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10-20-2011, 03:23 PM   #16
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I wouldn't pay much more than I would for a Tamron adaptall 300/2.8 with a PK-A adapter

10-21-2011, 12:43 AM - 2 Likes   #17
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Hi altovintner,

I currently own 3 different 300 f2.8 lenses in K mount (Tamron SP 300 f2.8 LD (IF) Adaptall 2 Model 60B, Sigma EX 300 f2.8 APO (IF), and a Pentax FA* 300 f2.8 ED (IF) ). I did a lot of research, and think I have a pretty good feel for this class of lens, even though I have no personal experience with this MF Tokina. I had to make my choices from a variety of information posted on the net, and using these same sources, Here's what I've found:

The old Photodo site rated the Tokina SD a 4.0 and the Tamron SP Adaptall 2 at 3.8 in their adjusted MTF scale. A 4.0 or better is considered superb, and few lenses from any mfg ever made this grade. Over 3.75 was considered Excellent, and I have some primes that scored in the mid 3's that I wouldn't part with. I've found these ratings to be pretty reliable, and never found a lens that either underperformed or over performed significantly compared to the scale. There were, of course those who disputed their ratings, but usually only to a degree that could be written off as sample variation. On this scale, the FA* 300/4.5 rated 4.0 and the F* 300/4.5 rated 3.9 in comparison. The FA* 300/2.8 was not rated, but I assure you it would be over 4.0.

SPLOSdb rates both the Tamron and Tokina MF 300/2.8s as (**) lenses, only exceeded by the (!) and (!!) ratings. This was an extensive database of Pentax lK mount lenses compiled by J Colwell, an Canadian Pentaxian up to 2004, and contains a wealth of information though it's a little dated at this time.

The Photozone user database doesn't rate the MF versions, but the AF versions are rated at 4.5 for the Tokina and 3.8 for the Tamron AF models, which I would assume are pretty close to the same optically as the MF versions. The Tamron was downgraded for more distortion (I would assume mostly color aberrations) and flare, so the LD glass in the Tamron was probably not quite as good as the SD glass in the Tokina. Also, the ratings are based only on full frame film, so there's a good possibility that the Tamron didn't do as well at the edges and corners, but that would be irrelevant on a crop sensored DSLR. My experience with the Tamron says that there are no problems with sharpness in this lens. My Sigma and Pentax AF models are noticeably sharper, but the Tamron definitely deserves to be in the same class if center sharpness wide open is the main judging criterion.

Usually in the Pro Lens class that all 300/2.8s fall into, High 3's in adjusted MTF are expected as a minimum, and I'd expect this lens to deliver excellent sharpness wide open, and would easily be good enough to use with quality TCs without much IQ degradation. Lenses in this class are made in small lots due to the very large elements, and usually hand assembled by only the best lens techs. There are usually very tight tolerances, and little variation from sample to sample. I can use my Tamron SP 300/2.8 with any of 3 different 1.4x TCs stacked on an F 1.7x Auto Focus Adapter with remarkable results at 714mm f6.7 and it is easily the least capable of my 3 300/2.8s.

Since 2 of these 3 ratings favor the Tokina by a small margin and the other rates them as equal, I'd venture to guess that the Tokina is slightly better than the Tamron, but pretty close. I'd take a chance on the lens if it's priced similarly. An EX Tamron is probably worth @ $800 USD (and you'd have to pay another@ $100 for a PK/A adapter -- and the lens + adapter will never be as solid as a lens with an integrated mount -- these lenses are big and put a lot of stress on the mount). I'd probably go $1000 to $1100 max for this Tokina (I'm reasonably frugal, but don't hesitate to pay for good glass). This is based totally on informed speculation. If you're not convinced, then go a max of $900. From the Tokinas I own, I'm pretty sure that it's at least as good as the Tamron optically, and very likely built a bit better. It's your call. . .

Scott
10-21-2011, 06:28 AM   #18
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Hello Scott. Your post is very well done and most informative. Thanks very much!
10-22-2011, 12:06 AM   #19
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The lens looks exactly like the Tokiona AT-X series. Check out the photodo review of the AT-X. A very good lens for little money. In a more popular mount or as original Tokina it is worth around $1000.

