Tokina AF 100mm f/2.8 AT-X Pro D macro (FX) - Review / Test Report
Lens Reviews - Nikon / Nikkor (full format)

Review by Markus Stamm, published September 2017

Introduction

Tokina is the only big third-party manufacturer that doesn't offer a "modern" macro lens, yet. In fact, compared to competing lenses like the Sigma 105/2.8 OS or the Tamron 90/2.8 VC, their AT-X Pro 100/2.8 looks fairly outdated: it doesn't offer optical stabilization, no internal focusing (the lens tubes extends while focusing) and the Nikon version doesn't even have a built-in motor and relies on the gold old screw-drive for autofocus instead.

Still, the lens does have one advantage over the competition: retailing at arund 340 EUR at the time of the review, it is quite affordable.

Tokina is a manufacturer that is renowned for lenses with excellent mechanical qualities of their AT-X (Advanced-Technology Extra) lens lineup. However, compared to what other third-party companies offer today (like Sigma with their Art lenses), we have become a little spoiled maybe.

Still, the build quality is on a very high level - thanks to metal parts in conjunction with high quality plastics the lens feels very solid and durable. The lens has a crinkle style finish similar to the one used on some of Nikon's old pro grade lenses (such as e.g. the Nikkor AF 28mm f/1.4 D).

The Tokina has a so-called focus clutch mechanism - the focus ring can be moved back and forth in order to change between AF and manual focusing. In manual focus mode the focus ring feels extremely smooth and very well damped.

The front element does not rotate so using a polarizer is no problem. As already mentioned, the Tokina has no internal AF motor and relies on a slotted drive screw operated by the camera. As a result the AF generates a moderate degree of noise and the AF speed is very slow. Unless you use the lens for macro photography it is a good idea to take advantage of the focus limiter in order to avoid excessive AF hunting.

A barrel shaped hood is delivered with the lens, however the front element is quite recessed and thus fairly flare-protected already.

As can be seen in the product shots below, the lens tube extends considerably when focusing towards closer distances.

As it is common for macro lenses on Nikon cameras, the Tokina reports the effective aperture to the camera.

Talking about aperture: the lens is not a G-type lens, so it features a traditional aperture ring.

Specifications
Optical construction9 elements in 8 groups
Number of aperture blades9
min. focus distance0.3 m (max. magnification ratio 1:1)
Dimensions73 x 95 mm
Weight540 g
Filter size55 mm (non-rotating)
Hood barrel-shaped (bayonet mount, supplied)
Other featuresOne-touch focus clutch. Focus limiter. Lens provides distance (D) information to the camera, aperture ring