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The Samyang/Rokinon 28mm 1:2.8 M.C. is a vintage lens that captures the essence of analog photography with its manual focus and distinctive optical qualities. This lens, produced by the South Korean manufacturer Samyang Optics, which markets its lenses under various brand names including Rokinon in the United States, represents a fascinating blend of affordability, solid construction, and unique imaging characteristics. Its focal length, combined with the relatively wide aperture, makes it versatile for a range of photographic styles, from street photography to landscapes. This article delves into the design, optical performance, and usability of the Samyang/Rokinon 28mm 1:2.8 M.C. lens, and explores why it remains a sought-after piece of equipment for both film enthusiasts and digital photographers seeking vintage flair.

Design and Build Quality

The Samyang/Rokinon 28mm 1:2.8 M.C. lens is emblematic of the era in which it was produced, featuring a robust metal body and a manual focus ring that demands a hands-on approach to photography. The "M.C." in its name stands for "Multi-Coated," indicating that the lens elements have been treated with multiple layers of coating to reduce flare and ghosting, and to improve light transmission. This results in clearer, more contrasty images. The tactile experience of adjusting focus manually with the smooth turning of the focus ring offers a level of control and engagement with the photographic process that is often missing in modern autofocus lenses.

Optical Performance

With a maximum aperture of f/2.8, the lens is reasonably fast, allowing for good performance in low-light conditions and the ability to achieve a shallow depth of field. This makes it a great option for creating images with a soft, blurred background, emphasizing the subject and adding a three-dimensional feel to the photographs. The 28mm focal length on a full-frame sensor provides a wide field of view, ideal for capturing expansive landscapes, architecture, and for general street photography where capturing the essence of the scene is paramount.

The lens's optical design is relatively simple compared to today's standards, which can lead to some unique characteristics such as vignetting at wide apertures and a certain softness at the edges of the frame when wide open. However, many photographers cherish these imperfections for the character they impart to the images. When stopped down, the lens can produce very sharp results, particularly in the center of the frame.

Usability and Compatibility

The manual nature of the Samyang/Rokinon 28mm 1:2.8 M.C. lens means that it is most suited to photographers who are comfortable with, or wish to learn, manual exposure control and focusing techniques. This can be particularly beneficial for educational purposes, helping new photographers to understand the relationship between aperture, shutter speed, and ISO.

Adapting this vintage lens to modern digital cameras is straightforward, thanks to the wide availability of mount adapters. This adaptability allows digital photographers to explore the unique aesthetic of vintage glass on contemporary camera bodies, including mirrorless systems where the lens can gain a new lease on life due to the shorter flange distance.


The Samyang/Rokinon 28mm 1:2.8 M.C. lens is a testament to the enduring appeal of manual, vintage optics. Its solid construction, ease of use, and the distinctive, characterful images it produces make it a valuable tool for photographers looking to explore the creative possibilities of manual focus and aperture control. Whether mounted on an original film camera for a fully analog experience or adapted to a modern digital system, this lens offers a unique perspective on the world, encouraging photographers to slow down and engage more deeply with their surroundings and their craft.

Images of Rokinon 28mm f/2.8 M.C

Sample Images Taken With This Lens

Technical Specifications:


Focal Length (35mm format): 28mm
Maximum Aperture: f/2.8
Minimum Aperture: f/22
Format: 35mm Film
Angle of View (35mm format): 75.3°
Focusing Distance: 0.25m to Inifinity
Elements/Groups: 8/8
Number of Blades: 6
Autofocus: No – Full Manual
Filter size: 49mm
Manufacturer: Rokinon
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