Tokina 80-400 F4.5-5.6 AT-X 840 AF A-mount lens reviews

reviews found: 9   
reviewer#11574 date: Jan-2-2014
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.6
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 - AF 70-210 F3.5-4.5
Sony AF 75-300mm F4.5-5.6
price paid:99.000¥(new, 2000)
positive:-well-made (robust metal body)
-good range (80 - 400mm) together with compact dimensions and weight
- good performance at low light
negative:- miss stative collar
- soft at 400 mm (for better acuteness need f8)
- close focus distance
comment:I am using this lens quite a long time. I like compact dimension and weight and easy work with this lens. Is useable for sport same like for reportage. Is well-made and metal body is robust.

With weight is sometimes problem on tripod. I am missing stative collar which is standard on latest version. With focal range at 400 mm is quite soft. Sun visor is cumbersome.

I am using this lens with my Minolta α-807si and Minolta α-7 Digital. Working well on both. Colour rendition is very good.
reviewer#10591 date: Oct-14-2012
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 5
overall: 4.7
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:beercan & BBC
price paid:220
positive:great range
pretty good AF even when long
negative:heavy
a little soft at 400mm
comment:Used on SLT A55.

This lens is hard to find, but is worth considering. After buying this, I ditched the 70-210 Beercan, feeling this was as good as the legend. I did end up eating my words, and actually buying another beercan after though, as the 80-400 lacks the Beercan magic that the Minolta fairies used to sprinkle on the best examples.

Seriously- comparing to the BBC 75-300, this is actually a much nicer lens, especially comparing 300mm on both. The Toki focuses sharper and faster than the BBC and is, IMHO, clear winner on IQ. Of course, the Toki can still pull another 100mm on the BBC. At 400mm, results are not as sharp as 300mm, but are still acceptable.

A sturdy tripod is a must for sharpness at this focal length, but it is usable handheld in good light fully extended.

I'd like to see how it holds its own against G glass in this range. I'm sure it is close.

At the risk of upsetting some classic glass owners, I'd say it is as good as the beercan 70-210 in the range 80-210, and blows the BBC away on 300mm on IQ and focus speed.

Apart from the weight, and the need for the huge lens hood for flare, I cannot really say anything bad about the lens. A lens collar, as added to the replacement version, would be a useful purchase to compliment the lens.
reviewer#9459 date: Sep-30-2011
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 5
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 used to own this lens
compared to:
missing
price paid:420 USD
positive:sharp
good quality
the price
negative:no tripod collar
comment:
missing
reviewer#9326 date: Aug-12-2011
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 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Beercan
75-300 the black lens
price paid:150€
positive:Great range
Metal built
negative:Soft after 300mm
A bit heavy
comment:I lake that lens because it has better range than normal zoom 75-300 lenses for the same price.
reviewer#9284 date: Jul-30-2011
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.5
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:
missing
price paid:£185
positive:Well made, compact solid, sharp below 350mm, versatile.
negative:Soft at 400mm unless stopped down, some purple fringing in high contrast areas.
comment:A useful budget tele zoom. Nicely made and pleasant to use. It does need stopping down at full reach to avoid a soft image but that is not unusual for a lot of tele zooms.

A few about on Ebay at low prices, worth snapping up if you can't afford a Sony G tele zoom.

Works well on my SLT A55 although it will exacerbate the purple fringing that the A55 is prone to in contrasty shots. Easily fixed in post processing though.
reviewer#6133 date: Sep-28-2009
sharpness: 3
color: 3
build: 2
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 3.2
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 have experience with this lens
compared to:Sigma 135-400 APO RF
price paid:280EUR
positive:Good sharpness up to 200-300mm, great sharpness at 80mm, nice range
negative:soft over 300mm, heavy build but delicate mechanics, lots of CA
comment:I had this lens once to compare with Sigma 135-400, but it was a disaster. This lens is really good performer only up to medium telephoto range, but this is what 70-210 and 80-200 lenses are made for. My exemplar had big loose on focus and zoom rings and it seemed that under heavy steel body Tokina put too delicate gear. Horrible CA appears when shooting birds on a branches, similar to cheap xx-300 lenses. Better buy xx-300 APO zoom. Far, far beyond Sigma APO 135-400. Maybe good for full frame pics from concerts, but useless for little creatures on crop.
reviewer#5298 date: Apr-27-2009
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 5
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 75-200mm f/2.8-3.5 (+ 2x TC)
Tamron 28-300 f/3.5-6.3
Minolta 100-300mm f/4.5-5.6
Sony 70-200mm f/2.8 + 2x TC
Sony 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G SSM
Tokina 75-300mm f/4.5-5.6
Sigma 400mm f/5.6
Minolta 500mm f/8 AF Reflex
Minolta 70-210/4 (beercan)
price paid:165 € (2nd hand)
positive:range (love the 400mm)
cheap (2nd hand)
f/5.6 @400mm.
great performance at low light (400mm)
negative:hunts a little, but wasnot used to SSM lenses, so that doesn't disturb me much.
it's quite soft at 400mm (especially compared to 70-300 G SSM)
comment:I love this lens. Didn't pay too much for it, great replacement for Sigma 400mm f/5.6. Colors, build and distortion rate very good, though I found some issues with its sharpness. Especially compared to Sony 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G SSM. Though I think you should compare each lens to its competitors of the same age + quality. The G range of lenses is way over its head.

