Older Tokina AT-X lenses? Go for it or stay away?

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by LowriderS10, Aug 10, 2010.

  1. LowriderS10

    LowriderS10 Member

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    I'm having no luck getting my paws on a decent Canon FD wide angle (already have the 28mm f2.8, would really like to go 24mm or wider), so I'm widening my horizons to third-party manufacturers...

    I have the EFS Tokina 11-16mm for my digital camera (30D) and am beyond pleased with this lens. I've read a lot of good things about the older ('80s, mostly is what I'm looking at) Tokina AT-X line...do any of you guys have any experience with that gear? Should I go for it? Stay away? I have my eye on a Tokina AT-X 28-85mm...I know it's not wider, but it may be more versatile, while still providing the same wide end.

    Anyways...any sort of feedback on the older AT-X line would be much appreciated.

    Thanks!
    Tamas
     
  2. Alan Johnson

    Alan Johnson Subscriber

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    <Posted via APUG mobile wap service..>

    I have a Tokina ATX 28-85 in Olympus fit.It is a little soft at the edges compared to the Zuiko 28 or 50 and not as good as the more modern Tamron 28-75 2.8.
    But if you don't expect too much it is a fair zoom of its era and OK if found at a price that reflects this.
     
  3. LowriderS10

    LowriderS10 Member

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    Thanks for your input! Since I already have a razor sharp/excellent colours Canon FD 28mm, I really don't want to go DOWN in quality...as it is, the Tokina would run me about $40 CDN give or take...

    Given what you just said, I'd probably pass on it...anyone else? :smile:
     
  4. Fluidphoto

    Fluidphoto Member

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    I've had both AT-X and the AT-X pro lenses and the 2.8 series lenses are spectacular. They are really nice and solid, and the image quality is fantastic. The older plastic-framed lens, I had the 19-35mm, was good, but not as solid a lens as the brass and glass 35-70 f/2.8 that I have now. If you have the option, go with the pro series, but you won't be disappointed either way.
     
  5. papagene

    papagene Membership Council Council

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    I sold photo gear during the '80s and the AT-X line always produced excellent results. Personally I had the AT-X 80 -200 AT-X f2.8 and the 35 - 70 AT-X f2.8, both were quite sharp.
    My $0.02 worth.
     
  6. ozphoto

    ozphoto Subscriber

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    I also had the ATX-Pro series lenses, and was very, very happy with their performance - 35-70mm from memory.
    Have you looked at the Tamron Adaptall series? These are also excellent value for money.

    I sold off my 28mm f2.5 FD fixed when I changed to EF. Kicking myself for doing so - buying another cost more than the first time around! (And both were used.)
    Extremely sharp, good contrast and compact - seriously considered buying an Canon EF 28mm or 24mm, but the price was ridiculous for a lens I would only be using on my film body, so I picked the Tamron instead.
     
  7. LowriderS10

    LowriderS10 Member

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    Thanks everyone for the advice, keep them coming :smile: They're much appreciated!

    ozphoto: ugh...I DID have a Tamron Adaptall 2 28-80...which I traded for a Canon 35-70 f4 for the simple reason that I wanted the zoom to match the rest of my Canon-only FD glass. I never use zooms for film anyways, so I figured if it's gotta collect dust, it might as well be a Canon...originally I wasn't going to take any film bodies on my trip, and at home I usually use primes...well after my first roll through my AE-1P I decided to take it with me...and now wishing I had a zoom that started at 28mm or wider...
     
  8. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    I don't remember any really good 3rd party 24mm wide angles. Pre 1990 FD mount the best independent lenses were the Tamron SP's and Vivitar S1's neither did a 24mm in those ranges, I had a Sigma 24mm but it was awful.

    PM'ed you with details on two reasonably priced Canon f28 24mm FD lenses :D

    Ian
     
  9. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Also pre 1990 Tokina was an unknown. The company is actually owned by Hoya but they try to hide the connections even today, but a recent Press releases stated that Hoya wouldn't merge Pentax with Tokina, which says rather a lot :D

    Pre 1990 Hoya had introduced a range of lenses under their own name, which quite annoyed every other Japanese optical company as Hoya's Glass Division makes and sell optical glass to them all.

    However Hoya made some serious design and production errors and skimped on the Multi-coating, not coating all the internal glass/air surfaces, many suffered from bad flare, some lenses were worse than others and after a short time Hoy ditched the whole range. They went back to the drawing board licking their wounds and quietly solved all the issues before re-launching a lens range, this time with the Tokina name which they already owned.

