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Tokina AT-X 60-120mm F2.8 Review RSS Feed

Tokina AT-X 60-120mm F2.8

Reviews Views Date of last review
8 35,972 Mon December 5, 2016
Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
100% of reviewers $135.71 9.00
Tokina AT-X 60-120mm F2.8

The ATX designated lenses are the "pro" tokina lenses, this is one of the original manual focus "ATX's". These include the 28-135mm f4-4.6, the 28-85mm f3.5-4.5, the 50-250mm f4-4.5, the SD 80-200mm f2.8, the SD 100-300mm f4, and the SD 150-500mm f5.6.

Focal Length: 60-120 mm
Angle of View: 40-20 degrees
Aperture: 1:2.8 - 22 in half stops, except 2.8 to 4
Filter Thread: 55 mm
14 Elements / 11 Groups
Aperture Blades: 9
Multi Coated One Touch Zoom (push & pull)
Distance Scale: Meters & Feet
Zoom & Focus Barrel close to Camera: 120 mm setting
Zoom & Focus Barrel close to Front Element: 60 mm setting
Zoom Markings: 120, 100, 80, 70, 60 mm
IR Marking: yes
Depth of Field Scale: Yes
Minimum Focus Distance: 1,2 m
Weight: 630 g.
Length: 112.5 mm
Max. Diameter: 66 mm without hood
Dedicated Clip-on Hood: SH-553
ca. 1984, but no A position on aperture ring
Mount Type: Pentax KA
Price History:

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New Member

Registered: December, 2016
Posts: 2

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: December 5, 2016 Recommended | Price: $170.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: sharp, good handling
Cons: prone to CA
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 7    Handling: 9    Value: 9    Camera Used: Sony A7   

My version is a C/Y mount.
Overall the lens' color rendition is a bit cold, with more blue/green than neutral.The lens is darker than a prime about 2 stop (I compare with a SMC 50mm/1.4 on same aperture), no surprise since it's a zoom.
The sharpness is comparable to a prime though.
Really good for portrait, but prone a lot to CA. Would get a lot of flare, too, even when indirectly point at a moderate light source.
Here is a portrait I took in a mall where the light is soft. ISO 640, a little pp to increase the exposure
Site Supporter

Registered: September, 2006
Location: New England
Posts: 1,286
Review Date: October 22, 2016 Recommended | Price: $175.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp, contrasty, and very well-built - a truly great portrait lens
Cons: K-mount only (not Ka-mount), so just a little less convenient for metering
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 9    Camera Used: LX, K20D, K-3   

The Tokina AT-X 60-120/2.8 is built to very high standards (as would be expected, being a typical AT-X MF zoom). Some users fuss about it being heavy, but I'll take high quality construction over light weight anytime. Besides, it does seem to balance very well mounted on a cam body.

The lens is both sharp and contrasty (both very slightly more so at the short end), with sometimes just a bit of purple fringing in high-contrast situations (especially wide open at the long end), and it does exhibit beautiful bokeh under almost all conditions (especially at wider apertures, of course).

Some users fuss about one-touch zooms, but I personally prefer them (especially for telephoto zooms). In particular, for any Pentaxer using this lens, focusing and zooming are both intuitive and quick, with focus and zoom motions identical in directions to, say, those of a Pentax A 70-210/4 zoom (something that is not true with "classic" Vivitar zooms, or, in fact, with very early Tokina zooms).

In summary, the Tokina AT-X 60-120/2.8 is a not-too-common-but-well-worth-looking-for one-touch portrait zoom lens.

The following sets of images were all taken (handheld) with a Tokina AT-X 60-120/2.8 on a K-3, and were minimally processed -- i.e., the 100% 1:1 crops were only slightly compressed after cropping, while the large "thumbnails" were only downsized and then slightly compressed -- there were no edit adjustments or corrections, no sharpening, etc.:

Sunflower - 60mm - f/ 2.8 - downsized from original image -

Wreath - 60mm - f/ 2.8 - downsized from original image -

Wreath - 120mm - f/ 2.8 - downsized from original image -

Wreath - 60mm - f/ 2.8 - 100% 1:1 crop from original image -

Wreath - 120mm - f/ 2.8 - 100% 1:1 crop from original image -

Wreath - 60mm - f/ 2.8 - 100% 1:1 crop from original image -

Wreath - 120mm - f/ 2.8 - 100% 1:1 crop from original image -

[The above wreath images, at 60mm and 120mm focal lengths, were taken from two different distances, to keep image sizes approximately the same.]

