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PostPosted: Sun Aug 19, 2007 10:02 pm 
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I just ordered the above lens, to test it thoroughly. It got mixed ratings here.
It unfortunately has no IS, but that is my own dumb fault, as I didn't buy a camera with in-body-IS :?
The latest ColorFoto test choose to ignore the lens, so now I have to see for myself.
I'll compare it to Nikon's own VR 80-400mm here which is ripe for an update now but still is the only "affordable" alternativ from Nikon on the long end (@ 1450€) and the tamron 200-500mm here.
I'll keep you posted!

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Last edited by Thomas on Thu Jan 10, 2008 10:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: fact sheet
PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2007 8:18 pm 
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Here are the main facts from the catalog:
Size: 79x136.5mm = the shortest tele-zoom this long :D
Weight: 990g = the lightest zoom this long :D
This zoom is best in class with regard to size/weight :D
Optics: 16 elements in 10 groups :?
Closest focus distance/max.magnification: 2.5m @ 400mm / 1:5.4 (I'll test this!) :?
Filter-thread: 72mm = relatively small, but not standard :?
No IS = :cry: :cry: :cry:
No AF-S, so no use for D40/x-owners :cry: , no switch from AF to manual-focus :(
Tripod collar, non detachable :?
Has zoom-lock :)
Ah, and it covers FF-sensors :)

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 Post subject: first impressions
PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2007 7:21 pm 
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Here are my first impressions and observations from working with the lens:
For a 400mm zoom this lens is astonishingly small :D , but it feels quite heavy. :?
I’m currently trying to get the tripod collar off the lens. That bugger does rotate smoothly, but won't come off. This is a major setback, as the collar is in conflict with your hand when you handle the zoom-ring (which is what you mostly do with a zoom :wink: ), even when you turn it to a 1 o’clock position. :(
You can hold the lens by its focus ring, but honestly that is not the ring I’m going to turn often. The arrangement of zoom-ring in front, focus-ring near the body with the Nikon lenses seems now much more natural when compared to other solutions - unless you're an avid MFer. I'm curious how the Tamron 200-500mm will handle.
The problem is exacerbated by the next snag: the focus-ring turnes with AF, so you better keep your hands off :( Plus the focus is not zoom-stable, meaning that you have to refocus, when you change the zoom. :(
AF takes it’s time, under dim conditions it starts haunting near and far, but probably more so, if your object is closer.
The switch-over between AF and MF has to be done at the cam-body is not state of the art: You have to change your holding and fiddle at the body with one hand. This is neither fast nor intuitive and you might lose tracking of your target (esp. at 400mm). :(
There is some play on the front-tube: you can pull the front out without influencing the position of the zoom- or focus-ring yb about 1-2mm. Whether this has an influence on focus or focal-lenght remains to me seen. At least it doesn't make a high-quality impression :(
---
You can see pictures taken for the test here. It will be slowly filling up over time. I'll also be placing "mishaps" to give you a feeling of the "hit-rate" of the lens/body-combo in automatic...

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2007 8:49 pm 
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Now let's see some material from the shoot-out!

This time I have no "normal" photo to peek at, because I didn't use a tripod in the non-lab shots, to get a feeling how far I get without it. Well, not far anyway. IS is a most welcome feature with lenses longer than 100mm on a APS-C sensor. And as I cannot be sure that the IQ is not compromised by shake, I'll just show "lab-shots" from a tripod here.

I did shots of the famous Siemens-star and another one that is comparable across all the tested tele-lenses.
I'll present here a 400/f8-shot at close distance (magnification almost 1:10) plus 100% crop. This shows a 9mm grey disk in the middle, at least on my monitor. These grey disks are comparable across my lens-tests and the diameter is directly proportional to the resolution of the lens.
Image Image
B.t.w.: The maximum magnification with this lens was measured 1:5.7 @ 2.5m.

Following is a 100%crop from the respective 80mm/f8.0 shot. The grey disk in this case is around 7mm in the centre and 9mm at the border. So at short focal length, this lens is pretty sharp. But unfortunately this is not the major reason to buy a xx-400mm lens :(
Image

And a 400/f8-shot from far away plus 100% crop (near centre).
Image Image

Conclusion:
Would I buy this lens? Not really! It's too unsharp at the long end for my liking. Although the compactness and relatively low weight was quite enticing. And you can take lovely shots like this:
Image
Dogs are fast advancing to "most photographed subject", aren't they :wink:

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Last edited by Thomas on Sun Sep 16, 2007 9:24 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2007 10:53 pm 
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Hi Thomas, thanks for these tests...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2007 7:47 pm 
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A little addendum for fringing. Look at the following pic and you know why they call it purple fringing...
Image

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2008 8:55 pm 
Thanks a bunch for this review! I know it is a old thread, but I really just wanted to mention it.
I see that this lense clearly has some setbacks and far from the ultimate lense in this zoom range.
None the less this is my next purchase. I would buy the Nikon VR 1, but being only 17 my budget is limited.
Thanks again :wink:


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2008 10:22 pm 
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You're welcome, Henning!
Just remember to keep the lens steady and stopped down to F8 or F11.
I wish you a many happy captures with this lens.
And you sure have the smallest and lightest zoom in this range.
Enjoy!

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2009 8:44 pm 
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There was a question regarding this lens which the author allowed me to post and answer here:
Quote:
Hello, How are you?
I noticed you used Tokina 80-400mm for taking some of your photos.
Don't mind if you can share with me your actual experiences when using this lens:
a) Is it a very fast & sharp lens for all focal length?
b) Is it a very quiet lens?
c) Since this lens does not has built-in VR(vibration reduction) or IS (Image Stabilizer), how do you capture a sharp image without tripod?
d) Any lens creep (lens moving down) like in Nikon 18-200mm lens?
e) Are you very happy with this lens?
By the way your photos are very nice! Are you pro?
Regards,

To begin with your last Q: No, I'm no pro but I try to review lenses in a way that others can make up their own mind!
I've actually reviewed the Tokina 80-400mm but after results that disappointed me decided to give the lens back. You can read my review here:
www.cameralabs.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1123
As to Q b) I don't remember the sound, but as it was a "screw-driven" lens it was certainly louder than a more modern HSM/AF-S design
Q c) is answered very easy: use a shutter speed that equals at least 1/(focal length)! So at 400mm you should shoot at 1/500 sec, better 1/1000 sec. It's better you up your ISO (and have some grain) than to go home with a blurred image.
You should find answers to your other questions in my review.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2011 5:00 pm 
No its to do with the lens. However I know modern cameras (at least Nikons) do try and correct for it.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2011 8:07 pm 
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purple fringing is the fault of the lens and is provoked by some extreme conditions in the image (=specular highlights).
I'm going to try this photo with loCA-correction at full settings in CaptureNX2. Perhaps we're lucky to find out that CNX2 can correct it (to some degree). Will report back with the results.
But apart from this effort: it's clearly better to have a lens that does not show a significant amount of purple fringing in the first place because any correction done in post-processing (a) means more time/effort spent with an image to get it right and (b) might have negative side-effects.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2011 2:48 pm 
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Here's the result of my efforts with Capture NX2's built in loCA reduction algorithm (set to 50%):

Image
Tokina 80-400@400f5.6 -loCA 7765 by Thomas, on Flickr

As you can see, the deeper purples remain, but the bright magenta ringing is gone.

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