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Published June 28th 2006

Tokina AT-X 100-300mm f/4

Built like a tank and with a very superior image quality

Two and a thousand popeyes
[Dynax 7D, Tokina 100-300 f4]

Another lens that I bought used and at a good price too. This was a lens that on pictures appeared to be made of the right stuff, and the samples that I saw were very impressing. I got my hands on one from the US and had a friend bring it over the pond for me after I paid for it online.

The lens was everything I envisioned -- and then some. Particularly in weight! It's extremely well-built and has all the physical qualities, which I connect with a good lens. It has internal focus and zoom, which I have always loved in lenses. No rotating front elements and no big, pumping tubes telescoping in and out. It is a disadvantage that Minolta does not offer a good way for third party lenses to build in HSM technology in their lenses. This means that the body has to rotate the focus mechanism, and that is a dire strait on a large lens like this. It generally works, but some hunting can occur.

The image quality makes all these considerations fade. I just love the sharpness and colors of this lens! It is a fantastic piece of glass at the price, and with the money I paid for it used, calling it a bargain is not fair. It was a steal!

The images I have taken with this lens shows qualities, which I have only seen in much more expensive lenses, such as the Minolta G series. Of course this lens still lags in some areas, such as bokeh, but again; you can get ten lenses like this one for the price of one similar G-lens.

Links

Other people have looked at this lens and liked it too
A review in Nature Photographers Online Magazine
Photozone in Germany was quite fond of this lens
And Photozone has more

Myself and the Tokina 100-300mm close to the ground
[Nikon D70, photo by Henning Eskol]
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