Tokina 24-200mm F3.5-5.6 AT-X AF A-mount lens reviews

reviews found: 14   
reviewer#11728 date: Mar-15-2014
sharpness: 4
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:Tamron 28-200 (sold after comparing)
price paid:I forget
positive:This is the best super-zoom of its time.
Solid build typical of Tokina.
More professional look than its competitors.
Focal range useful on both APSC and FF.
Starts at 24mm instead of 28mm like other super-zooms.
Colors are pleasant and sharpness is acceptable.
72mm filters are common.
AF is pretty fast.
negative:Nothing major.
Heavy, but to be expected from a super-zoom made mostly of metal.
Focus ring would benefit from abit more resistance in manual.
Should have been made with a zoom lock.
Can be abit hard to find in A-mount.
More expensive than Tamron, but it should be!!
Not a D lens, but outdoors without flash is its most common use.
comment:Super-zooms are never perfect. This Tokina is no exception, but I do recommend it for its strong points. I owned two versions of the 28-200mm Tamron and tried a similar Sigma. All of those were film era lenses. The Tokina is newer than these lenses I used. For whatever it's worth, the box did say 'recommended for digital slr'. I have not used any similar lenses released after this one. It compares favorably against its older competition. The only factor this lens loses on is weight, but I will choose the extra weight over the cheap build of the others.

The build is fantastic. I would like to have given 5 stars. I would have, if it were not for two things. In manual, the focusing ring moves abit more freely than I personally prefer. Not a big deal really, and certainly not a reason to avoid this lens. Also this lens really would benefit from a zoom lock. Mine is like new and has no zoom creep, so I can't say if it develops creep or not. I am just saying this lens is built like a tank. With such a quality, heavy build, in theory zoom creep could develop. Silly that Tokina stopped short of adding this feature. One other minor thing worth mentioning. The zoom ring turns in the opposite direction of Minolta lenses.

I have not noticed flare in most of my pictures. I must admit that most of the use it has gotten has been in an area shaded by trees. The hood definitely does help.

Distortion is minimal and vigneting non-existant on an A300. I have not used this lens on full frame.

Basically my opinion is that this lens is very useful on my apsc body. The focal range is so good that when using outdoors, you will not need another lens most of the time. AF is accurate and the speed is good. In a direct comparison to a Tamron SP 24-135, the Tokina's AF speed is alot faster. I have not found it to hunt in anything other than low light, in which it isn't all that bad really. Some people say Tokina colors are typically cool or washed-out, while others say they are true-to-life. This is my only Tokina lens. It renders nice colors that are neutral to slightly warm. Not my beloved Minolta colors, but no complaints at all. I may have given it a 4.5 if that option was avalable. Nothing unpleasant about the colors.

Sharpness is good and remains relatively constant throught the range. But do bear in mind that I am reviewing a super-zoom here, and am comparing it to other supers. I gave it a 4 in sharpness. To put it in perspective, most Zeiss glass would score a 5. If I were comparing this lens directly with Zeiss, there would be a two point difference instead of one. But I couldn't rightfully give this lens a 3 for that reason. That would mislead people into thinking it is not sharp.

What I would like you to take away from this review is simple. If you are looking for a super-zoom and know what to expect from the sort, this Tokina will satsify on all fronts. There really are no deal-breakers in its makeup. Aperture and zoom range make this an outdoor lens for the most part, but I have used it indoors also.

A current zoom lens of this build quality doesn't come cheap these days. If you can find a mint copy of this lens for $250 or less, you can't go wrong. Once in awhile they come up on Ebay still new-in-box, and they always list for over $300. It would take some rough handling to make this lens ugly. If you find one that is rough looking, wait for a nice one.

edit: I sold this lens in order to buy an apsc lens that will better suit my wifes usage. It served me well though.
reviewer#11590 date: Jan-7-2014
sharpness: 3
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 3
overall: 3.8
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta AF 35-200mm xi F4.5-5.6
Sigma 24-135mm F2.8-4.5 Aspherical IF
Tamron AF 28-300mm F3.5-6.3 XR LD AD IF
Sony AF 28-75mm F2.8 SAM
Sony AF 50mm F1.4
price paid:300 USD (used)
positive:Wonderful solid feel. Nice balance. Looks like very high quality. Very handy zoom range.
negative:Not sharp.
Substantial flare, usually eliminated by using spare hand to shade it.
Inconsistent exposure.
comment:It feels and looks really high quality. My copy is the worst lens for sharpness of the lenses I have (i.e. not counting the Tamron 28-300mm which I returned to the shop because it was worse). It also suffered from decentering. I also found it inconsistent with exposure, but in retrospect perhaps the aperture was faulty.

