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Tokina 24-200mm AT-X 242 AF

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Reviews Views Date of last review
38 134572 Mar 20, 2007
Recommended By Average Price
76% of reviewers $275.96
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.37
8.41
7.6
8232atx242af

Specifications:
The AT-X 242 AF is the first lens to start at 24mm and zoom all the way to 200mm, and is currently the widest zoom range available starting at 24mm. It is constructed using a chrome plated brass mount plate and a combination of aluminum and composite lens barrels to reduce weight while maintaining strength and durability.

Optically, the 242 uses high quality optical glass multicoated lens elements created by Hoya Corporation, the world’s largest manufacturer of optical glass. Two Aspherical lens elements and one SD (super low dispersion) glass element are employed in the optical design to insure sharpness across the film plane. The aspherical elements are each molded as one piece of optical glass rather than a resin laminated to a glass core.

An internal focusing mechanism gives this lens fast auto focus. Internal focus means the 72mm filter threads do not move during focusing. This is of great advantage when a special effects filter, such as a circular polarizer, is used. With an internal focusing lens it is not necessary to readjust the position of the filter every time the focus is changed. Focus distance is indicated on the manual focus ring.

Like the rest of the lenses in the AT-X series, The AT-X 242 AF is what is commonly referred to as a parafocal lens, meaning when focus is achieved at a telephoto focal length, it is possible to zoom back to a wide angle and maintain focus on the subject.


 


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FryingPan
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Registered: Apr 4, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 5
Review Date: Mar 20, 2007 Recommend? no | Price paid: $369.99 | Rating: 5 

 
Pros: Great zoom range, built like a tank, compact size.
Cons:
Soft, soft, soft, soft. Clunky AF, heavy like a tank, noisy AF.

I purchased this lens from B&H about a year and a half ago, when I had just begun to delve into photography. At the time, it was the greatest thing since sliced bread. A long zoom and a wide angle all in one, what more could you want?

Well, as my skills and knowledge began to develop, I started noticing things that were leaning more towards the negative:

Images were often soft at anything less than f/11
Washed out color in bright light
Slow and noisy AF
Heavy, heavy, heavy.
Fringing GALORE.

To top it all off- I can no longer adjust focus manually as the mechanism seems to be stuck or jammed. The lens still autofocuses just fine (slow, but fine.)

This lens has sat on a shelf in my office more than anything and is the single greatest source of buyer's remorse I have ever experienced.

For the uninitiated, it'll do everything they want to do, but for anybody else, look elsewhere.


Mar 20, 2007
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gustabod
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Registered: Aug 5, 2006
Location: Australia
Posts: 3
Review Date: Aug 5, 2006 Recommend? no | Price paid: $480.00 | Rating: 4 

 
Pros: solid quality build and feel, 24-200 range covers most walkabout uses even on cropped sensor cameras. Contrast close to an L lens on my Canon
Cons:
Difficult to get a sharp image, maybe one in five is usable. Is it the photographer or the camera? Using other lenses from Sigma or Canon presents no problems. Notable distortion at 24-50 mm.

The price (and this depends on where in the world you are) would be justified if the lens performed to a decent standard, but it doesn't. It's a hit or miss affair used on a Canon 30D, regardless of the available light, number or autofocus points used, metering mode, camera setting and whether you auto or manual focus. The color rendition and contrast is generally very good, I compare it with the better Canon lenses I have. Manual focusing has a very rough feel, and is not all that sensitive.

I have tried everything I could think of to get an acceptable image from this lens, seems OK at the long end, but below about 100 it just doesn't cut it. Don't know if I have a dud copy, but will be traded in at some stage shortly. During a recent visit to a different shop from the one I've bought this lens the salesman (without knowing I own one) refused to even show me one, saying it's simply not a very good lens and that I should consider Canon, Tamron or even Sigma.


Aug 5, 2006
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Tigadee
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Registered: Aug 4, 2005
Location: New Zealand
Posts: 1
Review Date: Jun 1, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $300.00 | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: Sharp from 24-150mm, solid build quality (metal body & metal mount), nice rubberised zoom ring, decent contrast and colours
Cons:
Soft between 150mm to 200mm

Mixed bag of results from this lens. Sharp from 24mm to about 150mm, and then it gets soft (like oil smudges) till 200mm. Get a 100mm to 300mm or 400mm tele lens to compensate. Like the build quality - Heavier than my 300D!

