Tokina 28-70mm F2.6-2.8 AT-X 270 PRO AF A-mount lens review by thornburg

reviewer#11894 date: Jul-7-2014
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
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: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sigma EX DG 28-70/2.8
Minolta AF 24-85/3.5-4.5
Minolta AF 28/2.8
Minolta AF 50/1.7
Various other zooms & prime lenses
price paid:200 USD (used)
positive:Built like a tank
Good AF
Sharpness
Fast Aperture
Price
Focus Clutch
negative:Size/Weight
Focus Clutch
Confusion over different versions
comment:I have the so-called "Pro II" version. There are at least 5 different versions of this lens, not even counting the non-Pro.

If you read through the reviews listed on this site for the Pro and Pro SV, it's clear at least some people with the SV left their review under the non-SV listing, and at least some people with the non-SV left their rating under the SV version.

I haven't used the SV version, but SV stands for "Super Value", and it is reported that they used cheaper glass in the SV version, resulting in minor differences in color, flare, etc.

You can identify the one I have by the following traits:
1) It's labeled f/2.6-2.8
2) It has a focus clutch
3) It has a bayonet mount hood
4) It says "Pro" but doesn't say "SV"

About the focus clutch:
I have a love-hate relationship with the focus clutch. The focus clutch allows the lens to have both fast AF and wonderful feel to the manual focus, but you have to switch both the lens and camera between MF and AF. If you put the camera in MF and the lens in AF, you can't focus. If you put the camera in AF and the lens in MF, your focus will be really slow, and you may be putting excess strain on the focus motor in the camera. The clutch can only be operated when the focus grip is all the way at the end.

For a zoom, this lens is quite sharp. The short end is as good as most 28mm prime lenses. The long end is a little softer, especially wide open, but stopping down even a hair produces plenty of sharpness. Images are usable wide open, even at the long end.

The color isn't quite up to the top standards, but I find it pleasing and accurate. Perhaps slightly less vibrant than the good Minolta AF lenses.

I don't have the original hood, which is reportedly useless. I bought a third-party reversible 77mm plastic petal hood on eBay, and have been quite pleased with it.

Compared to the Sigma EX DG 28-70/2.8, this lens is quite a bit better. It's sharper, has faster AF, and better color.

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 31
  • sharpness: 4.45
  • color: 4.65
  • build: 5.00
  • distortion: 4.58
  • flare control: 3.87
  • overall: 4.51
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