For a long time it was quiet about the catadioptric lenses, because the diameter of the primary mirror divided into the focal length. They have a central obstruction means they cannot use an adjustable diaphragm to control light transmission. This means the lens’s F-number value is fixed to the overall designed focal ratio of the optical system.
Two weeks ago Tokina has revived this type of lens with the launch of the SZX 400mm f/8 Reflex MF telephoto lens. Another special feature of this lens has a T-mount (pitch 0.75mm, thread 42mm), that allows this lens to be attached to any camera (Canon EF, Fuji X, Nikon F, M43, Sony E) by using mount adapters.
Due to its design, the lens is extremely compact and lightweight and therefore should be of particular interest in travel photography and for taking landscapes and wildlife pictures. In addition to travel photography, the Super Telephoto lens is suitable for a wide variety of photographic genres such as people, street, macro, wildlife and even sports photography. Tokina derives the designation “SZX” with S for “Satisfaction”, Z for “Zest” and X as “something unknown or exciting” – it stands for “the passion and enthusiasm to also develop products outside the mainstream”.
The lens can be focused purely manually, which is very simple and precise with the modern mirrorless cameras and the focus peaking function. Cameras with integrated image stabilization have an advantage here, with the relatively large light intensity of 1:8 resulting in short shutter speeds during normal use. The fixed aperture and the two mirrors mounted in the beam path result in an interesting ring-shaped bokeh effect, which is characteristic of mirror lenses.
The catadioptric construction of this lens consists of six lenses in five groups. Two lenses have mirrored surfaces, the silvered coating of which has a protective antioxidant layer on the back for a long product life, according to Tokina. The lens elements inside the lens are coated with a multi-layer anti-reflection coating. The chromatic aberrations should be very low.
The minimum focusing distance of the Tokina SZX is only 1.15 meters. It enables a 1:2.5 magnification to record an object with a size of 6 x 9 centimeters with a full-frame camera. The lens is equipped with a wide and non-slip focus ring, which enables the user to focus very precisely with a rotation range of 270 degrees. The lens comes with a lens hood and supports filters with a diameter of 67 millimeters.
Price and availability
The Tokina SZX 400mm f/8 Reflex MF pricing starts from $229 for the T-mount variant and $249 for the Nikon and Canon EF lenses; and it is now available to pre-order through the Bhphotovideo.com store.
Tokina SZX 400mm f/8 Reflex MF Specifications
- Focal Length: 400mm
- Maximum Aperture: f/8
- Minimum Aperture: Not Specified by Manufacturer
- Lens Mount: Canon EF / Nikon F. T-mount
- Format Compatibility: Full-Frame
- Angle of View: 6° 8′
- Tilt-Shift: Not Specified by Manufacturer
- Minimum Focus Distance: 1.15 m
- Maximum Magnification: 0.4x
- Macro Reproduction Ratio: 1:2.5
- Optical Design: 6 Elements in 5 Groups
- Diaphragm Blades: 0
- Focus Type: Manual Focus
- Image Stabilization: No
- Front Filter Size: 67 mm
- Dimensions: 74 x 76 mm
- Weight: 355 g
Back in June, Tokina has also made available the pre-order for the atx-i 11-20mm F2.8 CF wide-angle lens is designed for Canon EF and Nikon F mount APS-C SLR cameras.