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08-12-2010, 05:20 PM   #1
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Tokina AF 35-70mm f/3.5-4.6

Anyone here ever have a Tokina AF 35-70mm f/3.5-4.6 zoom?
How does it compare to the Pentax-F 35-70mm f/3.5-4.5 lens?

TIA,
Chris

08-24-2010, 05:49 PM   #2
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First impressions

I have owned the very good Pentax lens but decided to take a chance on the like-new Tokina.

I was surprised how much larger the Tokina lens is; length and width are both almost 70mm.
But the Tokinas zoom collar is wider and has a far better gripping surface than the Pentax lens.
The manual focus collar is very narrow and a PITA to use. AF function and noise is on par with the Pentax.
Lens focuses down to 2.6 feet. The so-called macro function will get you down to 1.4 feet at 1:5.4

I'll use it for some photos when I get my MZ-3 back from repair. Will report back then...

Chris
08-25-2010, 03:06 PM   #3
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thank you for sharing your observations. what about sharpness? waiting for your next comments here.
09-24-2010, 08:56 PM   #4
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How's the lens, Chriss? Tempted to get one off ebay.

07-03-2011, 05:03 PM   #5
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I just picked up this Tokina lens for a SONG on ebay. I will post a full review shortly. It has its quirks, but I think I really like it.

Charles.
07-03-2011, 06:35 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by ChopperCharles Quote
I just picked up this Tokina lens for a SONG on ebay. I will post a full review shortly. It has its quirks, but I think I really like it.

Charles.
I'd be very interested in reading your thoughts.
07-04-2011, 04:05 AM   #7
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koristio sam na k-x pentax F35-70/3,5-4,5 i to je mali biser: oštar+brzi/točan fokus+boje,moja preporuja
07-04-2011, 09:22 PM - 1 Like   #8
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Review of Tokina AF 35-70mm f3.5-4.6 Macro

I didn't see this lens in the database, so I'm posting my review of the Tokina AF 35-70mm f3.5-4.6 Macro here.

First off, a photo of the lens:



I picked up this little jem off of eBay, with an immaculate Pentax SF10 body, for $41. I do not believe the lens had ever been used. The zoom ring was EXTREMELY tight, to the point I thought it was stuck, and there wasn't a speck of dust, a fingerprint, nothing. It was in a ziplock bag, and probably had been for years. Since i've been using it, it has loosened up and now feels very good.

As I'm doing this review, I'll be comparing against my Tamron 28-75mm f2.8. Not a completely fair comparison, as the Tamron is a $400 lens and "sharp as a bag of primes" (or so has been said on this forum). But it's the only lens I have in that range to compare with.


This lens is constructed very well, and feels great in your hand. It has a metal bayonet, and it's a full-frame lens. The zoom ring is stiff but not uncomfortably so, and because of that there is no zoom creep. There is not a regular manual focus ring like you expect. Instead, in MF mode you rotate the very leading edge of the lens body, which has a distance range printed on it. It's not textured like a focusing ring, it just feels like you're rotating the front element itself. It's a little awkward but you get the hang of it quickly. 90 degrees from infinity to close. It takes 52mm filters and lens cap. The front element rotates when focusing, and there is no provision for a bayonet-style hood to attach. You'll have to get a metal or rubber round screw-in hood - since the front element rotates while focusing you can't use a petal style hood, and using polarizers is rather annoying. The zoom ring rotates in the pentax direction, as does the focusing "ring". - note, I just received a Pentax 35-70mm, and the focusing ring is very similar to that, just without the texture.

Like the Pentax of the same focal length, this lens sports a macro mode at 70mm. When you rotate the zoom ring to 70mm it hits a stop. You can then rotate it further past 70mm, and the front of the lens extends slightly. In this mode it will focus closer, but will no longer focus to infinity. The minimum focusing distance is 24 inches between 35mm and 70mm, and 12 inches in the 70mm Macro mode. This is really unfortunate, the Pentax 35-70 has a minimum focus distance of 8 inches in macro mode, and the Tamron focuses at 6 inches without a dedicated macro mode. A nice thing though, you focus the Tokina at 70mm and then zoom out, the focus is unchanged. That might be useful to some.

