Here’s a lens test between a couple of Tonika zoom lenses and their Canon equivalent. We’re using the Tokina 28-80mm f2.8 zoom lens and the Canon 24-70mm f2.8 zoom. We also put the killer Canon 70-200mm L IS f2.8 zoom lens up against the Tokina 80-200mm f2.8 zoom lens. This was a pretty basic test seeing in which we were really interested in sharpness. We threw in a color chart and a little lens flare to boot. Testing lenses is not the most exciting affair but it does show the difference between them. We used a Canon 5D Mark II in Standard Picture Style at 320 ISO at f2.8 24fps.
First off, the Tokina glass is about one third the price. Both zooms are discontinued so they were purchased used. The Tokina 28-80mm will set you back anywhere between $350-$500. The Tokina 80-200 f2.8 is also discontinued and cost us just over five hundred smackers. They both have manual focus hard stops, which are ideal for video. The Tokina 80-200mm does not have Image Stabilization so we picked it up mostly for tripod work as a “B” camera lens. We used a one-dollar bill to easily show focus and contrast. The US mint does some fine print work.
The tests were fairly conclusive. The Canon lenses were slightly sharper than the Tokina, however they displayed more moiré than the Tokina. The 24-70mm was much sharper than the Tokina 28-80mm. Color rendition was about the same.
The Canon 70-200mm L IS f2.8 was also slightly sharper than the Tokina 80-200mm f2.8. We flared both lenses and this is where there was some cool info to be gleaned. Notice how warm the canon 70-200mm is compared to the Tokina 80-200mm. The Tokina showed a cooler color temperature during the lens flare.
Both lenses work well for HDSLR video. The Canons are three times the price of the Tokina so if you are looking for a cheaper alternative to Canon glass, they might be one way to go.