Nikon 14-24 and Tokina 16-28 same manufacturer?

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by andre_noble|5, Dec 29, 2010.

  1. Hello, I used to own the highly rated Nikon 14-24 f 2.8. It looks very similar to the Tokina 16-28 f2.8 and has similar optical performance properties based on the reviews. Externally they even look similar. Are they made by the same manufacturer, if yes, who?

    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/735453-REG/Tokina_ATX168PROFXN_AT_X_16_28mm_F2_8_Pro.html. and http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/520635-USA/Nikon_2163_AF_S_Zoom_Nikkor_14_24mm.html
     
  2. Unless Nikon is now making Tokina lenses they are not made by the same company.
     
  3. wouldnt surprise me if they were, many industries build same quality products under different brands.
    It does look very similar, i have the 14-24mm , its built like a tank, the Tokina may look similar in design,
    but i doubt it has used the same materials.
     
  4. Tokina was founded by ex-Nikon engineers, so they have a parallel history, but they are not the same company. nikon likes to keep its trade secrets, but many companies use Hoya glass (Hoya and Tokina are the same company), and its well-known that Nikon uses Sony sensors (though they seem to get better performance out of them than Sony does on its DSLRs). Nikon adds their special sauce Nano coating to their gold ring glass, which they may grind themselves or not, so even if there were some common materials used, the nikon version would be different. also, the two lenses have different focal lengths, different guts, and different builds, albeit similar designs, if not optical performance. the tokina thusfar looks good, and tokina's development of an FX line is encouraging, especially if they can keep QC high, items in stock, and prices (relatively) low. one thing worth noting is that many Nikon products are made in Thailand, while Tokina lenses are made in Japan.
     
  5. They're not made by the same manufacturer, but they're made according to the same laws of physics. That has a lot to do with the shape/structure of an f/2.8 lens ranging the way those two products do, focal-length-wise. And of course all manufacturers have some market expectations to meet when it comes to some well established ergonomic preferences among photographers who use such lenses. It's no surprise that two such similar lenses would take on a similar form factor, right down to the hood petal design.
     
  6. Frankly, I wonder if those doubting their from the same manufacturer are just naive or actually have inside info (and thus are correct)?
    Personally, I guess they are manufactured in the same plant, whever that may be.
     
  7. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Currently Tokina owns Pentax, and some Pentax and Tokina lenses are now identical in many ways. Of course Nikon has been a competitor to both Pentax and Tokina.
     
  8. Say what? 14-24 make in same factory as a Tokina? Nikon's crowning glory of wide angles would definitely NOT be made in the same factory as a Tokina.
     
  9. Andre: Either well trolled, or keep taking the pills. Seriously, there's no way. It's quite possible that the Tokina was deliberately made to look like the 14-24 (and, if you add a cut-out hood, several other recent G Nikkors) and the gold band colour scheme vaguely matches anyway; if someone's buying it to go with their Nikkor range, it'd fit in, and the recent f/2.8 Nikkor zooms have a good-enough reputation that looking like them gets you some kudos. Otherwise, there are only so many ways you can fit a lot of glass with a wide view front element onto a Nikon mount.

    If it were the same optical design I might buy it (not that this has stopped most fast normal lenses using the same optics) but with a completely different zoom range and formula, the only comparison is that they look a bit alike. If they wanted to look different - and I'm sure Nikon would have chosen not to look the same as the off-brand option if they had the choice - it would be easy enough to mess with the exterior. If anything, the similarity is proof that they're not from the same source.
     
  10. Herbert Keppler of Popular Photography once wrote about Tokina making lenses under various brand names, though he was specifically talking about consumer-grade 19-35mm f/3.5-4.5 lenses. Apparently Tokina made them with Vivitar, Tamron and Tokina brandings. I doubt that happens with high-grade lenses, though.
    Back when Nikon's 70-300 f/4-5.6D ED was new (1998, 1999) there were some people insisting that it was made by Tamron, claiming that the Nikon looked exactly the same as Tamron's 70-300mm. I never understood that...they clearly do not look the same.
    I will say, however, that Tamron's new 70-300 VC looks an awful lot like Nikon's 70-300 VR.
     