The Tokina is 2 3/4 inches long, or 3 1/4 inches fully extended at 35mm. It's 2 1/2 inches in diameter, and it weighs 11.6oz. (the Tamron f2.8 is 3.5 inches long or 5 inches fully extended at 75mm, is 2 3/4 inches in diameter and weighs 1lb 2oz)

The lens hunts in low light, especially at 70mm, and the viewfinder is noticably dimmer than the Tamron f2.8 (which is to be expected)

Autofocus is blazingly fast, but if you're too close to your subject, or try to focus to infinity while in macro mode, the lens will hit the stops quite loudly. The tamron seems to softly hit the stops, while this Tokina almost bounces off of them. It feels like the Tokina focuses faster than the Tamron, but I haven't run any real tests.

Now, for what you care about: Sharpness. This little lens is a solid performer. Tests on a static target indicate it's sharper at 70mm than at 35mm, and very slightly sharper in the 70mm macro mode. It's not quite as sharp as the Tamron at any aperture. Every single time the Tamron beats it... but once you hit f5.6, not by much. In real world tests, I actually get a ton of in-focus sharp as hell images with this lens, even wide open. Images just pop, with good color and contrast, and it's easy to get good images out of this lens. It seems sometimes I have to work for good in-focus, sharp shots from my Tamron. Here's an example:

ISO 200, f5.6 @ 70mm:


This lens has one strange quirk. Bokeh. Under certian conditions you'll get ring-shaped specular highlights, just like a mirror lens. The bokeh isn't particularly pleasing either, it's rather harsh and at times has a doubled effect, which is also not unlike a mirror lens' bokeh. For example, in the following photo you can see the tree in the upper right hand side has odd specular highlights, and the tent on the left shows the double ghost effect.

ISO 100 f5.6 @ 60mm: (note the hairs on his ear and the fuzz on his shirt!)


As I was writing this review, I received a Pentax 35-70mm f3.5-4.5 in the mail. It has a ton of fungus inside, and I don't have time to clean it and compare it as well, but I can compare the physical differences. It too has a metal bayonet, but the zoom ring is loose and sloppy and sticks a little as it moves. The focusing ring is similar to the Tokina, but textured, and is also 90 degrees from stop to stop. It also has a front element that rotates as the lens focuses, and no provision for a bayonet-style hood. It is smaller and lighter than the Tokina, but from build quality and feel alone I much prefer the Tokina. Once I clean the fungus out I'll do a comparison between them.

Overall, I really like this Tokina lens. It's a solid performer, it's a pleasure to shoot with, and I dunno, I just like it. It's much easier lens to walk around with than the Tamron, because it's considerably smaller (especially at 70mm), and it's nearly half a pound lighter. It's sharp and easy to use. And it was dirt cheap on eBay... the only caveat is it appears to be a relatively rare lens. I've not seen any others on eBay, and there's not even an entry for it in the reviews section. Overall, I highly recommend this lens.

Here's a chart comparing the lenses I have:

Tokina 35-70mm f3.5-4.6 Macro
  • Length: 2.75"
  • Extended Length: 3.25"
  • Diameter: 2.5"
  • Weight: 11.6 oz
  • Min focus (reg): 24"
  • Min focus (macro): 12"
  • Focus ring throw 90 deg
  • Front Element Rotates: yes
  • Aperture blades: 6

Tamron 28-75mm f2.8
  • Length: 3.5"
  • Extended Length: 5"
  • Diameter: 2.75"
  • Weight: 1lb 2oz
  • Min focus (reg): 6"
  • Min focus (macro): n/a
  • Focus ring throw 70 deg
  • Front Element Rotates: NO
  • Aperture blades: 7

