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Tokina AT-X Pro 28-70mm F2.6-2.8 Review RSS Feed

Tokina AT-X Pro 28-70mm F2.6-2.8

Reviews Views Date of last review
12 75,175 Sat April 5, 2014
Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
92% of reviewers $281.00 8.67
Tokina AT-X Pro 28-70mm F2.6-2.8

coverage: Full frame
max. aperture: 2.6-2.8
min. aperture: 22
focal range: 28 - 70 mm
elements/group: 16/12
angle of view: 75,3 - 34,3
aperture blades: 8
minimum focus distance: 700 mm
filter rotate when focusing: No
filter rotate when zooming: No
filter diameter: 77 mm
weight: 760 g
Mount Type:
Price History:

Add Review of Tokina AT-X Pro 28-70mm F2.6-2.8
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New Member

Registered: November, 2013
Posts: 8
Lens Review Date: April 5, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $100.00 | Rating: 3 

Pros: sharp, but not as sharp as attended
Cons: visible CA's
Sharpness: 4    Aberrations: 2    Bokeh: 4    Handling: 5    Value: 3    Camera Used: k-s1, k-5, k-x,k200,mz-10,z20p    Focusing: 5   

O/- my item is not really very sharp in the edges/ corners

O/+ sharpness in the center is quite good

- - strong CA's are visible - especially in the corners / edges

O contrast Okay

-/O perhaps bad lens centration as failure ?

3.5 points - recommendation for small prints and for really intensive treatment with PhSh.
Forum Member

Registered: March, 2011
Location: Ontario
Posts: 89

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: March 21, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $400.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Tough and well built
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: LX, Z-1p, *istD, K10D, K7, K3   

I've had this lens for a long time - since it was first introduced. It was my workhorse lens all through my photo-journalist years shooting off-road motorcycle racing. It took a hell of a beating and still works perfectly.

Update 2017: I think that many people mistake this lens for some of Tokina's look-alike lenses. Tokina have produced 4 or 5 lenses in this range that look nearly identical to this one, but some are much less expensive and have much lower quality and performance. I think this explains the polar reviews here. You will notice that the positive reviews list a higher price than the negative ones.

Anyway, another 3.5 years on mine and it's still my most used lens.
Loyal Site Supporter

Registered: December, 2009
Location: Christchurch, New Zealand
Posts: 2,378

4 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: April 10, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $180.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Feel, speed, IQ, AF, build
Cons: A little CA at 28mm, needs a good hood
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 10   

This is definitely a favourite lens for me at the moment. There may be newer lenses that are better but they cost many times more and most are not as flexible. I was lucky and got a good deal on mine but its definitely worth more than I paid. Mine is the Pro I version (as shown with lens description at the top).

For a zoom, performance is pretty impressive. I thought I was becoming a prime person but after using this lens for a while I was quickly hooked by the convenience of being able to change focal length while still having performance that is close to that of many primes (although primes are generally faster of course).

As mentioned in the previous reviews the key to getting great performance from this lens is most definitely to use a decent sized hood. The very small (but solid) Tokina hood that came with it is not up to the job. I got an extendible rubber hood (when folded up it has similar coverage to the standard hood) and it immediately made a big different to its performance outside (contrast is so much better).

My copies center sharpness is very good wide open from 28 - 50mm and still acceptable at 60 - 70mm. Border performance is generally acceptable wide open and very good by f5.6. Performance at f8 rivals my SMC A 50 f1.4 at f8 and thats a great lens! Interestingly performance is still pretty good at f16 (better than my A 50 across the frame) and very usable. Yes 60-70mm does lag behind the rest of the range in sharpness but it is significantly better than my Sigma 17-70 f2.8-4.5 at 60 - 70mm. Tokina at 70mm f2.8 is somewhat better than my Sigma at 70 f4.5. Over the 28 - 50mm range the Tokina just slaughters the Sigma 17-70!.

As far as bokeh goes, the Tokina is very good. Even stopping down to f5.6 bokeh is still good. I quite like how it performs at f3.5 (good balance between depth of field and sharpness / contrast).
Build and feel are very nice. I like the weight and don't find it heavy at all.

Auto focus is actually pretty quick (compared to my other lenses anyway) thanks to the focus clutch disengaging from the focus ring (less rotating mass). Yes it is a little inconvenient disengaging focus ring and engaging the camera auto focus switch when changing from manual focus to auto focus but I don't mind it.

Some sample photos (more to come later):

Registered: October, 2010
Posts: 5,961

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: May 9, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $350.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Good size, contrast, build quality,
Cons: heavy, closest focus at 0.7 m.


