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

reviewer#268 date: Dec-7-2005
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
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:Tokina 100-400 f/5.6-6.7
Tokina 400 f/5.6 AT-X
Sony 70-300 SSM G
Minolta 300 f/4 G
price paid:~$200 (used)
Built like a tank.
good ergonomics.
well placed tripod collar
negative:It is heavy, but well built lenses weigh more. Not sure if this is really a negative.
comment:I owned a cheap Tokina 100-400 and was very disappointed in the picture quality (sharpness, flare). I was looking for a replacement and considering the new KM 100-300 D, but it was out of stock everywhere. I stumbled across this lens on KEH and read a few reviews which sounded positive, so I splurged the $200 for it. Wow! What a great lens.

I also have a Tokina 400 f/5.6 AT-X since I had read good reviews. This lens blows that lens away when it comes to sharpness and contrast.

Prior to this purchase, I had every intention of buying the KM 300 f/4 G as my main wildlife lens (I can't afford the big glass!). However, I am so happy with the sharpness of this lens at 300 that I don't really see the need to go out and buy another sharp 300 f/4.

It doesn't focus lighting fast, but it is fast enough for me and it doesn't hunt.

Sure, it is a big lens and the KM is smaller and lighter. But the constant f/4 and tripod collar make this lens a better choice for me.

Great lens. If you can find one, snatch it up!

EDIT - I have subsequently purchased the Minolta 300 f/4 G and the Sony 70-300 SSM G. The Minolta is clearly a superior lens to the Tokina, but not so much so that I put the Tokina away. It's closer focusing and ability to zoom means I still pull it out when I need the flexibility of a zoom.
The Sony SSM does focus faster and is lighter, but I think the image quality at the long end is superior in the Tokina lens. The Sony is a little bit softer at 300mm. It is really close, and the Sony is a nice lens, but it isn't twice as nice as the Tokina and yet it costs twice as much (or more!).

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