Thursday, 29 July 2010

Tokina 19-35mm coming

After much deliberation, and a good deal of internet searching, I weakened and purchased a Tokina wide angle lens for my Sony A200.

And here it is, the Tokina 19-35mm f3.5-4.5 wide angle zoom lens. And although it's considered to sit at the 'consumer' end of the Tokina line, the general consensus form internet reviews and actual users is that this lens consistently punches above its weight, and is a match for many of the more expensive wide angle zooms on the market.

Made largely of plastic, but with a metal mount, the lens does have ED elements, and Tokina uses Hoya glass (I've always been a big fan of their filters) for relatively true colours.

It's also internal focusing, so the barrel doesn't change length when zooming, and the front element doesn't rotate - making the use of filters for landscape photography (my prime reason for getting this lens) a pleasant experience. That's pretty impressive for a lens that sits at Tokina's 'consumer' end, and cost me $200NZ in mint used condition.

Of all the third party branded lens manufacturers, Tokina has the best reputation for building solid, built-to-last lenses that can take a lickin and keep on tickin. And even though this isn't from their 'pro' line, I have no doubt it will be a solid, well built unit that will last a lifetime.

From all that I've read, sharpness is decent, even wide open, but gets bitingly sharp at around f8 (as do most lenses) - perfect landscape f-stop territory.  And although not a 'fast' or 'silent' focusing lens, it will be plenty fast enough, and plenty silent enough, for all the landscapes I'll want to take with it :-)

It's arriving tomorrow, so I'll get a chance to use it over the weekend (all going well weather-wise). Will then post a hands-on user report, with images. Can't wait.

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