Tokina Lenses AF 28~70 f2.8

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by qld, Jan 1, 2003.

  1. qld


    Hello Everyone,

    I have Canon EOS A2E and Canon D60. I would like to purchase one of
    these lenses but would like to hear your opion and comments about
    Tokina Lenses. If you currently own these lense I would like to hear
    your inputs. Thanks a lot.

    Tokina 28~70 f 2.6-2.8 AT-X Pro II Canon EOS (I heard they
    discontinue this model)
    Tokina 28~80 f 2.8 AT-X 280 AF PRO Canon EOS
    Tokina NEW TOKINA AT-X 287 AF PRO SV Lens
  2. Wait till you'll have enough money and then go for the Original Canon EF 28-70mm f2.8 L USM...maybe used too.

  3. Agree with Mike all the way. Maybe even a 24-70 mm from Canon.
  4. I've used the Tokina AT-X Pro 28-80/2.8 on my EOS-30. I must say I was quite disappointed with the performance. It was soft till f/4, and at smaller apertures it was as sharp as my Canon 28-105 USM. The Tokina used to flare a lot more than my 28-105. In the end I decided it was not worth it - may as well use my 28-105 if I have to stop down.

    I second (third?) the previous recommendations - save up for a Canon 28-70L or a 24-70. You might also want to look for the older 28-80/2.8-4 USM which is reputed to be a great performer too.
  5. I agree, if you could afford the Canon then do so. But here's my reflections on the Tokina lens.

    I picked up the old Tokina 28-70 2.8 ATX dirt cheap from a shop I worked at over the summer. I didn't have the highest expectations from it, but for a lens in a range I use little aside from my 50mm 1.4s in Canon and Nikon mount I thought it would be fun.

    When I first picked this lens up I noticed how solid it felt. It's got a pretty good feeling to it. Like it was milled out of a brick of aluminum practically. The feel of the manual focusing ring is cheap, but that's pretty common with a lot of AF lenses. My USM lenses have spoiled me in a sense. They're much more like the manual focusing of true manual lenses. The zoom is comfortably stiff, and doesn't hang like some cheap lenses do. The biggest nuisance with this lens is that the hood uses two springy clips to attach, and often has to be pushed in to place. Fortunately I usually just leave it on. Also, it won't AF on my EOS 3, but since I use it mainly on my Elan 7e (which it will AF with), it's not a problem. I've been too lazy to send it in.

    Optically it's fairly sharp, even at 2.8. It's not as good as my 70-200 2.8L, but it's not much worse than my 28-105 3.5-4.5. And of course by the time I stop it down to f4, it's better than my 28-105. Color is fine, no overall tint of warmness or coolness. Contrast is good too.

    Back to AF: It's accurate, and focuses without hesitation on my Elan 7e. In fact it's fairly fast, just noisy as hell.

    This lens has sort of become my new bangaround lens for having fun with. It's kind of strange to use a 28-70 2.8 for that, but it is what it is. A solid, fast lens that gives me a lot of opportunities, and that I have little monetary investment in.
  6. I think I am probably just lucky with my sample. But if you can get one for real cheap, and aren't looking for top quality it's good. Otherwise, getting a 28-70 2.8L Canon used is a good idea and at least the quality is known to be top notch and consistent.
  7. I have got Tokina 28-80 pretty cheap. It is *very* soft @ 80/2.8 (still it is perfect for matures ladies :) and very good @f8 (better that my 24-85, something like my EF85/1.8 at f2.8).
    Tokina 28-80 has front focus on my D30 (D30's AF is just bad... but Tokina brings worse results than any other of my lens).

    You can choose Tokina 287 if you are going to shoot at f5.6 and slower. But I had read month ago that it has strong front focus on D60 too.

    Of course, even used 28-70L is better (except maybe build quality aspect). Used 28-70L costs $950-1000 in Moscow so I had prefered Tokina and 50/1.4 and 85/1.8 - for the price of one 28-70L (50/1.4 and 85/1.8 are great primes... just no comparison even with 28-70L @2.8 and they are very good @2.0).
  8. I recently bought the new ATX 28-70 Pro SV f2.8 and to be honest I am really pleased with it. Build quality is first rate, better than non L series Canon's and optical performance is good too, better in my opinion than the Canon 28-135. There is a bit of flare but no more than most zooms at 28mm. It works without problems on the EOS 3 and 1v and although the autofocus is slower than a Canon it is perfectly acceptable especially at this range. I would have liked the Canon 28-70 L but I also like feeding my wife and kids and the price difference buys an awful lot of dinners.
    I would agree that some independents are so-so but I strongly believe that certain independents can equal the marque lenses. The Tamron 90mm macro is one and I feel this particular Tokina could be another.
  9. According to the well respected German photography magazine FotoMagazin the Tokina AF 28-70/2.8 AT-X PRO 287 SV is one of the best lenses to buy in this range. For optics it gets 9.2 out of 10 and for mechanics 9.4 out of 10. With these figures this lens can easily match up to the ones of Canon, Nikon and Minolta and even outperforms most of them at a much better price. Even if money wouldn´t be the problem, don´t get blinded only by the name Canon, Nikon or Minolta. Third party lenses sometimes are even better!
  10. When I first got into the EOS system 6 years ago, I started off with the Canon 28-105 USM, which I rapidly outgrew. I traded up for the Tokina 28-70 AT-X Pro, and about a year ago, upgraded to the 28-70 AT-X Pro II version. I haven't yet seen the 28-70 Pro SV, but so far, it looks to be a significant downgrade both mechanically and optically from the Pro II (more about this later). I also haven't seen the Tokina 28-70 AT-X in person, but I would naturally expect it to be a fair step down from the good AT-X Pro lenses.

