I decided to take the Tokina out for this afternoon’s walk. We didn’t make it very far, as I wasn’t really feeling it, but I did get to play around with the Tokina’s close focus feature.

There’s a little silver button down near the aperture ring: you push it in, give the lens barrel a twist, and the rear element pulls up inside of the lens about an inch or so… lemme measure it right quick… about 8 or 10mm. (The Vivitar also has this feature, though all of the movement is internal to the lens: I’ll try to fetch a comparison shot tomorrow.) At this point, the focusing ring is of marginal utility, seeming to allow focusing from 5 feet down to 1 feet or so, and most of the focus happens with the zoom. Markings on the underside of the barrel give depth of field scales for 1:4, 1:5, 1:6, and 1:7 at 5.25 feet/1.6 meters.

BTW: Depth of field scales are brilliant, and are one of the reasons I love the small collection of old manual lenses sitting in front of me.

The close-focus thing is rather handy, but it doesn’t go very close.

So sorry, Tokina, but a Bee at 1:4 is not nearly as impressive as a bee at 1:1.5.

But composition with a healthy-ish lens is much easier than with a Zomb-E Series, and a lens that goes from 35-200 with decent contrast and saturation (under many circumstances) while also allowing 1:4 reproduction with this level of clarity seems rather fancy.

Of course, I think the 18-200 DX lens does about this well, without any fancy twisty bits, so I suppose the Tokina is not particularly impressive in this regard, and it doesn’t go to 18mm either.

Oh well: still a great buy for $35, for sure.

D7000. Tokina AT-X 35-200mm f/3.5-4.5, set for 4:1 close focusing, from a foot or two. ISO400, 1/6400th, f/3.5 (ignore the EXIF), -1EV, slight processing in Aperture, but nothing too fancy or drastic.

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