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Lens Reviews

The Tokina AT-X M100 Pro D 100mm f/2.8 Macro Lens

Don McKay (drmckay) on February 11, 2006


Keywords: tokina, lenses, non_nikon, product, articles

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INTRODUCTION

 

For about a month I've been shopping for a macro lens. I need to set the stage for some of my comments and comparisons by saying that initially I was looking at the 150mm Sigma or 180mm Tamron models to get longer working distance. After being unsatisfied with their performance for one reason or another I decided to try a lens from a different manufacturer in the 100mm range. That lens is the new Tokina AT-X M100 AF Pro D 100mm f/2.8 macro lens. I thought I'd share a bit about this lens and why I decided on this lens.

 

Tokina made flower image
Tokina AT-X M100 AF Pro D 100mm f/2.8 Macro lens

 

 

Tokina had not produced a macro lens for several years. This new lens is “digitally enabled” in that it has new lens coatings, particularly on the rear element, to deal with the reflections from digital sensors.

 

It is a full size lens, fully capable of being used on film as well as in digital. It is an external focus and the front element extends substantially when focusing at 1:1.

In my testing I used a D70 with its APS-C sized sensor so I can’t judge how well it will perform at the edges on a film or full size sensor SLR.

My overall impression of the lens is that it is essentially an updated version of its previous model -long discontinued- now closer to the Micro Nikkor 105mm f/2.8D AF. The design features of the two lenses are very similar.

Click for enlargement
Click for enlargement

 

Specifications are as follows:

 

 
Tokina AT-X M100 AF Pro D
Tokina AT-X M100 AF
105mm f/2.8D AF Micro Nikkor
 Lens construction
 Elements / Groups
9 / 8
11 / 10
9 / 8
 Diagonal angle of view
 On a 35mm frame
24°30' 
24°30'
23°20'
 Closest focusing distance  from image plane
11.8 in - 30cm
13.8 in - 35cm
12.2 in - 31cm
 Max Magnification Ratio
1:1
1:2
1:1
 Aperture range
f/2.8~f/32
f/2.8~f/32
f/2.8~f/32
 Number of diaphragm blades
9
9
7
 Filter size
55mm
55mm
52mm
 External diameter
2.9 in - 73mm
2.7 in - 69mm
3 in - 75mm
 Length
3.74 in - 95.1mm
3.2 in - 97.5mm
4.1 in - 104.5cm
 Weight
19.0 oz - 540g
19.2 oz - 550g
19.7 oz - 560g
 Hood
Dedicated
SH554
HS-7
 Street price when new (USD)
$390
$300
$660

 

The Pro D comes with a plastic round (not petal) bayonet mount lens hood and a three year warranty.

 


SUBJECTIVE QUALITY AND HANDLING

 

In comparison to other midrange macro lenses, this one is heavy, and at 19 oz. weighs close to the Micro Nikkor 105mm at 19.7 oz. This compares with 14.3 oz for the Tamron 90mm macro and 16.1 oz for the Sigma 105mm macro. Going to either of the long macros I looked at would take you to about 33 oz, a significant increase in weight. Those longer lenses are a lot harder to handle, but for someone who needs the working distance or narrower field of view they may be worth it. The front element is inset so deeply that there seems little reason to ever use the included lens hood. This tends to diminish the advantage of a longer lens that must have a four inch lens hood on all the time.

The build quality seems very good. The lenses that Tokina designates as Pro, such as the highly regarded AT-X 124 AF PRO DX 12-24mm f/4 zoom, are more solid than the typical consumer models. Although there is plenty of plastic used it does not feel cheap, party due to the weight. It has a crinkle finish on the barrel and the focus grip is nicely grooved solid rubber. Focus is smooth and well dampened. You push or pull the focus ring forward or back to go from auto focus to manual focus, which is more convenient than the Nikkor where you push in a button and turn a separate ring on the lens. It does tend to make the lens bounce a bit when you go from one mode to the other.
(2 Votes)
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Don McKay Don McKay (drmckay)

West Linn, USA
Normal, 7 posts

2 comments

Leslie M. Leyh (lmleyh) on June 24, 2014

I had also purchased a Nikkor 105 VR and decided against keeping it & instead opted for the Tokina 100 macro. My reason was that the Nikkor was just very heavy on my tripod without a tripod mount on the lens. It was also large for carrying around. The Nikkor had all the quality I expected but I just felt that it would be just not be a lens I would use enough to keep. I use a tripod for macro and it was just too front heavy using my camera mount. Got the Tokina and it does focus slower but everything works for me. Great quality in build and sharpness. I already had a Tokina 11-16mm which I love so I was very familiar with Tokina quality and this macro lives up to my expectations and all the online positive reviews. It is the right size send Wright and I love the push/pull auto/manual focus plus the 3 way focus limiting switch. For the best bang for your dollar I would really buy the Tokina 100mm Macro. I also looked at Sigma and Tamron but still felt for serious macro the Tokina was best. Having a arperture ring will come in handy if I use bellows or extension rings. Most current macros forgo this.

Tom Egel (tegel) on July 22, 2013

I sold my Nikon 105VR and replaced it with this Tokina. The Nikon is a beast and I found myself leaving it at home due to the amount of space it took up in my bag. The Tokina travels well and produces excellent images. I don't miss the VR at all for macro work. If you are looking for a solid macro at an affordable price check out this gem!

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