Rokinon, a South Korean lens manufacturer, has emerged as a popular and reliable brand in the world of camera lenses. Known for producing high-quality, affordable optics, Rokinon caters to a wide range of photographers and videographers, from amateurs to professionals.
The brand is a subsidiary of the Samyang Optics Company, which also produces lenses under the Samyang, Bower, and several other brand names. Rokinon produces lenses that are compatible with various camera mounts, including Canon, Nikon, Sony, Fujifilm, and Micro Four Thirds systems.
In recent years, Rokinon has added a number of autofocus lenses. But they initially became known for lenses with manual focus and manual aperture control. This focus on manual operation has enabled Rokinon to offer lenses at a lower price point compared to similar lenses from major camera brands.
Rokinon’s lens lineup includes a diverse range of optics with specialty features. They are particularly strong in the area of affordable cine lenses for filmmaking.
Like other manufacturers, Rokinon uses codes in the names of their lenses to identify key features and technologies of the lens. And those codes, or names, are often among the most unusual and hard to decipher.
Once you know how to read them, they can be very useful as a shorthand way to quickly categorize a particular lens. But the codes can also be confusing, and every lens manufacturer makes up its own codes.
So here’s a breakdown of the codes Rokinon uses in naming their lenses.
Rokinon Lens Categories
- AF – Autofocus lenses designed by Rokinon, currently available for select mounts like Canon EF, Nikon F, and Sony E.
- SP / Special Performance – Rokinon’s premium lineup of still photography lenses. These lenses typically feature more advanced optical designs and higher-quality construction compared to Rokinon’s standard lenses.
- Cine DS / Cine DSX – Rokinon’s lineup of cinema lenses, designed specifically for videography and filmmaking. These lenses feature de-clicked aperture rings for smooth aperture changes, geared focus and aperture rings for use with follow focus systems, and unified focus/aperture ring positions across different focal lengths. The DSX series is an updated version of the DS series with enhanced weather sealing, improved optics, and more robust construction.
- Cine / Cine Xeen – Rokinon’s premium lineup of cinema lenses, designed for professional video production. These lenses feature high-quality optics, full-frame coverage, a consistent T-stop (aperture) across the lineup, and a uniform external design for easy lens swaps during shoots.
Rokinon Lens Codes for Lens Features
- IF – Internal Focusing, a lens design where the focusing is done by moving elements inside the lens, without changing the overall length or front element rotation.
- AS – Aspherical lens elements, used in Rokinon lenses to reduce optical aberrations, particularly spherical aberration and distortion, and improve overall image quality.
- ED – Extra-Low Dispersion glass, used in Rokinon lenses to reduce chromatic aberrations and improve image sharpness, contrast, and color fidelity.
- UMC – Ultra Multi-Coating, a lens coating technology used by Rokinon to reduce lens flare, ghosting, and improve overall image contrast and color accuracy.