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08-07-2009, 07:37 PM   #1
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Any experience on Tokina AT-X SD 80-200mm f/2.8

I bought this lens in Marketplace and my first impressions are so-so as I see soft images in wide open aperture in f/2.8 especially in the 200mm end. I wrote about my initial findings in Tokina AT-X 80-200mm SD f/2.8. When stopped down properly the lens is quite good.



1/500 sec, f/8.0, 180mm, iso 100, 0 Ev



I was initially disappointed with its sharpness in f/2.8 aperture. It is a MF lens with A aperture.

And then I put it to the test in two low light shootings: one in a Circus indoor and one in a baseball game at night. Both are challenging in lighting. I found the lens doing quite well at night. When I stopped down to f/4.0, I see little to no sharpness issues. I do test out the lens in f/2.8, it is not the sharpest by any means but reasonable to use along with high ISO to freeze motion when needed.



#1
1/125 sec, f/4.0, 85mm, iso 800, -0.3 Ev



#2
1/200 sec, f/2.8, 75mm, iso 1000, -0.3 Ev



#3
1/160 sec, f/4.0, 85mm, iso 1000, -0.3 Ev



#4
1/500 sec, f/4.0, 180mm, iso 800, 0 Ev



#5
1/400 sec, f/4.0, 180mm, iso 400, 0 Ev



#6
1/500 sec, f/4.0, 180mm, iso 2000, 0 Ev



#7
getting dark towards the 8th inning
1/320 sec, f/2.8, 180mm, iso 2500, O Ev


#8
1/400 sec, f/2.8, 180mm, iso 2500, 0 Ev


Anyone with experience of this lens, does it look like a keeper to you? I wonder how it compares to Tamron SP 80-200mm f/2.8 in adaptall-2 mount or something similar.

Thanks,
Hin


Last edited by hinman; 09-11-2009 at 01:11 PM.
08-07-2009, 07:44 PM   #2
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A net in between me and the baseball field

There is actually a net in between my camera and the baseball field. I shot the field with my DA 10-17 fisheye



taken with Pentax DA 10-17 f/3.5-4.5 fisheye
1/30 sec, f/4.5, 17mm, iso 800m, 0 Ev


And I used the fisheye for the fireworks after the game. The DA fisheye is an amazing lens, PF is an issue but I still highly recommend it for the fun factor.




Last edited by hinman; 08-07-2009 at 07:58 PM.
08-08-2009, 06:07 PM   #3
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I had one for a while but shortly after I got it I got a good deal on a Tamron 80-200 adaptall2 which I liked and used from than on. I had the same problem as you, not very sharp wide open and also not to much contrast - especially compared to the tamron (there is a comparison on adaptall-2.com which says about the same). But than since I only intended to use it for low light shots sharpness wasn't this important for me since a lot of sharpness is lost by high iso and shake/movement anyway (pretty much what you see, too). If you can get a Tamron it is definitively worth replacing imo.

I also wanted to use it with a teleconverter for birds- but that did not work well.
08-08-2009, 10:08 PM   #4
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I have this lens and use it on my film Canon F1N.

I agree that it fairly sharp at F4 and narrower. The Canon zoom at the same fl range is a bit better (and much lighter). However it is my sharpest 80-200 zoom lens at f2.8 and the only.

I used it when i needed the extra speed. It was also easier to focus.

08-08-2009, 10:11 PM   #5
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From these examples, I would say you have a sharp lens.
Even the wide open example you gave is very sharp at this image size and produces very acceptable results.
Thanks for sharing these.
08-09-2009, 07:36 PM   #6
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Thank you for all the valuable inputs. With more test shots, the lens seems good in the shorter end of the zoom. I tested the lens initially at 200mm f/2.8 with casual shots the first time and I am not impressed with the sharpness. I should have used a tripod to be sure as the lens is bit heavy for hand-holding for long duration.

I tend to use the 180mm in the long end in my 2nd shooting. The lens, though may have some pitfalls in the long end, have very good color and sharpness especially when stopped down a bit and its strength lie more in the shorter end. I see improved sharpness in 150 to 180mm as compared to 200mm.

I think it is lighter than the Tamron SP adaptall-2 equivalent. The tripod ring is easy to use. The focusing ring is top-notch for precision and quick focusing. No zoom creep in this one-touch zoom. In the shooting with the baseball game, I used my tripod as a monopod with the legs collapsed to help the shot. I will need to re-test the long end with tripod to minimize mistakes from user error.


