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Tokina 28-80mm f/2.8 AT-X 280 AF PRO

Review Date: Jun 9, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $280.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Unsurpassed price-to-performance ratio Great color, bokeh and sharpness (@28-50mm
Soft @80mm F2.8, okay by F4 (fixable with PS USM)

My copy of 280PRO focuses spot-on with my Sony A700 body with fast and reassuring AF. Sharpness is as good as my previous Tamron A09 except at the tele end, where the Tokina is noticeably soft at F2.8. There is almost a "halo effect" to the softness, which can be partially suppressed by using USM in Photoshop. Compared to an older version of the Nikkor AF-S 28-70/2.8 that I own, the 280PRO lens has comparable if not better handling and build quality, and is vastly superior to the Tamron. Real life performance is also very similar, with a slight edge going to 280PRO in AF speed and to Nikkor in flare control. All in all, a very impressive offering from Tokina considering its modest price tag.