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How is the Tokina 80-200mm f/2.8 AT-X SD Manual Focus Lens ?

Budhaditya Deb , Nov 05, 2007; 03:10 p.m.

Hi, Anybody has any experience with this manual focus lens? How is the Tokina 80-200mm f/2.8 MF compared to the Vivitar Series 1 70-210mm MF f/3.5 macro. My experience with the Vivitar has been quite good and though its a stop slower than 2.8 you can get it very cheap and its very light to carry around. I am looking to get a second one and want to decide between the vivitar and the tokina. Most of the reviews I found got were about the Tokina AF version so any information about the MF would be helpful. Also information about any other manual focus lens in the same zoom range, which I could get under 200$ would be helpful. Thank You.


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Wayne Cornell , Nov 05, 2007; 03:51 p.m.

I have the Tokina and a Kiron 80-200.. f4 macro--which I believe is every bit as good as the Vivitar Series 1--in fact I think the Series 1 was made by Kiron. In any event, My Tokina compares very favorably to the Kiron and is very well built. The only dowside of the Tokina is its weight, but you'll have that problem with any f2.8 zoom.

Dave Petley , Nov 05, 2007; 04:11 p.m.

if it is for a nikon camera buy nikon lens only

Budhaditya Deb , Nov 05, 2007; 04:21 p.m.

Yes, it is for a Nikon. Sorry I forgot to add. Dave could you please let me know which Nikon lens I should consider. I am not exactly sure if Nikon makes a comparable MF fast zoom (if there was, it probably it will be 3 times as expensive).

Eric Sande , Nov 05, 2007; 04:32 p.m.

There was an MF Nikkor 80-200 f/2.8 - I have a book somewhere that has a picture of it. I think I also read that it may not have actually gone into production, or very limited.

As far as sticking with Nikon, you'll probably only find the f/4.5 and f/4 MF versions.

http://www.keh.com/OnLineStore/ProductDetail.aspx? groupsku=NK07010200775N&brandcategoryname=35MM&Mode=&item=0&ActivateTOC2= &ID=24&BC=NK&BCC=1&CC=7&CCC=2&BCL=&GBC=&GCC=

Dave Petley , Nov 05, 2007; 05:15 p.m.

yes you can find 80 200 2.8 or 300 f4 to 4.5 is it for flim camera or Digital what camera is it for

Wayne Cornell , Nov 05, 2007; 05:20 p.m.

Yes, you can buy Nikon lenses only for Nikon cameras--and you can pay considerably more for a lens that won't produce results noticeably better that those from a high end after market lens manufacturer.

That's like saying only Winchester ammunition should be used in Winchester firearms.

Budhaditya Deb , Nov 05, 2007; 07:03 p.m.

I am shooting in film, but is that important?

I think I will go for the vivitar 70-210 f/3.5 macro over the tokina at this point. Its half the weight (probably compensates for the 1 stop slower speed) and 1/3rd the price (around 60-70$ over 200 for the Tokina).. Also I have previous experience with this one. I had earlier got the vivitar in an impulse buy for just 50$ and was quite surprised with the results. Later I read that it is supposedly a really good lens capable of print quality sharpness. I also like its close focusing capabilities. Great for hikes.

BTW there are some great 3rd party lenses I like. (e.g. I have both used and seen photos with Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 where its indistinguishable from the 3 times more expensive Nikon counterpart even at 100% crop.. Buying nikon/canon is a no brainer if you want to spend.

I really just wanted to know the experiences with the Tokina and how it compares to the Vivitar without really bringing up the "use only nikon issue". I have used the cheap nikons before and they are sometimes really really bad and have to be even more careful when getting them.

Thanks everyone for your inputs.

Lindy Stone , Nov 06, 2007; 12:08 a.m.

I own a couple manual focus 80-200mm 2.8 tokina lenses in Nikon AiS and Pentax K-A Mount. I use the Nikon mount on Canon Eos 3 film body. Its a better lens image quality wise than the 70-210 3.5 Ai Vivitar Series 1 which I still own. This 2.8 tokina design is also an exceptional performer with nikon made 1.4x B telconverter on my eos 3 film body. On my pentax dslr the 2nd Tokina lens images quite well on pentax 1.5x crop digital too and also with pentax' rare 1.7x manual focus lens to autofocus function converter.


Adam Maas , Nov 06, 2007; 10:31 a.m.

The 80-200 f2.8 AI-S does exist, I've seen one in use. It's rare though and massive (the AF versions are noticeably smaller)

The Tokina is a well-regarded lens. I wouldn't hesitate to use it, although their coating technology is not as good as Nikon's. The best Nikon to look at is the 80-200 f2.8 AF, which actually makes quite a good MF version (in all of its variations)

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