Tokina 28-80mm F2.8 AT-X 280 AF PRO A-mount lens review by thelit21

reviewer#5923 date: Aug-28-2009
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: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta G 28-70mm 2.8
Tamron SP 28-75mm 2.8
price paid:260 USD (used)
positive:First-rate build quality
Internal zooming
Unbeatable value
Nice color and bokeh
Adequately sharp (for me)
negative:Soft wide open
Prone to flare
Not a D-lens (5-contacts)
comment:This lens replaced my old time favorite Minolta G 28-70mm on a A700 body and I have always been pleased with the results. The Tokina costs me 1/4 the price of a used Minolta equivalent and, to my untrained eyes, produces color and sharpness as nice as the G lens. Build quality is up to par with the OEM lens and I love the internal zooming design. I used to own a Tamron 28-75/2.8 but really did not like the extended barrel at the tele end. It just make the lens look "amateur-ish" plus introduces play in the barrel mechanism. I also like the color and bokeh this lens produces, which is unusual for a low cost zoom with aspherical optics. Two major downsides, though, are flare and sharpness at F2.8. To me, flaring presents a bigger problem since it cannot be corrected by PhotoShop. The often quoted "halo" or "hazing" effect at F2.8 can partially be suppressed using USM with large pixel radius. Plus I mainly use the lens in studio with strobes so wide-open sharpness is not critical to me. The Tamron 28-75mm seems to be better wide open but the difference is not that great.

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 19
  • sharpness: 4.03
  • color: 4.68
  • build: 4.79
  • distortion: 4.42
  • flare control: 3.16
  • overall: 4.22 - Home of the alpha system photographer
In memory of Cameron Hill - brettania