It's not often that a prime lens with a unique focal length is announced, but Rokinon has just announced the AF 75mm f/1.8 FE lens for Sony E-mount cameras. More than just an eyebrow-raising number, the 75mm focal length is an interesting one because it sits in that sweet spot between 50mm and 85mm, similar to how the now-popular 40mm or 45mm lens strikes an agreeable balance between normal and wide-angle. Besides its particular field of view, too, this lens is the newest in Rokinon's expanding portfolio of compact, versatile, and autofocus-enabled prime lenses for full-frame Sony E-mount mirrorless cameras, following on the heels of the 45mm f/1.8 and 18mm f/2.8 lenses.
The 75mm focal length pairs with the relatively bright f/1.8 design, which enhances its use in difficult lighting, as well as offering great control over depth of field for isolating focus on subject matter. The f/1.8 design also contributes to the compact and lightweight design of the lens, which measures 2.6 x 2.7" and weighs just 8 oz.
In terms of its optics, a useful composition of extra-low dispersion and high refractive index glass is used to control a variety of aberrations and deliver sharp, color-accurate imagery with low distortion. An Ultra Multi-Coating has also been applied to individual elements, which helps to boost contrast when working in bright and backlit conditions by suppressing flare and ghosting.
Regarding performance and handling, this 75mm f/1.8 is similar in design to Rokinon's other AF FE primes, and sports a linear STM motor for quick, quiet, and smooth autofocus performance that is suitable for photo and video. This focusing motor also permits full-time manual focus control and has an internal focusing design to limit the overall length of the lens during use.
Additionally, for something unique, Rokinon has integrated a Custom Switch on the lens barrel, which can be used to change the function of the focusing ring—by standard it will be set to adjust focus manually, but the switch can be used to change its function to aperture selection. Future firmware updates will offer additional changeable functions for even more lens-based control options.
What are your thoughts on Rokinon's new portrait-length prime? Are you a fan of the unique 75mm focal length? Let us know what you think of this lens in the Comments section, below.