[The above images were all taken wide open at f/2.8, while all of the following were taken at f/8 (first at 60mm and then at 120mm).]

A Boatload of Boats - 60mm - f/8 - downsized from original image -

Several Boats - 60mm - f/8 - 100% 1:1 crop from original image -

Seawall and House - 60mm - f/8 - downsized from original image -

House - 60mm - f/8 - 100% 1:1 crop from original image -

Boats, Bridge, and Houses - 120mm - f/8 - downsized from original image -

Boats - 120mm - f/8 - 100% 1:1 crop from original image -

Bridge and Houses - 120mm - f/8 - 100% 1:1 crop from original image -

Clock and Flag - 120mm - f/8 - downsized from original image -

Clock - 120mm - f/8 - 100% 1:1 crop from original image -

Flag - 120mm - f/8 - 100% 1:1 crop from original image -

Egret and Gull - 120mm - f/8 - downsized from original image -

Egret - 120mm - f/8 - 100% 1:1 crop from original image -

Gull - 120mm - f/8 - 100% 1:1 crop from original image -

Certainly, a 60-120mm lens is not much of a birding lens, but I do think that the 1:1 / 100% 1:1 crops of the birds do show that the lens is capable of pretty good resolution.

[And, obviously, all of these images would ordinarily benefit from some additional post-processing...]

Marketplace Reseller

Registered: April, 2009
Location: Košice, Czechoslovakia, Europe Union
Posts: 366
Review Date: August 16, 2016 Recommended | Price: $340.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharp wide open, excellent smooth butter bokeh, very compact for a zoom f2,8, excellent image quality, usefull range 60-120, quite heavy (also neg.), superb build quality
Cons: extremely rare with K bajonet, a bit heavy (also positive), no A-lock, rotating front element, non pentax common 55mm front filter
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 8    Value: 8    Camera Used: Pentax K-5 II, Pentax MZ-S   

I was looking for this lens for long time. There is some copies of this lens in other bayonets and they cost much much less, if you are lucky. It is better to buy this lens with different bayonet, if you are using Sony alfa full frame for example or micro 43 system. With Pentax bayonet it is so rare, that price is much much higher. I paid three years ago 300 Euro for the lens from Germany...

What you figure out immediately, the lens is really compact for constant zoom 2.8. Even filter thread size 55mm is super small for zoom with so usefull range from 60-120mm. It is full manual zoom, there is no A-lock position on aperture ring. It is not a problem with Pentax camera. The lens is sharp right from the 2.8 in the middle, corners are softer. The reason is that the portrait was built for portraits mainly. It has really dreamy bokeh, super smooth butter type bokeh.

The lens has nice contrast, zooming and focusing is a little but stury but really smooth. It is better if you find the lens hood for this lens. It is rare too, but oyu can use some alternative. The build quality is on high level, i have feel of old Pentax K lenses.

Aperture blades are rounded to create circle, thats the reason of beautiful bokeh. There is 9 (nine !) aperture blades. I am not really sure about stars produced by this lens. You have to use aperture 16 to 22 to create any. THe lens is is better performer in flare resistance, lens hood is helpful.

Not everything is the best: Front element is rotating during the focusing (not problem for me) and minimal focusing is 1 metre. At the end (120mm) is the lens not as sharp as at 100mm or loosing a little bit contrast.It feels a little bit heavy, like when you take into the hand 31mm or 77mm limited lens for very fitrst time after using classic plastic zoom.

I did compare this lens against DA* 55mm star. Have a look how nice this lens blur background. It is nice lens for aps-c but it is excellent performer on full frame.

