about | support
home
 


  Reviews by: pfjbaldwin  

View profile View recent posts View reviews Add pfjbaldwin to your Buddy List
Tokina 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6 AT-X 840 AF D

2ATX840D_1_
Review Date: Jun 19, 2011 Recommend? | Price paid: Not Indicated

 
Pros:
Cons:

I have been using this lens for 2 years now and love it so much, I sold my Canon 100-400L because I never used it always packing this compact little gem. I am pimarily a sports shooter with plenty of big white glass, but this little lens has to be a well kept secret based on the limited number of reviews. It's my favorite vacation carry with a light monopod walking stick and for someone looking for a relatively inexpensive high quality lens to shoot their kid's field sports this should be the first choice. You don't lose anything without IS since you can't shoot action with IS set on with any lens I own.

While I initially rated this lens an 8, I would raise that to a 9 now comparing it to 70-200L 2.8 with 1.4TC. Obviously it's not in the same league as my Sig 120-300 2.8 or 400L 2.8, but at 1/10th the price it's very high quality glass.


 
Tokina 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6 AT-X 840 AF D

2ATX840D_1_
Review Date: Aug 16, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $529.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: compact, very sharp images, fast AF, tank like build quality, solid tripod collar
Cons:
plastic friction knob on tripod collar, no image stabilization

I purchased this lens new after much deliberation between this and a Canon 70-300 IS, the price of both being about the same. I'm a semi-pro and shoot primarily sports, but bought this more as a travel lens. What a pleasant surprise when I started shooting. The IQ is better than the mid-range Canon 70-300 IS with strong colors and good saturation and the shots wide open handheld at 400mm were impressive. It compares very favorably with my Canon 100-400L in IQ and AF speed but is not as sharp nor as fast AF as my Sigma 120-300, 2.8. Looking at the images in my computer with no PP, I was counting the individual hairs on my golden retrievers's tail and the stitches on an American flag at full zoom, hand held and wide open.

I love this compact lens that's so easy to carry when traveling and produces such sharp images. I use a compact monopod to stabilize it at 400mm unless I am shooting with lots of light and can boost the shutter speed. It would be nice to have IS, but then it would price itself into my Canon 1-4L range. The included lens hood with an integrated wheel for turning a polarizing filter probably speaks to Tokina's intent to market this as a compact travel lens for which it is ideally suited.

At just over $500, this lens is probably the best value on the market that encompasses the 80-400mm focal lengths. This is a metal lens with Tokina build quality and smooth as silk zoom feel.


 
Sigma 120-300mm f2.8 EX DG HSM

120_300_1_
Review Date: Jul 31, 2009 Recommend? | Price paid: $2,100.00

 
Pros: super sharp IQ with strong colors wide open, super fast accurate EF, smooth zoom
Cons:
heavy, this is not a hand carry, you'll need a monopod

This is the very sharpest lens I own even comparing it to my Canon L glass and I absolutely love it for sports shooting. Love the zoom cause it gives me so much flexibility on the field. Silky smooth zoom. I've been shooting it for a year now and performance has been flawless. I have the EX DG and I must have one great copy, because I don't recognize some of the postings here compared to my experience.



 
Sigma 120-300mm f2.8 EX DG HSM

120_300_1_
Review Date: Jul 30, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $2,300.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: super sharp, super fast AF, brilliant IQ, smooth zoom,
Cons:
heavy lens, monopod a must

Absolutely brilliant images with focus as fast as I can point. This is the EX DG version and I got one great copy. My favorite sports lens with lots of flexibility compared to a prime. I've been using this lens for almost a year with thousands of action sports clicks and its performance has been flawless. Tack sharp with great bokeh wide open at 2.8.

When I've paired it with my EX DG 1.4tc the images are not even close to cropped images from the lens alone. Maybe my tc is a bad copy.

Overall I couldn't be happier with any other lens in this category. A great value for your money.