Gary tested both. The Tamron was outstanding and the Tokina 'only'
excellent (My interpretation of his detail)
For pure optical performance, the Tamron is clearly best, a
For practical field use, The Tokina is superior in most respects.
The 2 lenses are essentially the same size and take the same size
filters. The Tokina somehow 'feels' smaller to me
- With caps, hood and Oly mount, the Tamron weighs 1,510 gr. and the
Tokina 1,160 gr, a huge difference in practical use carrying the lens
around and hand holding it.
- The tripod mount on the Tamron is removeable, a potential plus.
However, the design seems to have a small amount of inherent flex or
slop. this leads to an almost irresistable urge to over-tighten the
thumbscrew, which doesn't improve the subtle flex, but can result in a
broken, and virtually impossible to replace, tripod mount. The Tripod
mount on the Tokina has an inobtrusive permanantly mounted ring, to
which is the small actual tripod foot attaches with thumb screws.
Simpler, lighter and sturdier than the Tamron.
- The Tamron has a very tough metal bayonet mount hood. The Tokina hood
is rather flimsy seeming, but very light, plastic. It has a unique, but
effective, clip on mount.
- In my examples, both focus very smoothly and easily. The Tamron has
very smooth zooming, but creeps when hanging vertically. The Tokina
doesn't creep, but the zoom action ais a bit stiffer than I would like.
Something in between the 2 would be perfect. I suspect this varies with
- It is possible to find dust free examples of both, at least I did.
- I believe Brian's comment on the test of the Tokina that he posted is
innacurate. He said it was an early model without ED glass. I'm pretty
sure all AT-X Tokinas use at least 1 SD (their name for ED) element. My
Tokina model AT-X 828 has 1 or more SD elements, depending on whether
you believe the box, which says "USING S.D. GLASS ELEMENT" or the
Manual, which says "..by use of super-low dispersion glass in the lens
elements...". The picture in the review looks exactly like my lens,
right down to the 2 grooves at the front, one for mounting the hood and
the other painted red as "Symbolic of SD Glass" The size and weight are
right, too. My serial no. is less than 5000 higher than the one in the test.
I've had the Tamron for a while and my experience agrees with Gary's
tests. I haven't used the Tokina enough yet to make any informed
comparison with the Tamron, but it certainly is an excellent lens.
I watched a couple of those Tamron 80-200/2.8's, but I already have the
Tokina 80-200/2.8... is the Tamron significantly different/better? I've only
used the Tokina a little bit, but it seems to be as good as my Zuiko 200/4.0
at similar apertures.
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