The New Rokinon Reflex 300mm f/6.3 Lens Brings the Mirror to Mirrorless


Rokinon has recently introduced a unique lens, designed specifically for mirrorless cameras, the Reflex 300mm f/6.3 ED UMC CS. This lens pairs well with these generally smaller camera designs in that its main principle, too, is a relatively compact form factor, considering its telephoto-length perspective. The afforded benefit of this lens’s small size is that you can handhold the lens and achieve sharp, long-range imagery in lit conditions without using a tripod or other support device. In order to achieve such a long reach, this lens employs a Cassegrain design within a catadioptric system, which is commonly referred to as a "reflex" or mirror lens.

A mirror lens’s image quality is quite distinct in a number of ways, as is its design, which closely resembles the design of certain telescopes. By integrating a convex mirror into the construction, the focal length is multiplied in order to produce a perspective much narrower than the actual size and weight of the lens would lead one to believe. Compared to a standard 300mm prime lens, this lens’s length and weight, just 2.9” and 11.2 oz, is substantially less, and complements the compactness of mirrorless cameras.

Mirror lenses are unique in several other regards, too, and have distinct qualities that separate them from traditional lenses in ways other than their smaller size. Due to the central obstruction within the lens, there are neither diaphragm blades nor an adjustable aperture; the aperture value is fixed at f/6.3. This moderate aperture is well-suited for use in daylight or bright conditions and provides a moderate depth of field if working with nearby subjects. The obstruction also causes one of the most distinguishable facets of a reflex lens: its doughnut-shaped, out-of-focus highlights. This uniquely shaped quality of focus is due to the physical appearance of the entrance pupil of the lens and is a clear demarcation of the type of lens being used to take the photograph. This quality can be creatively employed for a unique and dream-like bokeh when photographing nearer subjects, or can be minimized if working with distant subjects.

Another benefit of working with catadioptric systems is that they are inherently immune to chromatic aberrations, which can be a difficult optical anomaly to correct when using traditional lenses. However, this benefit typically comes at a cost of decreased sharpness and contrast. In order to correct for this decreased quality, Rokinon has integrated one extra-low dispersion element into the optical construction and also employs their UMC (Ultra Multi Coated) coating in order to improve overall image sharpness, clarity, and contrast.

The Reflex 300mm f/6.3 ED UMC CS is available for several mirrorless camera mounts, including Canon EF-M, Fujifilm X, Micro Four Thirds, and Sony E. Each mount version is a manual-focus-only lens, with a minimum focusing distance of 2.95’, and is available in either black or silver. When used on Canon EF-M cameras, the 35mm equivalent focal length is 480mm; on Fujifilm X and Sony E-mount cameras it is 450mm; and on Micro Four Thirds cameras it is 600mm. With any of the available mounts, this lens is a viable solution for working with distant subjects or compressing the background-to-foreground perspective if working with closer subjects. This ability, paired with the small size and light weight of the lens, makes it an ideal addition as a walk-around long lens for mirrorless digital cameras.

For more information, stop by the B&H SuperStore in New York, speak with a sales professional on the telephone at 1-800-606-6969 or contact us online via Live Chat.

Rokinon Reflex 300mm f/6.3 ED UMC CS Lens
Lens Mounts Canon EF-M, Fujifilm X, Micro Four Thirds, Sony E
Focal Length 300mm
35mm Equivalent Focal Length Canon EF-M: 480mm
Fujifilm X: 450mm
Micro Four Thirds: 600mm
Sony E: 450mm
Aperture f/6.3
Angle of View 5.5°
Minimum Focusing Distance 2.95' / 90cm
Focus Type Manual focus
Lens Construction 9 elements in 6 groups (with 1 extra-low dispersion element)
Dimensions 2.5 x 2.9" / 64.5 x 73.7mm
Weight 11.2 oz / 318 g

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I have this lens for my Fuji X-E1 and have put a review here:

The review includes numerous sample shots. B&H surprised me by getting it to me quickly.

The buzz you might pick up about donut bokeh is true, but I find it is not as objectionable and not as plentiful as some report.

This lens is amazingly light and wonderfully clear especially for long shots (further than 100 meters). Closer than 20ft, donut bokeh can be a problem but clarity is very good at the point of focus and at long distances all the way across the frame.

I agree it is useful for handheld shots at 1/2000th sec shutter speeds and to get this you need good performance at high ISO. Otherwise, a tripod is definitely needed, and the sturdier the better.
Here is a handheld shot that turned out well for me:

Since they don't mention image stabilization I would assume there is none. So you have a lightweight 450mm or 600mm telephoto lens on a lightweight camera and no image stabilization. Good luck getting any kind of picture without a big, heavy tripod. No exactly walk around.