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02-18-2019, 07:52 AM   #1
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The battle of the Tokina zooms: which one to keep.

So not long ago I bought a Tokina SD 28-70mm f/3.5-4.5, a Tokina RMC 28-85mm f/4 and a Petri 50mm f/1.7 for a cheap 15 in total. Shortly after that though I got another bundle with a SMC M 200mm f/4, a SMC M 40-80mm f/2.8-4 and a lovely SMC M 50mm f/1.4 (along with a broken ME Super, but that's another story).
I now have way too many lenses and want to get rid of some of them, specially one of the Tokina zooms as they're very similar (at least on paper). The Petri is clearly going away as well.
Do you have any experiences between both zoom lenses? I have read decent reviews about the 28-70, but I haven't found almost anything on the 28-85 (there are some reviews of the AT-X version, but that's another lens, which doesn't have the constant aperture).
I personally love the feeling of the 28-85, it is solid and well built, with internal focus and a constant f/4 aperture. But I really don't know if the image quality it delivers is better than the one from the 28-70, so I'd appreciate your input on which one to sell and which one to keep (or even sell both if they're rubbish, although I like having the 28-40mm range).

02-18-2019, 08:24 AM - 1 Like   #2
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Too many lenses? How can a person have too many lenses? LBA is not my friend.
02-18-2019, 09:07 AM - 2 Likes   #3
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Between the effects of copy variations, the insults of aging, and subjective opinion about "rendering" or "handling," it would be almost impossible for anyone to say that your copy of the 28-70 is better than your copy of the 28-85 for your style of photography. Even if most people say lens A is better than lens B, your copies of the lenses may be different in your opinion.

Moreover, you may well be the first person in history of high-resolution digital photography to own both of these two lenses at the same time.

So take both lenses out and do a little side-by-side shooting. Point them both at a brick wall to test distortion and field flatness. Point them both at the night sky or distant city lights to test coma. Point them at some nearby flowers to see how they handle minimum focus. Point it at some mid-distance stuff with foreground and background out of focus to check bokeh and OOF rendering. Do a little pixel-peeping at home and see what you think. Not only will you learn which lens you like but you'll also develop your own process for checking out a new-old lens to see if it's worth keeping. You might even discover that the Petri 50/1.7 has some nice properties that are not obvious from the specs.
02-18-2019, 09:10 AM   #4
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What body are you using them on? Film or digital, APS-C or FF?

For some reason I've found over the years that I have a strong dislike for manual focus zooms. especially ones without a constant aperture. For that reason alone I'd probably ditch the SD 28-70, however it is worth thinking if it will actually return enough cash to actually be worth selling though. I'm not the best for advice however, as I have 50+ K mount lenses and only use a fraction of them!

02-18-2019, 09:12 AM   #5
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Just use the arithmetic. Range 28-85 is bigger than 28-70. So if everything other is the same 28-85 should win.
02-18-2019, 09:21 AM - 1 Like   #6
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Have you tried setting up on a tripod in good light outdoors and taking a series of shots with both lenses? I'd shoot several different f stops starting wide open at selected focal lengths to get a feel for how they perform as you stop them down. It might be really obvious once you are looking at the exact same shot side by side. Part of my LBA manifestation is to shoot a series of the front of my house with most new lens acquisitions. Shows up edge sharpness, contrast, purple fringing, distortion, all sorts of stuff. Now, as far as too many lenses. Not even close. There are eight alone on the table top about me, and that's not counting the three attached to camera bodies...
02-18-2019, 09:32 AM - 1 Like   #7
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Given that you have the lenses in question "in hand", the choice should be relatively simple.
  • Which give the desired results?
  • Of the above ^ ^ ^, which do you use?
  • Of the above ^ ^ ^, which has the best condition, handling, build, and ease of use?
  • If the answer to any of the above is "I don't know", it's time to spend more time shooting.
Let us know which lens(es) win out and how they made the grade.


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02-18-2019, 10:01 AM - 2 Likes   #8
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if it were me, I'd shoot each one for a month and compare the results...

02-18-2019, 04:16 PM   #9
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I'm really sorry, I guess I've forgotten to write the most important thing: I'm only shooting film Pentax bodies (SFXn and the mentioned dead ME Super). I wish I was shooting digital in this case, as the testing would be way more easy, but I don't want to waste film just with test shots though, so that's why at this point I would consider other people's opinions on the lenses... I personally feel like the 28-85 is way more sturdy and "pro feeling" (as pro as such a lens can feel) as the wimpy 28-70 and prefer holding it, but the fact that there's almost no info available on the 28-85 whatsoever makes me a bit suspicious...

---------- Post added 02-18-19 at 04:21 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by catfishjohn Quote
Too many lenses? How can a person have too many lenses? LBA is not my friend.
I couldn't agree more but I've also bought an Olympus OM1 and I am going to use that system until I can afford to repair the ME Super, so I want to invest a little bit on Olympus lenses at the expense of my "most crappy" K mount lenses (I know I shouldn't be writing that stuff here in Pentax heaven, but I like to be honest).

---------- Post added 02-18-19 at 04:27 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by niblue Quote
What body are you using them on? Film or digital, APS-C or FF?

For some reason I've found over the years that I have a strong dislike for manual focus zooms. especially ones without a constant aperture. For that reason alone I'd probably ditch the SD 28-70, however it is worth thinking if it will actually return enough cash to actually be worth selling though. I'm not the best for advice however, as I have 50+ K mount lenses and only use a fraction of them!
I agree on the constant aperture; its my main preference point for the 28-85, and yeah, I think if I sell the 28-70 I might get 15-20, which isn't very much, but I'd rather invest them together with what I get from the Petri on saving for other lenses or buying a compact body for my Olympus collection than having a lens dusting on a shelf... I have to set for the record that I'm a student, so I don't want to have things lying around that could bring me some money (if I don't plan on using them).

---------- Post added 02-18-19 at 04:33 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by clickclick Quote
[] Now, as far as too many lenses. Not even close. There are eight alone on the table top about me, and that's not counting the three attached to camera bodies...
Oh yeah, my bad, I meant "too many lenses" for me atm, as I don't have neither the space at home nor the financial freedom to just accumulate all the lenses I find. I do suffer from GAS and LBA, so as soon as I finish studying I hope I find a big enough cabinet for all the lenses and bodies I may find
02-19-2019, 06:30 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by DFJorquera Quote
Oh yeah, my bad, I meant "too many lenses" for me atm, as I don't have neither the space at home nor the financial freedom to just accumulate all the lenses I find. I do suffer from GAS and LBA, so as soon as I finish studying I hope I find a big enough cabinet for all the lenses and bodies I may find
OK, good - sounds like we had a close call there. Just so you know, with your PF membership comes a quick LBA relief kit. Any time you think you have enough lenses, go check out the sample photo section. Guaranteed to straighten you out and add two more "must haves" to the list.
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