Colour not as rich as I'd like but post processed it's good. AF is quite fast and quiet but not USM-quiet. Strange that it's 24mm widest but is limited to digital cropped cameras, not film or full-frame...


Jun 1, 2006
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JohnLL
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Registered: Oct 10, 2004
Location: Brazil
Posts: 774
Review Date: Mar 1, 2006 Recommend? | Price paid: Not Indicated

 
Pros: Same as before
Cons:
Same as before, plus the fact that I get some vignetting on a full-frame sensor.

This is an update to a review I posted some time ago. I have now used this lens on a full-frame camera (5D). No change in rating or comments, except that it does vignet a bit more than some other lenses on the full frame. The canon 28-200, for example vignets a bit less. I'm going to keep this as the standard lens for my small-sensor camera, currently a 10D, eventually maybe a 30D. I'm using the Canon 28-200 on the 5D and will eventually make it the standard lens on the EOS 3, which it was before I got the 5D. I hope to get a 24-105 L as the standard lens for the 5D.

Mar 1, 2006
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splevy
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Registered: Feb 26, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Feb 26, 2006 Recommend? no | Price paid: Not Indicated

 
Pros: Potentially good, very usefull zoom range
Cons:
Soft, lacks contrast, slow autofocus, lack of manual overide on focus,

I bought this lens after reading the reviews on this site, it received better rating than the Canon 28-200, so I took the chance. It was supposed to be a reliable back up lens and something that I could leave on my camera that covered a different zoom range than the L series lenses that I rely on, something to put on my camera while on walks my newborn son.
Unfortunately it is a really bad lens. It is soft, except at 200-mm F.8+, it focuses way to slowly, if you want to manual focus-which is for me the most useful test-it has a sloppy felling and a horrible ratio on the focus ring.
I really wanted this lens to be better than it is. I had very pleasant experiences with a 2.8 Tokina zoom in the early nineties and took the chance with this lens, based on that experience. I am disappointed.
I might be spoilt by the L series lenses that I use daily, but I believe that if you are not running a lens wide open then image quality should be pretty much standard. Yes there is a sacrifice in speed of focus but I don't believe that anyone should be sold a lens that doesn't encourage them to take photos.
This lens doesn't encourage me to take photos. I am returning it to the dealer, it has no place on my camera or in my camera bag.


Feb 26, 2006
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racoll
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Registered: Dec 1, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 3011
Review Date: Feb 10, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $199.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Solid build and feel, relatively compact size, sharpness at most apertures and the 100-200 focal range
Cons:
some amount of softness below the 70mm range, noisy (compared to Canon USM) AF, not much else

I acquired this lens to use as an everyday lens for my trips to and from work, and because when I'm not shooting something requiring the use of L-series lenses this one is much more compact and a lot lighter than the 70-200 IS. It also negates the need to change lenses a lot and for casual walking around, this is priceless. My copy is a bit softer than my 28-135 below 70mm (although this is usually easily corrected in PS), but above that it's pretty impressive and sharper than the 28-135 (I have a good copy of the 28-135) at all apertures. Initially I was a bit concerned that this would be just another 'do everything' lens that gave up a lot in terms of quality, but this has proven to be a lens that I'm quite happy to use when I don't quite need my 17-40 or 70-200 IS for general walk-around shooting. I had the original Tamron 28-200 back in '95 and then the Tamron 28-300 in 2003 (or '04, I don't remember...) but both of these lense were quite underwhelming and soft. The 24-200 has proven to be a lens that I really enjoy as well as one that performs well. I would highly recommend this lens.

Feb 10, 2006
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Mad Artist
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Registered: Jun 2, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 1017
Review Date: Jan 29, 2006 Recommend? no | Price paid: $150.00 | Rating: 2 

 
Pros: Very useful zoom range. Well built, like most Tokinas. Smooth zoom action.
Cons:
My copy is very soft at all apertures and all focal lengths. Dynamic range is very poor, with most colors gravitating towards their primary root. Flair and ghosting can be extreme.

This lens would be great if it was good, but it simply isn't, with not even a 5X7 worth keeping. Too bad, the zoom range is unique and very useful.

If you insist on spending your money on this lens, make sure you buy from a shop that will take it back, or at least exchange it. If you're lucky and get a good copy, you got yourself a good buy. But you can just as easily end up in my shoes, with a lens that in fairness, can not even be re-sold. Total investment lost, small as it was. Will take it apart one day I'm bored, to learn more about lens construction.


