Tokina AT-X 840 80-400mm AFII f/4.5-5.6 35mm Zoom

Available At:
AT-X 840 80-400mm AFII f/4.5-5.6

A complete range of lenses in one! This is the world's first 80-400mm f4.5-5.6 that can boast a brightness of f5.6 even at the 400mm setting. This lens has been minimized in size and weight and can easily be used at the 400mm end with today's faster emulsions.

User Reviews (25)

Showing 1-10 of 25  
sfpeter   Intermediate [Jul 10, 2010]
Strength:

Sturdy build, but see below.
Basically takes the most common telephoto (80-200mm) and doubles the long end.
In outdoor settings and bright light it can take excellent photos.
Makes contrasty images with nice rendition.
Full manual settings for people who like to use them.

Weakness:

A little soft at full aperture
Mechanical screw drive focus, so D40/D60 users are out of luck.
Heavy enough it should have come with a tripod collar (later version does)
Focus is slow and hunts a bit in low light.

My particular example initially took pictures that were overexposed and sometimes was erratic in operation. Disassembly revealed a sticking aperture and the tab for the cpu contacts was loose. A year or so later I heard a rattling noise and found two of the set screws for the front element were loose. As I bought the lens second hand I can't really say if these are build quality issues or the previous owner was tinkering on it.

This lens fits a rather uncommon category, being an ultra-long zoom with a f5.6 maximum aperture at 400mm. It's heavy, old school metal construction, and can turn in very good photos. It's basically as fast as you can get on a 400mm zoom without things getting seriously expensive.

Customer Service

Didn't use

Similar Products Used: Tamron 28-300mm
Nikon 70-210mm
Tokina 80-200mm manual focus
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
Available At:
martinr   Intermediate [Apr 04, 2009]
Strength:

build
feel
size
performance once stopped down
price - shop around and you'll get a bargain - I paid about £140 on fleabay

Weakness:

performance wide open at long end
noisy & slow initial focus (on older version)
no zoom lock

great lens if you know how to use it properly. At the long end wide open performance is pretty average to poor; images are very soft and printing above a4 ain't great. However stop down to f9.5 - f11 and images are really zingy with nice contrast & colour. Anything below 300mm is pretty good anyway but I'd still recommend leaving this lens at f8.
I have the older version and focus isn't isn't particularly quick but once focus is found on my 1d mkII there are never any problems tracking in AI servo.
Build is great and gives real confidence. Zoom action is nice & smooth. The hood is good although I always leave on a collapsible rubber hood.
I tend to set my 1d to lowest compression jpeg, sharpening at level 2, iso1600 & f9.5 and use a monopod whener possible. I process my shots in CS2 and use Noise Ninja to take out noise and USM images.


If you want L performance go spend L money. Used carefully this lense will give superb results.

Customer Service

never needed to use

Similar Products Used: canon 100 - 300
minolta 70 - 210 (both last version & better original "beer can" version)
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
pwsonline   Expert [Feb 23, 2008]
Strength:

Build quality is absolutely superb, all metal!
Affordable alternative!
Sharp images, stepped down to F8
Hood with polariser control knob!! Very nice detail!

Weakness:

Too much chromatic abberation at 400mm
Slow focusing, frequent hunting at low-light conditions (but expectable)
Stiff operation (mine is very young)
Tripod collar not up to it's task

I was encouarged to look for a Tokina telezoom, because I also have the Tokina 12-24mm Wide-angle lens. (very good indeed)

After extensive practicing and testing I have concluded that that the Tokina 80-400 ATX-D is a good lens, especially considering it's price! I have the Nikon-variant by te way. I intend to use it as an allround travel companion.
(landscape-details, people, plane and train spotting, and an occasional bird-shot)

At first I found the results disappointing, especially on the log end, even while using a tripod, but I found out after some time that the tripod collar is not up to its task.
When adding extra support (i.e. a Manfrotto lens support 293), and truly stabilizing it, the results dramatically improved. Don't forget a 400mm is not really ment to be used hand-held. (indeed the basic photography rules)

Sharpness/contrast:
It performs really good up to about 300mm, nice and crisp.
At 400mm however it becomes soft, but at F8 it's all fine again. Even with a 1.7x converter (680mm) I got reasonably good results.

Chromatic abberation:
On the long end, I find it a bit too much (the only real weakness), it is correctable, however, but not all that easy.

