Fast Wide Cheap and seriously Old School - The Samyang 14mm f/2.8

Samyang 14mm f/2.8 on a Nikon D759

Samyang 14mm f/2.8 on a Nikon D759

Fast super wide 'full frame' lenses are pretty rare. There are the Nikon f/2.8 14-24mm and Tamron f/2.8 15-30mm zooms and while both have superb image quality they are VERY heavy VERY big and VERY expensive. But if you like that look, don't mind manual focus and a fixed focal length (and let's face it with a 14-something zoom we all want to use the 14mm end all the time, right?) then the Samyang 14mm f/2.8 is a pleasant surprise. I love it. 

It's pumpkin time. Which is when my curmudgeon levels go into overdrive. Partly because Halloween is a non-traditional English event, imported from the US by cynical retailers to pick our pockets and annoy us. The fact that it's aimed at the young makes it even more unpleasant. As you know Halloween involves children dressed in strange outfits coming to my door demanding teeth rotting confectionery, upon the threat of dire things happening to me. I slam the the door on their nasty made up faces every year and have yet to turn into a frog, so I'm skeptical of their powers! However the UK pumpkin growing industry loves this day, it is in fact their Christmas. The fact that in most cases the nutritious part of the pumpkin is thrown away and the rest turned into some kind of horror movie prop doesn't seem to bother them. I guess counting their money helps. So it is with some reluctance that should I see a collection of these things for sale I will generally take some pictures, since I can do nothing to stop this exploitation of the populous, so I might as well make some money myself. Halloween does generally follow second cousin on my mothers side day (Get the card from Hallmark now!!) but I draw the line at that. 

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I suspect many would think it an ugly lens, but with it's huge front element I have to admit I quite like it's brutalist, old school look. And attached to a DSLR, like the Nikon D750 above it does have a certain charm and of course it handles and operates very well with the excellent Nikon focus confirmation system. And there is no doubt that wide aperture super wide angle lenses do have their own unique look. 

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It's certainly going to be interesting to see what I can get with this lens on the Canon 5Ds which should be arriving later today. And I have to say that working with DSLR's extensively and lenses like this is a trip down memory lane and is also very familiar to me. For the majority of my time as a photographer this is the kind of outfit I've used the most, both for film and digital and so, despite the size and weight,  I still find outfits like this comfortable and somewhat 'reassuring.' Taking a picture with a combination like this seems to be more of an 'event' than with mirrorless or smartphones. Not especially better and it certainly doesn't guarantee better images, but the finished product on a picture library website can be attention grabbing, particularly with some editing that increases the drama. 

I'm certainly going to creating a more formal, classic body of work in the future for my UK tourism venture, but I don't doubt that I'll still be experimenting and trying different things for my stock work. And considering I've just sold the image below (taken on 35mm film and cropped from a W/A lens) it seems the people who buy my images aren't shy of a little 'creativity' either.

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