    Ian
     
  10. mopar_guy

    mopar_guy Subscriber

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    I own a Tokina SZ-X 28-70mm f2.8 in an Olympus mount. I bought this lens new in the mid 1980's. This lens has always been a sharp lens and a very good performer. These were probably better lenses than the 28-80 that you mentioned. I would look for the 28-70 version, but it would probably be a little more money, and well worth the difference.

    Dave
     
  11. flatulent1

    flatulent1 Subscriber

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    Ian, check your decades. From my recollection, Tokina was already very well known in the mid 1980's when I bought my T90. I remember drooling over the ads in the back of photo mags; the 80-200 f/2.8 AT-X was a very drool-worthy lens, and I recall Tokina receiving favorable reviews. Checking ebay and KEH, there are lots of Tokina lenses in Canon FD mount, which Canon ceased production in 1987.
     
  12. flatulent1

    flatulent1 Subscriber

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    Tamas, the very best 24mm lens for Canon FD seems to have been the Canon nFD 24mm f/2.0; after that, the Canon 24mm f/1.4L. (Both according to user reviews/internet rumor; I do not necessarily subscribe to this view as I do not shoot lens test charts.) Third party lenses of that period were not really in the same league with the camera manufacturers' lenses, though I don't doubt there were exceptions. The very best third party lenses in the mid 1980's were Tokina AT-X, Tamron SP, and Kino Precision (Kiron, Vivitar Series 1).

    Your best bet, in my opinion, is to wait for a Canon. You may have to raise the price you're willing to pay, as very wide and ultra wide lenses do not come cheap, even 30 years old.
     
  13. jp498

    jp498 Member

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    I bought the Tokina ATX 28-70 2.8 af and 80-200 2.8 af lenses back in about 1990 for mostly B&W sports/event/group photography with my F4S. They were very rugged and worked nicely for B&W. I had a couple Nikon lenses too and it was all good. Fast forward to 2002, I got a D100 dslr and the lenses. Color fringing from chromatic abberation on the Tokina lenses on a dslr was real bad. I was in a decent spot financially, so I got the Nikon 28-70 afs 2.8 beast which was of course awesome for everything. If you're shooting B&W mostly, the older Tokina stuff will be great gear still. I sold mine to a acquaintance who was pleased to have them for traditional use. I have not tried newer Tokina stuff as I've got most of what I need already for 35mm gear.
     
  14. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Got the decade right, pre-1990's means the 80's :D Hoya launched their HMC lenses in the very early 80's, I can't remember the exact dates and any magazines etc are back in the UK so I can't check, then the lens brand disappeared around the mid 80's and a very significantly better quality range of lenes were launched under the Tokina brand name, which had been around for some time but relatively unknown. Tokina had been making lenes for other companies like Vivitar for some time.

    You're right though after the Hoya lens brand failure the new Tokina lenses were launched with heavy press advertising, and they knew the technology well because they already manufactured similar lenses for competitors. The best independent 28m made, the Vivitar Series 1 28mm f/1.9, was made by Tokina.

    Ian
     
  15. LowriderS10

    LowriderS10 Member

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    flatulent: Love your username, btw...thanks for the suggestion, but raising how much I'm willing to pay is not really an option...since it also happens to be how much I CAN pay haha. Also, have you seen how much the L and the f2 versions go for? eeeek...I have a Tokina 11-16 for my 30D, so if I really need to shoot wide, I always have that :wink: Film is just a side road of a hobby, so I can't dedicate much money for it (and the fact that I'm a student doesn't help haha).

    Does anyone know anything about the FD Vivitar 24mm?
     
  16. ozphoto

    ozphoto Subscriber

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    Mmmmm, that 300 f2.8 was a really nice piece of glass. I had the Tamron 300 f2.8 and my cousin the Tokina - we couldn't tell the results apart from each other.
    If anyone is looking for a 300 f2.8, I wouldn't hesitate to suggest you pick one of these babies up - you will *not* be disappointed!
     
  17. jp498

    jp498 Member

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    I've got the 300 2.8 af probably from the late 90's and it is excellent. I use it with the best of new digital cameras and get great results, probably better than Nikon's 80-400. Wish I'd bought it earlier but didn't have the money for it when I was shooting sports on film. It has gone up in cost with the value of the yen.
     
  18. LowriderS10

    LowriderS10 Member

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    Thanks for all the advice...I really wanted something wide and couldn't find a Tokina, but managed to find a decently-priced Canon 24 f2.8, so I'm happy :smile: