Tokina 28-70/2.6-2.8 - PRO versus PRO II?
There have been at least 4 versions of the Tokina 28-70mm 2.8-ish lens. We know that the latest SV version and the first non-pro version are not as good optically as the other two and the 28-80mm. We know that the lenses in general tend to be softish wide-open, and that sample variation may be on th ewide side.
But what about the PRO f/2.6-2.8 version versus the PRO II version? I have the PRO II version, and it's not bad...but it's not as good as a Nikkor prime lens by any stretch of the imagination. I can tell even without rigorous testing; just casual obervation.
Someone recently wrote with regard to the PRO version (not the PRO II):
"If you find an different version on ebay, you know it's not this one because the inferiour versions all have bayonet hoods." Could there be any truth to this statement...which implies (based upon what?) that the PRO version was better than all the rest, including the PRO II?
I have the Tokina brochure, and it states that, while the optical setup was the same in both versions, the following optical upgrades were made between the PRO (which uses a screw-in hood apparently) and PRO II (which definitely has a bayonette hood): "multicoating has been applied to a larger number of lens surfaces improving contrast while reducing reflections and ghosting. HLD (High Refradtion Low DIspersion) glass is also used in this new version."
I would think that the performance should be roughly comparable in both versions, unless Tokina totally screwed up on the mechanics with the PRO II...which is impossible because it has the best mechanics and durability of almost any modern lens. As far as I know, the penultimate II version is considered the ultimate one insofar as optical quality.
Anyone know for sure?
Nikon user since 2000
#1. "RE: Tokina 28-70/2.6-2.8 - PRO versus PRO II?" | In response to Reply # 0aleph Registered since 01st Sep 2002Sun 05-Aug-07 02:01 PM
Having owned both the Pro (gold ring, screw-in hood) and the later 28-80mm, I think your last statement is most likely to be accurate, with both versions (Pro and Pro II) being roughly comparable. Sample variation will probably pay a bigger part.
FWIW, my 28-80 was similarly soft wide-open, as good as the Pro I from 28-70mm (maybe a touch sharper at certain apertures), but horrible at 80mm (from f5.6 and wider, essentially useless -- even sent it to Tokina, and their summation was that "that was just how it was", nothing to repair).
I never felt quite as confident in it as I was with the Pro I, which was an overall good performer (except for its notorious propensity to flare, though the 28-80 wasn't much better in that regard), and as mentioned, superbly built.
Either way, enjoy it.