Compared to the lenses of approximately equal age, or older, it does a great job, but it ain't perfect.

Update (02Aug2009): the lens mounted on KM5d/Sony A200 outperformed my expectations during the 4day marches festivities in Nijmegen 2009. Took it in the St. Stevens church at the accoustic concerts, with the most horrible lighting you can imagine. Great pics, some are published as well!
Great range too (distance from stage approx 40-50 meters).

Update 2 (23Aug2012): After AF micro adjustment on A77 (professionally done) this lens still astonishes me for low light performance, especially in the St. Stevens church in Nijmegen (4day marches festivities).
Also, great for nature photography (deer, roedeer), and at dusk.
On A77: razor sharp.
reviewer#2299 date: May-11-2007
sharpness: 3.5
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.1
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:KM 70-210/4 beercan

price paid:350 (used)
positive:Good build, substantial hood, hand holdable, f5.6 at 400mm, decent AF
negative:No internal focus, AF sometimes hunts, soft at 400mm, no focus limiter, close focus distance is long
comment:I was looking for something to replace my beercan that went farther, so I found the Tokina 80-400 on ebay. It weighs a little bit more than the beercan, and is much larger than the beercan while fully extended; though fully closed, it's actually smaller than the beercan. For me, it is light enough to hand-hold without a problem. I will be comparing the Tokina to the beercan, as it is the lens that has replaced it.

From 80-200mm, the Tokina performs very well. At 80mm it is as sharp as the Beercan is at 70mm, both wide open and stopped down. At 200 mm, the Tokina is sharper than the beercan (both at f5), and are comparable at f8. At 300 mm the Tokina begins to show its limits; here you must stop down to f10 to get similar sharpness at 200/f8. At 400mm it loses more sharpness, requiring f13 to maintain image. Wide open at 400, images quite soft.

Color and bokeh are quite good, I cannot tell much of a difference between it and the beercan.

Autofocus speed is decent on the Sony A100, definitely better than the beercan. Sometimes it hunts though, and can have difficulty going from close focus to infinity even in daylight; a focus limiter would have helped.

The apochromatic element helps with CA on the Tokina, and center CA is non-existent. Corners do exhibit CA however, and worsens at the longer end and wide open.

The hood is massive, and certainly makes the lens look impressive. I haven't had any flare issues with the lens, so I'd presume the hood is doing its job.
reviewer#1022 date: Jul-16-2006
sharpness: 3.5
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.1
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 have experience with this lens
compared to:Tokina AT-X 400 f5.6
price paid:
missing
positive:Good build. Compact and shorter than the AT-X 400 for storage, hence it's easier to carry around.
Great range coverage.
negative:No tripod collar (the later version has the tripod collar).
Edge sharpnest not that great wide open. Improve when step down to f8.
Close focus distance of 2.5meter.
comment:This is the earlier version without the tripod collar. The newer version has tripod collar and a faster AF. Optically as far as I know it's similar.
.
When light condition permit, stepping down to f8 help alot on the sharpnest.
.
Without the tripod collar, mounting on the camera body can be a bit of challenge as it's front heavy. For my case, when I do used it on the tripod, it's more of a support, with the ballhead slightly loose allowing me to adjust composition easily. So far this has work for me in most cases except for situation when the shutter speed is really slow.
reviews found: 9   

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 9
  • sharpness: 4.11
  • color: 4.33
  • build: 4.56
  • distortion: 4.44
  • flare control: 4.22
  • overall: 4.33

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