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Tokina 50-135mm f/2.8 AT-X 535 AF PRO DX

Review Date: Jan 26, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Optical performance, Build quality, Autofocusing, Manual Focusing, No fancy electronic gadgetry to fail in the future

This lens is so good I had to register on FM to leave a review :-)

Things happen for a reason. Was hoping to buy a used Nikon 80-200 2.8D from a reputable UK used equipment retailer but by the time I transferred money to my credit card it was sold.

They had this in stock. Having never heard of it I proceeded to search for reviews. I truly rate the reviews here quiet accurate particularly as they are in line with my own views on lenses I have owned and/or used in the past and 20+ reviews is a good sample size. I had chickened out of buying the Tokina 11-16 or 12-24 for a Nikon 12-24 so gave this a try as I could return within 7 days if not happy (and also have warranty).

WOW. This lens has already made me a better photographer.

It's solid, sturdy, fast focusing, accurate focusing, no signification abberations, the colour rendition is stunning. Much better than any of my previous Nikons and only matched by the 12-24.

It does offer challenges to you at 2.8 in so far as it forces you to accurately focus. If challenges you to keep your hands steady. I am struggling to get good results below shutter speeds of 1/250 at ISO200.

I wasn't sure what to expect with regards to focusing. All my previous and current lenses are AF-S but this is almost as quick. I also tracked a bird in flight and was surprised that this could keep tracking focus.

I wasn't sure what to expect with the focus clutch but it's much more useful than manual over-ride autofocusing systems. Personally I struggle with manual focus on AF-S without turning to switch to full time manual. This is a lot more straightforward. The low light performance is also a lot faster than I was expecting. I imagine for 99% of us it's more than adequate and sufficient.

This is a far more versatile lens than the 80-200 would have been on my D90.Sub-consciously I was aware when I was hoping to get the 80-200 that I had a "Gap" from 35-80 this is now not an issue.

And it's doesn't have motors or complex electronics to fail in the future. It's all glass and metal and will last forever.

I don't know the history of this lens as to why it was discontinued but it's one of a rare number of 3rd party lenses that will hold their monetary value IMO.

Absolutely outstanding.