Nice lens, with good size. It feels like a proper lens and looks like it too. Build quality is great. As many has said before, this lens can make great shots. It has some quirks still. First of all I must say that get bigger hood for this baby. At first I was set back for Softness at 70 mm, but now after I got three stage rubber hood for this, it changed a lot! I could see it straight from my cam and later from monitor. Now it is great even WO from 28-60 and good at 70 mm improves a lot by, f 4. This is why I gave just 9 for sharpness, almost an 8 if you have only lens hood which is original.

So, not much to add to previous reviews. About price, I have been thinking of what if I'd bought Tamron instead, after I paid for taxes to have this at Finland it became almost at same price. Still build is great, easy to operate and no dust between lenses or so, I must say that I'm happy with this. It has nice feel also in MF, and you need it when it gets little darker...need to change cam. to MF and then try to slide focus ring at it's place. Take time to know how it's done, but that reduced some points from handling.

So focus ring does not move when AF, IF, ED, sharp and good contrast, creamy bokeh...really nice. Now this lens does not do it all. Still you might want faster lens for dark/shallower dof and something for macro etc, but this is just a zoom, so no problem at there either. And I must say that purple firing is almost gone with this one...

Here is some shots made with this lens(original hood).

Sharpness... by repaap, on Flickr
Sotka. by repaap, on Flickr
Spring flower... by repaap, on Flickr
Bench. by repaap, on Flickr
Site Supporter

Registered: June, 2011
Location: Arlington, TN
Posts: 106

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: March 27, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Internal focus and zoom, Sharp throughout most of the FL, Rendering, f/2.8 Constant
Cons: Soft at 70mm and f/2.8
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 8    Value: 10   

I just picked up this lens and have had limited time to shoot with it. But I do know even with limited shooting thus far that it is a great value if you can find one.
Mine is the one pictured below, which is the Japanese market release of the 1st Pro Version. It is built like a tank as others have said, and feels just as heavy.
I would like to reiterate a point, just as someone said in one of the reviews, this lens is soft at around 70mm for some reason. I have posted 2 pictures for you demonstrating this. I have only tested at f/2.8 at 70mm, but will do more testing later. This is not a reason at all for me to get rid of it though. It has too many positives and will hang on to it.

Wide open at 50mm:

Wide open at 70mm:
Site Supporter

Registered: January, 2009
Location: Springe
Posts: 3,405

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: November 15, 2011 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $290.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Great IQ, good zoom range, outstanding build quality
Cons: heavy, 77 mm filters are expensive

Hard to understand the previous review if you have ever used this lens.
I have the "Pro SV" version which some rate not as high as the original "Pro" series. I can't compare these versions but I am very happy with the SV. For me it offers a very good zoom range for a walk-around lens (well, 24mm at the wide end would be perfect).
The lens is very usable at f 2.8 and shows just great IQ from f 4 on.
New Member

Registered: August, 2011
Posts: 1
Lens Review Date: October 26, 2011 I can recommend this lens: No | Price: $140.00 | Rating: 6 

Pros: Solid construction, zoom range
Cons: Extremely soft wide open at high zoom
Sharpness: 6    Aberrations: 6    Bokeh: 6    Handling: 8    Value: 6   

Recently got this lens after some investigation at this forum. I use it on my K-5.
Well, i cannot understand how this lens can get a 10 score here. The only idea i have is a value for money. Yes, it's non-expensive lens, but will you spare on image quality??
I have used this lens for some time now and figured out that it can only be useful somewhere in the middle of it's zoom range and somewhere in the middle of its diaphragm stop positions.
Please, have a look at results wide open at 2.6
70mm, 2.6, 1/180:

45mm, 2.6, 1/180:
Inactive Account

Registered: December, 2009
Posts: 7

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: July 25, 2011 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $400.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: sharp, construction, constant F2.8 aperture, colors, very fast AF
Cons: weight

It 'very difficult to find this lens on the market.
If you get the chance do not miss this opportunity !
I also had a Tamron 28-75 but I prefer that lens.
In my opinion gives results very similar to glass PENTAX, primarily as a color.
Site Supporter

Registered: November, 2010
Location: California
Posts: 2,223

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: May 19, 2011 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp, great IQ, solid built, AF, fast, beautiful, unbelievable IQ
Cons: None so far. It is so easy to focus that AF is not missed