Smc Pentax DA* 55mm 1.4 at 2.8

Tokina AT-X 60-120mm at 60mm 2.8

Tokina AT-X 60-120mm at 100mm 2.8

Tokina AT-X 60-120mm at 120mm 2.8
Veteran Member

Registered: March, 2009
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 414

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: February 17, 2015 Recommended | Price: $25.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharp wide open throughout, nice bokeh!
Cons: Some minor purple fringing, a bit heavy
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 8    Value: 10    Camera Used: Sony A7   

This is a hidden gem! Prime quality images from wide open throughout the range! (on full frame!)
My copy is a Minolta MC/MD Mount and I use it on a Sony a7 Full Frame. Bought for $ 25.

The good:
Very sharp in the center from wide open with very good corners. One or two stops down corners get just as sharp!
Very nice rendering, with a generous sprinkle of pixie dust. Great colors. Excellent bokeh. Good contrast. Together with the Minolta MD 35-70mm 3.5 Macro this is the best manual zoom I have ever used.

The bad:
Not much really, can have a bit of purple fringing on high contrast edges but amount is negligible and easily removed in post. Lens may be a bit heavy to shoot on a mirrorless camera though I actually like the size and weight on the a7, it helps keep the lens steady at lower shutter speeds.

This lens is is very, very good, even on a full frame sensor (Full Frame Pentax anyone?). This lens is not very common but if you can find one they often go for pretty low prices because not many people know how good this lens really is.

New Member

Registered: September, 2014
Posts: 2
Review Date: October 3, 2014 Recommended | Price: $75.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp, inexpensive, compact for a zoom f2,8
Cons: Hard to find
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: Samsung NX30   

Very good zoom, good construction, sharp also at f2.8, nothing like it . Handling 7?? Almost as my Kiron 70-150mm f4 and Tokina is f2.8.
If find one buy buy and buy

New Member

Registered: December, 2012
Posts: 21
Review Date: July 8, 2014 Recommended | Price: $90.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: build quality, IQ
Cons: heavy
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 8    Value: 8    Camera Used: Pentax LX   

Tokina lenses never disappointed me. This one is no exception.
Yes, it IS heavy. On my Pentax LX it feels good and balanced. Although being a one-touch design, my copy doesn't creep. Using it can become a fast event: the image on the screen is a delight to focus.
In fact, after having "learnt" to use it properly, I left very often my prime 1,4/50 and 2,8/100 at home. The lens hood should not stay at home, yet!
Colours are not so punchy as Pentax' lenses, but skin tones are treated very properly .
Boukeh is very beautiful.

Having (also Tokina lenses) also a 2.8/24~40 or, better, a 2.8/35~70 you'll be prepared to meet every portraiture needs.
So, the price I payed for this lens some 3 years ago (and it still sells for that price back in Germany's eBay) is more than well applied.
Junior Member

Registered: October, 2007
Location: Belgium
Posts: 31
Review Date: December 4, 2011 Recommended | Price: $75.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: IQ, usefull range
Cons: No A-lock, rotating front element
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 6    Value: 7   

This is a real gem -a pity I don't use this one more often.
Pic on Ist*DS:

Senior Member

Registered: September, 2009
Location: Beautiful Bavaria :-)
Posts: 123
Review Date: August 2, 2011 Recommended | Price: None indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: excellent performer, superb build quality
Cons: quite heavy, quite rare

What a surprise: no one reviewed this famous portrait zoom so far?

Here we go...

The name says it all, this lens was designed for portraits in film era, especially for slides to choose the right frame before hitting the shutter button. The unusual focal length is coupled with the large aperture of 2.8 and there are and have been few competitors in that focal range (only the Tamron 2.8/70-150 with the softness control or maybe the Pentax SMC-M 4/75-150).

The build quality is outstanding, no zoom creep, no loose aperture ring, it's sturdy and focussing is a joy. Even on a DSLR without aid from a split screen, the object pops into sharpness visibly in the finder! The large aperture helps, of course.

The lens is sharp even wide open, but gentle with skin tones and surfaces, the lens designers did a good job here. Stopped down, sharpness becomes excellent. More important even: the Bokeh is creamy and allows isolating the object with a superbly soft background blur. Flare resistance is good, but the hood is needed.

The pixie dust factor is less pronounced as with the FA 1.8/77 limited (where you can see it in the viewfinder), but it has more pixie dust than all of my 50 mm glass!

Conclusion: a joy to use, giving back excellent picture quality, but not easy to find and not so cheap. A 9.5 from me!
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