I’m probably the least technical lens testing sort of any photographer I know. I learned a valuable lesson not so long ago – which is you ought to test a new piece of equipment when you get it. That way if there is a problem with it, or you hate it, you still might be able to return it.
I do not do much macro photography, but these lenses are occasionally useful in shooting products. I had considered a few other options to satisfy the need for a macro lens with my Sony switch. I ultimately decided to replace it with the same model I used with Nikon, another Tokina 100mm. The only thing was that Tokina had updated the lens since I originally bought one for Nikon. So I decided to get the newer version.
So – is it all majorly new and improved? Eh. Like any macro lens, the autofocus tends to hunt. I was hoping it would be a significant update from the older model. My test was performed on two separate days in the backyard with my wife’s succulents as the subject. Both days the lens performed the same. It’s super sharp when it locks on to its target, but I suspect I’ll be primarily using it on a tripod and focused manually. If I used macro lenses regularly I may have considered returning it. But it’s decent enough for the price.
From what I can tell the main advantage of this new Tokina design is the aperture ring is gone, and the build quality is slightly nicer. Otherwise, it performs about the same for me.