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Tokina 100-300mm AT-X
(c. 1989 - 1995)
© 2009 KenRockwell.com. All rights reserved.

Intro   Specs    Performance    Recommendations

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Tokina 100-300mm

Tokina 100-300mm f/4 AT-X SD (77mm filter, 43 oz/1,220g). enlarge. I got this one over this link to it at eBay; you also can look for them used at Adorama and B&H Photo-Video.


August 2009     More Nikon Reviews    More Canon Reviews



Intro   Specs    Performance    Recommendations

This Tokina 100-300mm f/4 AT-X is a versatile manual focus lens. It works great on digital and film Nikon SLRs, especially on FX.

This lens came in mounts for many cameras, especially Nikon, Canon, Pentax, Olympus and Minolta. I'm showing the Nikon version here.

This Tokina is a a stop faster than the Nikkor 100-300mm f/5.6. Get the Nikkor if you can, but if you find one of these, don't throw it away either.

Tokina 100-300mm

Tokina 100-300mm, at 300mm and f/4.

Specifications     top

Intro   Specs    Performance    Recommendations


Tokina AT-X SD 100-300mm f/4. Model number: ATX 100.

   AT-X: Advanced Technology - Extra.

   SD: Super-low Dispersion glass, the same as Nikon's ED and Canon's UD.




Front-group focus.

Internal zooming, fixed rear group.


Close Focus

6.5 feet (2m).



7 blades. Stops down to f/32. Annoying half-stop clicks between most full stops.


Filter Thread

77mm, metal. Rotates with focus.


Tripod Collar

Permanently attached.



8.413" extension from flange x 3.148" diameter (213.7 x 79.95mm) when focused at infinity, measured. Hood is 1.731" long by 3.683" diameter (48.98 x 93.54mm) overall, measured.



43.020 oz. (2.69 pounds or 2 pounds, 11.02 oz.), measured.

1,219.6g, measured.

Hood adds 2.760 oz (78.3g).



Fake leather tubular hard case. Red fuzz inside. Vinyl hinge and snapper catch.



Spun aluminum with double-threaded insert to reverse-mount over lens.

Tokina 100-300mm

Tokina 100-300mm with hood reversed and screwed over front for storage.


  Tokina 100-300mm

Tokina 100-300mm, with metal hood ready for shooting.


Performance  back to top

Intro   Specs    Performance    Recommendations


It feels nice. It's easy to focus and zoom. It has a bright finder image and never gets in the way of a great photo.

Tokina 100-300mm

Tokina 100-300mm.

Balance with tripod collar

Balance is perfect with a D3. Of course you'll need the Nikon AH-5 Tripod Spacer with most tripods to keep the bottom of the D3 from interfering with your tripod head. This happens with most smaller lenses with tripod collars.



Distortion is invisible in the shorter half of the range, and pincushion distortion in the longer half of the range

Plug these figures into Photoshop CS2's lens distortion filter to correct the distortion. These aren't facts or specifications, they are the results of my research that requires hours of photography and calculations on the resulting data.

FX or film at infinity

© 200 KenRockwell.com

Lateral Color Fringes

None on a a D3.



All anodized aluminum. No enamel on the outside like Nikkors, and feels more like aluminum than brass on the inside. Mount seems like aluminum, not brass as Nikkors.

My sample has some wobble: mechanical play which lets the front of the lens wobble left and right from the back of the lens.



It's great at 100mm.

At 200mm and 300mm its very soft at f/4 and much better by f/8-11.

The Nikkor 100-300mm f/5.6 AI-s is much better: you can shoot it wide open and it's super-sharp. The faster f/4 speed of this lens is nice to help focus and viewing, but not usable for shooting at the long end where you'd need it.

Tokina 100-300mm

Tokina 100-300mm. enlarge.


Recommendations   back to top

Intro   Specs    Performance    Recommendations

This is an easy lens to shoot. It's not as well made or as good optically as a Nikkor, and they each sell for about the same price used, but if you find one of these, you certainly can make great photos with it.

I'd prefer the Nikkor 100-300mm f/5.6 AI-s, or any of the Nikkor 80-200mm zooms.


Help me help you         top

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If you find this as helpful as a book you might have had to buy or a workshop you may have had to take, feel free to help me continue helping everyone.

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Thanks for reading!


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