Tokina launches three tiny super-telephoto lenses

Super-telephoto lenses are sometimes massive, unwieldy, and costly items of know-how. They can simply run you upwards of $12,000 and weigh greater than 5 kilos. But Japanese lens maker Tokina goals to vary all that and has introduced three new ultra-compact super-telephoto lenses through an IndieGoGo marketing campaign.

The three lenses are a part of the corporate’s new SZ PRO lineup and embrace the SZ 300mmPRO Reflex F7.1 MF CF, SZ 600mmPRO Reflex F8 MF CF, and SZ 900mmPRO Reflex F11 MF CF. All three lenses are totally guide lenses with a catadioptric-type optical design, sometimes known as reflex or mirror lenses. Tokina designed these solely for Sony E, Canon EF-M, and Fujifilm X mounts on APS-C cameras.

The new SZ PRO line contains three mirror lenses for APS-C mirrorless cameras. Tokina

What is a mirror lens?

Mirror or reflex lenses mirror gentle contained in the lens, which permits for a smaller kind issue. Tokina

It’s not shocking should you haven’t heard of mirror lenses earlier than. While corporations have made them prior to now, present digicam know-how made them very troublesome to make use of. As a outcome, they weren’t quite common. But, as digicam know-how has drastically improved, particularly “higher sensor efficiency, bigger ISO ranges, and picture stabilization and focus help options,” based on Tokina, mirror lenses are actually a possible possibility.

The catadioptric system utilized in mirror lenses is identical kind of know-how utilized in NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope and James Webb Space Telescope. In conventional lenses, gentle enters the entrance factor and goes straight to the picture sensor within the digicam. But in mirror lenses, gentle enters the entrance factor, bounces off two mirrors, after which reaches the sensor. Because the sunshine is “folded” twice, “the focal size shortens, which permits for a smaller lens design,” Tokina explains. Thus, the good thing about this sort of lens is {that a} a lot smaller and lighter lens measurement is feasible in comparison with normal lenses. They are additionally way more reasonably priced, making it doable for these aside from high-end professionals to expertise super-telephoto attain.

While some might prefer it, the donut bokeh that outcomes from mirror lenses isn’t for everybody. (Shot with SZ 300mmPRO Reflex F7.1 MF CF) Tokina

There are two downsides to reflect lenses, nonetheless. First, the bokeh takes on a donut form. Some might just like the look, nevertheless it does take some getting used to and isn’t for everybody. And second, they’re guide focus solely. New mirrorless cameras make attaining correct guide focus simpler than earlier than, however they nonetheless will not be the only option for some. But, should you don’t thoughts focusing manually and like (or can develop to love) the donut bokeh, then they might be a really perfect option to get a super-telephoto.

Tokina compact super-telephoto lens particulars

SZ 300mmPRO Reflex F7.1 MF CF

The mirror design permits for a ridiculously compact 300m lens. Tokina

Tokina’s new 300mm lens weighs a surprisingly paltry 8.3 ounces. The lens can also be solely 2.9 inches lengthy. That’s shorter than a 12-ounce espresso cup and is lots small to place in a pocket.

Since it’s designed for APS-C cameras, it can present a 35mm equal focal size of 400mm on Sony and Fujifilm cameras and 480mm on Canon cameras. The lens includes a 46mm filter thread and a close-focusing distance of three ft. It additionally gives a macro ratio of 1/2.5.

SZ 600mmPRO Reflex F8 MF CF

The subsequent step up within the trio is a 600mm lens. It weighs only one.2 kilos and measures simply 4.9 inches lengthy. It gives a 35mm equal of 960mm on Canon APS-C cameras or 900mm on Sony and Fujifilm.

This lens gives a 77mm entrance filter measurement and a 34mm rear filter. It additionally delivers a 1/2.5 macro ratio and might focus as shut as 5.75 ft inches.

SZ 900mmPRO Reflex F11 MF CF

The Tokina 900mm mirror lens is sufficiently small to make use of handheld, or with out additional fuss on a tripod. Tokina

The final lens within the lineup is the 900mm. It weighs a meager 1.6 kilos and is simply 6.6 inches lengthy. Its 35mm equal focal size is 1,350mm on Sony and Fujifilm or 1,440 on Canon. That gives a number of attain in a really tiny physique, which makes wildlife pictures way more approachable.

The lens makes use of 86mm filters. Like the opposite two, it gives a 1.2.5 macro ratio, however the 900mm can solely focus as shut as 8.5 ft.

Pricing & availability

All three lenses can be found for buy through Tokina’s IndieGoGo. The 300mmPRO Reflex F7.1 MF CF prices $425 for all three mounts. The SZ 600mmPRO Reflex F8 MF CF is priced at $638 for all three mounts. And lastly, the SZ 900mmPRO Reflex F11 MF CF is $744. All of the lenses are at present 20% off as nicely, so should you’ve been desirous about a super-telephoto, or need to get a present for a photographer you realize, now is a good time to make the acquisition. Just bear in mind that they’re all estimated to ship in January of 2023, so that you received’t have it in hand for Christmas.

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