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Canon 28-50mm f/3.5 SSC vs Tokina 28-85mm f/3.5-4.5 ATX

Jerome Sigua , Dec 17, 2011; 12:11 p.m.

I currently have the Tokina lens and have read that the Canon is a pretty sharp lens. I was wondering if anyone has used both and if it's worth getting the Canon. Is it a bit better or just a little? I know the lens doesn't go for that much money but if there isn't a significant difference, I'd rather spend the money on getting more film, especially the new Portra 400.


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Jeff Adler , Dec 17, 2011; 01:30 p.m.

I haven't used the Canon. 28-50 is not a very long range. I think I have a 28-50 Soligor in Canon mount. I don't use it much. The Tokina is an excellent lens. I have it for Konica, Canon and Nikon. The one in Canon mount has had the most use. On the long end it's pretty slow so using it with an F-1 with an L D screen brightens things up.

Philip Wilson , Dec 18, 2011; 06:03 p.m.

The Tokina is a very good lens as but I find the Canon 35-105 F3.5 is better. I cannot comment on the Canon 28-50 as I have never used it. If you are looking for a very compact zoom the Tamron AD2 35-70 F3.5 is also very good (and very cheap used)

Michael McBroom , Dec 19, 2011; 12:07 p.m.

I agree with Philip re: the Canon 35-105/3.5. It is a great lens. If you need the 28mm focal length, I can recommend my favorite zoom that includes it: the Vivitar Series 1 28-90mm f/2.8-3.5. They can often be found in Canon FD mount for cheap. I've used one since 1984 and I love it.

Jeff Adler , Dec 19, 2011; 02:16 p.m.

I have both versions of the 35-105 New FD lenses. The f/3.5 model does not focus close enough at the long end for a tight portrait and it focuses too close at the "macro" setting. The Tokina AT-X focuses to 3 feet before its close-up setting is used. Tamron used to advertise its CF (Continuous Focusing) feature for its zooms. They had no break between two close focusing ranges. The f/3.5-4.5 New FD focuses down to 4 feet at all focal lengths and down to about 3 feet from 70-105mm. It's a personal preference but I'd rather sacrifice close focusing at the short end than at the long end when using a zoom. Some favorite inexpensive but high quality 28s include the Canon f/2.8 FD SC, Vivitar f/2.5 Fixed Mount and Vivitar f/2.8 TX. From looking around on eBay I think there might be more than one version of the Tokina 28-85/3.5-4.5 AT-X but I'm not sure.

Mark Wahlster , Dec 19, 2011; 02:37 p.m.

I've owned the Tokina 28-85mm f3.5/4.5 ATX and found it to have a very flat contrast I didn't like so much. I picked up a Canon 28-85mm f4.0 nFD (the sister to the 35-105mm f3.5 nFD) and I liked that lens so much that on our once in a lifetme trip to Europe it was my walk around lens on my T-90.
I can't comment on the older S.S.C. 28-50mm as I don't remember ever owning one.

Jerome Sigua , Dec 19, 2011; 03:06 p.m.

I didn't think about the 35-105mm f/3.5. I'll have to check it out and see what's available. It would be an interesting test with both lenses, the Tokina ATX and the Canon. I wouldn't need a 28mm as I have the 35mm f/2.8 and the 24mm f/2.8 SSC.

Thomas Goehler , Dec 19, 2011; 03:29 p.m.

I seem to be the only one who both has and uses the 3,5/28-50. It IS a very sharp and convenient lens. During the last holidays in Tuscanny I used it for more or less 80% of all my shots. It is sometimes hard to get and I am very happy to have come by mine for a very cheap price. Comparing with the Tokina in question I'd always go for the Canon, if I didn't need the extra 35mm. Otherwise there is the Canon FD 28-85 (which sometimes gets a bad reputation in forums, but I never had one) or the afore mentioned 35-105.

Gerry Morgan , Dec 19, 2011; 06:38 p.m.

I thought it might be fun to take a quick "family portrait" of some of the mid-zoom Canon FD lenses mentioned in this particular thread lined up next to each other.

Left to right:

Canon nFD 28-50mm f/3.5
Canon nFD 35-70mm f/2.8-3.5
Canon nFD 35-105mm f/3.5
Canon nFD 35-105mm f/3.5-4.5
Canon nFD 28-85mm f/4
Canon nFD 50-135mm f/3.5

Couple of comments about some of these lenses from my perspective: The 28-50 is really a decent performer with good sharpness that can hold its own in this range. On this lens I find the two-touch convenient for precise framing. The 50-135 is an amazingly heavy lens. I find myself reaching for this "pool" of lenses when I want a quick travel lens – the 28-50 comes along if I know I might be in close quarters.

Some Canon FD mid-zooms

Thomas Goehler , Dec 20, 2011; 09:35 a.m.

Yeah, the combination 28-50 plus 50-135 is ideal for travelling. I only added the 1,2/50 and the 2,8/20 this summer. The last one only because I wanted to shoot some architecture, otherwise I could have done without it.

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