Thread: Tokina AT-X 235 AF PRO 20-35mm f/2.8 BMMCC tests

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  1. #1 Tokina AT-X 235 AF PRO 20-35mm f/2.8 BMMCC tests 
    Senior Member shijan's Avatar
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    Apr 2012
    Odesa, UA
    Followed by Poor man's Angenieux - Tokina AT-X-Pro 28-70mm F2.6-2.8 thread i was exited about vintage Tokina Zoom lenses. Looking at i found one very interesting Tokina AT-X 235 AF PRO 20-35mm f/2.8 lens made during 1994-2007 and was able to get it at rather low price locally. Those old autofocus Nikon mount lenses don't have internal motor and electronics because they use screwdriver-like autofocus connector from motor inside camera. So they are simpler, more reliable and use real smooth damped manual focusing rings. Combined with 0.58x speedbooster this lens will produce normal zoom range 11.6-20.3 f/1.2 perfect for S16 BMMCC/BMPCC sensor. So currently i have the lens and waiting when Nikon G Speedbooster arrives to make some own tests and compare with other lenses.

    Here are some very subjective thoughts about this lens:

    - Constant F2.8 (F1.2 with 0.58x speedbooster)
    - 20-35 zoom range (12-20 with 0.58x speedbooster)
    - 0.5m close focus. (way better than older vintage zooms, but worse than modern zoom lenses)
    - Parfocal zoom? (Need to test)
    - Near zero barrel distortion at all focal lengths.
    - Nice smooth damped manual focus and zoom rings.
    - 90 degree focus throw (way better than modern AF zooms with 35-50 degree focus throw)
    - Non rotating front filter thread mount, perfect for variable ND filter or mattebox.
    - Front filter thread connected directly to the solid body frame separated from lenses and other moving parts.
    - Fixed external size during all zooming/focusing range.
    - Sharp documentary style look, but same time slightly not so clinically perfect and dead crisp as modern lenses. (Need to test)
    - Less contrast than modern lenses. (Need to test)
    - Smaller than any other similar manual zoom lenses. Don't feels bulky.
    - Way lighter than real cinema zooms.
    - Solid metal body. Build like a tank.
    - 77mm filter thread (no need step up rings for me)

    - Sharpness loss and dreamy halos at 20mm @ F/2.8 (varies from model to model, need to test my sample)
    - Typical aspherical zoom type harsh/jarring/busy bokeh look at wide angles. Probably can't match to older classic lenses smooth/creamy bokeh look. (Need to test)
    - May produce too pronounced long star rays from light sources. (Need to test)
    - Short focusing ring throw compare to fixed lenses. (Actually not a big problem in real life due very large focus ring diameter, well damped movement and 90 degree throw)
    - Wish focal length range could be slightly wider. (There is newer Tokina AT-X 165 PRO 16-50mm f/2.8 but it is made of plastic and have very short 35 degree focus ring throw, not too usable as manual lens)
    - Too thin diaphragm ring, but not a big problem because it is always possible to use clickless diaphragm ring on speedbooster.

    Some reviews of this lens:

    Last edited by shijan; 07-13-2019 at 01:03 AM.
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