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Old Feb 19, 2007, 7:33 PM   #1
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Location: Chicago Suburb, IL, USA
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Hi All,

Recently won a mint Tokina 100-300 f4 AT-X SD manual focus "A" series lens on eekbay. Weather has been terrible here, so have only been able to get out a few times, and had to rely on the old faithfuls -- sparrows -- as my points of focus to check out how the lens handles. With the Pentax F 1.7x AFA, it becomes a 170-510 f6.8, or about the same #s as the Sigma 170-500 or the Bigma on the long end, but only weighs 2.75 lbs, a little lighter than the 170-500, but 1.4 lbs less than the Bigma. Oh yeah, it was also a lot less expensive!

Here's an sample shot:

K10, Tok 100-300 + 1.7x AFA, ISO 200, f8 (f4.5 on the lens), 1/200 sec.

This is only cropped to 5x7 format and the only PP is to remove some of the CA and a minimal sharpening after resizing.

My impression after very brief use -- It's a keeper! It doesn't seem to lose much sharpness at the long end -- certainly acceptable for use with my favorite TC, it's reasonably fast (again so it can be used effectively with the 1.7x AFA), the CA isn't too bad, and it's reasonable in weight for handholding. Another positive is that it's a true zoom lens in that it maintains focus when zooming, though I've yet to be able to master the art of zooming without turning the focus ring a little -- it's a one-touch. The one-touch, though might be a good thing as I am always grabbing the wrong ring on my lenses with separate zoom and focus rings.

I can see this being a suitable alternative for the FA*300/4.5 when I need some shorter FLs than using a prime allows (my feet and legs have let me down as a suitable zooming device lately:?). I can see using it for BIF -- acquire the subject at the shorter FLs, then zoom in for the shot. Another good application will be for the zoo where 300mm is a little too much for a lot of shots, but the reach comes in handy for others.

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