One Of The Dishes On The Buffet - Tokina

on February 27, 2017

When we get a big-name camera we sometimes get a big name complex...and we cannot see beyond that name.

Members of camera clubs throughout the state are familiar with this as discussions of Nikon versus Canon versus Sony versus Flapoflex start up during the coffee breaks. The opinions expressed range from youthful enthusiasm to senile folly but fortunately there are few fist fights over the subject. Fair amount of snarling, but...

It can be the same with the lenses for the cameras. The big-name enthusiasts argue with each other and in the process sometimes fail to remember that there are other players in the game - and some of them are stars. Sigma, Tamron, and Tokina come to mind...and we're going to consider the latter brand.

I can make a personal judgment of this brand of lenses - I own one. It was purchased when I ran Nikon cameras and I was so taken with what it does that I retained it when I switched systems. It is the constant workhorse of the Little Studio and for good reason; it has a focal length and focus range that is unavailable in other brands , and it is very well made. For interest - you are looking at the illustrations on this column through it - the Tokina 35mm f:2.8 Macro.

But back to the lens in the heading image. Tokina AT-X 70-200mm f:4 PRO FX VCM-S. That's the usual advertising alphabet soup to tell you that it has a big enough image circle to work on all Nikon cameras, an image stabilising mechanism inside, and no aperture ring. You'll see that readily from the upright image, but what will not be evident until you handle the lens will be the weight of it and the solidity of the barrel. The secret lies in the fact that Tokina use metal barrels for their lenses.

The operation of the focus and zoom ring are as smooth as you could ever want. The focusing is internal so there is no pumping of the front element.

In every respect this is a first-class medium zoom lens that deserves your consideration along with the others in the class. The price is likely to be very attractive. I know the 35mm Macro was certainly so.

One other note: Made in Japan.