amount of light that passes through the lens, which is measured in T-stops. If you’re using Super 35mm-sized or APS-C cameras, Samyang (also sold as Rokinon in the US) has introduced a new cine version of their 16mm, which is now rated at T2.2.
Here’s a video showing off the 16mm cine lens on the Canon 60D:
While the other lens from Samyang in this focal length range is the 14mm T3.1 designed for full-frame 35mm (like the 5D Mark III), the new 16mm is only made for smaller sensors. That shouldn’t really have an effect on performance, but it does mean you’ll have to look elsewhere for full-frame. The big thing for me is that this focal length should fit into production more than the 14mm does. The 14mm has some strange distortion, and it’s also very wide for APS-C (at least too wide for my taste except for limited shots). The new 16mm, however, should be relatively similar to the field of view of a Canon 24-105mm or 24-70mm on a Mark II or Mark III.
Performance looks pretty good, and if it matches the rest of the Samyang/Rokinon lenses, then it should be the best budget option out there right now. The non-cine lens is $480 right now, so I would imagine the cine lens will be under $600, and it should be available in Nikon, Canon, Sony, etc. You can’t buy it just yet, but if you really need this focal length, you can find the still version available in a number of mounts right now.
The only lens left to complete this lineup would be a 50mm cine, though there are plenty of good 50s out there to make up for that in the meantime. I’m not sure if we’ll see anything like these from other manufacturers anytime soon, but if you want budget cine lenses for camera like the BMCC or BMPCC, this is really the only game in town.