Tokina AF 100-300mm f/4 AT-X II - Review / Lab Test Report - Analysis
Lens Reviews - Canon EOS (APS-C)
Article Index
Introduction
Analysis

Distortion

The level of distortion is very low throughout the zoom range. At 100mm the lens is free of distortion changing to very slight pincushion distortion at 200mm and 300mm.

100mm:

200mm:

300mm:

Vignetting

Oan APS-C DSLR the lens can take advantage of the sweet spot effect so the vignetting isn't overly pronounced. At 100mm and 200mm the issue is basically negligible. At 300mm the situation deteriorates somewhat but even at f/4 it requires quite critical scenes to see some vignetting and stopping down a little resolves the issue completely.

MTF (resolution)

Regarding the pro grade AT-X designation the lens performed a little worse than expected in the lab. At 100mm and 200mm the Tokina was able to deliver very good results at wide-open aperture increasing to excellent results at f/8. Unfortunately there´s a quite pronounced drop in quality at the 300mm setting to only good figures at f/4. There´s a gradual improvement towards f/8 where the performance is in very good territory again. While not formally measured the lens also suffered from reduced contrast at 300mm and large aperture settings.

Below is a simplified summary of the formal findings. The chart shows line widths per picture height (LW/PH) which can be taken as a measure for sharpness. If you want to know more about the MTF50 figures you may check out the corresponding Imatest Explanations

Chromatic Aberrations

The lens produced a varying degree of chromatic aberrations (color shadows at harsh contrast transitions) at the image borders. At 100mm and 200mm CAs are no big problem. The situation changes at 300mm where the average CA pixel width exceeds 1.5 pixels which is very pronounced for a tele lens.

Sample Shots

Due to network bandwidth limitations I can't provide any sample images at this stage.

Verdict

The Tokina AF 100-300mm f/4 AT-X II is an engineering masterpiece regarding construction quality and it is a joy to use. Optically you have to recognize that the design is a little dated. This doesn´t mean that it is a bad lens - at 100mm and 200mm it is very good indeed - but at 300mm @ f/4 it falls a little short of the expectations with just good sharpness, pronounced CAs and reduced contrast at large aperture settings (very good at f/8). As mentioned the lens is discontinued now and on the used market it is a rare but very affordable item (around 350 EUR locall) in mint condition). In this price scope it remains a highly attractive lens.

Optical Quality:    
Mechanical Quality:
Price/Performance:discontinued
      
   What does this mean ?



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