Rokinon 35mm f1.2 – Surprisingly . Good .

One fine day, Ivan posted the Rokinon deal on the Fujifanboys Facebook group. It was Rokinon 85mm f1.4 and it was quite a good deal at about 68 SGD (51 USD) or less. I was not tempted somehow. A moment later, Ivan posted yet another Rokinon deal and it was shared by Rayz Lee (a member of the Facebook group) to him.

Rokinon 35mm f1.2
Rokinon 35mm f1.2 with lens hood

Based on the header of this post, no surprise here. I immediately placed my order for the Rokinon 35mm f1.2 and it was only 98 SGD (73 USD). In case you wonder, Amazon sells this lens between 300 SGD to 600 SGD (223 USD to 445 USD). That’s a huge discount for this Korean brand (also known as Samyang).

I have a few “reasons” to explain why I decide to buy this lens and here is why:

  1. It’s cheap and even cheaper than the already similar aperture manual lenses in the market from 7Artisans, TTArtisan, Voigtlander, and the like.
  2. I heard about this brand and read about the beauty of this lens for a long time and this is my opportunity to test drive it.
  3. This is like the stars are aligned. So why not.

Design & Build Quality

From the lens appearance, it isn’t as small as the XF35mm f1.4 and also evitably larger than what other 3rd party manual lens manufacturers are offering. And it is even bigger in size than the TTArtisan 35mm f0.95. To be fair, this Rokinon 35mm f1.2 was announced back in 2016, and the lens design is definitely improved over the years in the industry.

Fuji X-T5 . Rokinon 35mm f1.2 @ 35mm . f4 . 1/30″ . ISO 3200 . Nostalgic Negative

The lens is made of plastic but it’s a high-quality one. Again this is a different approach from the usual metal build quality 3rd party manufacturers and I can probably understand why this is the approach. I will explain later.

Fuji X-T5 . Rokinon 35mm f1.2 @ 35mm . f1.2 . 1/140″ . ISO 125 . Nostalgic Negative

It weighs 433 grams which I think is somehow reasonable. Similarly, a 62mm filter size is also pretty reasonable as well.

The aperture ring on this 50mm (full frame equivalent) is clicky and not those de-click buttery smooth kind found in most recent new lenses from other manufacturers. However, it is a little stiff when I change the aperture. Not sure if it just happens to my unit but I have to use a little more force to rotate the ring than any of the lenses I have tried so far.

As for the lens cover, it is the typical pinch-to-release type of plastic cover. The lens hood is also made of plastic but it is painted to have the same color as the lens body. At least there is some attention to detail here.

Fuji X-T5 . Rokinon 35mm f1.2 @ 35mm . f1.2 . 1/80″ . ISO 1000 . Nostalgic Negative

Image Quality

Shooting wide open is unbelievably great and the image quality is totally usable with great contrast. With f1.2, it gives more separation between the main subject and others and allows the main subject to be more pop.

Furthermore, the bokeh (or background blur) is actually quite pleasing to view and not as distracting as some other lenses.

In my period of shooting, I do not observe any obvious chromatic aberration. Similar to vignetting, the corners are pretty mild and considered close to none.  

Minimum Focus Distance (MFD)

At 38mm MFD, there is nothing to shout about for this focal length. It is not a show-stopper to prevent photographers to shoot in their favorite genres. Just that it is slightly further away than what current 35cm “standard” MFD that other manufacturers are providing.

Fuji X-T3 . Rokinon 35mm f1.2 @ 35mm . f1.2 . 1/80″ . ISO 160 . Classic Chrome
Fuji X-T3 . Rokinon 35mm f1.2 @ 35mm . f2 . 1/80″ . ISO 160 . Classic Chrome
Fuji X-T5 . Rokinon 35mm f1.2 @ 35mm . f1.2 . 1/8000″ . ISO 125 . Nostalgic Negative
Fuji X-T5 . Rokinon 35mm f1.2 @ 35mm . f1.2 . 1/2500″ . ISO 125 . Nostalgic Negative


Unlikely the aperture ring, the focus ring is smooth but comes with very minimal and comfortable friction.

From MFD to infinity, the focus throw is approximately 100°, which I think is okay and it also gives a good amount of “distance” for precise focusing.

Price Point

I bought it well below its average selling price, so I will not base it on the price I have but rather base it on the real selling price.

According to its suggested retail price, it is selling at 499 USD. While Amazon and B&H do have some sales occasionally, with an average of about 349 USD.

Who is this for?

I won’t recommend this lens to someone who is looking for a budget fast prime lens because it is not that budget unless you found the same deal as mine.

Secondly, it is not a compact lens like others too. If you really like the image quality from this lens, then you can consider getting one for the genre of your favorite except for macro.

Fuji X-T5 . Rokinon 35mm f1.2 @ 35mm . f1.2 . 1/80″ . ISO 200 . Nostalgic Negative


To be fair, this manual lens isn’t cheap and the size of this lens is bigger than any other lenses released in recent 1-2 years. But the image quality from this glass is undeniably great among the other lenses of the same category.

Fuji X-E4 . Rokinon 35mm f1.2 @ 35mm . f1.2 . 1/80″ . ISO 640 . Nostalgic Negative

Despite having some shortfalls like build quality, size, weight, and not being the fastest lens on the market, I enjoy every shot taken with this lens especially taken wide open. It is just so awesome that I can simply accept these disadvantages.

After using so many metal-constructed lenses, I do miss the metal-build quality as it does make the lens feel more premium. I do hope this lens comes with one as well but the plastic build of this lens is there for a reason. It is to keep the weight down and reasonably balance with the camera body. I think Rokinon/Samyang has considered it as well.

Fuji X-T5 . Rokinon 35mm f1.2 @ 35mm . f1.2 . 1/500″ . ISO 800 . Nostalgic Negative

Overall, this lens is easily categorized as one of the best manual lenses out there in the market.

1. All the shots taken here are shot by me.
2. Most of the shots are straight out of the camera with some shots edited via In-Camera Raw Processing.

3. The opinions are based on my experience. If there is any mistake, please kindly drop me a message and I will gladly make the amendment.
4. I reserve ownership of these images, if you wish to use my images, please notify me.

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