I got the Pro II version, this is the version that Tokina claims it is better than the original because they added extra coating and aespherical element. Some people who tested both say that it is a tie between the Pro I and the Pro II. This Pro II can use a screw in hood and the bayonet style hood. I have both. I bought this lens after seeing all the reviews here, and reading reviews in the internet. I was looking for either this version or the Pro I. I was lucky to get this one. I chose this one over the Tamron 28-75mm f2.8, and do not regret it. This is a wonderful lens. Right after I opened the box from Adorama and shot with flash my first photo, I saw how sharp and neat the photo was. Next day, I shot around the yard, garden and got even happier. I usually post photos (one image is worth 1,000 words), so I will be posting some as soon as I can download them. In the meantime, this lens gets an A+ from me. This lens is a keeper for ever. Get one if you find it. Certainly, I would not recommend the cheaper version PRO SV because I have read not so good things about that version. However, I have not seen or used a PRO SV lens. Be careful on what version you purchase, the stellar ones are the first two PRO editions.


Bowers Museum by Palenquero, on Flickr

Monarch *- Pentax Kx + Tokina 28-70mm f2.6 by Palenquero, on Flickr

Monarch - Pentax Kx + Tokina 28-70mm f2.6 by Palenquero, on Flickr

Paella - Pentax Kx + Tokina 28-70mm f2.6 by Palenquero, on Flickr
Veteran Member

Registered: April, 2010
Location: Adelaide, South Australia
Posts: 805

3 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: April 21, 2011 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $350.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Build, IQ, colour, contrast, accurate AF, everything
Cons: weight
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 9    Value: 10   

Mine is the Pro I version (with screw lens hood).
It was also made in a Pro II version, with a bayonet fitting lens hood, and later made as a "SV" value version (but not as good)

Supposedly based on the Angenieux 28-70 F2.6 lens formula, but with improvements.

Sharp wide open from 28mm to 60mm, and just a tiny bit soft at 70mm wide open, but this is good for portrait work at 70mm.

Crazy sharp from corner to corner from F5.6-F11.
As with most Tokina lenses, flare can occur, keep the lens hood handy.
No vignetting.
No discernable CA, and no PF at all.
Military spec build.
It's a FF lens, just in case Pentax ever bring out a FF body.
The 28-70mm FL is not ideal for an APS-C camera, until you discover the delights of street shooting!

Highly recommended. The Tamron 28-75 2.8 lens comes a close 2nd to this lens, but is outclassed at 28mm and 35mm FL.

Unfortunately hard to find, and getting up in price, but nowhere near the price of the Pentax 28-70 F2.8

Grab one if you can, you won't be disappointed, but just beware the SV version.

Here is a photo taken at 70mm wide open. Nice sharpness, and even nicer bokeh!

Another taken at 70mm F6.3

Another 70mm shot, near MFD

Junior Member

Registered: February, 2011
Location: Illinois
Posts: 43

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: March 9, 2011 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $300.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: sharp, built like a tank, AF not sluggish, constant F2.8 aperture, great color, contrast, and overall IQ, price
Cons: its not made anymore, can hunt a little in lower light

This lens is amazing! Compared to expensive high end lenses, for $300 this lens delivers just as much if not more. The color, contrast, and and sharpness even wide open is simply fantastic. The build is rock solid and the focusing and zoom rings are smooth but not loose with no lens creep. The lens has semi-internal zooming which retracts the front element inside the body at 28mm and extends all the way to the end of the barrel while not protruding, effectively having a built in lens hood. Why pay for a limited edition lens (when, granted they're amazing) if you can mange to find a copy of this lens that gives you the same for HUNDREDS less? There is simply no reason to spend $1000+ on a K* or a limited lens in this focal range if you can manage to find a copy. This is a perfect event lens with a focal range, build, and F value that is just right for any professional. If you can find one, buy it! This lens greatly benefits from sensor image stabilization in Pentax cameras too!

(I got very lucky and got one mint for $300)

For extreme value per dollar I give it an A+ on a professional level! I couldn't ask for more for paying so little!
Senior Member

Registered: December, 2008
Location: Dawesville,Western Australia.
Posts: 128

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: December 21, 2010 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $300.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Very fast focusing and sharp. A pleasure to AF.
Cons: Heavy, but I expect that "cos it"s built like a Sherman tank.

I have owned this lens for about a year and wouldn"t swap it for anything similar. I previously had the Sigma EX in the same focal lengths and this leaves it for dead.

I have several primes (not LTD though ) and I would honestly say it is sharper than any of them at any focal length.

An amazing quality lens and I thoroughly recommend it, if you can find one.
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