#9
1/80 sec, f/4.0, 100mm, iso 200, -0.3 Ev



#10
1/200 sec, f/2.8, 75mm, iso 640, -0.3 Ev


08-10-2009, 11:20 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by chse Quote
I had one for a while but shortly after I got it I got a good deal on a Tamron 80-200 adaptall2 which I liked and used from than on. I had the same problem as you, not very sharp wide open and also not to much contrast - especially compared to the tamron (there is a comparison on adaptall-2.com which says about the same). But than since I only intended to use it for low light shots sharpness wasn't this important for me since a lot of sharpness is lost by high iso and shake/movement anyway (pretty much what you see, too). If you can get a Tamron it is definitively worth replacing imo.

I also wanted to use it with a teleconverter for birds- but that did not work well.
Hi Hin,

I'll second chse's opinion here. I had a brief try of the Tokina, but found the Tamron to perform better optically. I mostly use the Tamron with the P F 1.7x AFA, and it works pretty well for me. It's one of the few zooms that really stands up to TC use IMO. I didn't compare them side by side though. . .

Scott
08-10-2009, 06:26 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by snostorm Quote
Hi Hin,

I'll second chse's opinion here. I had a brief try of the Tokina, but found the Tamron to perform better optically. I mostly use the Tamron with the P F 1.7x AFA, and it works pretty well for me. It's one of the few zooms that really stands up to TC use IMO. I didn't compare them side by side though. . .

Scott
Thank you for the comment. The report in adaptall-2.com about comparing 30A with the Tokina lens that I have are all in agreement with your's and that of Chse's assessment.

It is difficult to find a sale on the Tamron SP 80-200mm f/2.8 (30A) and I recall the weight is about 3 lbs as in 47.9oz and I believe the Tokina is less but not by much. I will report back when I measure its true weight. The AF version of the tokina weights about the same as the Tamron SP 80-200mm f/2.8 adaptall-2 30A and I would assume my MF will weight less. One advantage (or disadvantage) of the Tokina is working with Pentax digital bodies without the need of a pk-a adapter.

Now that I see the comparison in detail and more user assessment, I have the thought of trading in for the Tamron 30A. And I always wonder if the latest Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 and the equivalent in Sigma with HSM and AF compares to the Tamron SP 30A.

Thanks for the inputs,
Hin

08-13-2009, 02:30 AM   #9
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I also have this lens, its soft wide open, also the contrast is not that great, stoping down improves it. mainly i think this is more of a portrait lens, this lens can take beautiful portraits.
still I avoid using it on the higher end of the zoom. Also CA is an issue even at f4
08-13-2009, 07:27 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by madhurvyas Quote
I also have this lens, its soft wide open, also the contrast is not that great, stoping down improves it. mainly i think this is more of a portrait lens, this lens can take beautiful portraits.
still I avoid using it on the higher end of the zoom. Also CA is an issue even at f4
Thank you for the input especially on Portraits uses.


Source from Tamraon adaptall-2 comparing the Tokina with Tamron SP 80-200mm f/2.8 adaptall-2 30A. There are some areas as in f/4.0 f/5.6 in the shorter end as in 135mm that the Tokina does quite well.


But in the long end, the Tokina does poorly relative to the Tamron equivalent especially in corner contrast in 200mm f/2.8. I think the shared experience confirm the finding. But I would say that the lens has various good spots to be useful. The center resolution is quite good when stopped down in 135mm. And I am hopeful that lens will work well for portraits as suggested.

Thanks,
Hin

Last edited by hinman; 08-13-2009 at 07:55 PM.
08-14-2009, 02:09 AM   #11
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Even the contrast figures for the tokina are low.
sharpness is not much big difference (atleast the numbers, dont know how they relate)
08-15-2009, 01:34 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by hinman Quote
Thank you for the input especially on Portraits uses.


Source from Tamraon adaptall-2 comparing the Tokina with Tamron SP 80-200mm f/2.8 adaptall-2 30A. There are some areas as in f/4.0 f/5.6 in the shorter end as in 135mm that the Tokina does quite well.

But in the long end, the Tokina does poorly relative to the Tamron equivalent especially in corner contrast in 200mm f/2.8. I think the shared experience confirm the finding. But I would say that the lens has various good spots to be useful. The center resolution is quite good when stopped down in 135mm. And I am hopeful that lens will work well for portraits as suggested.
Hi Hin,

Consider that these charts are for 135 film. The corner sharpness/contrast figures can be irrelevant to APS-C DSLR use because of the sensor crop. I think that the Tokina's overall optical performance is probably closer to the Tamron when this is taken into account.