Jan 29, 2006
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nspur
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Registered: Jan 8, 2005
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 117
Review Date: Jan 27, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 6 

 
Pros: Excellent range, good clarity and contrast, excellent build quality. A very useful travel lens.
Cons:
Vignetting at 24mm. Geometric distortions except in 50-70 range and at 200.

Though I bought this lens for use on a Canon EOS 33 (Elan 7) film body, I tested it on a Canon 5D full-frame digital SLR which would show up any shortcomings. The results were better than I had expected. My copy of the lens is softer on the left edge than the right edge but prints 7.5 x 5 inches were acceptably sharp with good colour, contrast and clarity. I wouldn't like to print at the 300 ppi resulution of 14.5 x 9.7 without croppping the edges and I think for use on a digital SLR the lens should be used on a 1.5/1.6 crop sensor. Autofocus was accurate but a bit slow. The build quality is very good with only a niggle about a slightly sloppy manual focus ring.

The disappointment is the geomentric distortions. There's very visible barreling at 24mm (and also severe vignetting on my full-frame SLR). By 40mm or so the aspect is rectilinear (fairly distortion-free) but by 70mm pincushioning starts and gets worse up to 105mm after which it declines and at 200mm there is little distortion. Plainly one would not expect a modestly priced 8.3x zoom to be distortion-free but distortions were significantly worse than I had expected. Even so, I'm quite happy to use the lens on the EOS 33 and may also use it on my Canon 20D.


Jan 27, 2006
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studio56
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Registered: Nov 13, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Dec 11, 2005 Recommend? no | Price paid: $139.00 | Rating: 5 

 
Pros: well build..
Cons:
images are soft, and glares.

i bought this tokina 24-200mm for my canon 300d, used in ebay for 139$, in excel condi.. after 2 weeks of testing, i SOLD it. xory to let it go, it was a nicely build lens, i really like its build and feel, but i just couldnt get it to be sharp, in all ranges, i got soft, and glares images. i tried to shoot it at higher f stops too..but still soft..not sure if i got a lemmon, but i couldnt keep it. i replaced it with the tokina atx pro 28-70mm f2.8 one, and that is alot better deal.

Dec 11, 2005
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beachna5
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Registered: Oct 12, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 1
Review Date: Nov 17, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: VERY nice sharpness at f7.1+, price, build quality
Cons:
"Slow" (f3.5-5.6), non-contstant max apeture, but what do you want for under $300?

I have used this lens for about 6 months and finally feel like I can write a helpful review.

I did a lens test against my Tamron 90mm f2.8 macro (supposed to be one of the finest lenses available for Canon EOS). I shot on a tripod, timer release in good light at a flat piece of paper. I tested several focal lengths on the Tokina, framing each one to the same view as the Tamron 90mm. I found that by f7.1 the Tokina is basically as sharp at 100% crop as the much praised Tamron, at all focal lengths, even 24mm and 200mm. (Note, I didn't test between f5.6 and f7.1, so maybe The Tokina even becomes "Tamron 90" sharp before f7.1.)

BTW, the Tamron is supposed to be as good/better as most any Canon "L" zoom lenses (based on Photozone and Photodo ratings), and if the Tokina is as good as the Tamron, well...

Perhaps I have a great copy of the Tokina, who knows. I believe my Tamron is a "good copy" because of the pictures I'm getting out of it both in tests and real world pics.

I would highly recommend this lens, with two caveats.

1) This is NOT an indoor/low light lens (unless you want to use a flash or tripod). I live in California, so sunlight is not usually an issue; I love using this lens outdoors.

2) I haven't tested the Tamron or Sigma 18-200mm lenses, so I guess if those have the same optical quality as the Tokina at f7.1, then maybe they would be a better choice due to getting more on the wide end. Of course, both the Tamron & Sigma are $130 more than the Tokina, so that's something to consider as well.

I would challenge anyone to suggest a better lens considering the price, focal range, and sharpness (when stopped down).

One last thing. Let's compare the Tokina to the MUCH beloved Canon 70-200mm F4 L, which would cost you $600. So ask yourself, is Canon's sharp at f4 versus Tokina's sharp at f7.1 worth losing the 24-70 range and paying $300 extra dollars? And the weight of the Tokina (which many complain about) is exactly the same as the weight of the Canon 70-200mm f4L.


Nov 17, 2005
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rsensors
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Registered: Jan 20, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Oct 17, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $275.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Build, smooth operation. Nice range. Great for my primary purpose: outdoor sports photos. Price
Cons:
Somewhat heavy. Subject to flare @ 200mm.



