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Tokina AT-X 90mm f/2.5 vs SMC Pentax 85mm f/1.8
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2019 3:06 pm    Post subject: Tokina AT-X 90mm f/2.5 vs SMC Pentax 85mm f/1.8 Reply with quote

How does the SMC Pentax 'K' 85mm f/1.8 hold up against the Tokina AT-X 90mm f/2.5, which is generally regarded as one of the best manual focus lenses one can get? I decided to do a quick test on my Sony A7.

I equally like both lenses, but I'm planning to buy a Sony 85mm f/1.8 (I take a lot of pictures of my son, but because he moves so much I find 75% of the pictures to be out of focus with a manual lens). So I was going to sell one of the two lenses, and did a quick test to make sure I would not regret my decision.



First impression: hard to draw any conclusions. Bokeh is nice from both lenses.
Let's have a look at the 100% crops:



Sharpness and contrast of the Pentax are remarkably good @ F/1.8 I think. Results get better once stopped down a little. Both lenses are plenty sharp and contrasty; it seems they both outperform my sensor. Most remarkable difference is the DOF: at similar aperture settings the Pentax shows higher DOF. If this is due to the difference in focal length? My guess is that there is an actual difference in aperture.

For whoever is interested: I decided to sell the Pentax (see sales section). I still like both lenses, but the Tokina (being a macro lens) offers me a bit more flexibility.









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PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2019 4:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good choice for keeping the Tokina. The Sony is a very good lenses and focus very fast.


PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2019 5:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very nice samples, tokina is a better keeper for macro, the 1.8 better for portraits in low light. As i don't have any 85-90 yet, probably my best/practical lens would be the sony 85 , everyone is speaking nice things about it.....even though i hate plastics,sometimes the AF is needed .


PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2019 5:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kiddo wrote:
Very nice samples, tokina is a better keeper for macro, the 1.8 better for portraits in low light. As i don't have any 85-90 yet, probably my best/practical lens would be the sony 85 , everyone is speaking nice things about it.....even though i hate plastics,sometimes the AF is needed .


Yeah, my choice for the Sony is purely practical: make nice and sharp portraits that are always in focus. It will be my only AF lens, because I like MF lenses much more. And the good ones last for generations, not being dependent of electronics and plastics.


PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2019 7:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Surely, if you need AF, you can buy a techart and save money...?...


PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2019 8:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I will certainly look into that option. Do you have experience with it?


PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2019 8:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Antoine wrote:
Surely, if you need AF, you can buy a techart and save money...?...


I haven't found enough information to convince me that's the right way,in fact there's to little info about it, I'm using A7II


PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2019 8:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It appears the Techart is not compatible with the A7, but only from A7ii on.


PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2019 8:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for posting, I've been interested in both for a while. Actually the Vivitar version for some reason.


PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2019 8:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

blotafton wrote:
Thanks for posting, I've been interested in both for a while. Actually the Vivitar version for some reason.


Would be interesting to see a comparison between the Tokina and the Vivitar version. Under most light circumstances no difference I guess.


PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2019 12:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd love to have your 28/3.5 and 85.1.8, but you are asking for more than I'm willing to part with.
Good luck with the sale.


PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2019 6:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

At the same aperture, Pentax seems a little bit sharper,in fact they seem igual in sharpening when pentax is one stop faster,which is very good for details in portraits. But the bokeh, the way that tokina is dealing highlights and shadows,is better,to my eyes. Now ,the weight ,if taken into account, it's not the same neither,and probably Pentax would be faster to focus portraits. Regarding the vivitar versus tokina, are there any differences ?


PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2019 7:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kiddo wrote:
At the same aperture, Pentax seems a little bit sharper,in fact they seem igual in sharpening when pentax is one stop faster,which is very good for details in portraits. But the bokeh, the way that tokina is dealing highlights and shadows,is better,to my eyes. Now ,the weight ,if taken into account, it's not the same neither,and probably Pentax would be faster to focus portraits. Regarding the vivitar versus tokina, are there any differences ?


I agree, the Pentax's performance is beyond my expectations. Only optical difference between the Tokina and the Vivitar should be the coating.


PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2019 7:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lightshow wrote:
I'd love to have your 28/3.5 and 85.1.8, but you are asking for more than I'm willing to part with.
Good luck with the sale.


I've send you a PM.