    Optically, I've found the 28-70 AT-X Pro and Pro II to be very similar, and both are far sharper and have much less distortion than the Canon 28-105. Perhaps I got a good unit, but my Pro II produces satisfyingly sharp images right to f/2.8 (maybe just not *quite* sharp enough for that eye-popping snap, but still very sharp), getting just a tad soft near the corners. This is important to me, since I tend to shoot quite often at wide apertures, and I like my prints to be large and razor-sharp. I have not compared it to the 28-70 AT-X, but if the prior reviews are accurate in terms of how it compares to the Canon 28-105, then the AT-X Pro II is a *much* better lens than the AT-X. I've also read that the optical performance of the 28-70 AT-X Pro II is actually better than the 28-80 AT-X Pro lens, which also doesn't surprise me, given some of the "good but not great" 28-80 reviews I've read. This brings me to my conclusion that the new 28-70 AT-X Pro SV is a significant downgrade. The recent reviews of the SV have been very negative... I suspect Tokina was not moving it's 28-80 AT-X Pro while the better 28-70 Pro II was still on the market at a lower price. Hence, the move to a cheaper version of the 28-70, which sounds like it belongs in their AT-X category, not their Pro lineup. What a big disappointment for me to see the 28-70 Pro II discontinued.

    Now, a little more about the 28-70 AT-X Pro and Pro II, specifically... These lenses are an absolute dream for the manual focus enthusiasts out there. Mecahnically, the focusing action is silky smooth, with little resistance, and absolutely no slack whatsoever in the mechanism. I really wonder how they do it. I can focus with this lens to extremely fine increments in a way that I have never found possible with any other lens I've tested. The mechanism doesn't 'stick' or grab... it's just oh-so-smooth. Beautiful. And what I said regarding the manualf focus action applies equally to the overall mechanical build quality. These Tokinas are built like tanks, and although that makes them heavy (which I actually prefer for steadier hand-held shooting), they have a robust construction that should stand up to a lot of abuse that would break most lenses.

    Let's see, other items in favour of the AF270 AT-X Pro II... bayonet mount lens hood. This was the only reason I upgraded from the AT-X Pro. A mandatory addition to any piece of glass this big is a good lens shade, and I found myself in too many awkward positions, trying to shade the lens with my hand back when I owned the AT-X Pro. Non-rotating filter mount, 77mm (same as the other AT-X Pro lenses), is a thumbs-up. I like being able to exchange filters with my Tokina 80-200 AT-X Pro (another lens to die for), even if I don't use them very often. Wonderful balance and handling. If you're contemplating blowing your savings on the Canon 28-70 /2.8 L, you owe it to yourself to set aside your brand-name loyalty and test this lens. Yes, the Canon L is a tad nicer, but in my books, just can't justify the extra $1000. Once you're shooting at f/5.6 or higher, you'll have a very difficult time distinguishing between photos taken with these two lenses.

    Warts (28-70 AT-X Pro II): The focusing ring system on the Tokina lens is a bit finicky to operate. Re-engaging the clutch, takes some practice, and even then it's a 1 second operation, instead of the 0.1 second operation it could be. Also, the AF motor, while quick, isn't as quick as the Canon, and while it's not loud, it's not silent either. Distortion near the corners at 28mm is annoying, although the Canon 28-70 L behaves about the same in this respect. If you need very rectilinear images at this focal length, pick up a prime or some other lens. If you're used to a consumer zoom, you'll probably find the Tokina to be refreshingly distortion free by comparison.

    In short, my recommendatations are:

    28-70 AT-X Pro: an excellent lens. Get one if you can, but be prepared for the lack of an adequate lens hood.
    28-70 AT-X Pro II: even better, with a proper lens shade.
    28-80 AT-X Pro: not convinced. More expensive, but doesn't offer any real advantage over the above lenses. Optical quality is apparently not even as good...
    28-70 AT-X Pro SV: AVOID! Spend your money elsewhere, unless you're looking for a lower-grade lens. At least until there are more reviews...
    28-70 AT-X: a lower grade lens. Consider the Pro SV as an alternative.
    Canon 28-70 f/2.8 L: Beautiful glass, sharper than the AT-X Pro II below f/5.6, and slightly faster, quieter AF. Otherwise, a just a lot more $$$$.