Personally, I find this class of lens a bit big and intimidating for portraits, but of course, YMMV. I like the FL range for candids, and usually use a little less FL, center the subject to take advantage of the lens's sweet spot for resolution, then crop for composition. Luckily, the K20/K7 14.6MP sensor allows for significant cropping without sacrificing a lot in IQ. I'm sure that purists will consider this cheating, but I have no problem taking whatever advantage I can from the features of the camera.

Scott
08-27-2009, 03:50 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by snostorm Quote
Hi Hin,

Consider that these charts are for 135 film. The corner sharpness/contrast figures can be irrelevant to APS-C DSLR use because of the sensor crop. I think that the Tokina's overall optical performance is probably closer to the Tamron when this is taken into account.
This is comforting to know. And I think the lens is pretty good for what it is.

QuoteQuote:
Personally, I find this class of lens a bit big and intimidating for portraits, but of course, YMMV. I like the FL range for candids, and usually use a little less FL, center the subject to take advantage of the lens's sweet spot for resolution, then crop for composition. Luckily, the K20/K7 14.6MP sensor allows for significant cropping without sacrificing a lot in IQ. I'm sure that purists will consider this cheating, but I have no problem taking whatever advantage I can from the features of the camera.

Scott
If I have a monopod, I think the lens will be easier to use for portrait but any tripod/monopod will make a hindrance to framing. When money fund is available, I wish to upgrade my Tokina 80-200mm f/2.8 to the AF equivalent in Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 or the Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 with HSM. I personally like the Tamron a bit more but for my potential use in upcoming opportunity in shooting Soccer team, I may choose the Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 for faster AF.

Thanks,
Hin
09-03-2009, 12:04 PM   #14
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I happened to use the lens for portraits shooting in a music event

Blog post: Music On the Green with Kate Earl

I brought two lens to the event using the Pentax DA* 50-135mm f/2.8 at first and soon switched to Tokina 80-200mm due to the extra reach.

The color and contrast are more appealing in the DA* but the Tokina is not too bad. I used mostly in the range of aperture in f/5.6 to f/8.0. Sharpness seems reasonable although I shot all hand-holding the lens. The shutter speed is over 1/200 sec and I find the lens good in the event for portraits. Some purple fringes can easily be spotted even in f/6.3 but I still like the pictures.



All with Tokina AT-X SD 80-200mm f/2.8

#1
1/500 sec, f/6.3, 180mm, iso 160, +0 Ev



#2
1/250 sec, f/6.3, 180mm, iso 160, +0.3 Ev



#3
1/250 sec, f/6.3, 180mm, iso 200, 0 Ev


I am in the process of deciding whether to upgrade this zoom to the Tamron adaptall-2 equivalent or the Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 with HSM. I plan to use either this lens or the replacement for Soccer game shooting. My friend has requested help from me and my gear may be a bit of challenge for sports. For the music event on still pictures, the lens does reasonably well unless I pixel peep the detail.

What do you think? Is the upgrade to Tamron adaptall-2 80-200mm f/2.8 worth a try? And do I expect much better results with the Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 with HSM.

Thanks,
Hin

Last edited by hinman; 09-30-2009 at 10:27 AM.
09-30-2009, 10:26 AM   #15
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I sold this Tokina AT-X 80-200mm f/2.8 in the marketplace and make few new friends in the sale. I still think that the Tokina is a reputable lens to be considered. The weight and size is pretty much hand-holdable. Last I remember I weight it about 2 lb 7.7 oz with the hood but not the tripod collar base.

And I almost lost the tripod collar base which is re-movable from the lens barrel. It is critical to keep the tripod collar and I find it very easy and sturdy to use. Here are the pictures of the base and the collar ring is fixed on the lens barrel


#1 tripod collar ring is fixed on lens barrel



#2 tokina tripod collar base
is small and easy to be mis-placed


#3 When mounted on lens


I actually have another Tokina SD 400mm f/5.6 that share the same tripod ring and base. And when I sold my Tokina AT-X SD 80-200mm f/2.8, I found that I lost the base and I quickly found my copy of the base from my 400mm so that my buyer has a complete setup.


Now my questions for help:
do any Tokina users know where to find the collar base as show in the #2 picture above?

Thanks,
Hin
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