Global launch of Tokina’s compact super-telephoto trio


Kenko Tokina launched an IndieGoGo campaign for its three compact APS-C super-telephoto lenses: the 300mm f/7.1, 600mm f/8 and 900mm f/11.

The trio of SLR-like telephoto lenses was announced last month but, at the time, were only available in Japan. That changes today, as the company’s IndieGoGo campaign is set to serve several more regions.

Tokina describes the SZ 300mmPRO Reflex F7.1 MF CF, SZ 600mmPRO Reflex F8 MF CF and SZ 900mmPRO Reflex F11 MF CF as fully manual lenses that use the catadioptric type optical design, commonly referred to as reflex or mirror lenses. These lenses are exclusively designed for APS-C mirrorless cameras and are available for Sony E, Canon EF-M and Fujifilm X mounts.

Because they use the catadioptric optical design, the lenses are both very light and compact, especially considering their super-telephoto focal lengths.

“Telephoto type lenses are a really attractive and desirable type of lens for many photographers because they capture objects in fine detail that the human eye cannot see. However, these lenses are traditionally large, heavy and expensive. These are not lenses that can be enjoyed casually. Tokina’s compact and lightweight mirror lenses are the solution to this problem,” the company says, explaining why it continues to use the catadioptric type design.

Mirror Lens

“In the past, many manufacturers have developed mirror lenses. However, film and DSLR cameras of the time had low resolution, no zoomable rear display or image stabilization, and limited ISO range. This made manual focus mirror lenses extremely difficult to use,” Tokina continues.

“Fortunately, camera technology has made incredible progress over the past 10 years. Better sensor performance, wider ISO ranges, and image stabilization and focus assist features allow users to capture photos with mirror lenses that were previously impossible.

Tokina has been making mirror style lenses for a few years and some of their more recent lenses have been pretty good, according PetaPixel ryan mense, which tested the company’s recent mirror lenses. The lens design not only means they are much smaller than typical telephoto lenses, but they are also lighter and cheaper. Tokina’s 400mm f/8 SLR lens, for example, only costs $250 and is both tiny and mighty.

The main side effect of using the catadioptric optical design is the shape of the bokeh, which is very different from the defocus area of ​​standard lenses and is often described as “doughnut-shaped”.

Compact super telephoto lenses
SHOT WITH: SZ 300mmPRO Reflex F7.1 MF CF
Compact super telephoto lenses
SHOT WITH: SZ 300mmPRO Reflex F7.1 MF CF
Tokina Compact Super Telephoto Lenses
SHOT WITH: SZ 600mmPRO Reflex F8 MF CF

This bokeh aspect and the fact that mirror lenses are very often not equipped with autofocus are the two main perceived “downsides” of the design, although many photographers like the out-of-focus pattern.

The three lenses are available to return to IndieGoGo until November 29. Tokina’s 300mm f/7.1 lens starts at $322, the 600mm f/8 starts at $484, and the 900mm f/11 starts at $565. Tokina plans to deliver lenses to backers by January 2023.

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