Tokina 100-300mm F4 AT-X 340 AF-II A-mount lens review by skm.sa100

reviewer#14230 date: Apr-23-2015
sharpness: 5
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.8
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:AF 135/2.8.
Sony 70-300G.
Sigma 70-200/2.8
price paid:USD 400 (used)
positive:F/4, of course.
Extremely solid build.
Internal focusing.
Super tele on APS-C. 150-450/f4 on APS-C.
Affordable price.
negative:Rare. Not that many around.
MFD is pretty long. 1:4 or better macro would have been nice.
Not a big deal, but the zoom ring rotates the opposite way compared to the majority of AF lenses.
Not an APO lens. CA is present.
Colors are a bit cool and not quite as saturated as with Minolta lenses. I prefer warmer colors with more saturation.
comment:I haven't run a thorough comparison with the bodies and lenses mentioned above but this is an impression based on overall use, experience, and comparison of my photos on my computer taken with various bodies and lenses. Maybe I'll get to it one day!
Now for the review.
The other reviews are fairly accurate. This is a very high quality constant fast aperture zoom. Sharpness is excellent, on part with 70-300G, which is a stop slower at the longer end and a bit more expensive. At F/4, it is acceptably sharp but not quite as sharp at the 135/2.8 or 85/1.4 G. That's definitely an unfair comparison, I know. However, for me, the ultimate sharpness is both those lenses so I tend to use them for a benchmark.
At f/7.1 it's razor sharp and f/8 seems to be the sweet spot for sharpness. It's stunningly sharp at f/8.
Colors are on the cooler side and a tad lower on the saturation. Definitely not Minolta colors! Can be tweaked to one's liking via an editor.
It does show CA under bad situations like branches against bright sky.
Performs very well across all focal lengths and apertures.

In summary, an excellent lens overall. A very good bang for the buck in terms of a fast mid tele.
The only lenses I can think of which can rival this one are Min 300/f4 (an unfair comparison), Tokina 300/f4 (again unfair due to prime vs zoom) and maybe the 70-400G and 70-400G II (again unfair, from a price perspective).
The Sigma 100-300/f4 is also well regarded and perhaps the closest competitor for the Tokina 100-300/f4. I believe the Sigma supports 1:4 macro which is better than what the Tokina can support.

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 25
  • sharpness: 4.82
  • color: 4.80
  • build: 5.00
  • distortion: 4.96
  • flare control: 4.64
  • overall: 4.84 - Home of the alpha system photographer
In memory of Cameron Hill - brettania