I went on a holiday and took over 4,500 photos with this lens (in summer in Central America). Before I got to the end of my travels, the aperture intermittently stopped shutting down (leading to overexposed photos, until I realised it was beyond hope, then I left the lens wide open for the last part of the travels).

I took the lens to the local distributor for repair, but they eventually found it needs parts that are no longer available, so now it is a paper weight :(

In summary, I really liked the zoom range and very high quality feel, which both compensated for the poor sharpness (better to get a shot than to miss it while fiddling around trying to change lenses). Too bad the parts to repair it are no longer available.

FYI, makernote ID: 25531 (the same as Minolta AF 28-135mm F4-4.5 "secret handshake")
reviewer#9893 date: Feb-5-2012
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 3
overall: 4.2
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Tamron 28-300mm 185D lens
price paid:
missing
positive:Very useful/unique range on full frame. Unique Tokina image rendition. Extremely well built!
negative:Strong CA which is typical for Tokina lens. Sharpness is hard to reach and should be tested before use. Irregular over-under exposure with A850. Heavy.
comment:I bought this lens because I got a good deal and it's the most interesting range you can find for Sony full frame camera. I always like the rendition of Tokina lens and wanted to give this a try. First look, the lens was extremely well made to Tokina's standard. It weighs significant in my hands. And when attached to A850, the combo feels extremely solid although a bit too heavy (around 1.6-1.7 kilograms with A850).

After test shooting, I notice the Tokina 24-200 tends to overexpose images with A850 and hightlights blown out, although not always. Sometimes it underexposes a lot too. And this weird irregularity, that I don't find with other lens, can be frustrating for some people, as if the lens and camera don't wanna talk to each other. I always have to check my photo after every shot. When correctly exposed, the images rendered are beautiful and has the unique Tokina warm & rich colors. But watch out the flare, Tokina lens especially the old ones are often infamous for flare. Hood should be put on all the time.

Shot wide open, vignette is heavy and noticeable on full frame so depending on your objective, this could add a style to your images or destroy.

My copy back-focuses a bit and require -5 adjustment on A850. Sharpness is hopeless wide open. Images are soft especially towards the long end, although it gives beautiful colors. This could be useful in certain situations. Stopping down to f11 seems to give maximum sharpness, stopping down further reduces sharpness a bit, although not much unless pixel peeping. Anyway, when viewing images scaled down for web use, sharpness is perfectly acceptable across the range.

In summary, a unique Tokina full frame lens with uniquely versatile range. Epic built, but highly unpredictable and quirky. Need to constantly compensate exposure up and down almost every shot. Gets sharper when heavily stopped down. I will only take this lens just for the pleasure and versatility and not for anything serious. When correctly exposed, can give a good result with unique Tokina rendition and I like that enough to keep this lens. It's a challenging lens with personalities. Kinda like pretty, but stubborn, arrogant, confusing girl. She wanna do things you don't want and don't understand why so need to tame and control at all time.

See my photos with Tokina AT-X 242 on my Flickr collection at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/lifeispixels/collections/72157628204412995/
reviewer#9448 date: Sep-26-2011
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.5
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony 50mm F1.4
Sony 18-70mm
Sony 16-105mm
Minolta 100mm F2.8 Macro
Minolta 35-105mm (Original)
Zeiss 16-35mm F2.8
Sigma 100-300mm F4
Sigma 50-500mm F4-6.3
price paid:185 (used - like new
positive:Easy to use and the most useful full frame range of any lens I could find.
negative:Nothing worth mentioning.
comment:This is a good solid walk around lens. The range is just about bang on. Sure, it would have been nice to start at 16mm at the wide end, but 24mm is peachy in any case. At the long end, it is should be fine on a FF camera but on an APSC camera support or bracing recommended to reduce shake.

Veiwing a scene through this lens seemed to produce a very well defined and detailed view. I got that quasi 3D effect where individual shapes seemed to create their own space and distance from other objects around them.

It can not be a perfect lens as no lens is perfect. Sure, there is some distortion at either end of the zoom range but using this lens for anything other than architectural work (i.e. prevalence of straight lines), distortion would not normally be visible and you would have to look very hard to spot any at all.

Flare is an issue on this lens under certain conditions. However, on the one occassion where flare occurred, I attached the lens hood and the flare went away. It would seem that this is one of those lens where its operation with a lens hood should be part of standard operating procedure. I don't normally shoot with lens hoods attached as they get in the way and make the lens less weildy, but this lens will be more prone to flare without it.

Build quality is first rate - as seems to be with a lot of Tokina lenses. Everything works smoothly and as it should. Did not notice any loseness or play in it but I haven't had occassion to focus it manually yet.

