Tokina AF 50-135mm f/2.8 AT-X Pro DX - Review / Test Report
Lens Reviews - Canon EOS (APS-C)

Review by Klaus Schroiff, published March 2007

Lens kindly provided by Rainer Deissler!


The Tokina AF 50-135mm f/2.8 AT-X Pro DX is the product of the cooperation between Tokina and Pentax which are now subsidiaries of the same company - it is an interesting thought that Pentax (co-)designs are now also available to users of other systems (Canon and Nikon). Nonetheless the Tokina is not identical to the Pentax variant of the lens - mechanically at least. The Tokina is a dedicated APS-C lens as indicated by the "DX" in the name. Its field-of-view is equivalent to 80-216mm on full format cameras so combined with its relatively large aperture it is obviously meant as a come-back of the classic portrait zoom lens. In this class it competes directly with the new Sigma AF 50-150mm f/2.8 EX HSM DC.

Thanks to the reduced image circle and the moderate zoom rage the lens is still reasonably compact at 135x78mm. Tokina AT-X lenses have an outer shell made of metal resulting is a comparatively heavy weight of 845g. Consequently the designers have also implemented a damped but non-detachable tripod mount. The optical design is quite complex with 18 elements (fully-coated) in 14 groups including 3x SD elements. The front element has a special WP ("Water Proof") coating which is supposed to allow an easier cleaning from water drops or finger prints. The min. focus distance is 1.0m resulting is a max. object magnification of 1:5.9 at 135mm. The aperture mechanism has 9 aperture blades. The filter size is 67mm. A deep flower-shaped, snap-on type lens hood is also part of the package.

Typical for Tokina AT-X Pro lenses the mechanical quality is excellent thanks to a metal construction combined with smooth and even slightly damped zoom and focus rings. Another classic Tokina feature is the One-touch focus clutch mechanism which allows to switch between AF and MF by pushing/pulling the focus ring. This can be done in any focus position and works quite well. The lens does still rely on an AF micro-motor (in EOS mount) but the AF speed is fairly high. Typical for Tokina AF motors the sound of it is a little squeaky.

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