Tokina 35-200mm F4-5.6 Zoom SD AF A-mount lens review by QuietOC

reviewer#39951 date: Oct-7-2017
sharpness: 4
color: 4
build: 4
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: 12MP12 MP24MP24 MP36MP36 MP42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony DT 18-135 SAM
Sony DT 18-200 F3.5-6.3
Tamron 18-250
Minolta AF 28-135
Sigma AF 35-135 F3.5-4.5
Minolta AF 35-200 Xi F4.5-5.6
Minolta MD 50-135 F3.5
Sony DT 55-200 SAM
Sony DT 55-300 SAM
Minolta AF 70-210 F4
Minolta AF 70-210 F3.5-4.5
Minolta AF 70-210 F4.5-5.6 I/II
price paid:10 USD (used)
positive:Zoom range
Flat focus plane on wide end
Direct focus and zoom
No zoom creep
negative:Size and weight
Non-existent focus grip
Green color cast
Dark at the long end (~F6.3)
Rotating and extending front element/filter
comment:I have tried three of these lenses from $20 to $10. My local camera store had been trying to sell this copy for $70 for a few years. It is very clean and the zoom and focus work smoothly. Optically it is much better than the copy I somewhat repaired.

Tokina had an earlier (1982), slightly larger 35-200 F3.5-4.5 manual focus lens. Several other brands had 35-200 manual focus lenses including Vivitar with a F3-4.5. Nikon's F3.5-4.5 version was released in 1985. There wasn't other AF 35-200's other than the 1991 Minolta AF 35-200 Xi. Canon released an EF 35-350 F3.5-5.6 in 1993. Tokina came out with an AF 35-300 F4.5-6.7 in 1998.

Both ends are longer at close focus than the internal focus Minolta. It exposes more like F6.3 at the long end--the Minolta 35-200 is brighter.

This last copy is very sharp at the wide end even out to the corners, but performance starts to slip around 135 mm. It certainly sharper than the current copy of the Minolta Xi that I have. The previous Xi with the stuck aperture was sharper at 200 mm but had a fairly curved focal plane. Image quality is fairly competitive with the Tamron 18-250 F3.5-6.3. But even the 70-210mm F4.5-5.6 is better at the long end. It flares much worse than than Xi. The Xi hood fits fine and helps a little. I don't know if there is a deeper 62 mm clip-on hood to use for APS-C.

The Xi lens definitely focus faster, but the Tokina isn't too slow. It seems to focus faster than the SAM telephoto zooms on the A65. It certainly focuses much, much faster than the Tamron 18-250.

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 11
  • sharpness: 4.23
  • color: 4.09
  • build: 4.73
  • distortion: 4.27
  • flare control: 3.64
  • overall: 4.19 - Home of the alpha system photographer
In memory of Cameron Hill - brettania