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12-24-2009, 01:39 AM   #1
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Tokina 80-400mm lens worth?

I've been thinking of getting a longer tele for birding and have been impressed by the Sigma 50-500 (esp for the price). I currently have the first edition of the Tokina 80-400 AF (without tripod mount) and wondered what this lens might go for on ebay or similar. I can't seem to pull up any data through searching for completed listings nor google. Any thoughts on how much this lens might help me out toward the purchase of the Sigma?

Thanks.


Michael

12-24-2009, 10:16 AM   #2
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There's an excellent condition tokina 80-400 for sony on ebay for $350 and new for nukon and canon for $500. That should give you some idea.

PentaxForums.com Third-Party Pentax Lens Review Database - AT-X 80-400mm F1: 4.5-5.6
12-24-2009, 10:56 AM   #3
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I picked mine up in the Market place for around $350 before shipping. Mine behaves pretty much as specified in the lens review linked by ivoire. Do you find that yours has a very soft focus at infinity much past 370 mm or so?

I like the size of this lens and the range, I just wish was sharper at the long end. That said I've been eyeballing the Sigma 50-500mm as well. The test shots I've seen on the Bigma show it to be a little soft on the long end as well, but not as much as the Tokina. I'm considering renting the Sigma to put it though it's paces.

Last edited by tybeck; 12-24-2009 at 11:02 AM.
12-25-2009, 11:19 AM   #4
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Thanks, Ivoire; that does help. I hadn't found anything worthwhile through google. I know the lens is older but it's also a zoom that I read others want, so figured it might help get me the Sigma.

tybeck; I don't see any 'marked' softness at 400, just a 'not as sharp as I want' sort of thing. I love the size and can carry it around all day, but for birding, I'm starting to feel it's not either long and/or sharp enough. Pics I've seen here and on the net seem to show a level upgrade of sharpness when using the Sigma. It's going to probably need the mono/tripod a lot more often than the Tokina, but since I go hunting for bird pics a lot more than other types of photography, I figure it will be worth the extra bulk. Thanks for replying.


Michael

12-25-2009, 01:57 PM   #5
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I got 280 Euros for my first generation Tokina 80-400, which seems to be in the usual range. It was in Like New condition, as I only used it for a couple of test shots and then it laid in the cupboard for years.

Ben
12-25-2009, 02:01 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by tybeck Quote
I like the size of this lens and the range, I just wish was sharper at the long end. That said I've been eyeballing the Sigma 50-500mm as well. The test shots I've seen on the Bigma show it to be a little soft on the long end as well, but not as much as the Tokina. I'm considering renting the Sigma to put it though it's paces.
I had the same experience with my Tokina - which was the reason I never really used it and sold it finally. The Bigma I bought is an altogether much better lens. The "softness" at the long end is usually user-induced, aka the result of being out of focus, even slightly. When the focus is spot on, the contrast is good enough and can easily be further enhanced in pp without showing telltale artefacts.

Ben
12-27-2009, 02:56 PM   #7
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Ben_Edict. Thanks for the input. I think you've convinced me to take the Bigma for a spin.

I took some extensive test shots to compare the Tokina to some of my other zooms using a tripod and cable release. I've seen plenty of Bigma shots at similar focal lenghts and apertures that are much clearer. Once I sift through the series some more I should post more detailed results. From the shots, the Tokina the lens behaves like it can't focus at infinity. You have to step down to at least f/8 to get decent resolution, but it's never really sharp enough in focus to satisfy AF. Wider than that and the softness is striking. If you focus on objects slightly closer it is much better.
12-31-2009, 07:07 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by tybeck Quote
Ben_Edict. Thanks for the input. I think you've convinced me to take the Bigma for a spin.

I took some extensive test shots to compare the Tokina to some of my other zooms using a tripod and cable release. I've seen plenty of Bigma shots at similar focal lenghts and apertures that are much clearer. Once I sift through the series some more I should post more detailed results. From the shots, the Tokina the lens behaves like it can't focus at infinity. You have to step down to at least f/8 to get decent resolution, but it's never really sharp enough in focus to satisfy AF. Wider than that and the softness is striking. If you focus on objects slightly closer it is much better.
The Tokina I had behaved somewhat erratic. Sometimes I got decent shots. At most other times the sharpness broke away, when I shifted from landscape format to portrait. I couldn't then get any really sharp image and had some severe aberration towards the corners at longest fl. I guess the mechanics was just poorly constructed and could not keep alignment properly when turning the lens. There was nothing obviously loose or misaligned, which I could have recognized from the outside.

The Bigma is really much better, but also really heavier and bigger. It is my most used long lens, though I have covered all of its focal length coverage with good primes.

Ben

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