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03-22-2014, 06:07 PM   #1
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Tokina 400mm 5.6 vs Fa-300 & 1.4X converter?

Love my FA 300mm but looking at getting either a Tokina 400mm 5.6, Tokina 80-400mm, or spend the $ and get a new 1.4X adapter for my FA. Anyone want to weigh in on the pros and cons?

03-22-2014, 07:40 PM   #2
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I have the Tokina 400/5.6 and it's a great lens. Remarkably light and compact for what it is, and great image quality. However, I had a bad experience with Tokina service. There's some dust and a little bit of fog inside the lens, I can't really tell what it is, but it doesn't seem to affect image quality. All the same, I'd like to have it cleaned and brought up to specs. I emailed the Tokina service facility, told them what I had and that I knew it was no longer manufactured, and could they still service it? I got a reply that said "Send it in". So I did, to the tune of $30 for insured UPS shipping. The lens came back in a week, with a note saying that they couldn't service it because it was no longer in production. WTF?

I tried to find someone else who would service it, and I'd still like to find someone, but no luck so far. They're very well made lenses and if you find one that's been cared for, maybe you'll never need service. But if you ever do need it,, you may be out of luck.
03-22-2014, 08:15 PM   #3
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Why not just purchase a regular TC (e.g., Vivitar 1.4X) and try it. Likely $15. for a used one. That should tell you what to expect. Different TC's have some effect--but from my experience (and what I read) not usually that much--and usually not on the resolution so much.

---------- Post added 03-22-14 at 08:17 PM ----------

Of course the cheap 1.4X TC will not have AF, etc, but that you know will be in the newer more costly TC.
03-22-2014, 08:29 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by dms Quote
Why not just purchase a regular TC (e.g., Vivitar 1.4X) and try it. Likely $15. for a used one. That should tell you what to expect. Different TC's have some effect--but from my experience (and what I read) not usually that much--and usually not on the resolution so much.

---------- Post added 03-22-14 at 08:17 PM ----------

Of course the cheap 1.4X TC will not have AF, etc, but that you know will be in the newer more costly TC.
Well thanks for the advice but I have used cheap and more expensive TC's. My question was really geared more towards the new $600 Pentax1.4X and whether the Tokina's or the FA + 1.4X would be a wiser choice. Don't think a $15 TC and that would be a very fair comparison

03-22-2014, 11:51 PM   #5
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While the new TC will be AF, etc. the resolution will be essentially the same as a $15. TC.

There are similar comparison between Nikon TC and 3rd party TC (I didn't go back to check which Nikon TC it was but likely $200 vs $20) and the difference was slightly higher contrast w/ Nikon TC. Reference is "Manual of Close Up Photography" by Lefkowitz.

I have seen similar comparing more costly tamron to vivtar.
03-23-2014, 08:25 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by dms Quote
While the new TC will be AF, etc. the resolution will be essentially the same as a $15. TC.

There are similar comparison between Nikon TC and 3rd party TC (I didn't go back to check which Nikon TC it was but likely $200 vs $20) and the difference was slightly higher contrast w/ Nikon TC. Reference is "Manual of Close Up Photography" by Lefkowitz.

I have seen similar comparing more costly tamron to vivtar.


Do you really think there is no difference between a $15 TC and the new $600 TC? Resolution wise?
03-23-2014, 08:40 AM   #7
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I've had the Tokina 400/5.6. It's a nice compact and inexpensive lens but not in the same league as the FA 300.
03-23-2014, 08:46 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by dadipentak Quote
I've had the Tokina 400/5.6. It's a nice compact and inexpensive lens but not in the same league as the FA 300.

I am not giving up my FA Just trying to get the best way to 400mm. I am considering also the Tokina 80-400mm for a little more versatility, but the 400mm prime is also available. Trying to decide if the 1.4X at $600 is the better way or another lens.

03-23-2014, 09:25 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by rwingsfan Quote
I am not giving up my FA Just trying to get the best way to 400mm. I am considering also the Tokina 80-400mm for a little more versatility, but the 400mm prime is also available. Trying to decide if the 1.4X at $600 is the better way or another lens.
Well, in the field, a lens + TC arrangement is way easier to work with than a 2-lens solution. Unless there's something magical in your head about 400mm, I'd recommend the FA 300 plus the AF 1.7 TC. IMHO that would give you more reach and better IQ than the Tokina 400.
03-23-2014, 10:29 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by dadipentak Quote
Well, in the field, a lens + TC arrangement is way easier to work with than a 2-lens solution. Unless there's something magical in your head about 400mm, I'd recommend the FA 300 plus the AF 1.7 TC. IMHO that would give you more reach and better IQ than the Tokina 400.