Mention has been made in previous posts about the focusing speed of this lens. True enough, it is not the fastest thing to ever mount a camera body so real sports action photography is out of its league. However, I found that there is no real appreciable or significant difference to any other non HSM/SSM lens out there, which makes this lens on a par performance wise with the majority of lens in general circulation. So if you just going shoot fixed objects, nature stuff, landscapes and people, then this lens will do the job just fine, like I started this review by saying this is a good solid walkabout lens.

reviewer#7211 date: Mar-31-2010
sharpness: 3.5
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 3
overall: 3.9
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:
missing
price paid:
missing
positive:
missing
negative:
missing
comment:Frustrating lens. Avoid !!!!
reviewer#5612 date: Jun-30-2009
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.7
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Tamron 24 - 135
Sigma 28 - 200 DL Hyperzoom
price paid:Ł85 (GBP)
positive:Range
Sharpness
Build
Good bokeh
negative:Weight (but thats compromised by build quality)

Needs good light
comment:Good walkround lens. Great range but better options now available (at a price!)

I just wonder if some of the previous reviewers used the dedicated lens hood. My test shots were all taken eith the hood fitted.

Needs stopping down at the long end but very sharp at the wide to medium focal lengths
reviewer#5484 date: Jun-1-2009
sharpness: 3
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 1
overall: 3.4
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:MAF 28-105/3,5-4,5
MAF 70-210/4
MAF 24-85/3,5-4,5
KM 18-70DT
price paid:150euro (used)
positive:- AT-X build quality
- great sharpness at 24mm
- decent sharpness until 100mm
- fast AF
- nice zoom range even on APS-C
negative:- bulky & heavy
- duo-cam mechanism side action
- poor sharpness above 100mm, useless at 200mm (at least my copy)
- at longer focal lenght flare just ruins whole frame
comment:May be a better performer on film or if a better copy picked. Mine looked almost new but above 100mm was useless, no matter how stopped down. However at 24mm f3,5 I had best quality ever.
reviewer#2665 date: Aug-28-2007
sharpness: 4
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.2
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:MinO 28-85 F3.5-4.5
MinO 35-105 F3.5-4.5
Sigma 75-300mm F4.5-5.6 APO
MinO 100-200mm
Beercan
price paid:120 USD (used)
positive:Fantastic range.
Great build quality.
Compact for the range.
negative:Noticeable barrel distortion.
Unimpressive color.
Soft corners.
Unimpressive contrast.
Slow focus.
Zoom creep.
comment:I am never in want of another lens when I have this on a film body. The range is great for my type of photography. And the build quality is typical Tokina - like a tank. I never found the weight to be a problem, as the lens is quite compact and handles very well.

Unfortunately, that's all the good I can find in the lens. If you have only ever used modern kit lenses, I'm sure that you would find this lens quite satisfactory; but anyone who has used any of the original Minolta glass will be disappointed.

What struck me most was the color. I guess I'm spoiled by the old Minolta glass. Don't get me wrong, the image is accurate, but just not as appealing to the eye as the old Minolta lenses. The contrast is nowhere near the Minolta glass, either.

I also found the corners a little soft at wide angle, but you hardly notice because of being distracted by the barrel distortion. You don't have to take pictures of a brick wall to see the distortion. I understand that barrel distortion at the wide end is almost unavoidable in an ultra-zoom, but I still don't like it.

As someone with small kids, the slow focus was a killer for me, but that may have been the 650si I was using, as they are not known for stellar AF. In fairness to Tokina, the lens did perform much better on the 7000i, is still slower than even the Sigma. This is probably the price you pay for the heavy construction.

As much as I love the build and the range, the performance just lets me down. I will probably end up selling it (reluctantly).

UPDATE 21 Jan 2010: I stand by my previous scoring, but I now have tested it on an A330. I'm still not "WOW'd" by the images produced by this lens, and I noticed a bit of CA at the edges of the image, but nothing that would show up in print or regular viewing sizes. I finally realized what bothers me about the images - the lack of contrast. Also, as far as handling goes, although the lens is compact, I find its diameter to be a bit unwieldy on an A330. Therefore, it's going to be sold. I guess I better pull the Minolta 100-200mm f4.5 from Craigslist, as it has better contrast and handling, but crappy MFD.

UPDATE 23 Jan 2010: I based my last comments about the contrast on pics that my wife took - THROUGH A PATIO DOOR!! No wonder there was so little contrast; there is nothing but reflections on the door. Still, the handling is enough for me to get rid of the lens. The Beercan and 100-200mm are better lenses if you don't need the range of the Tokina.
reviewer#2490 date: Jun-29-2007
sharpness: 3
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 3
flare control: 3
overall: 3.4
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:Tamron 28-300mm
Sigma 28-300mm
Tamron 24-135mm
price paid:$250
positive:Focal range
Metal body
negative:Image quality, esp at peripheray
Severe light fall-off
comment:On film cameras, this is one of the worst lenses that I have ever used. I bought this lens because of its attractive focal range. However, its image quality disappoints. In the center of the frame, the sharpness and color are OK, at least on par with other superzooms. However, at the periphery, the sharpness and CA are simply terrible, if you do not stop down more than 2 steps. I have several group pictures with 24mm at f3.5 and flash. They turned out the people in the center are OK, but those at both ends are all blurry! On APS-sized DSLR sensors, the pitfalls are much milder. But you still sense certain softness at the periphery.

