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Review by Klaus Schroiff and Markus Stamm, published July 2012
When it comes to fast tele zooms, there is only a very limited selection of dedicated DX lenses. One of these rare species is the Tokina AT-X 50-135mm f/2.8... or to be precise, it was, since it is discontinued for a while already.
The AT-X 50-135mm is the result of a cooperation between Tokina and Pentax, which leads to the interesting situation that a Pentax design is also available to users of competing systems. However, the Pentax and Tokina lenses are not completely identical, at least mechanically.
In this review we will have a look at how the lens performs on our current DX test camera, the Nikon D7000.
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. On the downside the metal body also means a comparatively heavy weight despite pretty compact dimensions. The lens also features a tripod collar that can be rotated, but not removed.
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 Tokina still relies on a screw drive to move the focus group (which makes it incompatible also with the motorless entry-level Nikon DSLRs). Speed-wise this is not a problem because of a rather short focus path but AF operations are noticeable (noise-wise).
A classic Tokina feature is the one-touch focus clutch mechanism to switch between AF and MF by pushing/pulling the focus ring. This can be done in any focus position and works reasonably well, however it's a somewhat outdated approach.
The Tokina is a G-type lens, so it does not feature an aperture ring anymore.
|Equiv. focal length||75-202.5 mm (full format equivalent)|
|Equiv. aperture||f/4.2 (full format equivalent, in terms of depth-of-field)|
|Optical construction||18 elements in 14 groups inc. 3x SD elements|
|Number of aperture blades||9|
|min. focus distance||1.0 m (max. magnification ratio 1:5.9)|
|Dimensions||135 x 78 mm|
|Filter size||67 mm (non-rotating)|
|Hood||supplied, petal-shaped, bayonet mount|
|Other features||tripod mount|