10-24-2011, 04:13 AM   #20
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FYI: the original auction ended with no one meeting the reserve, and a top bid of $760.

However, now it is up again, with a Buy-it-now of $760. Go to!

*NEW* RIKENON, TOKINA, PENTAX 300mm f/2.8 PRIME LENS MADE IN JAPAN | eBay
10-24-2011, 04:36 AM   #21
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*NEW* Rikenon, Tokina, Pentax 150-500mm f/5.6 Telephoto Lens Made in Japan | eBay

Here is another option from the same seller I have been watching both myself
10-24-2011, 05:58 AM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by hangman43 Quote
*NEW* Rikenon, Tokina, Pentax 150-500mm f/5.6 Telephoto Lens Made in Japan | eBay

Here is another option from the same seller I have been watching both myself
That one will go for less, and is a bit faster than the Sigma 150-500, but that max aperture tells me it won't work (well) with a Pentax AF 1.7x TC... and really the older Sigmas (even the 170-500) can be had with built-in AF for not much more.
10-24-2011, 07:14 AM   #23
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760 for the lens? Someone should jump on it quick.

10-24-2011, 07:55 AM   #24
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Well, everyone, I could not stand it and pulled the trigger on the $760 buy-it-now. As I type this, my fingers are shaking.

I will use it mostly for taking bird pics from my back deck where I have a fixed distance from the deck to a feeder. Will use my tripod and manually focus on the feeder and that should work ok.

In reading what few reviews there about the Tokina version, it seems that the lens does have some PF issues. But, my normal shooting angle (not shooting into the sun, etc.) so far has not produced PF with my 55-300 kit lens. Hence, I doubt that such issues will bother me. Besides I can spruce pics up in post processing if I want.

After I get it and take it out for a test drive, will post pics and my thoughts.

Thanks to all who have taken the time to post and provide me with assistance!
10-24-2011, 08:07 AM   #25
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Rock on, altovintner! Glad the 2.8 went to someone hereabouts.

Will be interested in your review and having it added to the database. Compared to your 55-300, you are now free to use teleconverters and have a 500 or 600mm f/5.6 (gulp).
10-24-2011, 08:11 AM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by panoguy Quote
Rock on, altovintner! Glad the 2.8 went to someone hereabouts.

Will be interested in your review and having it added to the database. Compared to your 55-300, you are now free to use teleconverters and have a 500 or 600mm f/5.6 (gulp).
Thanks Panoguy!

I do have a Tamron 1.4x TC that quite honestly is not satisfactory, in my eyes, on my kit 55-300. Can't wait to try it on my new beast when it arrives.

Again, thanks!
10-24-2011, 08:20 AM   #27
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Right now, with my 55-300 kit lens, I am able to take some decent bird shots. Nothing I would rate as magazine worthy, but not shabby.

Here are two, the first of which is a Steller's Jay at 260mm, f8, 1/250, ISO400, with PP. The second is a Junco, also at 260mm, f5.6, 1/200, ISO400, with PP.





Can't wait to see how the f2.8 lens pics work out.
10-24-2011, 08:30 AM   #28
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I'm glad you got that lens altovintner - I've been watching along closely. When I got on-line this morning and looked at this thread, I saw the news that the auction had ended without meeting the reserve, and put back up at $760 BIN. At that point I went to the auction and saw it was already sold - I would have pulled the trigger at $760.

But....I don't really need it as I just bought a Tamron SP 300 2.8.

I am in the same situation as you - been shooting at my bird feeders in winter on my deck with my DA 55-300 with some decent results, but wanted more detailed shots. So far with my test shots with my new lens I feel I've entered a whole new world of IQ and sharpness.

I'm sure you will enjoy your new lens as much as I do mine - I'm very happy to hear the lens will be in the hands of one of our forum members - looking forward to your thoughts when you receive it and try it out.
10-24-2011, 08:44 AM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by altovintner Quote
I do have a Tamron 1.4x TC that quite honestly is not satisfactory, in my eyes, on my kit 55-300.
It'll be like a whole different tc. You'll be amazed. You will still want to stop down a full stop, but at 600mm f8 I expect you will find a whole different level of lba waiting for you.

Nice work and congrats.
10-24-2011, 12:39 PM   #30
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Congratulations, I think we all are waiting for your first results.
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