My first impressions...
I had the pleasure of taking the AT-X 70-200 F4 FX VCM-S for a test run.
In the past I have used both the Tamron & Nikon 70-200mm F2.8, whilst not necessarily comparable due to the different f stop, it did still gives me a good sense of the kind of lens it needs to be. In the last few months, I have been taking the lens with me to play with it; to get a sense of how it handles; and, my first impressions are really good.
It is a well made lens. I had the misfortune of accidentally dropping the lens from my bag! Whilst it was not from a great height, it did fall onto hard tile and concrete at the train station, surviving the incident seemingly unscathed much to my relief. It would appear that the lens is resilient and durable enough to withstand even my rough handling.
In testing the lens in the “field”, it showed itself to have great optical quality. The lens is very sharp and the images produced are of a high quality and have good colour rendition and nice bokeh. On the downside, the lens does produce some chromatic aberration, as well as some slight vignetting.
For the more traditionalists out there, this lens does not have the distinct push/pull focus ring, that we see in the other Tokina lenses. It comes with a switch mode. There are two switches - Auto to Manual and the other for Image Stabilisation.
The auto focus is silent and has a good overall accuracy and consistency. Generally speaking though, it is a little slower than some of its competitors. So depending on what the intended use is for this lens, it may add limitations.
The image stabilisation on the lens is very effective, however, it does produce a slight noise when activated.
Overall I've found the lens to be a great build, producing excellent image quality at an affordable price point! It is a great lens which I believe is probably geared more towards the prosumer and the amateurs or amateurs aiming to make that great big leap. For the professional, it would be totally acceptable to use and produces an image that anyone would be proud of. Ultimately, you need to decide for yourself what you want to photograph and this will invariably decide if this lens is right for you.
So to break it down into the Pros & Cons…. here we go:
Sharp Image Quality
Good Colour Rendition
Good auto focus
Image stabilisation is effective
It's lighter than a f2.8
Excellent Price Point
Slight Vignetting and minor fringing
Chromatic abberation and distortion
Auto focus is a little slower than its competitors