    The verdict: if you're money-wise, and you can get your head around the name-brand issues, I think the 28-70 AT-X Pro II is a far better value than the Canon L, and it's performance comes very, very close. For the next range in focal length, have a look at the Tokina AF828 80-200 f/2.8 AT-X Pro, which comes even closer to Canon L-glass optical performance, perhaps even on par!

    Finally, a small beef. Tokina's lens naming. All of the aforementioned lenses from Tokina share very similar names, and I'm sure I've seen reviews of these models under the wrong name, or people discussing different versions of the lens and hence not seeing eye-to-eye. Be alert to this. It's so easy to confuse these lenses, or mistake them for one another, but they are each unique and different. Whether it's a marketing ploy by Tokina to 'sucker' people into buying a lens based on the reputation of it's preceeding version is debatable, but if so, it's a dirty game they're playing. But alas, I know what it's like to work at a company where the marketing vision is completely discordant with the engineering practices. Despite the rather poor naming choices, some of the Tokina lenses are truly excellent products, so don't discount them.
  11. Oops, let me re-post my summary list, which didn't format very well...
    • 28-70 AT-X Pro: an excellent lens. Get one if you can, but be prepared for the lack of an adequate lens hood.
    • 28-70 AT-X Pro II: even better, with a proper lens shade.
    • 28-80 AT-X Pro: not convinced. More expensive, but doesn't offer any real advantage over the above lenses. Optical quality is apparently not even as good...
    • 28-70 AT-X Pro SV: AVOID! Spend your money elsewhere, unless you're looking for a lower-grade lens. At least until there are more reviews...
    • 28-70 AT-X: a lower grade lens. Consider the Pro SV as an alternative.
    • Canon 28-70 f/2.8 L: Beautiful glass, sharper than the AT-X Pro II below f/5.6, and slightly faster, quieter AF. Otherwise, a just a lot more $$$$.
  12. Hi Chad,

    Thank you for the detailed review for all of us here. I do have a couple of questions that I would appreciate a response on.

    First, what camera are you using with your 28-70 PRO II?

    Second what makes you believe the 28-70 PRO SV is of inferior optical quality to the 28-70 PRO II?

    I don't disagree with you, I just want to understand better. I have the PRO SV and I am using it with a Canon EOS ELAN 7E. I find the lens just about horrible wide open -- almost out-of-focus results -- but really outstandingly sharp at f/8-f/16 -- I mean like good prime lens sharp! I am wondering if the fact that the lens is so poor wide open may be related to the combination of the lens and my specific camera (autofocus problems perhaps?)

    I just have never seen a lens perform so bad wide open and so excellent stopped down and I am having a hard time believing that it's even possible to design such a lens -- I mean it should be consistently bad or consistently good. On the other hand, I really regret never having used the 28-70 PRO II so I really don't know the difference.

    If you could shed just a little light in my two questions above I would really appreciate it very much! It would be a real shame for me and for others to have a great lens (optically) and to think that we don't because it may have a compatibility issue with our particular cameras. I am asking this because I have heard the 28-80 PRO does not focus well except with the central focus point on the ELAN 7/7E. Perhaps the 28-70 PRO SV has similar issues with it? Also because the difference from wide-open to stopped down is just so hard to believe -- like two completely different lenses!

    Thanks again!

  13. Intersting thread this. I bought the 28-70 PRO 287 SV for my D30 yesterday, and here are my first findings:<br>
    - quite soft upto F/4.0 (also some chromatic aberrations in the corners)<br>
    - quite some front focus, specially up close (<1.5 meter)<br>
    Other than that, and specially in smaller apertures, this lens IS pretty good! <br>
    It's mainly the front focus that really dissapoints me, because the annoying thing is, even with manual focus, it seems the front focussing is occuring also.<br>

    Here's an example where I focus on the little rock.. the real focus point is like 2cm in front of that rock.<br> <img src=""> <br>Note: I'm as close to the rock as the focus lets me, zoomed in to 70mm, where the affect is worst)
  14. I just bought one cheap as well for the heck of it. I always use nikon lenses. I have to say I was expecting soft results, sloppy function, lense flare and a AF that was slow. Well I decided to use it with my F5 shooting one of my models B&W. I have to say the results were amazing. I shot at all apatures from 2.5 seconds on up in difficult lighting situations. They came out consistantly excellent. I use to be a lense snob...not any more. Only one small problem. When shooting with the F5 you are in constant AF mode with no manual focusing option, so I have to use my AF lock if I want my subject off frame slightly.

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