I think this lens is meant for advanced photographers, who know what they are doing. People who expect AF-S, Ultrasonic, VR, image stabilizer, etc, should NOT buy this lens.
An aditional tripod support is mandatory for excellent results

Customer Service

not used

Similar Products Used: Sigma 70-300mm Macro, (a lot less than the Tokina)
Nikon 80-200 2.8 AF, (better, not really a surprise, BUT at F8 / F11 the Tokina comes NEAR!!)
Nikon 70-210 AF-D (equal)
OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
5
kebwebs   Intermediate [Aug 28, 2007]
Strength:

Solid
balanced
cost

Weakness:

Bright apeture that can't be used (f8 + is only decent) f11+ is better
Soft focus at infinity
This lens will not take a sharp shot at 80mm f22 1/1000

My Tokina 840 AT-XII is either defective or junk. If I can't get a clear shot of a brick wall tripod mounted at f22 and 1/1000 speed then I can't get a clear shot of anything. SOFT SOFT SOFT
If you buy one of these do yourself a favor and only purchase the 840AT-Xd (latest version)

Similar Products Used: Nikon 70-300mm VR
OVERALL
RATING
2
VALUE
RATING
2
mike r   Expert [Dec 07, 2005]
Strength:

Sharp pictures. Solid construction. Reasonably fast for its wide zoom range.

Weakness:

Physically long at 400 mm setting with the lens hood attached.

I bought a second hand (like new condition) of this model which does not have the tripod collar and barrel lock. My impression so far is WOW. I have put it through some tests on my Nikon D70 and am very very pleased. Images are sharp and clear.....even at 400 mm (1.5X for the D70 = 600mm in 35mm equivalent), as long as you respect some basic photography rules: 1) when handholding any camera, minimum shutter speed should not be slower than 1/ the focal length of the lens.....ie for a 500mm lens, the shutter speed used should not be slower than 1/ 500th of a second. This minimizes blurr and fuzzy or soft pictures caused by camera shake. 2) the longer the lens, the shallower the depth of field will be....so precise focusing is key....telephoto lenses can have a depth of field of only a few inches when wide open....using a smaller aperature (larger "f" number) increases depth of field, hence pictures seem sharper. I wonder how many of those who dismiss a lens for being soft actually respect or even know about these 2 basic rules... All the features of the D70 seem to work just fine with this lens. Auto focus speed is fine for most situations, although it does hunt in low light or with low contrast subjects. This is completely normal and I think this has more to do with the camera rather than the lens, as it is the camera that determines when focus is achieved....not the lens. Overall I am very pleased to have such a good lens at such a great price. I was also looking at the Sigma, Tamron, and Nikon 70 - 300 mm units. Glad I picked this one! It is very solidly constructed with METAL.....it is heavier than the other contenders for this reason, but has a good feel in my hand. Zooming action is smooth and not too loose. The others felt and sounded cheap and clunky when zoom ring was rotated.

Customer Service

not used

Similar Products Used: Sigma, Tamron, Nikon (cheapest model...they have two) 70 - 300 mm.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
lordfreddy   Expert [Oct 17, 2005]
Strength:

Good Optics, Great Built, very compact, Hood, tripod ring, and lens bag included, and nicely priced

Weakness:

Manual Focus ring can be smoother, non-removable tripod ring, and slow AF.

This lens is really a bang for your buck: Good optics: Sharp and usable images @ wide open, very sharp when step down to f8. I have used compact tele-lenses such as Sigma 55-200mm and Tamron 70-300mm; @ wide open f/5.6, Tokina is much better than sigma and Tamron. Great Built: This lens will last forever, all metal construction, beats every Canon consumer level lens in built quilty. Very Compact: this lens is so small in size for a 400mm, I was thinking it was a EF-S type of lens when I first saw it. Very nicely priced: for $350 I paid, I just can't go wrong with it

Similar Products Used: Tamron 70-300mm
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
rogerslade   Expert [Aug 18, 2005]
Strength:

Sharpness & contrast

Weakness:

Autofocus

I have the original lens without the tripod collar although I believe that there are no differences between this & the current model. I do a lot of photography at air displays & this is a very sharp lens at all apertures & focal lengths. The autofocus speed is a real letdown & very slow & invariably I focus manually. To autofocus well the lens needs a really high contrast subject but still "hunts" a lot. Nevertheless the quality of photographs taken with the lens are very sharp, contrasty & free from distortion.