Pentax SMC-F 35-70mm f3.5-4.5
  • Length: 2"
  • Extended Length: 3"
  • Diameter: 2.5"
  • Weight: 8.2 oz
  • Min focus (reg): 24"
  • Min focus (macro): 8"
  • Focus ring throw 90 deg
  • Front Element Rotates: yes
  • Aperture blades: 6

Visual size comparison:



Charles


Last edited by ChopperCharles; 07-05-2011 at 10:02 PM. Reason: Added num of aperture blades to table
07-05-2011, 04:39 AM   #9
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This review certainly deserves a spot in the review section. The administrator can create an entry for this lens.
Thank you for your work. Very nice result!
07-05-2011, 05:46 AM   #10
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If I had to give it a score between 1 and 10, I'd go 8. If the front element didn't rotate, or the highlights weren't ring-shaped, or it focused closer, or it was faster, it would get a 9. It's a pleasure to use this lens, I really do like it. It's my new walkaround lens for daylight. The Tamron is a great lens, but it's just so damn big and heavy.

I cleaned most of the fungus out of the Pentax 35-70 last night (stayed up WAAY too late doing it), but I need to find a tool to remove the inside element to get the rest. Then a couple more days to get off my bum and do a comparison!

Charles.

Last edited by ChopperCharles; 07-05-2011 at 06:47 AM.
07-05-2011, 06:17 AM   #11
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Stellar review, sir! Thank you so much for taking the time & effort.
07-05-2011, 10:24 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by ChopperCharles Quote
The front element rotates when focusing, and there is no provision for a bayonet-style hood to attach. You'll have to get a metal or rubber round screw-in hood - since the front element rotates while focusing you can't use a petal style hood, and using polarizers is rather annoying.
If you look carefully, there is actually a groove built into the front of the lens for the Tokina SH522 hood, which attached/detaches easily and can be reverse mounted on the lens.

I recently picked up the Tokina 28-70mm f/2.8-4.5 SD AF lens, and besides the improved aperture range in a lens about the same size, it adds a textured focus ring and a distance scale inside a little window on the lens body. It didn't come with a hood, but in the US you can still get some Tokina parts from THK Products, which also operates a web store, where I found the SH522 for $24. I didn't end up ordering it from the web store though, because I noticed during checkout that the web session wasn't HTTPS encrypted and I wasn't about to send my credit card data unencrypted over the internet. I contacted THK via email about the issue, didn't hear back, so after a few days I called them up and placed an order over the phone. While the SH522 won't help much when using polarizers, I find it very handy that it reverse mounts.
07-06-2011, 07:01 AM   #13
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Interesting. You sure that hood will fit the 35-70 too? Found it even cheaper here: Tokina | Sh-522 Lens Hood | SH522 | Tri-State Camera, Video, and Computer

Charles.
07-06-2011, 07:19 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by ChopperCharles Quote
Interesting. You sure that hood will fit the 35-70 too?
If the filter thread is 52mm, the hood will fit. Take a look at the lens - if there's a groove the full circumference of the lens just below where a filter screws in, it takes an SH522 hood.

All the manual and AF Tokina lenses of that era took hoods in the SH series, some lenses came with them, some didn't (though Tokina usually mentions which is the matched hood on the box). From what I can tell, the naming scheme seems to break down something like this:

S - for Slip-on maybe? you pinch the sides to retract the clips and slip it on and off
H - Hood
5 \
2 / 52mm (i.e. front filter thread)
2 - series 2 (i.e. they just seem to increment with each lens model)

So for instance the Tokina SH521 is for their 70-210mm f/4.5-5.6 lens, which is quite a different length hood because it's designed for a minimal focal length of 70mm, even though it's for the same 52mm sized lens front.

In some of the Tokina AT-X lenses from that era, they have MH series hoods, where I think the M stands for Metal, and those hoods screw in to the front filter threads. And then later Tokina introduced their BH series hoods, or Bayonet hoods, which easily twist lock on and off.
11-02-2011, 09:56 PM   #15
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hey... how do I get this review to actually go into the reviews section?

Charles
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