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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    Des Plaines, IL
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    Thumbs up SONY α700 and the Tokina ATX 840

    Talk about zeroing in on a subject... wow!

    I was finally able to get my hands on a Tokina AT-X 840 AF 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6 zoom lens. I have been after one of these babies for nearly a year ... and then, it just showed up. Yeah ... and pigs are flyin', tonight!

    I have noticed that a lot of people try to compare it to a 70-300mm lens, but it shoot significantly longer, effectively going from 120mm to a full 600mm, faster to focus and weighs about 33 ounces, doing it. The lens housing is all metal, not plastic.

    It just seems more useful in the Tamrac "Velocity" bag, mounted on the α700 and accompanying the 18-250mm and the 90mm Macro. It's a bit smaller and brighter doing the long shots than the TAMRON 200-500mm f/5-6.3 or f/6.9 was, but not nearly as sharp. That long lens is clearly outstanding for focus and clarity. On a clear, sunny day ... I really do miss the longer glass. "Convenience" is the watchword with this 80-400mm lens, in the field.

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    The minimum focus distance is serious, though. It is 8.2-feet, unlike the 70-300mm, which is only 5-feet. If I am shooting closer, the 90mm or 18-250mm is going to have to make do. The 18-250mm f/3.5-6.3 gets to within 18-inches ... the 90mm f/2.8 MACRO within 3 inches!

    Couple the SONY "Super SteadyShot" with the lens ... and you are at 1/30 sec with no problem, perhaps even more (like 1/20 sec!).

    Price-wise, at this point in time, I got the 80-400 for about twice what the 70-300 costs. The trade-off for a mere $150 ... yeah, I'd say it was worth it. People have paid a lot more for this lens and been quite happy with their purchase.

    I'll need some more time with it to truly appreciate what it can or cannot do, but it looks pretty good, so far. Goodness knows, it's on a great camera.
    Last edited by DonSchap; 10-12-2007 at 12:44 AM.
    Don Schap - BFA, Digital Photography
    A Photographer Is Forever
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.
    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera (except for moving to Full Frame), that gives you the most improvement in your photography.

    flickr & Sdi

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    Des Plaines, IL
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    Red face Not perfect, but here's the zoom ratio (5x)

    Just a little comparison ... ad hoc zoom

    The images are resized ... this is just for an apparent ratio display.

    80mm
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    400mm

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    It's got reach. Optical zoom over digital enhanced zoom ... everytime.
    Last edited by DonSchap; 10-13-2007 at 05:54 PM.
    Don Schap - BFA, Digital Photography
    A Photographer Is Forever
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.
    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera (except for moving to Full Frame), that gives you the most improvement in your photography.

    flickr & Sdi

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Charleston, SC
    Posts
    2,364
    How sharp is it wide open and stopped down to f/8?
    I wonder how well this fucker would do on a Canon?

    Don, good job taking advantage of the IS!

    I wish a 200-400 f/2.8 or f/4 lens were made for crop cameras.
    I would be on top of that faster than..... well you know what.

    I know there is a slower Tammy version out there, but f/2.8 for a cropped camera would be ideal!
    US Navy--Hooyah!

    Nikon D700/D300|17-35 f/2.8, 24-70 f/2.8, Sigmalux, 80-200 f/2.8, 16 f/2.8 fisheye,

    Lots of flashes and Honl gear.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    Well, be careful what you wish for ... the Canon EF 400mm f/2.8L USM PRIME lens weighs in at 12 lbs!

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    So, you have to figure, that size of light-collector, at that focal length would be at least that heavy. That's is not a nature lens ... that's a supernatural lens. You'd have to be nearly Herculean to tote it around with you.

    I guess you must have missed it, when we had the discussion of the SIGMA lens they popped out for display at Photokina.

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    This is a 200-500mm f/2.8 zoom. It weighs ... yeah ... get ready ... 33 lbs. <- This guy isn't mad ... he's straining to keep from poppin' a ... Yeah ... LOL ... this is the next "walk-around" lens, eh? Imagine that on a neck strap. If you didn't have back problems, you do now.

    I figure you need one of these ... to push it around for you.

    "CameraTrax" ... for the big glass!

    Last edited by DonSchap; 10-14-2007 at 02:25 PM.
    Don Schap - BFA, Digital Photography
    A Photographer Is Forever
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.
    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera (except for moving to Full Frame), that gives you the most improvement in your photography.

    flickr & Sdi

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    Des Plaines, IL
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    Thumbs up The Canon-version is out there ... all new and improved

    Quote Originally Posted by TheObiJuan View Post
    How sharp is it wide open and stopped down to f/8?
    I wonder how well this ****** would do on a Canon?
    Tokina does make a new and improved version of the AT-X 840 for both Canon and Nikon (<- click here for link to mfr). It is called the AT-X 840 AF D.

    It is readily available on the Internet for roughly around $580. Good luck with it ... you may just love it.
    Last edited by DonSchap; 10-14-2007 at 02:33 PM.
    Don Schap - BFA, Digital Photography
    A Photographer Is Forever
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.
    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera (except for moving to Full Frame), that gives you the most improvement in your photography.

    flickr & Sdi

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Charleston, SC
    Posts
    2,364
    An APS-C 400mm lens would not be nearly as heavy as a FF version.
    I also never implied hand-holdability, Don.
    That sucker would be monopod bound.
    US Navy--Hooyah!

    Nikon D700/D300|17-35 f/2.8, 24-70 f/2.8, Sigmalux, 80-200 f/2.8, 16 f/2.8 fisheye,

    Lots of flashes and Honl gear.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheObiJuan View Post
    An APS-C 400mm lens would not be nearly as heavy as a FF version.
    I also never implied hand-holdability, Don.
    That sucker would be monopod bound.
    On a Canon ... where the dfc is 1.6x ... a 250mm lens becomes effectively a 400mm.

    On a SONY, Nikon or Pentax ... a 266mm lens would do it.

    Aren't too many 266mm out there ... so the next best thing would be a 300mm f/2.8 lens ... which are the old photographer's cream of the crop lenses.

    SONY has possession of the SONY(Minolta) 300mm f/2.8 G lens (81.6 oz)
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    Canon has their EF 300mm f/2.8L IS USM (89.6 oz)
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    TAMRON has their SP AF 300mm f/2.8 LD (79.3 oz)
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    SIGMA has their APO 300mm f/2.8 EX DG/HSM (84.6 oz)
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    Tokina has their AT-X 300 AF Pro AF 300mm f/2.8 (80 oz)
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    What these weights say is that these lenses are basically constructed quite siimilarly ... for this range. I'm not sure what you have in mind, but this is a heavy tote. My TAMRON 200-500mm f/6.9 weighs almost 100 oz ... monopod? The darn thing would sink it in the mud. These lenses hold the camera, not vice versa. Most any lens beyond 55 oz become impractical for wearing around your neck and could be just plain dangerous to do so.
    Last edited by DonSchap; 10-15-2007 at 10:10 AM.
    Don Schap - BFA, Digital Photography
    A Photographer Is Forever
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.
    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera (except for moving to Full Frame), that gives you the most improvement in your photography.

    flickr & Sdi

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