Bottom line: If you are using film cameras, stop down to f8 and f11 are the only way to generate OK pictures. If you are using DSLR, simply avoid wide-open aperture, otherwise you are fine. But APS-specific 18-200mm lenses are much more versatile than this one, and maybe even slightly better in IQ.
reviewer#2488 date: Jun-29-2007
sharpness: 4
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.2
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:SIGMA 28-200mm F3.5-5.6
Tamron 18-200mm
price paid:about $400 from B&H
positive:Build Quality
Zoom Range
Metal Body
Internal Focus
No Zoom Creep
negative:Vignetting at the wide end. (Though I like that effect on scenic shots)
Discontinued (Tokina hasn't upgraded this lens for the digital market.)
comment:My most versatile lens and remains a fixture on my M7, and because I love the range, it's perfect for travel with my KM7D (I don't usually need the wide end for the things I like to shoot.) It's well built, you feel the "Tokina" build quality. The images produced by this lens are not "superb" but, I think, definitely up there. The flare can be a problem and the distortion at the wide end, but I don't mind it, I just have to shoot and compose carefully. It is "sharp enough" for most occasions, but if I need sharper or will be shooting a job, then I'll use either my 28-70G or the 80-200HS G. All in all it's a great performer, and one of the best (if not the best) superzoom lenses out there.
reviewer#1637 date: Jan-12-2007
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.6
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I have experience with this lens
compared to:18-200mm KM
28-75mm KM
28-105mm KM
70-210 KM
price paid:229
positive:Good auto-focus speed, sharp, good contrast, 24mm on the wide end, excellent construction and build quality. Relatively low cost
negative:Heavy, large diameter barrel, 72mm filter (costly) and hard to find a new one
comment:Much more useful than a 28-200mm (for me) with the 24mm wide end. Very rugged construction and does not feel cheap by any means. Have not had the lens creep of most KM zooms, and the rubber grip provides excellent zoom control. Delivers excellent results with my A100 and 5D. Despite the size and weight (which actually helps for stability), this is my first choice for a walk-about lens (28-75mm KM is second now). My biggest complaint is the weight, which tends to make the A100 or 5D feel nose heavy. Combined with the anti-shake, you can achieve very sharp images (even better stopped down to f5.6-8.0) and the contrast is very good too. Minor distortion at 24 (not excessive, and certainly can be controlled) and flare can be an issue without the lens hood. I highly recommend a quality multi-coated filter to avoid flare (I can see the difference between images shot with a B+W MRC filter vs a regular B+W or Hoya filter). Colors pretty much match the 28-75mm KM.
Definitely worth checking out if you need a 'super' zoom, and this is one lens you can take on vacation and enjoy the picture taking experience. The KM 28-75 or 70-210 might be a little sharper, but this one is very close.
reviewer#877 date: Jun-5-2006
sharpness: 3.5
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.3
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I have experience with this lens
compared to:Tamron 28-200mm
price paid:
missing
positive:Range, Price
negative:It is a "Superzoom": sharpnes and CA's
comment:It's really a hate-love relationship.
Sometimes this superzoom is very practicable (long journey with light backpack) on the other hand you have to live with it's quality.
reviewer#471 date: Feb-7-2006
sharpness: 4
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 3
overall: 4
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I have experience with this lens
compared to:
missing
price paid:
missing
positive:Build quality, range, price, optics are pretty good.
negative:A little issue with flare, but considering this lens' price point not bad.
comment:This is the only lens on my 7D right now, and I'm quite pleased with it so far. The focal range is great for walking around. Next lenses will cover the missing wide angle and tele-zoom ranges. But for now, I haven't found a need for a better lens in this range.

I have a few galleries taken with this lens at:
http://www.pbase.com/rambler358
reviewer#51 date: Feb-16-2005
sharpness: 4
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 3
flare control: 3
overall: 3.8
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I have experience with this lens
compared to:
missing
price paid:
missing
positive:Range, price, build quality,
negative:Heavy (if that is a negative), some distortion, some flare.
comment:The best so called super-zoom I've tried. For its range and it's price it is excellent. The build quality is great. The lens is relatively sharp, the AF speed is decent, image quality is overall very good. A really nice walkaround lens. Recommended.
reviews found: 14   

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 14
  • sharpness: 3.86
  • color: 4.29
  • build: 4.71
  • distortion: 4.07
  • flare control: 3.43
  • overall: 4.07

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