  11. Andrew, you are probably too young to remember (as you're obviously still of Santa Claus believing age) that once Tamron bought our Bronica, for example, it manufactured lenses for Bronica including a zoom for the SQ-Ai, and the highly acclaimed Bronica RF rangefiinder camera lenses.

    And yes, I recall the Herbert Keppler article, and there appeared to be a lot of info he saw in his visit to the Japanese lens factories that he purposefully held from readers.

    current Zeiss rangefinder lenses are made in Japan by Cosina, and on and on.
     
  12. Andre - I'm either flattered by my appearance of youthfulness, or insulted by my apparent naïveté. :)

    I believe there may be a lot of incestuousness among lens manufacturers, and I'll just about believe that Nikon might outsource some work (although it seems less likely to be lenses than electronics, to me). Since Nikon clearly do have their own manufacturing capabilities, though, I can't imagine they'd outsource their high-end lenses. If they do, they might get blanks ground off-site, but the optical design and the final assembly would surely be internal - and that's what defines the look of the lens. On the basis of Occam's Razor - and with no personal knowledge of who does what in the lens industry - it just seems more likely to me that Tokina went with the Nikon aesthetic. At least it's more subtle than making the lens white. Besides, no matter which off-brand company owns which famous name, I think we'd have heard of Nikon had bought or been bought by any of these.

    As for the 70-300... well, they're both 17 elements in 12 groups. There are some obvious external differences, but since I've never seen either in the flesh I can't vouch for the optics. The Nikkor only claims f/4.5 at the wide end, while the Tamron claims f/4, but maybe someone's rounding. I'll believe it more than the 14-24, but I still think it's unlikely. If Nikon wanted to nick Tamron or Tokina designs, they'd do better rebadging a 90mm or 100mm macro.
     
  13. People have been claiming outsourcing by Nikon for decades, so there's probably some truth to it. But sometimes the claims are laughable. None other than Thom Hogan got snookered by the "Kiron Kid" in this article (see comments at the end):
    http://bythom.com/75150lens.htm
    Anyone who examined and used both of those lenses would be very skeptical of the claim that they came off the same assembly line. A quick look at the specs tells the tale:
    Nikon 75-150mm f/3.5 Series E:
    75-150mm
    f/3.5-32
    12 elements in 9 groups
    100cm MFD
    65X125mm
    520 grams

    Kiron 70-150mm f/4 and Vivitar f/3.8:
    70-150mm
    f/4-22
    13 elements in 9 groups
    81cm MFD
    65X96mm
    485 grams
    Nonetheless, I look forward to seeing what this new Tokina 16-28 can do. After a positively miserable experience with the Tokina 11-16, I'm hoping they have their sample variation issues behind them.
     
  14. the 16-28 seems to be a very good lens, indeed a poor man's 14-24. samples on Tokina's site with D3x look good, but i doubt it's as good in the corners as 14-24. still, the price is attractive. i'd rather have a 17-35 personally, but i look forward to seeing some reports from 16-28 users.
     
  15. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Just because two lenses may look a little similar is hardly evidence that they may have the same design or manufactured at the same facility. It is quite common that super wide lenses have a bulging front element. The Sigma 12-24mm full-frame zoom, Canon 17mm tilt-shift, Nikon 14-24mm/f2.8 AF-S and the old Nikon 14mm/f2.8 AF-D are examples.
     
  16. I will say, however, that Tamron's new 70-300 VC looks an awful lot like Nikon's 70-300 VR.​
    A quick check of DxOMark scores would indicate that these are different lenses.
     
  17. I think this is just a case of Tokina doing a "me too" with Nikon's 14-24 design. And with the 14-24 Nikkor delivering such stunning performance, who can blame them? Actually I think that Tokina's choice of focal length range makes slightly more practical sense than the Nikkor, since 14mm isn't a focal length you need every day, but 28mm is.
    I also hope that this is a sign of Tokina making a strong comeback into the Full-Frame arena. Their lenses have always been among the top off-brand performers, with far-and-away the best build quality and optical reliability of the "big 3".
    BTW, since when did Nippon Kogaku (Nikon) stop formulating and making its own glass and start using Hoya's?
     
  18. Even during the Nikon F5 film days, Tokina was already making their lenses mimic the appearance of a good-ringed
    ED lens.
     

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