Thursday, February 7, 2013

Tokina SD 70-210mm f/4-5.6

An old, manual focus zoom tele by Tokina. There are quite a few going around, selling for ridiculously cheap prices (I got mine for testing purposes with only 10$). The question is, Is it worth even that 10$?

It is old, it looks old

+ as cheap as it gets, really. 10$ for a tele zoom lens is really nothing.
+ huge, really nice to use focus "ring" (a belt more like!).
+ build quality inspires confidence.

- manual focus can be a problem with a tele...
- image quality nothing special. Not bad, just not special.
- Its scope is, in the end, pretty limited.

Taken with flash, 1/500 and stopped down to f/8 - a pretty ideal (and unrealistic) scenario. And still, the result is not perfect - the focus is not on the teddy's eyes, as I thought, but on its dress. Goes to show, how difficult manual focus can be, even under ideal conditions

Intended Users
Great for:
  • good choice for bundling a camera with, to increase its selling value
  • experimenting with manual focus tele lenses
  • for the very, very budget-minded, it is an OK solution for a tele zoom (stationary subjects only)

Not for:
  • moving subjects - lack of autofocus will drive you insane
  • low light - it's a slow lens, it's manual focus, and it doesn't have VR
  • anyone who can afford the cheap but great Nikkor AF-S VR 55-200mm

Final Verdict
An OK lens, considering the price. But that's about it. It doesn't serve any real purpose today, except for those who simply cannot afford anything else and would still like to try a tele lens. The image quality is acceptable, but certainly not special. If you can find 100-something dollars in the piggy bank, the Nikkor AF-S VR 55-200mm is an immensely more attractive option.

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