Tokina AT-X AF 28-70mm f/2.6-2.8 & AT-X AF 80-200mm f/2.8 SD Lenses
Tokina is not a manufacturer
that seeks a lot of publicity, refusing to get involved in the old "sell
the sizzle, not the steak" approach. And yet, they deserve greater
recognition after producing lenses for over 40 years. Under the trademarks
Tokina, Hoya, and Kenko, the company makes a wide variety of optics
sold under its own name or incorporated in the products of other manufacturers.
In some countries such as Germany, certain Tokina lenses are best sellers--among
a population with a full appreciation for optical quality.
New Focus Clutch. Although
Tokina has not published much information about the focusing clutch mechanism,
here is how it works in practice. The wide manual focusing ring has a
second role: it is a switch from manual to autofocus mode. For autofocus
push the ring forward until it reaches the line marked "AF."
Now the ring will not rotate during AF operation. Because there is less
load on the focus motor, autofocus is smoother and quieter. You do lose
the focusing distance scale as that is now covered but this is not a big
My primary tests of the autofocus system were made with trucks barreling
along a highway--approaching and pulling away from my position on a bridge
overhead. More typical subjects included boats on a lake, architecture,
portraits of costumed characters at a Renaissance festival, a marching
band, and flower gardens. My overall rating of autofocus performance is
"Excellent" for both Pro lenses. My specific findings are
· Continuous tracking
focus performance ranged from good to very good; the lenses were not always
able to keep up with very erratic motion. However, neither set of focal
lengths are generally used for action photography such as motor racing
or pro sports.
· Both come with a screw-in
lens hood that is deep and well flocked to minimize flare.
As the "fastest"
zoom of its type in the world, the AT-X 28-70mm AF Pro II zoom has an
unusually wide maximum aperture at f/2.6. While this shrinks slightly
to f/2.8 at longer focal lengths, it is still ideal for low-light photography
when a flash or a tripod is not practical. Press and travel photographers
especially will appreciate this factor when shooting indoors. Its five
star ("Super") rating by Germany's highly respected
foto magazine suggests that this is indeed an exceptional lens in mechanical
and optical quality.
Tokina AT-X AF 28-70mm
f/2.6-2.8 Pro II
Tokina AT-X AF 80-200mm
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