Customer Service

N/A

Similar Products Used: None
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Philippe Roussel   Intermediate [Aug 15, 2005]
Strength:

Weight, length, price for the stated features, manufacturing quality.

Weakness:

Image quality is really poor above 200mm

It is always more pleasant to give a nice review about an enjoyable product, but this review is not going to be nice…. I own a Canon 20D with several lenses: Canon 10-22mm, Canon 50mm f/1.8, Canon 18-55mm (original kit lens) and a Tamron 18-200mm f/3-5-6.3 which I like very much. Was missing in my arsenal a long range tele-zoom. I did my home work and I chose the Tokina ATX-840 AF II APO 80-400mm based on the reasonable weight (1.050 kg) and its length, since I don’t feel like carrying a bazooka. I wanted a long range tele-zoom to shoot objects which cannot be approached, such as aircrafts in an airport. The available reviews of this product from Tokina are scarce and non-conclusive. I though it might be because this brand is not as widely available as Canon or Sigma. But it comes from a subsidiary from Hoya, largest lens maker (based on their web site). So I ordered it for approximately $420. Sounds like a great deal. But it is not. Ok the lens is made of metal and feels and looks good. The manufacturing quality is there, but unfortunately not the imaging quality. The focus motor reacts promptly but keeps on adjusting when shooting at a long distance. I did testing shots of houses located at a long distance. I used a tri-pod, setup the image quality at the highest possible and even used the timer to avoid any shaking. I used the Tamron 18-200mm as a reference, although this is not the sharpest lens at 200mm. Conclusion: the Tokina’s sharpness is equivalent to the Tamron 18-200mm at 200mm, but slightly less contrast. At 300mm the image loose some of its sharpness, and, in my opinion, becomes unacceptable. At 400mm, the center of the image looses some more sharpness, while the edges become really blurry. When displaying the images on my computer, it appeared that the shots taken at 200mm magnified 200% are sharper than the shots taken at 400mm. And shots taken at 300mm x 1.5 are equivalent to those taken at 400mm. I have tried all apertures. The apertures under f/8 provide unacceptably soft images at 300 or 400mm, the quality does not get much better after that. Conclusion, if you already have a lens going up to 200mm, crop the image on your computer you’ll get better results that using the Tokina 80-400mm. If you feel that you need the range 80 to 200mm, there much better alternatives out there. The only positive note out of this experience is that I am now fully convinced of the interest of the Image Stabilization feature for such tele-zoom. I hope this sad review will prevent others to feel disappointed by a product which does not deserve to be marketed.

Customer Service

No need, the case is hopeless.

Similar Products Used: Tamron 18-200mm, Canon 10-22mm, Canon 50 f/1.8
OVERALL
RATING
1
VALUE
RATING
1
Bobsprit@aol.com   Expert [Jan 03, 2005]
Strength:

Fairly easy to handhold, Long reach, sharp lens!

Weakness:

Heavy, looks like a bazooka at full extension.

I just bought this lens second hand in mint condition. I tested the Sigma 70-300 and Nikon ED 70-300 and found them soft right off. Slapped this on the D70 and I could instantly see it was much sharper. It's heavy due to metal construction, but is pretty easy to hold. Zoom range is very pleasing and my example appears tack sharp at 400mm. AF is not too slow and manual focus is smooth and worth using. I did tests for sharpness at 400 and am very pleased! It's a lot of lens and you can get a new one for well under 500.00.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
wrktoohrd   Intermediate [Dec 21, 2003]
Strength:

Metal construction, solid tripod mount, nice lens hood is included, stays at f4.5 all the way to 300mm in the zoom range. Fast autofocus, not like USM but still pretty fast for a 3rd party lens.

Weakness:

A little heavy, but it is metal. It has only a minimum apature of f5.6 at the long end but for around $400 you can't expect it to be a f2.8 lens.

This is a great lens for someone who needs a good lens at a moderate price. I use this for wildlife as well as many other situations and I find it to be very sharp, especially when mounted on a tripod(mine is the new model with the tripod mount)I sometimes use a 1.4X teleconverter and my Elan IIe will still autofocus when using it outside in sunlight. I find the pictures produced to be sharp with minimum distortion at the edges and they have very nice contrast. Email me if you would like to see a sample pic from this lens at wrktoohrd@hotmail.com

Customer Service

I called to be sure that it would work with my Elan IIe and they were very informative and plesant on the phone.

Similar Products Used: Canon 70-300mm f4-5.6, Sigma 400mm f5.6
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-10 of 25  

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