Is Tokina 100mm f2.8 macro lens worth it?
This Tokina 100mm f2.8 macro lens, while optically excellent, costs about 50% less compared to similar Nikon and Canon lenses…
Question is: Is it worth the money?
I kept figuring out some things here and also thinking about which camera lens I should start with for the 1st teardown and review. Meanwhile, I bought this macro lens and after just a couple days of use, it started making some weird noises. So instead of shipping it out I decided to fix it myself and make a teardown and review at the same time. So Tokina m100 is the first one, problem solved. Of course this will void my warranty, but I personally don’t care about it that much. If your lens is still under the warranty – don’t disassemble it. Ok, so a very quick overview of this thing. There is a manual aperture ring, there is also focus limiting switch and this is a very useful feature. Macro lenses are usually slow as a turtle when it comes to focusing speed and this one makes no exception.
This switch is mechanically dividing the full range of focusing mechanism into 2 parts, so you can use this lens either as a regular prime lens or as a typical close up macro lens. And in both cases it can make it focusing about 50% faster which is not bad. 9 blades diaphragm which is very nice, almost perfectly round and it’s mechanically controlled by this lever since it’s and Nikon mount. Optics are super clean which is usually, but not always the case with brand-new lenses. Also this is an externally focusing lens which means, that the front part moves in and out while focusing. It’s not great but as long as it doesn’t rotate while doing this, it’s good enough. And of course there are also MTF charts to compare and some other things, specifications and stuff like that, but since I don’t care about this – I’m not going to talk about it here. Let’s get to the problem. If I remember correctly there is a nice, thin ball bearing that goes all the way around the clutch mechanism. But probably that’s not where the problem is. It’s most likely somewhere here. My guess is that there is some grease missing inside this lens. Someone at the factory either got lazy or made a mistake. And even if they do have a great quality control at the factory, this type of problem is very hard to detect. That’s because most of those parts inside have some kind of paint on them or there is some residual grease that will make this lens work perfectly fine for some – usually short – period of time. Or maybe something else – let’s see. Now, as with most Tokina lenses I’ve seen so far. This is a very simple and solid construction. That’s why it’s so heavy. It’s a very simple construction when it comes to electronics also. Just a handful of SMD parts, an oscillator and an 8-bit microcontroller. There is also a manual focus switch and position encoder which I’ll show you later. This gear is getting engaged or disengaged, depending on the position of the focusing clutch mechanism. Let’s remove it now. Just a thin plastic shelll covering some solid metal alloy parts. Even though this clutch mechanism doesn’t feel right while I am rotating it, it’s most likely not directly related to my squeaky problem. So I’ll take care of it in a couple of minutes. Let’s see what we got so far. One of the nicest looking lens mounts ever. Is is very important? No! But still it looks so good that I just couldn’t resist mentioning it. It’s solid and quite heavy too. Plastic manual aperture ring – not much to it. Another plastic ring that goes under the lens mount. A thin plastic shell that goes over the clutch mechanism and the clutch mechanism itself. This is how it looks like when removed from the lens. And here’s the rest of this lens.
http://bit.ly/1SVQc22 – Canon 6D Teardown & Review – All Parts
http://bit.ly/1VwwX6d – Nikon D50 Teardown & Review – All Parts
http://bit.ly/1WL1Oec – Camera and Lens Repair Tips – Playlist
http://bit.ly/1WhKm0s – All FixYourCamera.Org videos
https://youtu.be/zgyRSj3kOw0 – How to remove nameplates without leaving any marks…
https://youtu.be/g4l67YlZXXQ – Lens spanner wrench – how to avoid a disaster…
https://youtu.be/suh4wYPl-5Y – How to deal with stuck lens parts without causing damage !
https://youtu.be/MoG0Ihv56_8 – What’s inside a Macro Lens – Tokina m100 Teardown & Review – Very Good, but not greasy enough 🙂