Recently Tokina announced three new APS-C Reflex E-mount lenses you can preorder on Indiegogo (Click here). Here is my take on the 300mm lenses I quickly tested yesterday:
Tokina sent me the lens for testing. I didn’t get paid nor any offer to write this review.
Holding the lens in my hand:
When I unboxed the lens I had a first wow moment after realizing how small this lens is considering this is a 300m lens! It is indeed much tinier than it looks on the product photos. The build quality is great, everything is metal and the focus rubber ring feels good too. It’s also funny to inspect the lens, looking straight into the mount point you will see the reflection of your face on the tiny Reflex mirror :)
Approach as a hiker:
I live in Merano, in the middle of the south tyrolean alps. So I do hike often and my getgo lens is the Tamron 28-200mm FE lens. The main reason for choosing the Tamron is the compactness and low weight. Crucial aspects when hiking a full day on high altitude (usually between 2.000 and 3.500 meter). So light lenses are important for me an the new Tokina certainly scores a big plus point for me in that regard.
Image shows the Tokina 300mm on the left and on the right the Tamron 28-200mm fully extended to 200mm
Reflex lenses are not the sharpest lenses. You don’t buy them to get the ultimate quality, you buy them for their small size and affordable price. The Tamron I use, gives me a 300mm focal length when cropped on APS-C. The Tokina gives me a 450mm reach (in FF equivalent), is half as small and half the price. As you can see from the following comparison the Tamron is sharper, but the Tokina is doing ok considering all factors like weight/price/size.
Examples of how far you “see” with the Tokina 300mm Reflex lens:
This is the spot from where I took some mountain shots. You can see far away the peaks Number 1 and 2
And this is what I got (peak 1 on the left and peak 2 on the right):
One more shot:
Today it is snowing here and I took one more image with the Tokina:
What I personally think about the Tokina 300mm lens:
The Tamron is good and light enough for me to keep going on with that lens. If you need to carry something smaller than the Tokina is your ONLY alternative and costs half us much. So definitely check out for it. But here is the one big elephant in the room: I would have loved to be able to test the 600mm (900mm as Full Frame equivalent) and 900mm (1350mm as Full Frame equivalent) Reflex lenses. Because if the image quality is somewhat similar to the 300mm lens I am sure I would consider to buy them! I cannot carry big tele photo lenses, but I would definitely consider to take these Tokina superteles instead. My Tamron limits my cropping to 300mm, and having those Tokinas would allow me to get images I cannot take today. So if you ask me, as a hiker I would buy the 600 and 900mm ASAP!
Preorder: Tokina APS-C Reflex E-mount lenses on Indiegogo (Click here).