Is the Tokina 400m f/8 Worth $249.00?

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Jazz1
Jazz1 Contributing Member • Posts: 533
Is the Tokina 400m f/8 Worth $249.00?

https://photo-trend.de/en/tokina-400-mm-f-8-reflex-mf-telefoto-lens-en/

Maybe it is just Pandemic boredom, but I was hoping for $249.00 this lens might be fun to play around with. On the other hand that is a lot of craft beer cost equivalent

Then I think to way back when I had a Pentax K1000, and ME and I found myself attracted to the idea of a cheaper/longer telephoto lens over standard glass. After reading about all the drawbacks of this design I never purchased one for my Pentax film cameras.

I suppose I should just wait and read some reviews to see how well this design in 2020 on a Fujifilm camera.

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Jim Cassatt Veteran Member • Posts: 4,940
Re: Is the Tokina 400m f/8 Worth $249.00?
1

I would wait for the reviews. It is a mirror lens. I had a mirror lens and it was awful. I think there was a few good ones put there, but I would not send $249 without hearing form others.

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Jazz1
OP Jazz1 Contributing Member • Posts: 533
Re: Is the Tokina 400m f/8 Worth $249.00?

Jim Cassatt wrote:

I would wait for the reviews. It is a mirror lens. I had a mirror lens and it was awful. I think there was a few good ones put there, but I would not send $249 without hearing form others.

Good advice. There will always be the “Open Box” option  I do have a 50mm-140mm with the 2.0X teleconverter. I know that it does loose some quality using the teleconverter. Of course I’d love the 100mm-400 Fujilfilm zoom. But, the price takes my breath away.

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Craig268
Craig268 Senior Member • Posts: 1,519
Re: Is the Tokina 400m f/8 Worth $249.00?
1

Jazz1 wrote:

https://photo-trend.de/en/tokina-400-mm-f-8-reflex-mf-telefoto-lens-en/

Maybe it is just Pandemic boredom, but I was hoping for $249.00 this lens might be fun to play around with. On the other hand that is a lot of craft beer cost equivalent

Then I think to way back when I had a Pentax K1000, and ME and I found myself attracted to the idea of a cheaper/longer telephoto lens over standard glass. After reading about all the drawbacks of this design I never purchased one for my Pentax film cameras.

I suppose I should just wait and read some reviews to see how well this design in 2020 on a Fujifilm camera.

Waiting for reviews would be a good idea. I have a couple of Minolta mirror lenses from the 1970s and they are excellent within that genre of mirror lenses. Other excellent manufacturers of mirror lenses were Nikon and Canon. It's possible that the older vintage mirror lenses might be better than this one from Tokina but I don't think any mirror lens is necessarily as good as a regular telephoto. That said, mirror lenses do have their place and they can be very interesting and useful to use.

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Jazz1
OP Jazz1 Contributing Member • Posts: 533
Re: Is the Tokina 400m f/8 Worth $249.00?

Craig268 wrote:

Jazz1 wrote:

https://photo-trend.de/en/tokina-400-mm-f-8-reflex-mf-telefoto-lens-en/

Maybe it is just Pandemic boredom, but I was hoping for $249.00 this lens might be fun to play around with. On the other hand that is a lot of craft beer cost equivalent

Then I think to way back when I had a Pentax K1000, and ME and I found myself attracted to the idea of a cheaper/longer telephoto lens over standard glass. After reading about all the drawbacks of this design I never purchased one for my Pentax film cameras.

I suppose I should just wait and read some reviews to see how well this design in 2020 on a Fujifilm camera.

Waiting for reviews would be a good idea. I have a couple of Minolta mirror lenses from the 1970s and they are excellent within that genre of mirror lenses. Other excellent manufacturers of mirror lenses were Nikon and Canon. It's possible that the older vintage mirror lenses might be better than this one from Tokina but I don't think any mirror lens is necessarily as good as a regular telephoto. That said, mirror lenses do have their place and they can be very interesting and useful to use.

Thanks for pointing out that it is not just the genre, but the manufacturer! Or saving the money could be a “discount” toward a 100-400mm Fuji ;). But the spouse would not look at it that way, I’m sure.

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Jazz1
OP Jazz1 Contributing Member • Posts: 533
Re: Is the Tokina 400m f/8 Worth $249.00?

I found a good discussion that at least brings me up to speed on this kind of lens:

https://petapixel.com/2020/07/17/tokina-unveils-ultra-compact-400mm-f-8-mirror-lens-for-modern-cameras/

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JNR
JNR Veteran Member • Posts: 4,079
Re: Is the Tokina 400m f/8 Worth $249.00?
1

Jazz1 wrote:

https://photo-trend.de/en/tokina-400-mm-f-8-reflex-mf-telefoto-lens-en/

Maybe it is just Pandemic boredom, but I was hoping for $249.00 this lens might be fun to play around with. On the other hand that is a lot of craft beer cost equivalent

Then I think to way back when I had a Pentax K1000, and ME and I found myself attracted to the idea of a cheaper/longer telephoto lens over standard glass. After reading about all the drawbacks of this design I never purchased one for my Pentax film cameras.

I suppose I should just wait and read some reviews to see how well this design in 2020 on a Fujifilm camera.

I think your instincts from the Pentax days are the right idea. I had a cheap mirror lens way back when, as well. Probably a 500mm if I recall correctly. You need to be very careful with it because it is, essentially, a mirror telescope subject to alignment issues with little more than a soft knock.

Even aligned correctly, it will have that doughnut bokeh (not a problem for viewing the heavens) due to mirror in the middle.

There are some cheap, used slow 100-400 Canon mount manual focus lenses out there with f/6.3 or f/6.7 that will be optically better (at least in the bokeh category)... and bring in more light. Even with an adapter purchase (EF-FX) they'll cost you less and take more abuse.

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JNR

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Jazz1
OP Jazz1 Contributing Member • Posts: 533
Re: Is the Tokina 400m f/8 Worth $249.00?

I checked out the Tokina site with their lens demonstration pictures. Even with lower expectations based on the type of lens, I can't say I thought the pictures were great. Lots of pictures of flowers.

I'm not sure why I'd need a relatively huge telephoto reach for flowers:-P I suppose they do show examples for depth of field, bokeh, and definition. The very shallow depth of field might be a problem for me using manual focus.

Thank you all for the good advice, and reminders about the limitations for this type of lens, as well as alternatives. I don't want this GAS to give me actual "gas"

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Ringwraith69
Ringwraith69 Senior Member • Posts: 2,826
Re: Is the Tokina 400m f/8 Worth $249.00?

Jazz1 wrote:

I checked out the Tokina site with their lens demonstration pictures. Even with lower expectations based on the type of lens, I can't say I thought the pictures were great. Lots of pictures of flowers.

I'm not sure why I'd need a relatively huge telephoto reach for flowers:-P I suppose they do show examples for depth of field, bokeh, and definition. The very shallow depth of field might be a problem for me using manual focus.

Thank you all for the good advice, and reminders about the limitations for this type of lens, as well as alternatives. I don't want this GAS to give me actual "gas"

Indeed very odd that most sample pictures Tokina provides on its website are flower shots. Not really what most people would get a 400mm. lens for. But what these pictures also clearly show is the strong donut effect in the bokeh. In some of the shots that completely draws away attention from the main subject. It is common with mirror lenses, but it does seem véry present with the Tokina.

Sharpness and color look quite good in the flower shots, but the more obvious 400mm. shots (animals, people) look less impressive. As mirror lenses go, this doesn't appear to be too bad a specimen, but I'd hesitate to spend $ 250 on one...

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paulo menge Regular Member • Posts: 314
Re: Is the Tokina 400m f/8 Worth $249.00?

the mirror lens usually has no exceptional focus. and bokeh does not please everyone. depending on the background the result can be interesting. these photos were with the samyang 300mm mirror

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Jazz1
OP Jazz1 Contributing Member • Posts: 533
Re: Is the Tokina 400m f/8 Worth $249.00?
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paulo menge wrote:

the mirror lens usually has no exceptional focus. and bokeh does not please everyone. depending on the background the result can be interesting. these photos were with the samyang 300mm mirror

Thank you for the example pictures! I think I could live with everyone of them, with the exception of the small bird picture. The globe like bokeh really is distracting in that one picture. The others look good to me. I wonder under what circumstances the globe like bokeh manifests itself? Does a very busy background do this vs. a plainer background? I suppose there might even be circumstances where the “globe” thing might be good. I’d truly like to know what situations the busy, small background manifests itself for good or bad? Again, many thinks. I’m thinking about selling a kidney for the 100-400mm lens!

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paulo menge Regular Member • Posts: 314
Re: Is the Tokina 400m f/8 Worth $249.00?

all the bright spots, if blurred, become a small donut ... and in fact, I also think of the 100-400 ... just discouraged by the price ... thanks for looking at the photos

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TwoMetreBill Senior Member • Posts: 1,865
Re: Is the Tokina 400m f/8 Worth $249.00?
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For roughly the same money you can get the Tokina 150-500 f/5.6 and impress your friends too. I used one on a Panasonic GH1. Built like a tank too. Need to use a large rubber band or Velcro strap to keep the sliding hood in place.

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