Tokina wants in on video, launches its first movie-friendly Cinema-series lens for EF, PL-mounts


posted Monday, September 23, 2013 at 2:27 PM EDT

Video is fast becoming an important part of the interchangeable-lens camera market, and a new company has just thrown its hat in the ring with its first video-specific product. Lens manufacturer Tokina has announced its first Cinema-series lens, which will soon be available in both Canon EF and Arri PL lens mounts: the Tokina 16-28 T3.0 Cinema lens.

The PL-mount variant of the Tokina 16-28 Cinema will be first to ship in the Japanese market, and is currently scheduled to arrive in late-September. The EF-mount variant is currently expected to follow from late November. Pricing for either version is set at around ¥580,000 (approx. US$5,900).

Optically, the new lens is identical to the existing Tokina AT-X 16-28 F2.8 PRO FX wide-angle zoom. Both lenses cover a 35mm full-frame image circle, and  have 15 elements in 13 groups, of which three are aspheric and three use super-low dispersion glass. Both also feature nine-bladed aperture diaphragms capable of f/2.8 to f/22, and use multilayer coatings. Either version can focus as close as 11 inches (28 cm), and has a maximum magnification of 1:5.26.


The existing lens hit the market in 2010, and currently lists for ¥118,000, making the new video-friendly variant nearly five times more expensive. So what do you get for your money? The existing Tokina AT-X 16-28 isn't offered in a PL-mount variant, so that's obviously new. The Tokina 16-28 T3.0 Cinema lens also ditches the built-in petal hood in favor of a cylindrical type, so that it can add filter threads which are absent in the earlier version. You'll need to use extremely large 112mm filters, however. And Tokina has completely redesigned the lens barrel, which is much larger and heavier, and sports an aperture ring alongside the existing zoom and focus rings. (All of which are geared appropriately for video work, and labeled for visibility from alongside the lens.)

The new lens is nearly two-thirds heavier than the existing version, weighing some 53 ounces (1500g). It's around 8% longer (5.7 inches / 144mm total, or 5 inches / 127mm from the mount), and more than a third wider (4.8 inches / 123mm at its greatest diameter.)

The new Tokina 16-28 T3.0 Cinema lens hasn't been launched in the US market at this time. More details for Japanese speakers can be found on the Tokina Japan website.