I just knew this would happen: Tokina, the last of the traditional technology-only lens makers would join the modern world this year. Now, with an announcement this morning, Tokina has done just that in a big way!
Digital Photography Review broke the story. Tokina has released a 35mm/full frame capable 16-28mm f2.8 zoom with a sonic drive and weather sealing. With this release, Tokina becomes the last of the Big 3 third party manufacturers (Sigma and Tamron are the others) to add a sonic drive on a lens and the first to add weather sealing (which nicely keeps with a company known for its tough build quality). If the past is an indication of the future, this lens should be a gem as Tokina's digital-only ultrawides (11-16mm f2.8 and 12-24mm f4 (I and II versions) are both superb optics.
This is great news, especially for me, as I'm crazy (own a 28-70 2.8, 80-200 2.8, 100 macro 2.8) about Tokina products!
The lens will be available in Nikon and Canon versions and is set to ship in August and September, respectively at a MSRP of $1,400. However, I foresee a $800-$1000 street price.
So what does this mean for the future? I can foresee further fullframe capable Tokina products of such quality in the future. Currently, Tokina makes no standard or fast telephoto zooms for full frame. With the long-time Canon monopoly on FF dead, expect Tokina to start getting back into the 35mm/FF game as there are, once again, profits to be made. What do I expect to see? How about sonically driven, weather sealed 24/28-70mm f2.8 and 70/80-200mm f2.8 lenses.
Only time will tell.
If you found this informative (or at least entertaining), check out my Examiner pages for photography and astronomy for more great stuff. By doing this, you are helping me pay the bills, which I am grateful for.
Don't forget to pass this link along, either.
For something even better, become a follower.