Focal Length: 100mm
Dimensions: 3.75” x 2.9”
Weight: 19 oz.
Maximum Aperture: f2.8
Minimum Aperture: f32
Diaphragm Blades: 9
Front Element: non-rotating, extends about two inches
Optical arrangement: 9 elements in 8 groups
Autofocus Mechanism: Micromotor (Canon version)
Closest Focus: 11.6 inches
Maximum magnification: 1:1
Filter Size: 55mm
For people who like to get up close and personal with their photography, the 100mm macro is the Goldilocks of macros in that it allows more working space than the 50mm versions and costs a lot less than the 150mm and up lenses. Besides having the perfect balance of performance and price, 100mm offers great potential as a portrait lens, too. In short, because of their usefulness, mid focal length macros are very popular lenses.
Build Quality: 4
Tokina is a company known for its high standards of construction and the 100 f2.8 AT-X PRO Macro doesn't disappoint here. Yes, the lens is plastic, or in Tokina lingo, polycarbonate, but it is built very well for a lens made of such materials, having a very dense feeling to it. As is the norm for most maro lenses, the front element is deeply recessed into the lens barrel. Moving into the mechanics, it's all good. The focus ring is absolutely buttery smooth in its movements and there is no slop to speak of at all. To switch from AF to MF, simply snap the ring to the indicated position at any time you like as there's no need to find the “window” as was required on some old Tokina lenses. Well, snap may be a bit of a misnomer, as the ring can be moved virtually silently. When it comes to focusing, the lens will extend about two inches when focused at its closest distance. As a final touch, this lens incorporates a distance window. In all, the lens is very solidly put together, especially for one in its price range.
The lens extends about an inch at closest focus. Here it is with the hood, too.
Autofocus Operation: 5
Center sharpness is wonderful.
Corner sharpness on APS-C leaves nothing to be desired.
When it comes to sharpness, the Tokina is a top performer right out of the gate. Wide open at f2.8, the lens is as sharp as it will get and this sharpness extends from corner to corner, to boot. Stopping down will only extend depth of field, which is vital at macro distances. On a crop camera, the lens starts to hit the diffraction limit by f16. Unfortunately, not owning a full frame camera, I can't provide any insight as to how this lens would perform there.
Being a fixed focal length, and on top of that, a macro, the Tokina has no distortion whatsoever.
A pleasant surprise: no vignetting whatsoever!
VignettingThere is no vignetting on APS-C.
Tokina lenses have a reputation for having high-levels of chromatic aberration when shot wide open. The 100 macro lives up to this trend, with the CA being the weakest link in the optical chain. However, even in the most extreme situations, the CA virtually disappears by f4, which is good.
Try as I may, I can't get the lens to flare even without a hood.
When it comes with the ability to resist flare/ghosts, the Tokina macro has two things going for it: a recessed front element and an included hood. Even without the hood, try as I may, I just can't get this lens to flare.