Hmmmmm....nothing really "magical" in my head about 400mm, just looking for a little reach. I have the 1.7 TC and I found no advantage other than being smaller, as I found IQ to be lacking quite a bit. I guess I have not been clear in what I am asking. I really want to know this, Tokina 400mm or NEW Pentax 1.4X at $600. So far the response I have gotten act as though this would be equivalent to a $15 converter. From what I have read so far is the NEW 1.4 does not degrade IQ much or at all. I think if that is the case that would be the better way to go. As far as carrying another lens, that is not really a issue.
03-23-2014, 11:38 AM   #11
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Hi rwingsfan,

I'm mainly a birder, so I shoot 300mm+ more than 90% of the time. With the FA* 300/4.5 (and 3 300mm/2.8s), I've never found a real need for a 400mm lens because I can get there with a good 1.4x TC (Tamron F 1.4x PZ MC4 or Sigma EX 1.4x APO). From what I've seen so far, the Pentax 1.4x AW might be slightly better IQ -wise than the third party 1.4xs, but any difference is probably at the pixel peeping level. If you can't take advantage of the AW, FL and aperture conversion, and SDM, I'd think it would be more practical to get a Tamron or Sigma AF 1.4x TC. They are very close to equivalent in IQ. The Sigma has an edge in build quality, and the Tamron/Kenko has a hair's edge in IQ, not enough to be significant IMO -- I use them interchageably. The Sigma does have a protruding front element, so is not physically as universally compatible as the Tamron/Kenko, but with the FA*300/4.5, either will work.

I wouldn't balk at the $600 price for a TC if the features justified getting one, but with only my non WR screw drive lenses and no really practical advantage other than FL conversion for SR, it's hard for me to justify purchasing a 1.4x AW. If I owned a DA* 300, or even a DA* 60-250, I'd get one, but I'm not considering one, at least at this time.

I've never thought there was a 400mm lens made for K mount that really justifies consideration for me (including the FA* 400/5.6). The FA* 300/4.5 + either of my 1.4x TCs (or the 1.7x AFA) is a better fit. If I'm going to carry multiple ultra tele class lenses, there has to be a convincing argument, and for me, I'd rather have the added versatility of a 300/2.8 than something roughly equivalent in FL, max aperture, and IQ to my FA* 300/4.5 + a TC.

FWIW, I own a Tokina 80-400 f4.5-5.6 and rarely use it. It's not as sharp at 400mm as the FA* + TC, and it's more of a handful to carry and use. I haven't found ultra tele zooms worth the extra weight, with the exception of the Sigma EX 100-300 f4. Even the Bigma (Sigma 50-500) a very good lens, is not as practical for me as I've found my FA* 300/4.5 + F1.7x AFA for 510mm f7.7 is a better alternative for me (this, and a K-3 is my every day carry around birding kit)

Of course, YMMV. . .my preferences are relatively unique due to my age and physical capabilities.

Scott
03-23-2014, 12:08 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by snostorm Quote
Hi rwingsfan,

I'm mainly a birder, so I shoot 300mm+ more than 90% of the time. With the FA* 300/4.5 (and 3 300mm/2.8s), I've never found a real need for a 400mm lens because I can get there with a good 1.4x TC (Tamron F 1.4x PZ MC4 or Sigma EX 1.4x APO). From what I've seen so far, the Pentax 1.4x AW might be slightly better IQ -wise than the third party 1.4xs, but any difference is probably at the pixel peeping level. If you can't take advantage of the AW, FL and aperture conversion, and SDM, I'd think it would be more practical to get a Tamron or Sigma AF 1.4x TC. They are very close to equivalent in IQ. The Sigma has an edge in build quality, and the Tamron/Kenko has a hair's edge in IQ, not enough to be significant IMO -- I use them interchageably. The Sigma does have a protruding front element, so is not physically as universally compatible as the Tamron/Kenko, but with the FA*300/4.5, either will work.

I wouldn't balk at the $600 price for a TC if the features justified getting one, but with only my non WR screw drive lenses and no really practical advantage other than FL conversion for SR, it's hard for me to justify purchasing a 1.4x AW. If I owned a DA* 300, or even a DA* 60-250, I'd get one, but I'm not considering one, at least at this time.

I've never thought there was a 400mm lens made for K mount that really justifies consideration for me (including the FA* 400/5.6). The FA* 300/4.5 + either of my 1.4x TCs (or the 1.7x AFA) is a better fit. If I'm going to carry multiple ultra tele class lenses, there has to be a convincing argument, and for me, I'd rather have the added versatility of a 300/2.8 than something roughly equivalent in FL, max aperture, and IQ to my FA* 300/4.5 + a TC.

FWIW, I own a Tokina 80-400 f4.5-5.6 and rarely use it. It's not as sharp at 400mm as the FA* + TC, and it's more of a handful to carry and use. I haven't found ultra tele zooms worth the extra weight, with the exception of the Sigma EX 100-300 f4. Even the Bigma (Sigma 50-500) a very good lens, is not as practical for me as I've found my FA* 300/4.5 + F1.7x AFA for 510mm f7.7 is a better alternative for me (this, and a K-3 is my every day carry around birding kit)

Of course, YMMV. . .my preferences are relatively unique due to my age and physical capabilities.

Scott
Thank you for a very precise and compelling addition. I am 57 now and weight can be a issue, but thats not the most important thing I was looking at. I have owned the Sigma 150-500mm and was never very impressed, while it was capable of pretty nice captures it was very off and on. I realize it was probably me more than the lens, but that baby weighed a ton handholding for very long. I am going to forget the Tokina's and concentrate on the 300's and TC's and work at getting better with them. I may trade up my FA to a DA and then the 1.4X may be a better option, but until then I'll use my trusty old 1.7 Promaster.
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