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Replacement for Tokina 28-80mm f/2.8 AT-X Pro

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by Stephen Hopkins, Mar 28, 2007.

  1. It's been awhile since I've posted here. I guess I've been taking pictures more and posting less. In the process I've slowly grown less and less enthusiastic about my favorite lens, my Tokina 28-80mm f/2.8 AT-X Pro. When I first bought it I loved it (and still do with some caveats) since I could finally catch action that I never could with slower variable-aperature zooms. Now I'm really starting to see this lens' major flaw... from 60mm - 80mm below f/4 (f/5.6 at 80mm if you want to be really critical) it either becomes very soft or back focuses (some of both). 75% of the time this isn't a problem as I'm shooting in the 28-50mm range. That said, I lost ALOT of good shots at a recent cheeleading competition when I was forced to shoot no-flash from a balcony. I needed to be able to quickly go from the 80mm end for individual stunt shots back to 28mm for wider formations/arangements so shooting w/ my Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 HSM wasn't really an option and I don't own a second body.

    I don't want to give the Tokina up because it's really sharp 28-60mm even at f/2.8. It's also built like no other lens I could afford and I love the feel. That said I'm still considering letting it go and trying something else. My main consideration as a replacement is the Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8. I know it won't come close to matching the build quality of the Tokina but hopefully a sharp copy will make up for that. I'm also considering trying to sell my Tokina AND Sigma 15-30mm and putting that towards a Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8, though it'll take some money I don't really have, I'll lose the long end that is my real motivation for upgrading, and there's really no way I can afford The Beast. Other lenses I'm considering are the Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8, 28-70mm f/2.8, or maybe an older Tokina 28-70mm f/2.8 (which I've read can be sharper).

    Anyone have any input? Thanks!
  2. ZBaum

    ZBaum Guest

    If you're seriously considering the 17-55, why not also consider a used Beast? They can be had for about $900-950 in BGN condition from KEH, and I think everyone knows that KEH underrates their gear. Other than that, I've heard great things about the Tamron 28-75, assuming you get a good copy. The Tokina 28-70 is soft wide open (I own the AT-X ProII version that is soft at f/2.8, but very sharp at f/4). The new Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 "Macro" lens is supposed to be much better than the older version, although the focusing will probably be slower than with your Tokina. I think what people really need is a third party zoom in the 24/28-70/80 range that has an AF-S/HSM/equivalent motor in it. Good luck.
  3. Your last statement definitely rings true... a sigma in the 17/18-50/55mm or 24/28-70/80mm range w/ HSM would be great... and the Tamron comes w/ an internal focus motor in Canon mount so why not Nikon?

    I would love a Beast but the $919 for a BGN version from KEH is still really too much. $800 for a 17-55mm would still probably be too much and that's as low as I've seen them go. So for now I'm still leaning towards either the Tamron 28-75mm or Sigma 24-70mm Macro, which ever I catch a deal on first.

    I'm also considering sending my Tokina back to them for calibration. I know alot of folks with bad copies of the Sigma's and Tamrons have had luck with this... any chance I could get my Tokina dialed in and have the best of both worlds (build and sharpness)?
  4. Brian-S


    Feb 10, 2007
    Bay Area, CA
    Stepen, you've got to get some nice Nikon glass on that D50!
  5. gugs


    Feb 24, 2006
    I am VERY happy with my Tamron 17-50 2.8, to me the perfect budget quality solution for allround photography. The 28-75 2.8 gets fantastic reviews and is probably one of the best choices if you want a slightly longer lens (for portrait I am using a Nikkor 35-70 2.8 or the 85 1.8 most of the time)
  6. Ya, so far the Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 looks like the best choice... I've thought about some of the really sharp budget options like the Nikkor 35-70mm f/2.8 and the Sigma 24-60mm f/2.8 but the small ranges still bother me. I got into photography w/ a 10x Kodak super-zoom, so just getting away from the Tamron 28-300mm I started with when I got my D50 took quite a bit of adjusting.

    I guess the only thing really holding me back from trying the Tamron is the build-quality of my Tokina. I guess I should just buy the Tamron and see how it compares and then if I just can't stand the build sell it instead of the Tokina.
  7. Also, in reference to the Nikon Glass comment... I'd love to... unfortunately Nikon has what I see as a big gap in their lens lineup... no f/4 zooms. The have the slower consumer zooms and the fast pro zooms but no middle ground. Something like a 17-70mm f/4 ED AFS VR DX would probably be the perfect lens for me... I just wish Nikon (or even one of the third parties) would make it! It would also make a better kit lens for the D80 and even D200 than the 18-135mm or even 18-200mm VR.
  8. I've pretty much decided that if I can sell my Tokina 28-80mm f/2.8 and my Sigma 15-30mm f/3.5-4.5 EX then I'm going to try to pick up a Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 AND a 28-75mm f/2.8. This way I'll have a fast normal-zoom for most sittuations and a fast wide-normal-zoom for indoor events and maybe an upcoming Europe trip (if it materializes). The Sigma 15-30mm is a great lens, very sharp, and a very underrated alternative to the 12-24mm and 10-20mm options but it doesn't have the range to use for anything other than times you specificly need just the wide end (which isn't THAT often for me).

    If you're interested in my Tokina 28-80mm f/2.8 or Sigma 15-30mm f/3.5-4.5 then check out my for-sale thread or PM me!
  9. I ended up picking up a Sigma 28-70mm f/2.8 EX DF from a Cafe member for $165 shipped... I figured for the price it was worth a shot (and the reviews I've read place it as the sharpest of the 4 Sigma 28-70mm versions). I've done some tests and it seems to be quite usable at f/2.8 throughout the range... not tack-sharp but MUCH better than the Tokina and really the best that can be expected without going to the Beast... so for the price I'm EXTREMELY happy!
  10. Listed on eBay... item number 280102391374... will still consider purchase or trade offers...

    LOOKING FOR: Sigma 30mm f/1.4 HSM, 24/28mm f/1.8 Macro, 70mm f/2.8 Macro, 18-50mm f/2.8 (original or Macro), 12-24mm f/4.5-5.6 HSM, 50mm f/2.8 Macro

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