Tokina: Top of the class
Posted on Jan 19, 2021
Tokina has an outstanding optical manufacturing track record that goes back 70 years, but its eyes are fixed firmly on the future, with a family of excellent, high-performing lenses for photographers and video content creators of all levels.
SPONSORED BY TOKINA
Lens makers need to offer great-value and capable solutions for the constantly evolving imaging market. This includes Tokina, with its ever-growing lens line-up for stills and movie image makers. With cutting-edge optical performance and innovative features, such as its exclusive focus clutch mechanism – all backed up with a four-year warranty – Tokina offers ideal products for the quality-conscious image maker.
Tokina makes lenses for APS-C and full-frame cameras and there are several series within the family.
There’s the atx-i series, with three lenses: the 11-16mm f/2.8 CF (£419) and 11-20mm f/2.8 CF (£529) for APS-C formats, and the full-frame 100mm f/2.8 FF Macro (£399). The ‘i’ in atx-i stands for interactive, denoting communication between the lens and the user. The one-touch focus clutch mechanism means it’s easy to switch between auto and manual focusing, the front element has a water-repellent coating and, optically, the lenses deliver edge-to-edge sharpness at every aperture.
Meanwhile, the atx-i 11-16mm f/2.8 CF won Best DSLR Wide Angle Zoom Lens in the TIPA World Awards 2020, and it’s the fastest aperture ultra-wide zoom available for APS-C format cameras.
Tokina’s opera range comprises top-of-the line premium lenses, ideal for use on the latest high-resolution full-frame cameras, and are perfect for photographers who strive to get the utmost from their photography. There are two lenses in the opera series: the 16-28mm f/2.8 FF (£749) and 50mm f/1.4 FF (£899), available in Canon EF and Nikon F-mounts.
The opera 16-28mm f/2.8 FF – with its super-wide field of view and fast, constant f/2.8 aperture – is ideal for scenic, interior and street photography as well as more specialist areas, like astrophotography. Its key features include a silent AF motor and one-touch clutch focus mechanism. This lens was recognised by the TIPA World Awards in 2019, when it was voted the Best DSLR Wide Angle Zoom Lens.
You could say the opera 50mm f/1.4 FF is the ultimate standard lens for full-frame cameras. Available in Canon EF and Nikon F-mounts, its optical design includes three SD elements and one aspherical glass element to deliver a stunning edge-to-edge performance with minimal chromatic aberration, while the silent autofocus mechanism is swift and precise.
Designed specifically for Sony E-mount full-frame and APS-C cameras is the FíRIN lens series. FíRIN is a variation of ‘fírinne’, an Irish word denoting ‘truth’ that signifies ‘being true to someone or something’. In this context, the term represents a promise given by Tokina to photographers to help them capture the truth through their images.
There are three FíRIN lenses available on the market: the 20mm f/2 FE is available in manual and autofocus versions (£729 and £849, respectively) and the 100mm f/2.8 FE Macro (£599).
The optical construction of the FíRIN 20mm f/2 FE AF and MF features two aspherical and three SD glass elements to minimise aberrations, while also ensuring excellent performance, even when used at widest f/2 aperture. Both lenses can communicate with the Sony camera they are fitted to, so you can enjoy the full benefit of the in-body image stabilisation system.
The FíRIN 20mm f/2 FE AF uses a GMR autofocus sensor, so focusing is very responsive and accurate. It’s also fully compatible with Sony’s Fast Hybrid AF system, so you get the benefit of the face/eye detect AF that Sony’s latest cameras feature.
This is also the case with the FíRIN 100mm f/2.8 FE Macro lens. Its fast f/2.8 aperture, flattering perspective and beautiful bokeh make this lens ideal for portraits. But where this lens really excels is when you want to get close to your subject. At its 30cm minimum focus, the lens offers a 1:1 (life-size) magnification, so it’s ideal for nature and still-life photography, and its high optical performance delivers images with minimal distortion.
Tokina’s latest arrival is its atx-m series, which includes lenses that target the rapidly growing mirrorless camera market with products in Fujifilm X Mount and Sony E-mount fittings. There are currently three lenses in the atx-m series, but 2021 is going to be a year of growth, marking the arrival of several more.
For full-frame Sony E-mount cameras, there’s the atx-m 85mm f/1.8 FE (£489). Tokina dubs this medium telephoto lens the ‘bokeh monster’, so you know this lens is perfect for portraits when you want a nice, out-of-focus background. Of course, this lens is great for all sorts of other subject matter too, and its fast aperture and impressive optical skills make this lens a joy to use.
Newly launched are Tokina’s first lenses that are suited to the Fujifilm X Mount: the atx-m 23mm f/1.4 X and 33mm f/1.4 X. You can find out more on these two exciting optics in the panel above.
Looking forward to 2021, Tokina has updated its lens road map. In the atx-m series, for the Fujifilm X Series, the two current lenses are to be joined by a 56mm f/1.4 X, while for Sony E-mount APS-C cameras, there are going to be three additions: the 23mm f/1.4 E, 33mm f/1.4 E and 56mm f/1.4 E lenses. For the full-frame Sony E-mount, we can expect the 35mm f/1.8 E and 50mm f/1.8 E lenses.
The opera series is also seeing a new member: the 17-35mm f/4, alongside the sale of the SZX Super Tele 400mm f/8 Reflex MF lens. This fixed aperture, compact mirror lens can fit on a very wide range of cameras via an adapter system based on the 42mm screw thread.
So, Tokina is well placed to serve the needs of demanding image makers with its huge range of existing lenses, which is soon to be bolstered by many more.
If you want to know more about the current Tokina lens range, please visit the website, where you can also find details of stockists in the UK and Ireland.
New Tokina lenses
Announced at the end of 2020 and in-store now are Tokina’s two new lenses for the Fujifilm X Series: the atx-m 23mm f/1.4 X and atx-m 33mm f/1.4 X, which offer the 35mm focal length equivalent of 35mm and 50mm, meaning these optics are perfect as take-everywhere standard lenses.
The superfast f/1.4 maximum aperture brings along all sorts of creative possibilities, whether that’s using bokeh imaginatively or just enabling quality photography that’s impossible with slower zooms when light levels are extremely low.
Both lenses are very compact and lightweight, so they mesh perfectly with Fujifilm X Series cameras. The lenses also integrate with cameras that feature in-body image stabilisation and advanced autofocusing systems.
The new lenses are out now, with the atx-m 23mm f/1.4 X priced at £449.99 and the atx-m 33mm f/1.4 X at £399.99.
For more information, please visit the Tokina website.
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