Tokina ATX 150-500mm/5.6 on e-Bay

Started Dec 30, 2013 | Discussions thread
mwmcbroom New Member • Posts: 12
Re: Tokina ATX 150-500mm/5.6 on e-Bay

This is a stale thread, I know, but since I own a Tokina 150-500/5.6 SD, I thought I'd add my experiences.

I bought mine from an eBay seller a few months ago. I paid a bit more for mine than others were selling for and I did so because it came with a case and filters, whereas the others I saw did not. I became interested in this zoom because I also own a Tokina 100-300mm f/4 SD zoom, which I've tested at some length and found to be an exceptionally sharp and contrasty optic. In fact, it is one of the sharpest lenses I own at 300mm. Plus, because of the SD glass, it is very well corrected. So naturally, I was hoping the 100-500/5.6 would be able to achieve similar performance levels.

I also own a Tamron SP 200-500/5.6, which I've tested extensively and have determined that it is an exceptionally sharp zoom. So naturally I decided to pit the Tokina 150-500mm against the Tamron 200-500mm. What I found was that the lenses were roughly equivalent until I extended them both out to 500mm. At this focal length, the Tamron had a clear edge in sharpness. But I was making my evaluation by comparing photos from each at 100% magnification. In other words, I was pixel peeping with Photoshop. But if I were to view each lens's performance using 8x10 photos with minimal cropping (from 2:3 to 4:5), I doubt seriously I would be able to tell the difference.

One thing to keep in mind with this lens, which is also true with many other telephotos, is to make sure the optical flat is located in the rear filter slot. If it isn't there, the lens's resolution will suffer.

Now while the Tokina many not be as sharp as the Tamron, it also has some clear advantages, The biggest one is weight. The Tamron is a seriously heavy lens and almost impossible to hand-hold. Not only is it heavy, but it is bulky, and at that size the two-ring design is very awkward to use. In contrast, the Tokina is noticeably lighter and, with its push-pull, one-ring design, is much easier to use just holding it. So, because of these "features" it is also easier to hand-hold it, providing that a high enough shutter speed can be used -- at least 1/500 second. This translates to 1/500 @ f/8 @ ISO 100 using the sunny f/16 rule, so hand-holding on a sunny day is very doable.

-- hide signature --
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum PPrevious NNext WNext unread UUpvote SSubscribe RReply QQuote BBookmark MMy threads
Color scheme? Blue / Yellow