Pentax versus Tokina 16-50mm F2.8

Started Mar 13, 2007 | Discussions
DJL1 Regular Member • Posts: 169
Pentax versus Tokina 16-50mm F2.8

Does anyone know how different these lenses are? My understanding is that both are manufactured by Tokina. I had assumed they would be virstually identical, but as far as I can tell the Pentax branded version has a built in supersonic motor that they call SDM. I could not find any reference to this on the Tokina branded version that will have Nikon and Canon lens mounts. The Tokina version has been delayed by about 6 months, it is now supposed to be available March 20.

Anyhow I'm thrilled that Tokina is finally making lenses that have built in supersonic motors and its great news for you K10D shooters.

Roland Mabo Forum Pro • Posts: 12,462
Re: Pentax versus Tokina 16-50mm F2.8

DJL1 wrote:

Does anyone know how different these lenses are?

The optical design is co-developed by Pentax and Tokina, but the rest is very different.

My understanding
is that both are manufactured by Tokina.

Your understanding is wrong. Tokina makes the Tokina branded version, Pentax makes the Pentax branded version.

I had assumed they would
be virstually identical, but as far as I can tell the Pentax
branded version has a built in supersonic motor that they call SDM.

It is true that the Pentax version has SDM and double autofocus mechanisms so it works with both old and new Pentax DSLR's.

The Pentax version is also weather sealed and featues Pentax QuickShift focus mechanism.
The Tokina does not.

I could not find any reference to this on the Tokina branded
version that will have Nikon and Canon lens mounts.

That is because the Tokina does not have SDM, Tokina does not have supersonic motors.

Anyhow I'm thrilled that Tokina is finally making lenses that have
built in supersonic motors and its great news for you K10D shooters.

Tokina doesn't make lenses with built-in supersonic motors.
But Pentax are!

-- hide signature --
iMacfan Regular Member • Posts: 143
Re: Pentax versus Tokina 16-50mm F2.8

Problem is, for the reasons detailed above, you'll never get a perfect comparison of the two, as you'll never get the two on the same camera. Nearest is the Nikon version on the D80 or D200, but there is sill different processing...

David

Joseph Tainter Forum Pro • Posts: 10,322
Re: Pentax versus Tokina 16-50mm F2.8

Roland Mabo wrote:

DJL1 wrote:

Does anyone know how different these lenses are?

The optical design is co-developed by Pentax and Tokina, but the
rest is very different.

Not exactly. Pentax developed the optics.

Joe

OP DJL1 Regular Member • Posts: 169
Re: Pentax versus Tokina 16-50mm F2.8

Thanks for the info. So could someone describe what Tokina brings to the table in this collaboration? I had assumed that Pentax provided the design and Tokina the manufacturing and maybe some additional design, but it sounds like I am wrong. What does Pentax get out of this arrangement?

I thought I may have read in another thread awhile back that Tokina might be able to make some of the technology available for other mounts after Pentax had exclusive use for a certain period of time. But I may be mistaken about this too.

iMacfan Regular Member • Posts: 143
Re: Pentax versus Tokina 16-50mm F2.8

DJL1 wrote:

Thanks for the info. So could someone describe what Tokina brings
to the table in this collaboration?

It's simple - extra profits for Pentax.

This way, Pentax can make money on the design from users of other mount cameras, without doing any extra work, or 'diluting' their brand.

David.

Roland Mabo Forum Pro • Posts: 12,462
Re: Pentax versus Tokina 16-50mm F2.8

Pentax and Tokina co-develops the optical blue print together, this means that lens development takes less time and also cost less money. Since Tokina is also using the same optical elements, the lenses has a wider market so Pentax and Tokina can buy the glass from Hoya at good prices (they get better discounts when they buy more lens elements), thus lowering production costs.
So, it is a win-win situation for both.

-- hide signature --
Roland Mabo Forum Pro • Posts: 12,462
Re: Pentax versus Tokina 16-50mm F2.8

Where's your proof?
--
Take care
R
http://www.flickr.com/photos/raphaelmabo

HerbChong Senior Member • Posts: 1,369
Re: Pentax versus Tokina 16-50mm F2.8

glass blanks come in standard sizes and formulations unless you are willing to pay a lot extra. i doubt that the blanks making up this lens are only used in this lens.

Herb....

Joseph Tainter Forum Pro • Posts: 10,322
Re: Pentax versus Tokina 16-50mm F2.8

Roland Mabo wrote:

Where's your proof?
--

Roland, I have posted it here more times than I can count.

Joe

Joseph Tainter Forum Pro • Posts: 10,322
Re: Pentax versus Tokina 16-50mm F2.8

Roland Mabo wrote:

Pentax and Tokina co-develops the optical blue print together

Okay, I'll do this one more time.

Ken Takeshita (who has recently withdrawn from PDML) participates in Japanese discussion fora, at least one of which a Pentax Japan employee participates in. Ken also has direct contact with one or two employees in Pentax Japan. Ken says that he posts only things that are publicly known in Japan, not speculations. Based on his track record, I believe him. Here is what is known in Japan:

Tokina designed the optics of the 12-24.

Pentax designed the optics of all the other joint lenses--10-17, 100 macro, 16-50, and 50-135. The current 100 mm macro, both Pentax and Tokina versions, is the same lens formula as the old F/FA 100 F2.8 Macro, just with some different coatings.

