Friday, July 1, 2005
Tokina AT-X 124 AF Pro DX
A wide-angle zoom with a fixed aperture delivers digitally
The Tokina AT-X 124 AF Pro DX lens provides photographers shooting with digital SLRs a high-performing and affordable 12-24mm wide-angle zoom. With a constant maximum aperture of ƒ/4 throughout its entire zoom range, this lens becomes a valuable addition
to any landscape or travel photographer's camera bag.
Built for Nikon and Canon digital SLRs designed around an APS-sized sensor, the lens delivers the focal length equivalent of 18-36mm (1.6x lens magnification). The Tokina lens features more than wide-angle coverage, however; it has optics that are optimized for use on digital SLRs. It includes two aspherical lens elements, Special Low Dispersion (SD) glass and multicoated optics that ensure high color accuracy and reduced chromatic aberration or color fringing toward the edges of the frame. Color, sharpness and contrast are excellent even under less than ideal lighting conditions.
The lens' exterior is solidly constructed with a chrome-plated lens mount and an all-metal zoom mechanism. Weighing only 20.1 ounces, the lens also has a textured zoom and focusing ring, the latter of which easily can take you in and out of AF mode by simply pulling the ring in or out. This eliminates the need to use the camera's control for enabling or disabling autofocus.
The joy of this lens comes when using it in the field. A close-focusing distance of 11.8 inches provides great flexibility in creating dynamic compositions with dominant foreground objects. That feature, combined with a small aperture and the lens' generous depth of field, produced images that were very sharp throughout the frame.
Its wide maximum aperture made focusing and composing during the early-morning hours before sunrise a breeze. Unlike a variable-aperture zoom that would lose as much as 1.5 stops of light when zoomed to its maximum focal length, I didn't have to worry about compensating for the light loss with a slower shutter speed when using my camera in manual mode. The large aperture also delivered a bright image to my camera's viewfinder.
The images had a nice snap to them. Even with enlargements of 16x20 inches, the sharp photographs produced by the lens showed that it was built as good optically as it was externally.
At a price of less than $900, the Tokina AT-X 124 AF Pro DX is definitely a lens to consider for any Nikon and Canon digital shooter.
Contact: THK Photo Products, (800) 421-1141, www.thkphoto.com.
[ Specifications ]
Lens Elements: 13 elements in 11 groups
Minimum Focusing Distance: 11.8 inches
Filter Size: 77mm
Size: 3.3x3.5 inches
Weight: 20.1 ounces
List Price: $899
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