I have used the Tokina AT-X 280AF Pro lens for approximately three months and in those three months I have taken quite a few photos with this lens, and it has developed into the standard lens on one of my camera bodies.
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The 270AF Pro II lens I have had for a few years, and like the 280AF Pro lens, it was on one camera body at all times, that is, until I purchased the 280AF Pro lens. I originally purchased the 280AF Pro lens to supplement the 270AF Pro II lens, not to replace it. However, that was when I had three camera bodies, now that I have two, I may sell the 270AF Pro II lens, but not at this time.
Both lenses are internal focus, which means the lens stays the same size throughout the focusing range and the barrel of the lens does not rotate. This allows the use of special effects and polorizer filters without having to readjust them each time you change focus. Both lenses are parfocal, which means the focus does not change from one focal length to another. Therefore, if focus is obtained on a subject at 28mm, then the lens is zoomed to 50mm or 80mm, the focus remains the same. With this feature auto focus times are reduced, when changing focal lengths, since the camera does not have to re-focus each time you change the focal length.
One feature that I appreciate about the newer Tokina AT-X Pro Series lenses is that they all take a 77mm filter. To obtain a constant F/2.8 aperture over an entire zoom range, lens elements tend to be large. Therefore, with the AT-X line of lenses, you can share filters; this helps since these filters are rather expensive. Now I only have to carry around one set of filters. (Many other zoom lenses with a constant F/2.8 aperture across all zoom ranges also use this larger 77mm filter such as my Nikkor 80-200 F/2.8 lens.)
Both lenses include "tulip-style," bayonet-mount, plastic lens hoods that not only cuts down on light entering the lens from an angle, but also helps to protect the lens from possible damage.
On the 270AF Pro II lens, the aperture, focal length and distance scales are easy to read. However, when the lens is set to auto focus mode, the distance scale does not rotate so focused subject distance cannot be determined. This is due to internal focusing, since the lens barrel does not rotate in auto focus; however, when manually focusing, the lens barrel is physically being rotated. With the 280AF Pro lens, the distance scale is internal and is shown inside a window, this allows the scale to rotate in both manual and auto focus, so it is possible to determine focus distance in both manual or auto focus. The appearance of the markings for aperture and focal length are the same between the two lenses.