If you want to check this further, you can search the PDML archive. I think it was reported sometime in the past 6-12 months. Also, I have posted the information here many, many times, and I believe one of those discussions has a quotation from Ken's original posts.

Joe

Joseph Tainter Forum Pro • Posts: 10,322
Re: Pentax versus Tokina 16-50mm F2.8

DJL1 wrote:

Thanks for the info. So could someone describe what Tokina brings
to the table in this collaboration? I had assumed that Pentax
provided the design and Tokina the manufacturing and maybe some
additional design, but it sounds like I am wrong. What does Pentax
get out of this arrangement?

I thought I may have read in another thread awhile back that Tokina
might be able to make some of the technology available for other
mounts after Pentax had exclusive use for a certain period of time.
But I may be mistaken about this too.

Pentax gains sales to owners of other brands. We don't know the financial arrangements. Either Tokina pays Pentax directly for the optical designs, or Tokina pays Pentax a royalty on each lens sold, I would guess. Tokina in turn agrees not to sell the joint lenses in KAF mount.

Tokina brings to the table access to a market that is otherwise not available to Pentax.

Each designs and manufactures their own lens bodies.

The Tokina versions also have SMC coating. So probably Pentax licenses this to Tokina.

The Tokina 12-24 tests less well than the DA 12-24. This seemed odd, and there was a discussion of it here some time back. The best explanation seemed to be differences in manufacturing quality control.

Joe

arzvael Regular Member • Posts: 379
Re: Pentax versus Tokina 16-50mm F2.8

I believe this, and I think Tokina will use the SDM technology for their new lenses (but only for Canon and Nikon mounts).
This will help Tokina to be able to compete with Sigma.

-- hide signature --

Joseph Tainter Forum Pro • Posts: 10,322
Re: Pentax versus Tokina 16-50mm F2.8

arzvael wrote:

I believe this, and I think Tokina will use the SDM technology for
their new lenses (but only for Canon and Nikon mounts).
This will help Tokina to be able to compete with Sigma.

Tokina's 50-135 is available. There is no mention of in-lens focusing, not even on the THK web site. So I guess this lens has just an old-fashioned AF drive shaft.

Joe

Roland Mabo Forum Pro • Posts: 12,462
Re: Pentax versus Tokina 16-50mm F2.8

1. The official information from Pentax and Tokina is that the lens designs - the blue-print - are co-developed, but exterior and mechanids are custom designed by each brand. It is possible that on some lenses Pentax has had more input and on others Tokina has had more input, because they both have different expertise in this field, but both Pentax and Tokina says they co-develop the lenses together.

2. If the D FA 100 f/2.8 Macro and Tokina AT-X 100 f/2.8 Macro is the same lens optically as the FA 100 f/2.8 Macro, apart from different coating, then one wonder why the D FA 100 f/2.8 Macro and FA 100 f/2.8 Macro are so different in final image results.

The D FA 100 f/2.8 Macro is clearly sharper at the wider apertures than the FA 100 f/2.8 Macro are, but the FA 100 f/2.8 Macro has lower contrast and finer graduations, to some more pleasing colour rendition, and nicer bokeh. The D FA 100 Macro being more contrasty, more "cold" in it's colour temperature, sharper yes but also lacking the smoothnes of the FA 100 f/2.8 Macro. And the D FA 100 has scored higher than the FA 100 Macro in tests, the FA 100 was regarded as softer than it's competition (but with more pleasing image character). There must be more to it than just the coating and different exterior... Some says that the D FA 100 Macro is more like a Tokina than a typical Pentax of the old, and you states that the D FA Macro and the Tokina AT-X 100 Macro was designed by Pentax. Personally, I found it hard to believe that the D FA 100 Macro and the FA 100 Macro shares the same optical formula.

-- hide signature --
Joseph Tainter Forum Pro • Posts: 10,322
Re: Pentax versus Tokina 16-50mm F2.8

Roland Mabo wrote:

1. The official information from Pentax and Tokina is that the lens
designs - the blue-print - are co-developed

And you believe corporate official announcements? Roland, they are public relations statements for market and investor consumption, nothing more.

You are correct, though, that this is what was announced. I have wondered why, since it isn't so. There could be a couple of reasons. Pentax might give this out to allow Tokina to save face (just like Hoya is not buying Pentax, Hoya and Pentax are merging). Or to hide from Canon and Nikon users the fact that they are buying Pentax lenses (although some of them want Pentax lenses). Who knows? Corporations have their reasons for information and disinformation.

As for the 100 macros, check the lens diagrams in Boz's site. I have the FA 100 but have not used the D FA 100, so I cannot compare them directly in performance. We know that coatings have changed, which can account for differences in color temperature. And even with the same optical formula, differences in build quality will yield differing results. The D FA macros are not built nearly as well as their predecessors.

Joe

Royson58 Regular Member • Posts: 351
I think you're both correct.

I think it's possible that you're both correct, but just reading the information a bit differently.

Logically, it doesn't take two different design teams to design the optics for one lens. Because of the mechanical differences in the lenses, it's very possible that Pentax builds the body of their lens, while Tokina designed and builds the bodies for the Canon & Nikon versions. Thus, we could have a situation where the lenses were co-developed, but one company (Pentax in this case) designed the optics.

I would further speculate that one company will actually make the optics for all the lenses, but that Pentax would assemble their versions, and Tokina their own.

Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum MMy threads