Oct 17, 2005
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jblum484
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Registered: Jan 4, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 14
Review Date: Oct 5, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $299.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Price, wide range, flexibility of uses
Cons:
Weight, Weight, Weight, size, oh, and it weighs a lot

This is a great lens for all around range and if you can only take one lens. I took it traveling for 7 months when space was an issue, and it was fantastic. I accidentally dropped my camera and it didn't dent or break. Really tough lens. Built like a tank, and weighs almost as much as one. It really gives your camera a hefty feel if you like that.

It does not take as sharp pictures as good Canon glass. You really get what you pay for when it comes to most lenses, and although it has been very good to me, I wish I had spotted for another $200 and gotten the Canon 28-135 IS USM.

Overall, a very good value lens.


Oct 5, 2005
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thanks5050
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Registered: Jul 28, 2005
Location: Italy
Posts: 0
Review Date: Sep 12, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 6 

 
Pros: Build quality; price; 24-200mm; fast and quiet AF
Cons:
Has to be stopped (good from f8 on), and it is also very heavy.

I used this lens for a while with a Canon digital reflex.
It has a good quality-price ratio, it is build like a tank, has a fast and quiet Af which makes it good for street photography.
On the contrary, its major problem is that it needs to be stopped: photos are sharp enough from f8 on only (but are really ok from f11). This means that you have to use longer shutters and with such an heavy lens (more or less 700g) it can be a big problem, and at least it was for me. This lens many times requires a tripod, because I am not able to shot at 200mm at 1/30 or 1/20 handheld with such a heavy tank.
It's a pity because if it got sharp images at f4-f5.6, it would be really a great objective considering the price.
Finally, even if colours are not as beautiful as the Sigma105 f2.8 ones (or the Canon 17-40 f4), with simple PS works you can obtain good colours even from your Tokina 24-200.


Sep 12, 2005
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fotofly
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Registered: May 6, 2005
Location: Finland
Posts: 133
Review Date: Aug 8, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $230.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: What a walkaround lens! I'm even happy with "macro" on butterflys.
Cons:
Wide open there's some softness in corners but...



Aug 8, 2005
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louis__
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Registered: Oct 26, 2004
Location: China
Posts: 34
Review Date: Jul 25, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Build, price, image quality
Cons:
Lens cap, focus, not wide enough for an APS-C size DSLR, bokeh

I bought mine after reading reviews from here and checking out other people's work in pBase.

The lens is difficult to find in HK. Most shops don't have it and I could only find mine in a small camera shop (with a bit of luck).

I found the image quality OK, in the wide-end 24mm and tele-end 200mm, I found the images a little bit soft when wide opened. But improves when stop down to f8. In the range 50mm to.. say 170mm, it can give you sharp pictures.

I also noticed corner sharpness is less than centre sharpness.

Color and contrast is good.

I cannot get good bokeh until I zoom to 170mm+ and have aperture wide opened. But with these settings, I risk getting soft images. However, I suspect all travelling lenses are no good in this aspect. So... if I want good bokeh, I would bring on a weighless 50 1.4.

I really like the construction of this lens. It looks professional than it costs.

The lens cap is a joke. When you have your lens hood attached, it is almost impossible to take off / put back your lens cap.

Don't use this lens in low light (as for other travelling lens).

Overall, I enjoy this lens as a travelling lens.

For people using a APS-C size camera (eg 20D), they should seriously consider the sigma 18-200 or tamron 18-200 (I don't have these lenses so I couldn't compare their optical performance. But as a travelling lens, they weigh less and give wider end).

But for people using full frame or 1.3 crop camera, it is a good travelling lens.


Jul 25, 2005
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tonno1970
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Registered: Jan 13, 2005
Location: Italy
Posts: 260
Review Date: Jul 24, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: zoom range, construction, image quality
Cons:
weight

I bought used after reading all these good reviews here in FM.
To my purposes (family and all around lens) is very useful and lens quality is OK. I also have the 70-200 4L that I use more when photographing aircrafts (my hobby), as it has USM but image quality is not so far even if at the high end you notice it.
I noted that my version, at the end, is shorter than the canon lens; seems to be more like 180-190 (if my canon is 200...) but it is only my impression.

For me it is a very nice lens useful when you do not want to change lenses with a good image quality.


Jul 24, 2005
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Tokina 24-200mm AT-X 242 AF

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
38 134572 Mar 20, 2007
Recommended By Average Price
76% of reviewers $275.96
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.37
8.41
7.6
8232atx242af


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