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Review Tokina AT-X 287 series


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#1 Virgil

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Posted 28 December 2007 - 05:54 AM

A lot of people which are looking for an alternative to the rather high priced 28-70 Nikkor find sooner or later the Tokina alternatives. So i thought it might be a good idea to give some information about this lens. The lens design dates back to the 80īs and is based on a even older design of a french manufacturer Angenieux which originally designed lenses for movie cameras. The models are: 1) AF 28-70mm f/2.8 2) AF 28-70mm f/2.8 AT-X PRO-SV (Special Value) 3) AF 28-70mm f/2.6-2.8 AT-X PRO 4) AF 28-80mm f/2.8 AT-X PRO My review covers the "Tokina AT-X 28-70 2.6-2.8 PRO II" and iīd like to point out that earlier or later models may behave differently. First of all - thatīs what the lens looks like: Attached File  Tokina_28_70_f2.6_2.8_ATX_Pro.jpg   42.24KB   13 downloads Build/handling: like all reviewers i like the build quality which is very solid. Zoom and focus ring work very smooth and i like the feel of them. With itīs 760g itīs arround the same weight as my 17-55DX and gives a well balanced combo with my D300+MB-D10. Itīs a little bit smaller then the 17-55DX which i liked. The pental shaped lens hood seems a bit small and mounting it is not as convenient as iīm used from my Nikkorīs but thatīs just my feeling and no downside of the lens. The AF/MF clutch mechanism is something unique to Tokina lenses and something youīve to get used to as the handling needs some practice otherwise you wonīt like it. To change AF/MF youīve to park the focus ring in a certain position to be able to move it in AF or MF position. Additionally youīve to change your camera from AF to M - rather strange handling if you ask me. AF-Speed: i found this lens - though itīs screw-driven - to be fast and AF very reliable. Like with any other lens you can provoke lens-hunt but it never happend in normal use. Optical performance: i can confirm that the results at f/2.8 are a tad bit soft compared to my 17-55DX. Stopped down to f/4 does help and maximum performance seems to be reached at f/5.6. In contrary to the professional reviewers i canīt confirm that stopping down to f/8 gives any further improvement. Colour/contrast are in my oppinion absolutely Nikon-like and ok for me. Conclusion: If the 28mm doesnīt cause you a problem (either cos you use a D3 or you simply swap lenses when you want to go wider - eg. with Tokinaīs 12-24 lens) you should give this lens a closer look.
Cheers

Virgil

#2 Dave Whiteley

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Posted 28 December 2007 - 06:06 AM

Opinions ranging from soft to sharp could indicate there is a distinct variation between lenses (or even the competence of testers!). With cheaper lenses sometimes quality control is not up to the marque makes, and these days anyway batch testing rather than individual testing seems to be becoming the norm. However, most manufacturers or dealers will take it back and swap it if you are unlucky enough to get a bad one that has crept past quality control. Dave Whiteley
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#3 TheRasmuss

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Posted 02 January 2008 - 03:33 AM

I've been looking for information about theese Tokina's but there is not much to find about them.
I've tried contacting Tokina europe but no replies.
From searching around the web I've found several versions of these lenses from Tokina.
The first lens was french manufacturer Angenieux design, and then Tokina took it from there.
like Tamron did with their 14mm which was bought from Nikon(or so the rumor goes.

I've had the Tokina ATX PRO SV 28-70mm f2.8 for some time now, it's soft wide open, but from F/4 it's acceptable @ f/5.6 its razor sharp.
I did a Review of the SV version some time ago--> here

I belive the order goes like this:

#1 AF 28-70mm f/2.6-2.8 (original Angenieux?)

#2 Tokina 28-70mm f/2.8

#3 Tokina ATX 28-70mm f/2.8

#4 Tokina ATX PRO 28-70mm f/2.8

#5 Tokina ATX PRO II 28-70mm f/2.8

#6 Tokina ATX PRO SV 28-70mm f/2.8

#7 Tokina ATX PRO 28-80mm f/2.8

#4 Virgil

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Posted 01 February 2008 - 01:30 AM

@ Rasmuss - i found different information about the history of this lens but no one seems to know it for sure. So iīm glad that you chimed in with your list - shall the reader choose which one he finds more likely to be true :)
Cheers

Virgil

#5 justshootit

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Posted 03 February 2008 - 02:10 PM

I agree with ODNT on the quality control issue. I had the 2.6-2.8 version and it was fine -- produced images that were as good as the Nikkor 35-70/2.8. That was until I had to send it in for repair. When it came back, it was soft at f/2.8, better but still lacking at f/4, pretty sharp at f/5.6 and tack at f/8. I read about this same behavior from new lenses, and just figured that Tokina's QC was all over the place and that I now had a bad copy of the lens, so I traded it on a Nikkor 20-35/2.8. If I found a good copy of the lens, I wouldn't hesitate to press it into service as a 42-105mm lens on DX. I actually use my old 35-70/2.8 on digital (52-105mm equivalent on DX) and find it quite useful. Don
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#6 Virgil

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Posted 05 February 2008 - 02:19 AM

Additional findings: I did re-shoot a whole series at 28 / 35 / 50mm and f/ 2.8 / 5.6 / 8. Interesting was that when i shot @ 28mm f/8 i noticed that i got with the 17-55 1/25sec. whilst the 28-70 produced 1/30sec. That lead to a correction of +0.7EV to gain a similar result. Same @ 35mm f/4 - the 17-55 needed ISO 2200 whilst the D300 had to increase to ISO 2800 when the 28-70 was mounted to keep shutterspeed at 1/60sec. @ 50mm f/4 the D300 corrected the ISO from ISO 2500 (17-55) to ISO 3200 but the histogram of the 28-70 revealed that there is still a slight tendency to the left (dark). Distortion - pincushin at 28mm is obvious gone by arround 35mm. I also found that though the 28-70 reported 50mm focal lenght itīs not the same viewing impression then 50mm from the 17-55. Without having it exactly measured iīd say itīs something arround 48mm or so. Same at 70mm. Even if it might not be feasable to have shot it against the 70mm end of the 70-200VR - the 70mm are by some millimeters closer then from the 28-70. I hope that weather clears up so that i can produce some real world shots.
Cheers

Virgil

#7 Virgil

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Posted 06 February 2008 - 01:30 PM

Finally here are some real world samples though the weather today here in Vienna was cloudy and rainy. To show how the lens works close-up iīve shot this old camera thru the window of the shop next to my office. Attached File  Tokina_28_70_1.jpg   140.51KB   14 downloads The ducks seemed to like the Tokina as well as they came rather close - unfortunately not close enough for 70mm so i did a crop to show you how good the lens (and the D300) render those ducks. Attached File  Tokina_28_70_3.jpg   157.18KB   12 downloads Finally when i headed back to my office i came along this mosaicked house. Attached File  Tokina_28_70_4.jpg   195.15KB   12 downloads
Cheers

Virgil

#8 Arlon

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Posted 06 February 2008 - 02:44 PM

Cool "Crown Graphic". Wish I still had dad's old "Speed Graphic"..
D50, D90, D100 IR, D700, D800E and a bunch of old manual lenses..
D70 IR (stolen), D200 (stolen)

#9 Virgil

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Posted 08 February 2008 - 09:34 AM

I was sure that i get at least one reply if i post a shot of an old camera :D
Cheers

Virgil

#10 Old Dog New Tricks

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Posted 08 February 2008 - 01:38 PM

I used a Crown for 6 years doing by police photography. Had another later that I saved for fingerprint/macro work. Waiting for them to put it up for auction. ODNT
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