Tokina’s long-awaited 70-200mm f/4 finally arrives, debuts newly-developed stabilization system


posted Monday, May 19, 2014 at 3:41 PM EDT


It's been a long time coming, but the wait is finally just about over for Tokina's constant-aperture 70-200mm f/4 zoom lens, a model first shown under glass at the CP+ tradeshow, way back in February 2012. (Yes, really!) After more than two years in development limbo, the lens is set to start shipping later this month -- in the Japanese market, at least.

Available for Nikon FX- and DX-format digital SLRs, the lens is a particularly interesting one because it debuts a newly-developed, voice coil motor-based image stabilization system and a quiet-focusing, ring-type ultrasonic autofocus motor. Together, these earn this optic the "VCM-S" designation in its name. It seems hard to believe that the company has come so far without stabilization, but nevertheless, it's true. Tokina promises a three-stop correction, but doesn't state whether this figure is to CIPA standards or not. Regardless, it will be very interesting indeed to see how its first foray into stabilized shooting performs in the real world.


The new lens has a 19-element, 14-group optical formula with a nine-bladed aperture, multilayer coating, and a constant f/4 aperture across the zoom range. The lens has an inner-focusing design, will focus to 3.3 feet (1m), and has a maximum magnification ratio of 1:3.57. It's a fairly hefty piece of glass, with a weight of 2.2 pounds (980g), and has dimensions of 6.6 inches (16.8cm) in length by 3.2 inches (8.2cm) in diameter. 67mm filter threads provide for accessories, and a BH-672 lens hood is included in the product bundle. A TM-705 tripod mount is available separately.

Priced at ¥150,000 (approx. US$1,480) in the Japanese market, plus ¥24,000 (US$240) for the tripod mount, the lens goes on sale from May 30th. No word as yet on when this model will be available in overseas markets. A selection of 13 sample photos shot with the new lens and a Nikon D610 camera body by photographer Ryousuke Takahashi can be seen here. (Non-Japanese speakers: Hit the black button under each image for a full-res version of the photo.)