Reviews

Tokina 300mm f/4 ATX Review

Tokina 300mm f/4 ATX Review

Photography Life Reviews
1. Tokina 300AF

Recently, as I packed my cameras for a trip, it dawned on me how much the contents of my camera bag have changed since the first days of my photographic journey. With all the professional grade Canon cameras and lenses neatly tucked in my bag, it was easy to forget that it wasn’t so long ago when my camera of choice was an entry-level DSLR (Sony A100) and a consumer-grade telephoto zoom lens in the form of the Tamron 70-300mm. This combination served me well for a couple of years, but it soon became clear that an upgrade was in order. At the time, I was limited in my ability to choose a replacement by a budget of just $300. This placed me well below the amount needed to purchase a modern professional grade lens and I had to look for an upgrade on the used lens market. It took a few weeks before I narrowed down my options and about a month before I found my answer: The Tokina 300mm f/4 ATX lens. The Tokina 300mm f/4, whose design dates to the early 90’s, received rave user reviews on camera forums for its sharpness and durability. Its all-metal design and f/4 max aperture made it stand out from the other consumer grade options. The price was also perfect for my budget with used copies of the lens going for around $300. A couple months later, I had a copy of the lens in my hand, and it was my lens of choice for a couple of years before I moved to Canon and the Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS USM. With this review I hope to shine a light on this little-known gem and, more importantly, introduce a genuine alternative to photographers looking for a budget friendly upgrade to their consumer oriented telephoto lens. The photographs in this article represent both some of my own work as well as that of my father who continues to use the Tokina 300mm f/4 lens to this day.   

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