Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Digital-only Lenses Part VI: Tamron and Tokina

We continue the digital lens multi-part series with the digital lens line-up from Tamron and Tokina.

We will be using the following old-school alphabet-soup shorthand to denote the available mounts:

  • C: Canon
  • M: Minolta Alpha Sony
  • N: Nikon
  • O: Olympus Four Thirds
  • P: Pentax K-mount

Tamron Digital Lenses (Di-II LD)
The brand new SP AF10-24 f3.5-4.5 Di-II LD offers wide angle of roughly 15-36mm on APS-C/cropped sensor DSLRs, which is the vast majority of DSLRs out there. This was just recently announced so it's not available yet. It will eventually be available in [CMNP] and the Nikon flavor will have a built-in focus motor.

The SP AF11-18mm f4.5-5.6 Di-II LD is the approximate 18-27mm depending on where you mount it (DX/DA/DT or EF-S) and it is available in [CMN]. Goes for about $540 before any seasonal rebates are factored in.

A constant aperture zoom is thought as a good idea by many people, so Tamron is offering their AF17-50mm f2.8 Di-II LD in [CMNP], for about $420.

It's all about the superzooms these days, starting with the AF18-200mm f3.5-6.3 XR Di-II LD for about $280 before any rebates, then jumping to the AF 18-250mm f3.5-6.3 Di-II available for [CMNP] for around $480, and then "graduating" to the just-announced 18-270mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II VC, the first Tamron digital lens to offer VC (vibration correction), available for [CN] for an unspecified price. Yes, VC is yet another name for image stabilization.

Last and probably least of this group is the AF55-200mm F/4-5.6 Di-II LD available in [CMN] for about $180 before any rebates. This comes out to about 80-300mm depending on which APS-C DSLR you mount it on.

Tokina Digital Lenses (DX) - [CN] only
Tokina is a Canon and Nikon club with regards to their digital lenses, despite the wide popularity of DSLRs among photographers and even the average consumer.

We start with the 35mm f2.8 macro AT-X M35 Pro DX, which of course translates roughly to a normal lens when mounted on a DSLR, which of course is what all digital lenses intended for. The price is around $450.

Then we move to the 10-17mm f3.5-4.5 AT-X 107 DX fisheye, which distorts the world in 15-25mm equivalency. The price is around $560.

Fans of wide zooms may be interested in the 11-16mm f2.8 AT-X 116 Pro DX, which will give them roughly a 16-24mm lens, a zoom range of great interest to wide-angle-starved dSLR photographers. The price is around $570.

A more affordable solution is the 12-24mm f4 AT-X 124 Pro DX, giving roughly 18-36mm. The price is around $500.

The constant aperture zoom is perhaps one of the must-have lenses for serious photographers on a budget, and Tokina is offering their 16-50mm f2.8 AT-X 165 Pro DX, giving dSLR users a 24-75mm equivalent range. The price is around $650.

Last but certainly not least is the 50-135mm f2.8 AT-X 535 Pro DX lens, giving DSLR users roughly a 75-200mm lens, with a constant aperture. Yum? The price is around $650.

1. Tamron
2. Tokina
3. B&H Photo

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